Could it be that 58 dead is the magic number? Or 527 injured? Is that what it takes for the National Rifle Association - and, by extension, Congressional members of the Republican Party - to say there could be limits to gun ownership?
On Thursday, Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox, the NRA’s top two leaders, said in the statement, “The NRA believes that devices intended to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
The device, a bump stock, can convert semi-automatic rifles into fully automated weapons, aka: machine guns, which have been banned for private use since 1986. That is to say, a legal device gave Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock the ability to gun down well over 500 people in little more than 10 minutes.
And we can’t help wondering how many more would have died if the NRA had gotten its way on another issue. In the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy, Republicans said they had halted plans, at least temporarily, to advance a bill that would make it easier for Americans to buy gun silencers.
Think how many more people would have died but for the warning sounds of gunfire!
By embracing a ban on bump stocks, no one will be treading on the rights of gun owners who use their weapons for sport and for hunting, as so many NRA supporters do. And what family needs a machine gun tucked away in a cupboard to protect their home? Put another way, it is possible to honor the Second Amendment without putting the means of mass destruction into the hands of someone who is mentally ill.