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Unreal: Vet Dies at VA Hospital While Nurse’s Aide Played Video Games

Nothing is too good for a United States Military Veteran. And in this case, that is exactly what he received – NOTHING!

To everyone chomping at the bit for the “Bern’s” single payer healthcare system, this is exactly what to expect. A corrupt system, staffed by union protected employees, where people lose their lives as the medical workforce is distracted by self-gratifying activities.

To those people who want to live a long, prosperous, and healthy life never fall into the trap that government can provide it. As a matter of fact, it is best to flee in the opposite direction of any government program promising to end a problem.

President Ronald Reagan said, “Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.”

Written by Leatherneck Blogger

October 21, 2017 at 17:37

Pelosi: Hell Yes, I Hope There’s a ‘Slippery Slope’ Towards More Gun Control

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By Guy Benson
October 6, 2017

In which Nancy Pelosi undermines the best shot at a reasonable, bipartisan bill that would implement the first new gun regulation in quite some time, including the failed Toomey-Manchin effort.  With numerous Republicans talking up their openness to banning ‘bump stock’ mechanisms, including an initial green light from the Trump White House, the gun control lobby seems poised to tally a win.  Even the NRA is tentatively onboard, although it’s unclear whether they’d favor an act of Congress, or merely executive regulations in furtherance of this policy.  The most prevalent arguments against a bump stock ban that I’ve encountered from big gun rights people on social media go something like this (via Stephen Gutowski):

Continue reading on Townhall

Schumer Warns Fellow Democrats Off On Gun Control

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By Tom Knighton
Bearing Arms
October 19, 2017

Sen. Charles Schumer from the anti-gun state of New York is no friend to gun owners or Second Amendment advocates. His anti-gun credentials are well documented and understood. Also understood, however, is that he’s not exactly the dumbest member of the United States Senate. That’s evidenced by his warning to fellow Democrats regarding gun control.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) is urging his colleagues to stay away from gun control in the budget debate despite pressure from activist groups that argue the party needs to take a stand given the string of mass shootings across the country.

Schumer, focused on next year’s midterm elections, thinks it is smarter to focus on economics — specifically President Trump’s tax plan, which Democrats say is a giveaway to corporations and the rich, and GOP proposals to cut Medicare and Medicaid.

“Democrats need to find courage and learn to speak to the issue,” said Ladd Everitt, director of 1Pulse4America, a gun-violence prevention group created after the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016.

“There’s a lot of anger in this movement about the response from Democrats right now. People think it’s totally inadequate,” he added.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) tweeted Wednesday night that the country should be talking about answers to gun violence.

“The deadliest mass shooting in our country’s history was 16 days ago,” she wrote. “Conversations about gun violence have faded. We can’t accept that.”

In next year’s midterms, however, Democrats will be defending 10 seats in states won by Trump in last year’s election — including West Virginia, Montana and North Dakota, where guns are a big part of the local culture.

Schumer’s strategy is based, at least in part, on saving those seats and potentially winning back the Senate majority next year if Republicans falter badly.

Schumer’s strategy is actually sound. Harris and company are deluding themselves if they believe anti-gun votes won’t hurt Democrats in rural states like Montana and North Dakota. Further, Schumer is also smart enough to recognize one very important fact. They’re the minority party. They don’t have the numbers to force a vote on gun control, and even if they did it’s unlikely they’d be pleased with the result since they control neither the House, the Senate, or the White House.

Schumer is probably remembering the Democratic bloodbath that followed the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban, Anti-gun activists and organizations systematically targeted any who supported the legislation for removal from office. Run in conjunction with the GOP’s “Contract With America,” control of Congress flipped to the Republican Party.

Only now, Republicans already have the majority. The key difference is they don’t maintain enough of a majority to block filibuster attempts by Democrats. An anti-gun push now might result in more Republican control, effectively eliminating the Democrats as a force to even be considered for the next couple of years.

I hate to say it, but Schumer is on the ball here. He’s not our ally and everyone knows it. His position is one based on pure pragmatism for his party, yet hotheads like Kamala Harris want to keep pushing for something that’s not likely to happen anyway. Go right ahead. Just be sure to take a bow when you push your party into national irrelevancy.

Political Leaders – No Such Thing

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One thing citizens of the United States always seem to forget are the first three words written in the Constitution of the United States… “We the People.” The rest of the founding document details the limits we placed on a strong central government. It describes how the representatives, elected by the people, are to behave while in office. This means that the people’s representatives are beholden to no one but the people in the districts that elected them. In short, they are employees of their respective district. Their sole purpose in life is to advance the will of their employers.

This arrangement is no different than a person getting into a cab and directing the taxi driver where he wants to go. One can conclude that the driver is following the instructions of the fare. The chauffeur is not leading the rider anywhere.

This simple analogy is true for elected officials. The people’s representatives, therefore, are not leaders but serve at the pleasure of the people. There is not one leader among elected officials, they are all followers of the people’s will.

Written by Leatherneck Blogger

October 19, 2017 at 09:19

ATF Group Fires Back Over Criticism Of Bump Stock Decision

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By Tom Kmighton
Bearing Arms
October 17, 2017

Immediately following the largest mass shooting in modern American history earlier this month, a fair bit of criticism was leveled at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive, or BATFE…aka the ATF. Now, an ATF group is taking issue with much of the criticism being directed at the bureau and are speaking out about it.

The association representing current and former ATF employees has pushed back against critics blaming the agency for approving bump stocks.

The ATF Association said the agency “does not have the legal authority to regulate” bump stocks, which allow semi-auto rifles to mimic full-auto fire.

“The bump slide, and several other similar after-market accessories that increase the rate at which a shooter can pull the trigger, are engineered to avoid regulation under Federal law,” said Michael Bouchard, ATFA president, in an open letter last week.

“The notion that ATF chose not to regulate an item it had the authority to regulate is false. The law is very clear and it does not currently allow ATF to regulate such accessories,” Bouchard added.

The federal laws that regulates machine guns — the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act — define a machine gun as “as any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon to shoot automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger,” Bouchard said.

The man has a point.

Yes, it would be easy for the relevant agency to simply decide bump-fire stocks are really machine guns, but the law is pretty clear. Even with the stock, it’s simply a semiautomatic weapon. One trigger pull, one bang. That’s it.

If BATFE decided tomorrow to reregulate the stocks, a fair question would be “what else?” After all, the objective standard for what constitutes a machine gun is now out the window, which means anything else could be similarly regulated into illegality with the right political winds.

Do we really want that?

I know the NRA supports the regulation of these stocks through BATFE and all that, but I’m not sure they’ve thought of the slippery slope they’re asking for here. Once they have precedence, they can then feel free to reclassify a whole lot of other things as impermissible as well.

And don’t say, “Well, Trump’s president, so we don’t have to worry,” either. While Donald Trump is indeed the president, he won’t be forever. Anti-gun politicians will get control of the White House at some point, and with this precedence in their hands, they can do a whole lot of damage without ever having to run through Congress.

The truth is that if you want to ban bump stocks, you have to pass legislation. However, it appears that any legislation sufficiently broad enough to be effective in banning these stocks will also ban things like aftermarket triggers. Or more. There might be a middle ground here, a way to just ban bump stocks, but I doubt it.

Either way, it the ATF Association’s point is valid, and one that we should bear in mind as we progress forward.

Hey, Former Obama Aide: Isn’t What You’re Proposing Pretty Much Gun Confiscation?

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By Matt Vespa
October 16, 2017

Well, if there are people Democrats should ignore when it comes to the Second Amendment fight, it’s former Obama officials. For all the haranguing, they got nothing done. We stopped them. And it wasn’t just us; western Democrats joined us to gut what became known as the Manchin-Toomey bill, which aimed to expand background checks in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. It was at a point where the NRA and the gun rights movement were at a critical juncture. In the end, support for gun control post-Sandy Hook, as always, tapered off. It’s a losing issue, though former Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer seems to think that Australian style-gun control is the path to victory for his party that’s regional and heavily reduced to its urban strongholds. That’s not the best ground for winning this argument. Forget the usual talking points, its urban, over-educated liberals trying to tell rural Americans what to do. It’s an extension of the hamburger problem, in which the Left has become so insufferable that people are averting Democrats altogether. The “hamburger problem” is the situation when liberals slam you for eating meat and contributing to global warming, another issue that only Democrats cares about. Normal people just dig in; enjoy whatever events they’re at, and crack open a few beers. Yet, this is the hallmark characteristic of the American Left: overregulate everything—to the point where it does make people hate them. Bill Maher, a liberal, aptly noted that his party’s incessant, and one could argue fetishistic, push to regulate everything has turned the Democratsinto the “party of poopers,” doing and pushing for things that even make him hate his own party, but I digress. Here’s’ what Pfeiffer thinks are bold solutions to our so-called gun problem (via Crooked): [emphasis mine]

The interpretation of the Second Amendment that prevails on the far right today was reverse-engineered to pander to fantasists. If it takes hold nearly all gun regulations will eventually be overturned, and once Democrats resign themselves to that interpretation, the fight will be over. That’s not what the Second Amendment imagines, and it is clearly not what the founders intended, but it is where the political fight over guns is taking us. (As an aside, what the founders likely did intend has become outmoded. The Second Amendment is in many ways an anachronism, framed before the age of drones and cruise missiles, when a well-armed civilian militia have actually been capable of turning back a foreign invasion. Times change. This is not Red Dawn. You are not Patrick Swayze. Chill out.)

The 2008 Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which interpreted the Second Amendment to confer an individual right to own firearms, leaves Democrats rhetorically and substantively behind the eight ball in the fight to stop mass shootings. But that should not tempt gun control supporters to despair. It is certainly true that our short-term policy positions must pass the Heller test, but it is also a major strategic error to confine our vision to a Supreme Court decision that many legal scholars find ridiculous and many generations of judges would find astonishing. Just as Republicans organize themselves around efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade, Democrats should run on changing the balance of federal courts in ways that will make it less likely that citizens will be slaughtered simply because they went to the wrong concert, movie theater, or school.

Democratic politicians have been brainwashed by political hacks like me to begin all of their statements about guns by declaring support for the Second Amendment and a deep affinity for the cultures of hunters and sportsmen—even if they themselves have never fired weapons. We call them “gun safety” proposals instead of “gun control” measures because pollsters and consultants divined that “gun safety” would be less alarming to gun voters, and that gun voters were to be coddled at all cost.

The Democratic gun control strategy fails because it is defined by this poverty of ambition—the determination never to look beyond fear of political repercussions. Universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines are good ideas and we should seize the opportunity to enact them if it presents itself. But they won’t come anywhere close to making gun violence in America a tolerable problem. We are nibbling around the edges instead of proposing bold, meaningful solutions such as:

  • A national gun registry, so law-enforcement officials can know when someone is compiling an arsenal. The government can track purchases of allergy medicines that can be used to make methamphetamine, and fertilizers that can be used to make bombs, like the one used in Oklahoma City in 1994, but not deadly assault weapons. That’s absurd.
  • Tracking and limiting purchases of ammunition.
  • Requiring that guns use smart-gun technology, which would dramatically reduce accidental deaths, particularly among children, who, according to a 2016 study, are dying accidental deaths at the hands of guns at the rate of one every other day.
  • A national gun buyback program similar to the one Australia instituted after a mass shooting that killed 35 people. That incident was in 1996. There hasn’t been another one since,

These proposals are essentially omitted from the national conversation largely because Democrats are scared that the NRA will spin them disingenuously to inflame gun owners.

And here we go with the regulations. Doesn’t this whole screed read as if the Left wants to regulate…evil? We tried to have that hyper moralistic approach to alcohol and drugs and the government’s response has done more damage to the American public than either substance could have ever inflicted. Tracking and limiting the purchasing of ammunition, smart guns, a gun registry, and praise for the Australian gun confiscation scheme—could they be any more transparent? Pfeiffer admits high-capacity magazine bans and universal background checks won’t work, so we have to destroy the Second Amendment. That’s what’s prescribed here. The limitation of a constitutional right, the compartmentalization of those who exercise that right, and the praise of a gun confiscation program from the Land Down Under. Oh, and of course the Left would push to make the latter point a mandatory one and guess what—the federal government has every one’s gun on file. If you think this is confined to the Second Amendment, think again—the Left is drifting towards the same rationale towards conservative speech because it could be construed as an act of violence. The advocacy for smaller government, less taxes, fewer regulations is now an act of violence.

A simple Google search will show liberal praise for Australia’s gun control program. Yet, there’s little application for it here. That’s from a pro-gun control FiveThirtyEight writer, Leah Libresco, who admitted in an op-ed in The Washington Post that when she analyzed the data, the support for the pro-gun control positions she favored simply collapsed. Oh, and here’s what she found about Australia and the United Kingdom:

I researched the strictly tightened gun laws in Britain and Australia and concluded that they didn’t prove much about what America’s policy should be. Neither nation experienced drops in mass shootings or other gun related-crime that could be attributed to their buybacks and bans. Mass shootings were too rare in Australia for their absence after the buyback program to be clear evidence of progress. And in both Australia and Britain, the gun restrictions had an ambiguous effect on other gun-related crimes or deaths.

The data crunching site also had a good post about how viewing gun control only through the eyes of mass shootings is bad for analysis and policy, mainly because they’re not the majority of gun crimes, nor are they responsible for the majority of gun deaths in America. All it does is lead to potentially bad social policy. In Australia, their gun confiscation and ban policy has led to a violent black market.

If Pfeiffer wanted to be bolder, don’t beat around the bushes. Just say you want to gut the Second Amendment. Ban it. Eliminate it. He already called it an anachronism. It never ceases to amaze me how the liberal mindset ignores the dangers of only allowing agents of the state to have firearms, and how they’re the only ones who can be trusted (you know what kinds of governments have that dynamic), despite ATF agents losing their guns…everywhere.

What Stephen Paddock did in Las Vegas was evil. It was savage. And it was wholly unpreventable. He bought all those guns legally. He went through background checks. He had no history of mental illness. He had no past run-ins with the law. What could have stopped him? Nothing. I understand the urgency to do something, but new laws that won’t save lives just so politicians can go home and fundraise off the fact that they did something seems to be a waste of time, no?

As for the child deaths at the hands of guns, these incidents are tragic. They’re also rare. In fact, accidental death dropped 17 percentbetween 2014-2015, according to the National Safety Council. We can thank the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and other pro-gun groups that stress firearm safety. They’re just wrong. Now, it’s time to show explicitly to the whole country how wrong they are.

Appalling: NRA Spokeswoman’s Family Forced to Abandon Home Due to Violent Threats From Leftists

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By Guy Benson
October 16, 2017

Galvanized by the uglier-by-the-minute Harvey Weinstein scandal, women across social media are sharing their personal stories about sexual harassment and assault, using the “#MeToo” hashtag.  Among those speaking out is National Rifle Association spokeswoman and prominent conservative personality Dana Loesch — who, for full disclosure, is also a friend of mine.  She revealed to the world on Sunday that she and her family are abandoning their home under serious duress, stemming from a whirlwind of violent threats from anti-gun leftists, a number of which have been explicitly sexual in nature.  No matter where one stands on the NRA agenda (I’m generally supportive, but sometimes take issue with the tone of their messaging and some of their decisions), this is utterly revolting and wrong:

Continue reading on Townhall

What’s Progressive about Abortion?

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By Roger Taylor
American Thinker
October 12, 2017

It used to be that supporting abortion as a member of the Democratic Party was in style, but according to Tom Perez, the Democratic Party chairman, it is now compulsory.  He has said pro-life Democrats are not welcome in the party.  Whatever happened to diversity?  This abortion stance is so rigid that it is beginning to look like their raison d’etre.  But in the collectivist mindset, how can this unsavory practice be doing the most good for the most people?  Let us explore some issues.

For more than two thousand years, some women have wanted to terminate their pregnancies.  Terminating a pregnancy belies the real truth that one is terminating a fetal life.  In the ancient world, a surgical abortion would have been impractical and dangerous.  There would have been a high incidence of hemorrhage and fatal septicemia.  Some women allowed their abdomens to be beaten to enhance a pregnancy loss, but this ran the danger of uterine rupture or abruptio placenta, both fatal before modern surgery.  So most women resorted to abortifacients, and most were herbal.  There is no verifiable evidence that these nostrums and potions had much efficacy.  One reads about using the oil of pennyroyal, or tansy, or the now extinct silphium, but there is no real data.  A lot of anecdotal success probably relied on the natural spontaneous abortion rate of at least 20-30%.  In extremis, some women swallowed doses of turpentine or mercury.  Most women who did not want the baby carried it to term rather than succumb to these horrendous methods.

The ancient Greeks and Romans had another solution for the unwanted life: infanticide.  To be sure, they did not call it that, but it was a passive form of murder.  Unwanted infants were left exposed to the elements to die of hypothermia, starvation or predation.  The paterfamilias held the ultimate power and decided which boys were not fit and which girls were just too many girls.  The Spartans had a more institutional system.  The father brought the newborn to the ruling elders, and they decided which were to be exterminated.  The other Greek city-states were appalled by the Spartan tradition, but not because of the infanticide.  The Spartan system eliminated the father’s right to choose.  (Does that sound familiar?)  So the cradle of Western civilization had no compassion for the occupants of the cradle.  The exceptions in Europe were the Etruscans and ancient Germans.  They raised all of their children.

But starting about two thousand years ago, Western Europe began to go topsy-turvy over its attitude toward children and the unborn.  This revolutionary change was the adoption of Judeo-Christian values.  From its earliest history, the Jewish nation abhorred child sacrifice.  This is one of the reasons why the Canaanites were considered an abomination worthy of extermination.  They sacrificed infants and children up to the age of four to the god Moloch.  The children were burned alive.

But it goes beyond the proscription of child sacrifice.  It was understood that the child in the womb and the born child were part of the same continuum.  There were not separate words for “fetus” and “child.”  A woman was pregnant with child, not pregnant with fetus.  The Ten Commandments do not condemn abortion because they already condemn murder.  Both David and Jeremiah were told that God knew them in the womb.  God would not speak of knowing a lump of lifeless flesh.  This dovetails completely with the Jewish tradition of taking care of widows, orphans, and the poor.

Christianity continued this ethic and was probably a greater influence because of its adoption throughout the entire Roman world.  Christians also recognized human life in the womb.  Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth shortly after she was informed she was pregnant with Jesus.  Elizabeth’s baby in utero, John the Baptist, jumped for joy at the recognition of Jesus in Mary’s womb.  Like the Jewish tradition, this confirms personhood.  And there was another dimension.  Jesus told his disciples to bring the children to him, and he exhorted them to be more childlike.  For the first time, children were cherished for being children and were allowed to have a childhood.  And children were safe in the womb, with few exceptions, for almost two thousand years.  This, it would seem, was real human progress.

Everything changed in the twentieth century.  With advances in surgery, one could have an abortion procedure and hope to survive.  Although abortion was illegal, many self-proclaimed visionaries began promoting it as part of the program of family planning.  Margaret Sanger, the patron saint of Planned Parenthood, paved the way for abortion throughout the United States.  She leaves a complicated legacy.  Her apologists insist she was a champion of women’s rights, especially the poor.  Her detractors rightfully point out the she was a leading figure in  American eugenics.  She believed in racial purity and that all misfits should be sterilized.  It is difficult to put a positive spin on her own statements.  In the journal The Birth Control Review, in 1919, she published an article entitled “Birth Control and Racial Betterment.”

Many American eugenicists were irked by Hitler commandeering their movement.  He also believed in racial purity.  And the left now has a very short memory of ever supporting such notions.

Then, in 1973, the Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, legalized abortion on the nonexistent constitutional principle of a right to privacy.  In the last 50 years, 1.5 billion – I repeat: billion – abortions have been committed around the world.  The enormity of this is staggering.  In America, 50,000,000 to 60,000,000 abortions have been done.  A full 12.5% of American women have had abortions, but there are 233 induced abortions per 1,000 live births.  That means that some women are using abortion as primary birth control.  Between 2007 and 2010, in America, 36% of abortions were against black babies and 21% Hispanic.  These two groups make up less than twenty percent of our population.  It sounds as though Margaret Sanger’s descendant minions are working on her goals of racial purity.

Considering the Judeo-Christian tradition of the recognition of the fetus as fully human, one well versed in this tradition will not acknowledge a “right” to choose the fetus’s death.  The fetus was not given a vote.  You are free to choose any other surgery or life choice that does not infringe on others.

There is one subset of women who are pro-choice (pro-abortion) who don’t really care if the fetus is human.  In true collectivist fashion, it is an inconvenient life and must be exterminated.  It does not fit the collective.  Curiously, this is the only instance in the collectivist mindset where individuality is honored.  But what if the collectivist state decides it wants to increase the birth rate and outlaws abortion?  There goes the vaunted right to choose.  Collectivism is not a very friendly bed partner.

I would contend that most women who have an abortion are not flippant about their choices.  They need to find a rationale to assuage guilt and to not feel like despicable people.  The problem is that every mental construct has a plausible refutation.  Some feel that a zygote is not human because he does not look like one.  But he has a complete and uniquely human and individual genome.  The zygote is a cornerstone, with a complete blueprint of a human,  and just needs the Carpenter to finish building.  Some feel that the fetus is not human until he can be felt in the womb at 16-18 weeks.  That is an ancient notion of quickening.  But we now know that the fetus is moving less than four weeks from conception and can be seen by ultrasound.  Some say the fetus is not human until he can live outside the womb.  That means that a 30-week baby in utero in 1950 was not human, but a 24-week baby in utero today is.  Some say the fetus is not human until he is born and takes the first breath.  But that requires some magical thinking.  Why would a single breath of air suddenly imbue one with all the attributes of humanity?

And the law is schizophrenic on the subject.  If the fetus is not human, how can you be charged with a double homicide if you kill a pregnant woman?  If you do a 24-week partial-birth abortion and rip the fetus in pieces, it is just an abortion.  If the child is delivered spontaneously alive during an abortion procedure and you strangle him, then it is murder.

All in all, the abortion debacle is a hot mess.  One can trace it to the rejection of Judeo-Christian principles, especially promulgated by the collectivist left.  We are in the midst of a new Dark Age as regards to respect for all human life.  Abortion may be part of the progressive agenda, but it is not progress.

Vegas Gunman’s Use of Bump Stock Reduced Casualties

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By Benjamin Baird
American Thinker
October 13, 2017

In the hypercharged partisan atmosphere that disgracefully follows any mass shooting tragedy, journalists, politicians, and anyone with an opinion spontaneously become firearms experts. Yet, as this U.S. Army combat infantry grunt can attest, these desk jockeys are no straight shooters.

The Interstate 91 country music massacre is no exception. From talks of machine gunsbump stocks, “silencers” and the semantics of weapons transportation, these would-be sharpshooters are negligently off-target when it comes to the laws of modern warfare. Although reporters posing as weekend warriors insist that crazed gunman Stephen Paddock’s decision to use a bump stock made his shooting ambush the deadliest in modern history, the truth is that his erratic gunfire inadvertently reduced casualties.

With over 1000 days of continuous combat operations during three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as over a decade of training and leadership as a U.S. Army infantryman, my experience can provide some insights lacking from the deadly shooting rampage in Las Vegas. I have qualified as an expert marksman with the military-issued variant of every confirmed weapon system utilized by Paddock to carry out his heinous assault, and I have instructed hundreds of American, Iraqi, and Afghan soldiers in the finer nuances of advanced rifle marksmanship.

In a rare bipartisan effort to do something — anything — in response to the violence, lawmakers are currently considering a ban against the bump stocks, or the weapons accessory that modifies semiautomatic rifles to fire at an automatic rate of fire. Instead of pulling the trigger once to fire a single round, an automatic weapon fires multiple rounds when the trigger mechanism is depressed. A bump stock mimics this effect on standard semi-automatic rifles available for purchase in civilian stores.

Reporters have almost universally attributed thehigh casualty count in Las Vegas — 58 killed and well over 400 wounded — to the rapid rate of fire that gunman Stephen Paddock achieved with the use of a bump stock modification. A Reuters report called this device a “major factor” in producing the unprecedented casualty rate, while CNN saysthat the bump stock allows shooter to “convert a killing machine, an AR-15 rifle, into a weapon of mass destruction …”

Contrary to popular media opinion, Paddock’s cyclic rate of fire may have saved lives that horrible Sunday evening. The disturbing reality is that if the shooter decided to eschew the bump stock in favor of firing at a sustained and controlled pace, the death toll would have risen dramatically.

I have been in dozens of firefights with an M4 carbine — a weapons platform from the same family of rifles that Paddock used to fire from 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. When engaging enemy targets in theater, I never moved my rifle’s selector switch from semi-automatic to a faster rate of fire because this would have completely compromised my accuracy.

Don’t take my word for it, though. The U.S. Army field manual for rifle marksmanship states:

“Automatic or burst fire is inherently less accurate than semiautomatic fire. Trainers must consider the impact of recoil and the high cyclic rate of fire on the Soldier’s ability to properly apply the fundamentals of marksmanship and other combat firing skills…”

The light weight and short length of the common assault rifle causes the muzzle to climb uncontrollably when fired on automatic. Therefore, more modern military rifles employ a less erratic three-round burst option in lieu of the automatic mode.

The same field manual says that three-round burst is preferable to fully auto and advises that soldiers firing older M16 rifles should pull the trigger, “but quickly release pressure to prevent an excessive number of rounds from being fired in one burst.”

Audio captured of the Las Vegas shooting shows that Paddock certainly did not preserve his accuracy, letting loose long, continuous clips of uninterrupted fire. As a rule, infantry fighting units deplore the use of automatic fire from a standard-issue rifle, and even when a situation calls for rapid suppressive fire (like shooting at tightly grouped targets), controlled semi-automatic shots are preferred.

Mandalay Bay is estimated to be about 400 yards away from the nearest victims at the concert grounds. From his vantage on the 32nd floor, Paddock was approximately 420 meters away, putting his nearest unfortunate targets just within the maximum effective range of a point target for an AR-15.

This distance to target means that as Paddock’s muzzle inevitably climbed from the wild shooting, a rise of a few inches from his barrel was equivalent to dozens of yards on the ground. Many of his bullets, intended for helpless concertgoers, very likely flew above the adjacent airport.

Admittedly, this theory is counterintuitive to anyone outside the profession of arms. Fox News host Tucker Carlson became the subject of outraged mockery for rejecting the narrative established by unqualified journalists.

Responding to a guest of his prime-time program who asserted that Paddock’s bump stock was responsible for the scores of killed and wounded, Carlson said, “Many more would’ve died actually because if you talk to people who know a lot about guns they say pros don’t even fire on fully automatic because they can’t hit anything.”

Carlson received a critical response for his educated observation, with sources like Salon calling his assessment “a bizarre claim.” Of course, none of these outlets provided any expert analysis to dispute his nonconformist assertion.

Incidentally, before the House considers banning bump stocks altogether, lawmakers should know that this modification is actually redundant. The same rate of fire can be achieved without a bump stock on most rifles by utilizing a method called “bump firing.”

Instructive videos may be found on the internet outlining this simple technique. The shooter applies forward tension with the non-firing hand while keeping the trigger finger stiff and immobile, biomechanically accomplishing an automatic rate of fire.

Before the inexperienced and unstudied offer misguided conjectures about modern warfare, they would be wise to consult an expert. Their friendly neighborhood Veterans of Foreign Wars outpost would be an excellent starting point.

Benjamin Baird is a Middle East analyst who writes for the Conservative Institute and the Middle East Forum. He is a graduate of Middle Eastern studies from the American Military University, and a retired staff sergeant with the U.S. Army infantry. 

Why I Oppose Banning Bump Stocks

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By Selwyn Duke
American Thinker
October 13, 2017

The latest firearm-equipment boogeyman is the “bump stock,” a device allowing one to fire a semi-automatic rifle more rapidly. Liberals learned of bump stocks because Las Vegas murderer Stephen Paddock had modified 12 of his rifles with them.

This has made them a target for prohibition, and an easy one, too. After all, almost no one wants to buy a bump stock, so even many Republicans — and the National Rifle Association — are willing to place greater restrictions on the device. I also have no plans to acquire one, but I wouldn’t even consider outlawing the stock. Why?

Remember last year’s Orlando massacre, perpetrated by Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen? In its wake the gun boogeyman, as it has often been, was the AR-15, the sleek black gun with military looks that makes libs wet their panties. We were told how outrageous it was that such a “killing machine” (is this the Terminator we’re talking about?) was available to the public. But notice something funny?

Paddock also had an AR-15 rifle.

Yet we haven’t heard a peep from the mice about this “killing machine.” The reason?

Right now, leftists have bump stocks to focus on. Being driven by emotion and/or Machiavellian motives (depending on the person), the type of equipment targeted in an anti-gun push is secondary, at best. The only consistent theme is an effort to steadily, incrementally erode gun rights. It doesn’t matter what weapon or accessory is outlawed today because there’ll be another opportunity, and target, after the next high-profile gun crime tomorrow.

The argument for a restriction is always the same. Logically rendered it states: “This _________ (fill in the blank) is far too effective to be available to the general public.” What this misses is that Second Amendment rights don’t exist just to secure the opportunity to go target shooting or hunting.

They exist to ensure that Americans can have effective weaponry. Full stop.

Again, realize that the current gun-grabber proposal has nothing to do with bump stocks. It has more to do with bumps in heads passing for brains that can’t figure out that any given anti-gun proposal is just another step in an evolutionary process whose apparent end game is the elimination of all guns. This must be concluded since liberals never articulate a different end game. And there always will be another massacre, and then another, and each will be followed with a further drum beat to outlaw _________, because it’s just too effective for citizens to own. It’s a crumb here, a morsel there, a slice today, a half a loaf tomorrow.

In his book Orthodoxy, in the chapter titled “The Eternal Revolution,” philosopher G.K. Chesterton wrote something relevant here: “Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to suit the vision. Progress does mean…that we are always changing the vision.”

While this fault, lamentably, plagues most ideologists today to some degree, it characterizes liberals. They’re the situational-values set, and their goalposts are always shifting. This is why giving them an inch only means they’ll come back for a foot and, later, a mile. This is why you don’t give them even a millimeter. It’s why you must insist upon a certain prerequisite before considering any more anti-gun laws: that liberals articulate a hard and fast, unchanging vision, to be presented for consideration, of what guns laws should forevermore be.

No more free-association legislating. No more shots in the dark. No more making it up as you go along. For example:

  • You say bump stocks allow a person to fire too rapidly. Okay, what exactlyis the maximum number of rounds per minute a weapon available to the public should be capable of firing? What’s your reasoning?
  • “High-capacity magazines” is an ambiguous term. Exactly what size magazine should citizens be allowed to own? What’s your reasoning?
  • Don’t tell us about “high-powered rifles.” Tell us exactly what the maximum muzzle velocity of a publicly available firearm should be. What’s your reasoning?
  • Another ambiguous (and misleading) term is “armor-piercing ammunition.” What exactly should the maximum penetration power of a publicly available round be? What’s your reasoning?

Once you formulate your concrete vision (for the first time in your lives), please present it. If we accept it, though, note what the agreement means: You don’t get to ask for more anti-gun laws ever again. There’s no more politicizing of the issue after every shooting. The vision is conceived, articulated, agreed upon — and then set in stone.

Of course, I’m sure there’s no way to make such a thing legally binding, and no other agreement with liberals is worth the paper it’s printed on. The point is that without such a vision’s presentation we shouldn’t even take anti-gun proposals seriously. Doing otherwise is akin to pandering to children (and liberals are overgrown children) when they stamp their feet and scream about what they want right now, “just because.”

This doesn’t mean we should be totally averse to compromise. So, try this on for size: I propose reducing the 22,000 anti-gun laws currently on the books by 10,000. If that’s unacceptable, however, I’ll agree to a 5,000-law reduction — for now. There’s always next year’s negotiation, after all.

Don’t ever let it be said I’m not a reasonable guy.

 Contact Selwyn Dukefollow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

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