Eric Swalwell, a Democratic candidate for President, hates guns. The only thing he hates more than guns are people that refuse to hand guns over. In fact, his hatred for gun owners runs so deep that he’s willing to go to war over them, setting him apart from fellow advocates of an assault weapons ban. Not only is he willing to kill you over guns, but he is willing to level entire towns over “military-style semiautomatic assault weapons.” Yet, he thinks that the right to life is supreme, with every other right falling below it (unless you’re a fetus). As Democratic candidates struggle to find their breakout moment on a crowded debate stage, it shouldn’t be too hard for Swalwell to garner attention with his message of war, death, and pistols of mass destruction.
By Benjamin Olsen | United States
2018 is gone, and yet the New Jersey ban on High Capacity magazines is still yet to gain any ground. The ban was implemented during the 218th commencement of the New Jersey legislature and limits the capacity of magazines to 10 rounds. The previous law on the books already limited the capacity of magazines to 15 rounds. This came on the heels of new of the Trump administrations ban on Bump Stocks. Trump’s ban will take effect in March 2019.
We might consider New Jersey a liberal state, and the passage of the law would support that, but the lack of compliance from all residents of the state is a beacon of hope for opponents to gun control. So far no citizen from New Jersey has turned in a magazine. This proves promising for the Bump Stock ban to take place in 2019, hopefully, we will see the same example of civil disobedience take place on a nationwide scale.
You will hear from the left and from mainstream Republicans, that the government will not take your guns and that these measures are simple and common sense. Where is the sense in banning magazines? Where is the sense in a ban on a mechanism that can be made at home with a belt or rope? These bans and limitations are an infringement on our rights. We may not be able to turn to the Constitution in all things but the wording of the 2nd amendment is clear. “Shall not be infringed” The relentless parade of laws from the Federal Government are nothing more than infringements. Starting with the National Firearms Act in the 1930s, Washington has slowly chipped away at our right to bear arms.
The ban on Bump Stocks is simple posturing by Trump for his bid for reelection. He is trying to gain favor on the left without much outrage from his base on the right. The argument has been made by many in the NRA and Mainstream Republicans that bump stocks are “stupid anyway.” They have lost the point if their argument is just that they don’t like them. They have gone away from “shall not be infringed” and are ready for their guns to be taken away, as long as a Republican does it. Trump supporters must realize that their “drain the swamp” candidate has now been enveloped in the blood sport of politics. They may not be coming for our guns in the normal fashion but the threats we have heard from Washington such as door to door confiscations of bump stocks or even the threat that any armed resistance could be met with nuclear retaliation. Where is the line that we will draw with our government? New Jersey has answered that we will draw the line at magazines. Will the nation answer will a line drawn at bump stocks?
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By Thomas DiGennaro | United States
It is both a difficult realization for many pro-gun Americans, as well as a confusing contradiction for many anti-gun Americans, that the National Rifle Association is NOT a true gun rights advocacy group. As I mentioned before in a previous article, Ruining ‘Adam Ruins Guns’, “the NRA is a bunch of corporate suits and lobbyists who are only concerned with lining their pockets”. They have constantly rolled over on the NFA, the GCA, and federal background checks. Most recently they show support for Trump’s proposals for ‘no fly, no buy’, and other measures of “taking the guns first, due process second”. And of course, there is the glaring issue today of the Trump Administration and the ATF’s ban on bump-fire stocks.
The War on Bump Stocks
Many have ‘justified’ the bump-fire stock ban. “It’s just a stupid range toy, no one actually uses them, and they’re inaccurate anyway” are among such claims. Essentially, they don’t care because this legislation isn’t regulating or confiscating any firearms themselves. While this may entirely be true, these arguments completely miss the point of opposition to these bans. It is about the slippery slope that occurs when we start regulating guns. If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want a glass of milk. And you can be damn sure that the Democrats in office are working very hard to get that glass of milk, and they will have enough support and seats in government to do it sooner or later.
The second ‘justification’ we have seen in defense of this proposed legislation is very similar to the previous, and that is that rolling over on bump-fire stocks is playing chess and appeasing the anti-gun crowd in order to protect semi-automatic rifles. The mouse is going to want that cookie.
We also see one of the underlying principles of capitalism and attempting to regulate the market; the rise of the black market and alternatives. Obviously, there will still be bump-fire stocks sold on the streets long after the ban. Some owners simply will not turn theirs in. The latter, the alternatives, do wonders to show the ineffectiveness of such legislation. The same effect of a bump-fire stock can be simulated using a binary trigger. Hell, even through crafty use of rubber bands or the belt loop on your pants.
What Does the NRA Say About This?
This is an excerpt from the official statement released by the NRA on the issue, “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, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law. The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations”. Does this sound like a principled gun advocacy group? Does this sound like people who are fighting to defend the rights of their members?
The most hypocritical aspect of this all: could you imagine the holy hell that would be raised by Republicans and the NRA if the Obama administration was moving to pass this law? For reasons I will never understand, Republicans have no problem trampling their rights as long as it is a Republican administration doing it.
The NRA has also refrained from having Senator Rand Paul speak at their conventions. He is “too extreme” on gun rights. Why would the NRA turn away such a principled gun advocate? Because defending gun rights above all else is far from their agenda. Rather, they line their own pockets through memberships and alignment with Republicans like Trump.
Who Do We Turn To?
So where do we turn in terms of making our voices heard in government as gun owners and libertarians? Look no further than the Firearms Policy Coalition and Gun Owners of America. Both of these organizations have taken legal action against the ATF and the Trump Administration for the legislation banning bump-fire stocks. GOA filed suit against the constitutionality of the ATF’s ban, and “that courts should be highly suspect when an agency changes its “interpretation” of a statute in order to impair the exercise of an enumerated constitutional right”. FPC has moved to challenge the legality of Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Attorney General, and therefore his actions as Attorney General. FPC has also filed a separate suit aiming to show the differences between bump-fire and fully automatic fire. Rand Paul, Ron Paul, and Thomas Massie actively work with GOA. Not so much the NRA.
There are several principled and well-run advocacy groups actively working for your gun rights. In addition to FPC and GOA, the National Association for Gun Rights and the Second Amendment Foundation certainly make the list. The takeaway here? Don’t give your money to the NRA.
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By Clint Sharp | United States
The popular outdoor brand YETI Coolers has made headlines over the past few days over allegations regarding their relationship with the National Firearms Association. The notorious right-wing interest group posted a letter to one of their many NRA sites Saturday morning, stating:
“Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do business with the NRA Foundation, saying they no longer wish to be an NRA vendor and refused to say why,”
(Read the full statement here)
Impacts of the Statement
This statement has caused great uproar amongst YETI consumers as many of them are sympathizers, if not full-fledged members, of the NRA, resulting in calls to boycott the brand entirely for their alleged actions. This is not the first call to boycott as other companies such as Delta Airlines and Enterprise Rent-A-Car have confirmed that they will cut their ties with the NRA. This sudden abandonment of the association is due to the association’s recent stance regarding guns following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida two months ago.
YETI had yet to release a comment on the NRA accusations until Monday afternoon when it posted this statement on the company’s Twitter page:
The aftermath of YETI’s statements have yet to be seen, however, it is uncertain if the proposed boycotts will continue to follow through, or if YETI will retain its position as a sporting goods giant. Until then, the National Rifle Association has a bit of explaining to do regarding their vicious and unchecked libel, bringing to question their motives and goals as an interest group.
By James Sweet III | USA
Columbia, the capitol of South Carolina, will become the first city in the nation to ban bump stocks and trigger cranks. The City Council decided to unanimously pass the ordinance that is responsible for the ban, although it will have to be voted upon a second time for it to become law. This move is a major victory for Mayor Steve Benjamin, a Democrat.
The ordinance will make it illegal for citizens to use weapons with bump stocks in the city limits; however, it allows citizens to own bump stocks as long as they are kept separate from weapons. This move has drawn criticism from many conservative and libertarian citizens in the surrounding area, with legal concerns also arising.
Catherine Templeton, an attorney from the City of Charleston running for governor, tweeted, “Columbia politicians are completely out of touch with our conservative values. You come for my guns, and I’ll come for your seat!” Citizens also believe the ordinance breaks state laws. South Carolina law states that local governments shall not be allowed to regulate “the transfer, ownership, possession, carrying, or transportation of firearms, ammunition, components of firearms, or any combination of these things.” City leaders, however, believe that bump stocks are attachments, not components, of weapons. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has also stated this, which may allow the City of Columbia to pass the ordinance with no legal hurdles.
“I believe in responsible gun ownership, and I believe in common sense,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin in a press release. “That’s why we’ve decided to do what our federal and state governments are either unable or unwilling to do and act by banning the use of bump stocks and trigger cranks in our city. This is not the first time we’ve taken the lead, but it may be the most important.” The State of South Carolina is known for its conservative base, almost ensuring tension to ensure over the City of Columbia’s decision.