Last week, after one of the worst mass shootings in modern American history, the National Rifle Association appeared to make an atypical concession: bump stocks, the gun lobby said, should be “subject to additional regulations.”
But on Sunday, the NRA’s chief Wayne LaPierre proved that the organization’s transparent bid to appease an exasperated nation need not be questioned — because it was never an endorsement of a bump control ban to begin with.
“We don’t believe that bans have ever worked on anything,” LaPierre said during a Fox News Sunday appearance. “What we have said has been very clear — that if something transfers a semiautomatic to function like a fully automatic, then it ought to be regulated differently.”
On top of not actually supporting any gun control legislation, however narrow and insufficient, LaPeirre attempted to blame every other organization but the NRA for the “pure evil” massacre in Las Vegas. A predictable and familiar tactic, certainly, but still altogether insulting.
“On bump stocks, let me say this, the fact is that the Obama administration a couple years ago legalized a device, their ATF, that fuzzed the line between semiautomatics and fully automatics. And if we’re able to fuzz that line, all semiautomatics are at risk,” LaPierre told Face the Nation’s John Dickerson on Sunday. “If you fuzz the line, they’re all at risk. And we’re not going to let that happen.”
LaPierre’s repugnant defense of the NRA’s blind commitment to preserving the Second Amendment truly covered all the bases: blame the Obama administration, check; blame bureaucracy, check; blame the Democrats, check. LaPierre even invoked America’s health care crisis in an attempt to eschew blame.
“I mean, the outrage they’re trying to stir against the NRA, they ought to be stirring against the mental health system, which has completely collapsed,” he added.
A bump ban, quite literally the bare minimum congress could pass, would require the support of Republicans. And while some Republicans indicated they would be open to supporting such legislation, that was before their purse, the NRA, clarified its position. Now that the NRA’s “no bans ever” position has once again reared its hideous head, the likelihood of a ban passing has dwindled dramatically.