Bump Stocks

They’re not worth banning, but no one really cares about them that much:

Bump stocks, says Mr. Valone, “are an amusement, because they don’t under normal circumstances turn an AR-15 or another rifle into a killing machine, because you can’t hit anything with it. Only when you are presented 400 yards away with a field of uninterrupted humanity would something like that even be effective.”

Hard cases make for bad law.

89 thoughts on “Bump Stocks”

      1. What he was saying is that they shouldn’t be banned because they’re an amusement to most gun owners, most gun owners don’t want them due to their poor accuracy, ie, the only people who have a use for them are people looking to shoot into “a field of uninterrupted humanity”.

        To me his logic is backwards.

        1. They’re already banned in Canada. No-one really cares, because no-one really has a use for one. Even the criminals don’t care, because, if they want a full-auto gun, they can buy one from their criminal friends, or make one: a couple were arrested in Alberta recently for making MAC-10s in their workshop.

          But calling for a ban is pure security theatre for that reason. Anyone who thinks it would have saved lives in Vegas is either ignorant or deluded. He had ten minutes to shoot into a crowd of twenty thousand people: he could have killed more with a decent hunting rifle.

        2. You don’t think very clearly, Andrew_W. Must be all that New Zealand smugness.

          If bump stocks were banned, the Vegas madman probably would not have used them, in which case he would surely have killed more. As others have commented, a hunting rifle (like you supposedly have) with a scope would have been far more deadly. The people in the kill zone are thanking God that the shooter was so inaccurate (because of the bump stocks) that he missed almost all of them.

          1. A scope would have been pointless as they’re almost useless at hitting a running target – and people were running after the first few shots. The rapid fire into a crowd – “a field of uninterrupted humanity” as has been described, is more effective if killing the maximum number of people is the goal.
            You obviously have no experience with scoped rifles.

          2. Do you just randomly link to irrelevant sites for fun? What the hell do some bolt-action slides have to do with the current discussion? Did you think you were looking at pictures of rifle scopes?? Do you even know the difference between bolt action and semi-automatic? SMH.

          3. A scope would have been pointless as they’re almost useless at hitting a running target

            I’m not even a good shooter and I regularly hit running varmints with a scope. Other people, that actually know how to shoot, do much better. Non moving target can actually move out of the path of a bullet while it’s in flight if the distance is far enough. Moving targets have to change vector to do that.

            This is not to say that moving targets are easier. But ‘pointless’ indicates a lack of any real experience.

            Or are you only counting the highest power scopes which aren’t meant for moving targets?

          4. Both of my scopes are 4x, so not that high powered, maybe the varmint move faster around here but hitting a rabbit using a scope, at least with the scopes I’m familiar with is ridiculous, the field of view is too narrow, the rabbit is moving at maybe 15m/s, so each second the 10 cm target moves 150 times it’s own length, if you can hit that with a rifle at better than 1 in twenty attempts I’ll eat my hat.
            In my life I’ve only twice shoot a rabbit at full speed, both times just sighting down the barrel and ignoring the scope.

            If you’re talking about possums and the like strolling along we’re not talking about the same things.

            I heard that the distance between the gunman and his victims was 400 meters, that’s far enough to require a bit of time to sight in on each person if picking them one at a time with a scope.

          5. You certainly live in a small world, Andrew.

            I won’t discuss what rifles I might or might not own in the Internet, wiser heads than yours will understand. Barnard (just up the road from you in NZ) makes precision rifle actions used in custom rifles for benchrest and other competitive shooting disciplines, with very nice scopes (Nightforce, Schmidt & Bender) mounted on top. We also use them for varmint shooting. Think ground squirrels at up to 400m. I have seen reports that many people simply crouched down and attempted to shelter in place, for at least a short time. 400m is quite a short range to hit a man-sized target lit by spotlights, moving or not. People don’t run like rabbits, and it takes quite a while for 22,000 people to disperse. But all this is simply a morbid side discussion.

            My original point remains – the shooter was missing more than he was hitting based on trying to fire full-auto. All his notes about windage and bullet drop were for naught. Bump stocks don’t work unless hand-held, unlike a real automatic rifle. They are a gimmick. Did you ever note that “machine guns” are large and heavy? That is to manage the recoil, which the Vegas shooter was obviously unable to do with bump stocks on AR /AK platforms. It’s hard enough to do with bolt and semi-auto actions.

            Aimed shots are deadly. Spray and pray jihadi style is essentially random at a distance.

            For the last time, you simply don’t know what you are talking about.

  1. O/T, the difference between the gun culture in America and the rest of the Western world is that the vast majority of gun owners in other Western countries have guns for reasons other than pointing them at people (should the occasion arise), they own guns for pest control, to hunt, for sport shooting, because they collect them or because they’ve been handed down, only in America are most guns owned for the purpose of pointing them at and, if deemed necessary, shooting people should the occasion arise.

      1. David S, try not to judge others by your own standards. My point is only that there is a difference in perspective, that the non-US perspective on what guns are for is valid, that it’s not just an evil left vs noble right debate. The non-US perspective on what guns are for does result in less dead people, that’s a fact, look at the statistics.

        1. Same old claptrap. Britain had a much lower armed crime rate and similar murder rate back when anyone could buy and carry a gun for self-protection. And the US states with the most liberal gun laws generally have murder rates lower than most of Europe.

          That’s a fact. Look at the statistics.

          1. “. . . the US states with the most liberal gun laws generally have murder rates lower than most of Europe.”

            I looked, you’re wrong. Most European countries have Murder rates of less that 1/100,000/yr, no US state has rates of less than 1/100,000/yr.

            Also you’re using the logic that states with high gun homicide rates have those high rates as a result of stricter gun laws, the truth is that states with high gun homicide rates have brought in stricter gun laws. You’re putting effect ahead of cause.

          2. No, many of those places have had strict gun laws prior to high gun deaths. That they keep trying to enforce additional restrictions while having no affect on gun deaths shows how the regulations don’t help.

            The problem in the USA isn’t guns but rather the people who choose to engage in crime. We have a popular culture that glorifies living a life of crime and a political party that does everything they can to defend that way of life. Fixing this problem would provide more benefit to the USA than banning guns.

          3. “Most European countries have Murder rates of less that 1/100,000/yr”

            Then things have changed a lot in the last few years. When I lived in the UK, it had a lower murder rate than most of Europe, and it was around 1/100,000 per year.

            Or did they just redefine ‘homicide’ to make it look better?

        2. My point is only that there is a difference in perspective

          The problem is that your perception isn’t backed up by objective reality. You apply your standards to others but don’t understand the people you apply those standards to.

    1. the difference between the gun culture in America and the rest of the Western world

      It is a mistake to think there is a single gun culture in the USA. People often make this claim in order to scapegoat normal law abiding citizens with blame for gang crime. It is true that one of the gun cultures is self defense, and here we see scapegoating people who want to defend themselves with the sins of criminals.

      A lot of gun owners are hunters and target shooters. Both of these are vastly different cultures than gang crime and even with self defense groups.

    2. only in America are most guns owned for the purpose of pointing them at and, if deemed necessary, shooting people

      Do you have any, any evidence that supports this? Because most people I know who own guns do so because: “pest control, to hunt, for sport shooting, because they collect them” So I think you just made up a bullshit statistic because you don’t know how to make a rational argument otherwise (reasons 1 & 3).

      Here’s what I mean about a rational argument. To the extent your comment may have some truth would be for areas of the US that outlaw weapons that could otherwise be used for pest control, to hunt, or sport shooting; which leaves the conceal and carry permits for weapons used for shooting people. But most places in the US don’t have such stupid bans on a long rifle because it looks scarier if it looks a certain way. And long rifles are the firearms typically used for pest control, hunting, sport shooting, etc. You would know that if you actually thought your argument through (reasons 4 & 5).

      I agree with Eric.

    3. … only in America are most guns owned for the purpose…

      The amazing thing is how you can live in such a remote location, and yet divine everything there is to know about people and events far removed from your everyday experience.

    4. “O/T, the difference between the gun culture in America and the rest of the Western world is that the vast majority of gun owners in other Western countries have guns for reasons other than pointing them at people (should the occasion arise), they own guns for pest control, to hunt, for sport shooting, because they collect them or because they’ve been handed down, only in America are most guns owned for the purpose of pointing them at and, if deemed necessary, shooting people should the occasion arise.”

      Prove it.

      Prove that *MOST* guns are owned for the purpose of pointing them at people.

        1. Cities in the US, particularly the larger ones, are run by Democrats that push gun control measures that ban “assault weapons”, which are really just long guns typically used for hunting or recreational shooting. That leaves handguns, which even in hunting purposes are for last resort protection.

          But here’s the thing Andrew; the guy in Las Vegas didn’t use a handgun, at least not for shooting across into the concert. So we are now back to reason 4.

          As I said, you haven’t thought it through. I stand by my argument: “To the extent your comment may have some truth would be for areas of the US that outlaw weapons that could otherwise be used for pest control, to hunt, or sport shooting; which leaves the conceal and carry permits for weapons used for shooting people.”

  2. ” . . . only in America are most guns owned for the purpose of pointing them at and, if deemed necessary, shooting people should the occasion arise.” You mean, like self-defense?

    I had called “Godzilla” the Perfect Serf. but I guess Andrew is vying for that title.

    1. “You mean, like self-defense?”
      Yes, so? I don’t own guns for self-defense, because history shows that the chances of me needing them for that are less than 1 in a million each year, It’s more likely that a member of a household in NZ would be shot by a gun owned by a member of that household.

      1. At least that’s what Big Brother wants you to believe. But if you don’t like guns out of some irrational hoplophobia (I mean, it can’t be that you dislike guns altogether, because without them,, how would your beloved masters enforce their will on the serfs?), fine, don’t own them. But then don’t hypocritically use guns in the hands of your gang’s thugs to force the rest of us to give up our property.

        Here’s something worth reading, especially to those of us, unlike Andrew, who value our liberty:

        http://reason.com/archives/2017/10/06/what-gun-control-advocates-get-wrong

          1. It’s not something that crosses my mind all that much, when I think of rifle I think of hunting and pests, not people.

          2. So if you’re attacked, you WON’T point those rifles at your attackers??? (I’m not talking about State thugs attacking you. If they did, you’d probably bend ’em and spread ’em.) Are you a pacifist? I can respect true pacifism–and actually the only true pacifists I’ve encountered is Robert LeFevre and his followers.* Most “pacifists” I’ve encountered dislike force used in self-defense, but LOVE State force when used against tax-payers and peaceful gun-owners. Like the “liberal” anti-gunners who are fine with guns, as long as they’re in the hands of the State’s thugs, pointed at the heads of those of us who want to live free..

            *see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_LeFevre

          3. Bilwick, I’ve made my position clear, I don’t own guns for the purpose of pointing them at people, the evidence is that most American’s that purchase guns do so with their use – or the threat of their use – against other people as a factor, if you disagree with that I don’t think you’re being honest. My reason for making this point is not to condemn but to suggest that when the people in a society think of the guns they own as a tool to use against people their use against people becomes more common. In other Western societies where that motivation for gun ownership is far less common people are less motivated to actually use those guns against people, gun homicide is far more common in the US than other Western countries – even allowing for the higher ratio of gun ownership.
            http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/22/key-takeaways-on-americans-views-of-guns-and-gun-ownership/

        1. Agree, it is a result of history, “tyrannical” is a matter of perspective.
          I don’t think NZ laws are tyrannical. I’d start with hand guns in the hands of people with convictions for violence.

          1. I’d start with hand guns in the hands of people with convictions for violence.

            Perhaps you should research American gun laws.

          2. I’m guessing it takes a lot for you to put up with before you use the term “tyrannical.” You’re a regular Spartacus, chief.

          3. You know, New Zealand doesn’t have a 3,200 km long border with a third-world country, which, despite having only one legal gun store in the entire nation and brutally suppressing carrying of firearms outside of the home, has a firearms homicide rate 75% that of the United States. A border which, by initiative of two prior presidents, is virtually wide open, and drug runners pour their wares into the United States to take advantage of our ridiculous modern version of Prohibition. Along with them come weapons of all kinds. Come and talk to me, Andrew_W, when MS13 moves into your neighborhood, as they have the area where both of my sons live – it’s a part of the country with the toughest gun laws, and the highest firearms homicide rate anywhere.

            I was on the very tail end of the generation where every boy in the US had a gun, and knew how to use it safely. I had my first rifle at age 8 (and still have it). The fact that most American males had and were good with firearms is undoubtedly a contributor to our being able to quickly mobilize to fight a three-front world war. (Read the lyrics to “Over There.” It begins with “Johnny get your gun…”)

            We were taught gun safety at a very early age. My Dad was a collector, and the times we shot together were some of the best we had – aside from hunting, which I liked right up until the killing part. I learned to field strip, clean, and reassemble every firearm we had, blindfolded. To this day, however, I will hire an instructor to get remedial tips. In fact, trigger reset shooting of pistols was new to me. It’s the same thing as bump-shooting, but just relies on getting the feel of a semi-auto pistol’s trigger reset point. Once mastered, it allows one to take careful aim, and when the first shot is fired, the rest of the magazine can be emptied in a second and a half, without loss of accuracy.

            But I digress. You have an entirely different situation than exists in the United States. I think its great that an isolated island nation can get such a good handle on crime. I just hope you’re never invaded.

        2. Of course there is. Make it so only those in the militia (i.e. the US National Guard) can have automatic weapons and automatic weapons converted into semi-automatic weapons.

          1. The militia is not the National Guard, though it fills in for the National Guard if the Guard is deployed. One of our units had to do that in response to some flooding during WW-II.

            As a militiaman (anybody who stays in Kentucky more than two weeks is in our militia), I have to pay a $20 fine if I don’t show up when called, or surrender an equivalent value in furniture (thanks Shakers!). I’m also responsible for supplying my own arms, which the state can’t provide by law, but they can direct me to the stores with the best deals. They’ve done that in the past.

            We also, in theory, have a state army and navy that are separate from the militia.

          2. “Make it so only those in the militia (i.e. the US National Guard) can have automatic weapons and automatic weapons converted into semi-automatic weapons.”

            Translation: “Because as a devoted member of the Cult of the State, I believe only the priesthood and our enforcers have the right to such weaponry!”

          3. The US National Guard is the “organized militia.” The “unorganized militia” is every able-bodied male between the ages of 18 and 45. That is the legal definition of “the militia” in the United States. So your proposal is not as slick as you think.

            In revolutionary times, George Mason was asked who constitutes “the militia.” His reply: “Today, it is all of us.”

      2. I don’t own guns for self-defense

        That is the dichotomy of guns and many other objects, their purpose changes based on what you decide to use them for. The gun you have for hunting or target shooting can be used for self defense should the need arise.

        Space cadets often talk about the dual use nature of advanced technology. Anything can be used as a weapon, it is a question of intent. This is also true for kitchen knives and delivery trucks.

        It’s more likely that a member of a household in NZ would be shot by a gun owned by a member of that household.

        This is true in the USA too because of suicides. Funny that some people think state sponsored euthanasia should be legal but not an individual choosing to end their life.

          1. Then why are you an advocate of the State in so many other ways? An apt student of political theory will realize that, over time, the State has a tendency to assume more and more power.

            I’ve read your posts where you advocate government involvement in economics (central banks, Keynsianism) and yet you see no relationship between that and State-sponsored Euthanasia. In fact, yesterday you tried to chastise us by saying that we are slaves of the corporations instead of slaves to the state, without realizing that they often are the same. All that power to save the economy goes into the hands of the corporations. I only say this to help you realize that armchair politicking leads to disastrous results, such as the State sponsoring euthanasia.

      3. “I don’t own guns for self-defense, because history shows that the chances of me needing them for that are less than 1 in a million each year”

        Gun researchers like Gary Kleck and John Lott would disagree with your “million to one” off the cuff remark. You doublessly are thinking that adjudicated self defense killing by civilians is yes something less than 300 per year. But Kleck notably in the middle ’90’s study yielded stats of from 800K to 2.5 million times a year Americans used guns in self defense. It is just that in the overwhelming majority of defensive uses the firearm in the hands of the citizen defending himself from the criminal attempting rape/assault/robbery doesn’t actually shoot the firearm; the display/drawing of the weapon causes the perp to retreat. Depends on how one defines “use”; as far as I am concerned a woman who draws her concealed carry firearm and causes her would be rapist to flee is using it; even if it isn’t discharged.

      4. Sure, and why not extrapolate the needs of a sleepy island backwater like New Zealand to those of the world’s most dynamic heterogeneous nation with 70X the population?

  3. I know that bump stocks were on many of the rifles in that room, but is there any actual evidence (such as an official statement) that bump stocks were on the actual guns that were fired?

      1. How so? The sound in the vids was of extremely even high rate fire, which isn’t like a bump stock makes – it’s a bit uneven at times.

        What’s in the vids that indicates a bump stock? (caveat, I’m hearing impaired so I may be missing a lot).

        1. A rate of fire of 10 rpm was mentioned, listening to it that sounds about right, only slightly slower than a fully automatic rifle, far faster than would be possible semi-auto.

          1. Guessing you dropped a zero there. 10 rpm is one shot every six seconds. It’s not like the guy was shooting the stangskyting circuit.

          2. “Guessing you dropped a zero there. 10 rpm is one shot every six seconds.”

            Thanks, should have been 10 RPS.

  4. Calling bump stocks an amusement that are ineffective, without practical use, and only useful in shooting at massed groups of people, actually supports calls to ban them. There is an important distinction between needing no reason to own a gun and needing no reason to own a mod that simulates automatic fire, which is illegal.

    That is the best argument against a bump stock. It mimics an already largely illegal function. If bump stocks are not made illegal, it is likely they are treated like other automatic weapons.

    1. I wouldn’t kick up a fuss if Congress decided to add rifles with bump stocks to the NFA regulations applicable to true automatic rifles, if the standing jurisprudence on NFA’s constitutionality remains standing.

    2. The thing is, if one knows what one is doing, it is not hard to jerry rig, and Paddock seems to have had the requisite knowledge. It’s just action and reaction.

      There is nothing we can do on the supply side to prevent a person from producing mass casualties if he is intent on doing so. A truck driver in Nice last year killed more than were killed in Vegas with his truck.

      At least, if someone buys a lot of finished gear, we can track that. Force it underground, and we lose even that meager information.

  5. If the psycho multi-millionaire with a pilot’s license hadn’t fixated on a shooting, he might have flown a Gulf Stream IV into the crowd at 500 mph.

    1. Yeah, but the mindset of the offenders in these incidents seems to be more a militaristic fetish, shooting people, gunning them down, has more appeal than just killing as many as possible through not-normally-weapons means.

      1. You sure do fantasize a lot about being able to crawl inside peoples’ heads, and understand their motivations. The real world is not so neat and tidy.

          1. That still does not mean you understand Paddock’s motivations and decisions.

            It only means you tell yourself that you do.

      2. You seem to forget the Scalise shooter–the one with an anti-Republican mindset. Also, the Giffords shooter, Loughner. Oh yeah, the man who just shot up a church in revenge for the previous church shooting. Then there are the gang banger mass shootings…

  6. “I don’t own guns for self-defense.” Translation: ” I like being a serf, and am proud of it! And as a true serf, my self-esteem is somewhere between Charlie Brown’s and Kafka’s* so I don’t value my life, except insofar as I can use it to serve Big Brother!”

    *oblique Woody Allen reference there.

    1. Economic Freedom Index:

      We’re number 3!

      Human Freedom Index:

      We’re number 3!

      Ease of doing business index:

      We’re number 1! We’re number 1!

      1. Well, buck up, Andrew. I’m sure you and your fellow government sniffers and State fellators, if you work real hard and keep to your vision (using Hayek’s ROAD TO SERFDOM as a how-to guide) and get us even further down the scale than we already are.

        1. Now I see the problem, Hayek’s book is not a how-to manual, he was actually against excessive government control. Of course he was also bright enough to understand that in a functioning democracy the power the people have over government is through their brains and their vote, not through their guns.

          1. “A man’s rights rest in three boxes. The ballot box, jury box and the cartridge box. “–reactionary gun nut Frederic Douglass.

      2. I really do congratulate you on that. However, I wonder if it is people like you who are working to reduce your country’s rank. Based on your comments here, it would seem so.

        1. Jon, there’s a lot more to freedom that the ownership of hand guns and fully automatic firearms, perhaps part of the reason the US is only ranked 11 is this fixation on the 2nd – you’ve let other freedoms be eroded while looking the wrong way? No New Zealand politician would want to see hand guns easily available in this country – even the police don’t routinely carry.

          So I can still vote right and not want to see an NZ version of the 2nd.

      3. I actually admire New Zealand in a number of ways, Andrew_W, and have a few friends who live there. And I wasn’t being facetious in admiring your ability to hold down crime. But there is a context, and being an isolated island nation is a big factor.

        Having said that, I deplore the fact that the United States is lower on the economic freedom scale than Estonia.

      4. I was reading up on New Zealand’s immigration laws when Trump’s proposals were first announced back in January/February. He was being called a Nazi for wanting immigration laws weaker than New Zealand’s. Heck, he wasn’t even demanding that “you must know English”.

    1. And California’s descent into gun control began when the Black Panthers began carrying AR-15s in public…perfectly legally. But they were….’black’….so it wasn’t right. Was it, Andrew_W?

  7. “Bump stocks, says Mr. Valone, “are an amusement, because they don’t under normal circumstances turn an AR-15 or another rifle into a killing machine, because you can’t hit anything with it. Only when you are presented 400 yards away with a field of uninterrupted humanity would something like that even be effective.””

    Is it possible to be anti-gun, yet pro-Valone?

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