All it took was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history for the country’s most noxious pro-gun lobbying group, the National Rifle Association, to lend its support to the most narrow vision of gun control imaginable.
The NRA on Thursday called for a federal review of whether bump stocks, a specialized device that allows semi-automatic guns to simulate the uninterrupted firing power of an automatic weapon, should be legal. The device was used to kill 59 and wound more than 500 in Las Vegas on Sunday.
“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 said in a statement. “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
The news comes after reporting that Republicans are preparing fall in line to back a ban on bump stocks that is slated to be introduced by Representative Carlos Curbelo of Florida.
As usual, this will all work out well for the pro-gun crowd while achieving little meaningful change when it comes to the staggering number of gun deaths in this country. There are already indications that the NRA will blame the outcry over bump stocks on the Obama administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives—Kellyanne Conway used that line of attack on CNN just today—thereby avoiding taking any real responsibility for pumping money into the pockets of Republicans who then block any bill even resembling gun policy change. Those same Republicans will then get to vote in favor of the narrowest vision of gun control imaginable—some kind of limited ban or red tape for buying this very specific device—to create the appearance that they’re reasonable about guns in the wake of a tragedy, while still voting for a measure that their pro-gun donors, like the NRA, have already deemed politically expedient.
Don’t fall for their pageantry. It’s nowhere near enough.