Opinion: Banning Bump Stocks

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In the wake of the tragic mass-shooting in Las Vegas the Nation stands shocked. First and foremost we must mourn our dead and as a nation condemn this act of terrorism.

On Sunday, Oct. 1, Stephen Paddock used semi automatic rifles fitted with bump fire stocks to shoot at a concert from the thirty-second floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Paddock killed 59 people and wounded more than 500.

To truly honor those who perished, we must assess the problem America has with mass shootings. I ask not of anyone to give up their guns, but to use common sense as to what lethal devices we allow the American masses to have.

Paddock used bump fire stocks, a device that simulates automatic fire. He purchased these legally, as well as the semi automatic rifles to which he fitted the stocks. This made his potential to harm much higher. The practical use of these stocks remains to be seen, besides unfortunately, killing in mass.

Many may criticize me for impeding on their right to bear arms. I am, in fact attempting to do so. No person in the United States needs a bump fire stock for any reason. Law enforcement has access to automatic weapons, and civilians have no practical use for them. The death toll of this massacre may have been much lower had these devices not been legal.

Freedom versus safety is the question that civilization has attempted to answer since organized governments first arose. This safety far outweighs this freedom. Allowing a technology like this to remain in the hands of any American citizen who wishes to own one would be a perverse, and a disgusting twist on “The right to bear arms.”

The GOP is set to introduce a bill to the senate on Thursday that will effectively ban not only bump stocks but any other device that can be used to make a semi-automatic weapon simulate automatic fire. The fact that the GOP are introducing this bill signals that this is a real problem. As the GOP has traditionally been opposed to any form of gun control.

I ask of you as students, and American citizens, to write your congressman, speak out, and stand against devices that allow people to, within legal limits, kill many. The bill has bipartisan support, but that does not mean we sit idly by for it to pass, we must ensure it.

As a nation we can no longer just accept mass shootings as a price of freedom.  

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Share your feelings about the bill:

Contact Claire McCaskill

Contact Roy Blunt

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