This may be the best way to define just how incompetent Washington is on a bipartisan level. Right after the Las Vegas shooting at the beginning of this month, there was bipartisan consensus to pass legislation banning the bump stock. And no, Democrats, the NRA is not to blame. The NRA was fine with it. Most people did not even know what a bump stock was and I know a lot of gun enthusiasts who couldn’t care less about the bump stock. There was, however, one major sticking point.
The political opportunists in Congress who saw dead bodies and decided to score points as quickly as possible wrote legislation to ban the bump stock that actually would have banned all semi-automatic guns.
The NRA opposed the legislation submitted in Congress for that reason, but the NRA is already calling on the ATF to review bump fire stocks. This, of course, shouldn’t be a regulatory decision, but a legislative one. The NRA does not even allow bump fire stocks on its gun ranges and no doubt would be happy to narrowly help. But congressmen would rather grandstand and call the organization a terrorist organization.
Congress cannot help itself. It cannot come up with a reasonable, narrow definition without scratching the further gun control issue. It is an incompetence at the congressional level and, frankly, it increases the power of the bureaucracy and the very regulators the GOP wants to curtail.
This is an issue for Congress, not the ATF. But Congress just can’t. Too many congressmen would rather a talking point and too many congressmen would rather overreach on the issue, playing to donors and activists.
There’s a political consensus. The supposedly feared lobbying organization was willing to help come up with a real solution. But nothing ever happened.