Friday’s wrap of the 2018 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show coincides with more gun control back at the state level, with at least two bump stock ban measures making headway at far ends of the country.
There is much irony in this because prior to Oct. 1, 2017, very few people outside the shooting community had ever heard of bump stocks. Ask any of the hundreds of firearms media professionals here about the devices and they will unanimously say that they have been used in a grand total of one (1) mass shooting, just up the Strip from the Sands Expo Center.
The Washington State Senate passed its amended bump stock ban legislation (SB 5992), which now goes to the House. In Delaware this week, the state House passed HB 300, which would require owners of bump stocks or “trigger cranks” to dispose of them within 120 days of the effective date, according to the National Rifle Association.
And the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs (ANJRPC) warned in a release Friday morning that there is big trouble brewing in the Garden State.
Almost like clockwork, Seattle Times columnist Jerry Large has launched another anti-gun diatribe in the Friday morning edition; another signal that anyone heading home to the Evergreen State from the SHOT Show faces a challenge, as do retailers from California and other states with anti-gun legislatures.
But a glance at reader responses to the Large column reveals that Washington activists are not letting him go unchallenged. Second Amendment advocates in other states might pay attention, because what’s happening in the Northwest is similar to what has already occurred in California, and some states in the east.
Something Large wrote puts the gun rights versus gun control debate in a clear perspective that doesn’t change whether one is in Portland, Maine or Portland, Oregon.
“The passion of a few,” he observed, “drive the discussion of limits on access to firearms. But much of the country is steeped in gun mythology that makes it difficult to find support to significantly curtail access to guns. From westerns to space operas, weapons are part of popular culture.”
Large and the mindset he appears to represent view firearms as objects that must be regulated to the extent that people are discouraged to own them.
But herein lies the problem. This debate is not now, and never has been about guns. It is about rights; a fundamental right that is delineated and protected by the Second Amendment, and affirmed as such by two U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the past ten years.
Gun prohibitionists stubbornly resist acknowledging this little dilemma, and that is not likely to change anytime soon.