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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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About the Writer
Alex McAteer, opinions editor

Alex McAteer, senior, is the Opinions Editor for the Marquette Messenger. Outside of journalism, he runs on the Cross Country team as well as throwing...


4 Responses to “Opinion: Banning Bump Stocks”

  1. Sandi Morrison on October 9th, 2017 1:35 PM

    This is a very well written and well thought out opinion piece. I am a believer in freedom and do not like when freedoms are taken away but I see no reason for the American public to be allowed to purchase automatic weapons, bump stocks or anything else that will result in an automatic weapon. Good job Alex (and I’m not just saying that because I’m your grandma, because you know me better than that).

  2. Terry Murphy on October 9th, 2017 2:29 PM

    Excellent article. The majority of Americans want gun deaths to be reduced. The NRA and a minority of voters nix any little thing that is not backed by the NRA. The bump stock is the latest gimmick to be introduced and to be argued to protect by the NRA.
    I would add that if the nation really wants to protect the people from Gun violence perhaps we could look at what Australia, Sweden, Germany, and Japan to name a few, have done to almost eliminate the problem. Not necessarily adapt everything but maybe find the ground work to build on based on proven success.

  3. Logan on October 11th, 2017 9:04 AM

    First, good article. I appreciate your opinion that you do NOT want to ban guns. I don’t appreciate how you want to ban the accessories. I just don’t see a reason to ban the bump fire stocks. Have you seen how many crimes have been committed wth bump fire stocks? None that I could find. So your going to judge a book by its cover? I understand your reasoning with “honoring those who perished”, but banning these really won’t prevent another one. Your 18 right? If not, let’s say you are. You can go to any gun shop and buy an AR-15 lower receiver pre-assembled. If you take 1 spring out of the trigger group, you can make it do the same thing. What’s the point in banning something just to make another thing more prevalent? I am sure you heard this before, but I am going to reiterate it. If criminals are willing to kill people, especially to this extent, do you think the care about the law? They are going to get the things they need wether it is by legal means or not.
    Gun bans do not work and will not work. I have two example that prove this point perfectly. One, this Las Vegas shooting. Stephen Paddock was a law obliging citizen who had NOTHING on his record. He had NOTHING to stop his background check. He obtained the weapons legally. Stricter gun laws would not have affected this outcome. Second, Sandy Hook school shooting. The mentally insane man took his Moms guns to kill the children. She obtained the guns legally, but it was her fault for not keeping them in a safe place. Like I said before, even if we had stricter law on getting guns, it would not stop actual gun violence.

  4. Amcateer345 on October 11th, 2017 11:29 AM

    @Logan, Thank you for your response Logan, I appreciate your point of view on this subject. However, I think you may have missed the message behind my article. I am not proposing that banning any sort of weapon will stop bad people from acquiring weapons and doing terrible things. I am saying that as a nation it would be asinine of us to remain complacent and do nothing to attempt to fix the gun violence epidemic in America. Just because evil motivated people will attempt to get weapons regardless of legality does not mean that we should make it easy for them. At the very least we should make it difficult to obtain the weapons they seek to use. The most terrifying thing about mass shootings is that they sometimes, up until the tragedies occur, are done by people who have operated within the confines of the law. To suggest that we should accept the current situation where bad people can obtain weapons legally and then use those legal weapons to kill dozens, is the definition of complacency. I believe as Americans we are above complacency, and we can all do things in order to improve the circumstances we live in. I understand how you may feel that gun control may not work, but that is no excuse for inaction in the face of evil.
    Thank you again for your response! I am glad this has started sensible conversation.

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