A gunman opens fire on a crowd at Las Vegas concert. The NRA’s reaction? THANKS, OBAMA. Yup. The National Rifle Association has issued a statement blaming Obama for the horrific massacre.
Facing national outrage, the NRA said it might be cool with it if Congress votes to ban the sale of bump stocks, the devices that allowed the Las Vegas shooter to fire several semiautomatic rifles with a rate of fire that rivals automatic weapons. Given the NRA’s never-budge-an-inch stance toward any regulations of firearms or ammunition, that’s a heck of a surprise. We have to admit, we didn’t see it coming.
Of course, the statement by NRA head gun nuts Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox, is very cannily crafted to make it clear the NRA is still absolutely opposed to gun control; it’s just that on this one, they found a way to pretend this isn’t regulation of a firearm, but of an accessory — one that enabled the bloodiest mass shooting in modern history:
“In The Aftermath of the evil and Senseless attack in Las Vegas, the American people are looking for answers as to how future tragedies can be prevented. Unfortunately, the first response from some politicians has been to call for more gun control. Binding guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks. This is a factor that has been proven time and again in countries across the world.”
Got it? Gun control BAD! Liberty GOOD! You can’t regulate evil, even though that’s what most laws actually do — regulate human behavior so we don’t shit on the street or drive cars 125 miles per hour in a school zone while performing unlicensed surgery.
But it seems like this time around, not even the NRA can come up with a rationale for devices that allow a semiautomatic rifle to spray lead like it’s the battle of Guadalcanal. So hey, let’s redefine a bump-stock as not-gun-control.
More importantly, the NRA is carving a way out: They can blame Las Vegas on Barack Obama.
“In Las Vegas, reports indicate that certain devices were used to modify the firearms involved. Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law.”
Nice try, but there’s a problem: As reported by the Christian Science Monitor, the first ATF approval of a bump stock device came sometime prior to 2005 — the year when ATF rescinded its approval of a bump stock it had initially said was OK (the final product used a spring to hasten the recoil action, while the prototype had no mechanical enhancement. Once the thing was re-engineered to work via recoil only, ATF re-approved it). So no matter how often you hear “Barack Obama is responsible for this tragedy,” no, he didn’t tell the ATF to approve bump stocks.
In short, the NRA statement was nothing more than slick propaganda, a pretty canny sales job: Rather than attempt to defend the indefensible, they deflect blame and put it on former president Barack Obama while calling for more guns.