On Ben Shapiro’s podcast episode that aired on Tuesday, 3 October 2017, Ben goes through what a “bump stock” is, as well as his reasons for being willing to ban them. He does a phenomenal job describing it, as well as showing video of how it works. If you are unfamiliar with this device, or similar devices, please check out his podcast. I highly recommend checking out his podcast, even if you do know what these items are, because he lays out a lot of facts, and statistics regarding firearms in the United States. (ben's website is: dailywire.com)
Mr. Shapiro stated that he believes that ‘bump stocks’ should be illegal. I somewhat agree with him about why bump stocks should be illegal. I agree that if we have outlawed automatic weapons, then the purpose of the law is to ban high rates of fire. It logically follows that we should ban accessories or gloves, or bolt-on added configurations that allow the weapon to be fired above a certain rate.
However, we also need an established rate of fire which is illegal. For example, a simple law stating that you cannot add devices, accessories, internal or external parts, nor wear clothing, gloves, or in any way intentionally cause your firearm to fire above X/rpm (rounds per minute).
If we were going to do that, I would suggest 200 rounds per minute, for a period not greater than 15 consecutive seconds. I would then add a caveat for an event where the citizen is called to defend his City, County, State, or Nation from an armed entity that has committed an act that constitutes a declaration or act of war, as defined by the International Law of War. Which, I believe, are derived from various international conventions such as The Hague and Geneva Conventions. I’ll explain why.
Why 200 rounds per minute?
We all know the fun that we have at the range with our friends who have never shot a firearm before. What do we do? We load a full magazine (30 rounds, presumably), explain how to shoot safely, explain safety features of the weapon, firearm rules, make them put on eyes, ears, and hands, and tell them to let ‘er rip.
Inevitably, they are going to exceed the rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute, which breaks down to slightly more than 3 rounds per second. I’ve done that many times myself, not to mention all the competition shooters who do that daily.
Will people still break that law, intentionally and accidently? Yes. Should they be prosecuted if they are in a safe environment, acting in a safe manner? No, and I would add that to the law.
Why add a caveat that would allow people to modify their weapons, if at war?
If the second amendment is specifically related to defending the nation against a foreign entity, or the remote possibility of our government becoming so tyrannical that it needs to be put back in its Constitutional place, then you cannot argue that machine guns should be banned without readily admitting that you are setting yourself up for massive battlefield disadvantages, and potentially devastating losses.
As a Soldier, even without combat experience, nor extensive combat training, I have been trained about the importance of gaining fire superiority as quickly as possible in a firefight. Fire superiority, air superiority, force multipliers, are all terms you hear as early as day one of Basic Combat Training (BCT).
If you are fighting a well-equipped enemy, you will need to have a mass casualty producing weapon such as an automatic rifle to keep the enemy’s heads down to afford yourself freedom of movement.
The purpose of automatic weapons has never been, necessarily, to kill or maim massive amounts of people. Their purpose is to suppress enemy fire by sending so much super-sonic lead at them that they keep their heads down, stay hidden, and stop shooting at you. This allows you to call in an airstrike, indirect fire (IDF), reload, resupply, or tactically disengage and regroup and a pre-designated rally point. (See “Soldiers Manual of Common Tasks” Warrior Skills Level 1 STP 21-1-SMCT for more information.)
If US Citizens are not allowed to have the capability to suppress enemy fire effectively, EVEN under extreme circumstances such as we are discussing, that is a major checkmark against the civilian militia’s tactical legitimacy. It greatly hampers small unit tactics, as well as greatly increasing your probability of being out maneuvered, outgunned, overwhelmed, and utterly defeated.
You can mitigate the lack of an automatic weapon by having extra semi-automatic weapons deployed on your flanks, so that you have two (or more) semi-automatics suppressing fire. However, while this may be temporarily effective, the barrels on an AR15 (especially the lower-end non-mil-spec versions) are not engineered to handle the excessive heat that will be inevitable. Which means you’re going to greatly damage the barrel, and greatly reduce accuracy should you encounter such situations. Not to mention, the rare possibility that your barrel will become so hot, that it deforms to the point that the projectile is not capable of leaving the muzzle. Congratulations, you now have a rifle barrel turned grenade, I hope you’re wearing eye-pro.
This is the reason that the all effective military’s carry automatic weapons, because as effective as semi-automatics are, they don’t have the same battlefield effect as an automatic weapon.
What do I recommend?
Keep the current laws regarding automatic weapons and, what I would call, ‘modifications that produce a firearm capable of firing greater than 200 rounds per minute’. Add the caveat that would allow modifications to be made to any weapon to make it more combat effective, should be we legitimately need it. (Let the lawyers figure out the wording so that it can be impossible to understand, because, reasons.)
Why not write a similar law regarding semi-automatic weapons, that would require the gas or piston systems to be inoperable, unless we legitimately need it?
1. Semi-automatic weapons are useful for multiple situations, especially home defense. Semi-automatic pistols, such as the one I carry (Springfield XD Mod 2, 9mm subcompact, for all the nosy gun people) are the overwhelming majority of weapons used in self-defense shootings. Semi-automatic pistols are used all over the country at sporting events like USPSA, IDPA, and about 600,000 more.
2. Semi-automatic rifles are used for home defense all across the country, as well as hunting nuisance animals such as prairie dogs, wild boar, ground hogs, and coyotes. They are also used in multiple sporting events around the country such as Three-gun competitions.
3. The Semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 and AK-47 variants are extremely popular, and it is simply unrealistic to assume that you could ban them, and get rid of them all. Especially considering the culture in which we live in the United States.
Mr. Rex I look forward to your thoughts, as well as everyone else's thoughts on this as well.