Opinion: Phoenix City Council vote on bump stocks just a headline grab

Nov 2, 2017, 11:27 AM | Updated: May 2, 2018, 10:18 am
FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2017, file photo, shooting instructor Frankie McRae demonstrates the grip on...

FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2017, file photo, shooting instructor Frankie McRae demonstrates the grip on an AR-15 rifle fitted with a "bump stock" at his 37 PSR Gun Club in Bunnlevel, N.C. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed the lawsuit on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, against the makers and sellers of “bump stocks,” which use the recoil of a semiautomatic rifle to let the finger "bump" the trigger, allowing the weapon to fire continuously. The devices were used by Stephen Paddock when he opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas, killing dozens of people. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed, File)

(AP Photo/Allen G. Breed, File)

Now that I’m done rolling my eyes and chuckling at the news that the Phoenix City Council has voted to encourage state lawmakers to ban bump stocks in the state of Arizona, I can weigh in.

First, let me begin by defining what a bump stock is.

In its simplest form, a bump stock is an attachment for a firearm that, when installed properly, uses the firearm’s recoil and the forward pressure of the shooters offhand to create a spring-like, back-and-forth motion.

Basically, the shooter can keep their trigger finger in a stationary position to fire more rounds using the motion created by the bump stock.

Let me be clear: A bump stock does not convert a semi-automatic firearm to fully automatic fire. Period. We are still dealing with one projectile fired per trigger pull.

Now, let’s get to the Phoenix City Council’s shenanigans.

Of course, the first name that popped up was Mayor Greg Stanton, so I knew immediately that this was nothing more than a nod to his lefty voter base in an attempt to keep him in the headlines as he runs for a seat in Congress.

When the Rev. Jarrett Maupin’s name came up, my eyes started rolling. I can’t take that guy seriously.

Please know that the Phoenix City Council’s 5-2 vote did not ban bump stocks but simply encouraged state lawmakers to do so.

I’ve said this on Get Outdoors a few times: Bump stocks don’t interest me. In my eyes, it’s just an accessory for some fun shooting out in the desert. I’d rather spend my money on ammo — that stuff is not cheap.

Yet the city council and Maupin decided to use the tragedy in Las Vegas to show the world just how uneducated they are on the subject. They will do anything and use anything — even tragedy — to stay in the headlines to advance their causes.

They are also counting on the masses to not do their homework. They are hoping the voter base will see bump stocks as the scary thing that the deranged animal used in Las Vegas to kill innocent people and agree to ban them.

Their argument is that injury and loss of life would have been substantially less had the man not used the bump stocks, if bump stocks were illegal.

Let me remind everyone that murder is also banned and illegal. That didn’t prevent this tragedy.

Besides that fact, here is why the council’s argument is invalid: Most of the Las Vegas evidence that has been offered to the public has most of us in the firearm world scratching our heads.

You see, the shooter had loaded his hotel suite with dozens of very high-end firearms. Those firearms were equipped with equally high-end optics — sight attachments also called sights or scopes.

It is very easy for anyone that knows anything about firearms to argue that the shooter would have been more accurate, had more control of fire rate and been more lethal without a bump stock.

You see, bump stocks don’t add anything in the way of accuracy or control. Those are sacrificed for speed.

The bottom line here is that banning bump stocks will do NOTHING to prevent these types of tragedies.

But I will tip my hat to the consistency and predictability of our limelight-grabbing politicians, especially those on the left that follow Rahm Emmanuel’s marching orders of never letting a good crisis go to waste.

Michael Russell

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Opinion: Phoenix City Council vote on bump stocks just a headline grab