Appeasement the wrong response


Currently, the president has been considering altering his position and issued orders to have bump stocks banned as a response to the horrific shooting in Florida.

The death of 17 school children and the injuring of almost as many by gunman sporting an AR 15 was an absolute tragedy, to be sure. However, I’m puzzled as to how this action will make any kind of a difference.

The bump stock is designed to attach to a semiautomatic rifle and will make it appear to fire as a fully automatic rifle. But it’s just a thing, much like a supercharger is to a vehicle’s engine — designed to make it perform faster.

With a supercharger, a vehicle will easily break designated speed limits, but there doesn’t seem to be a move to ban them, even though vehicles can and are deadlier than weapons (motor vehicle deaths in 2017 — 40,100, according to the Insurance Journal; gun-related deaths 2017 — 2,083, according to the Gun Violence Archive).

Most pundits have pointed out that the same effect that bump stock has can be had by using a belt loop, so essentially the move by the president is symbolic.

But ineffectual.

While giving the appearance of “doing something” about gun violence, it won’t mean anything, nor will it stop gun violence, because the gun, or any of the modifiers that Trump wants to ban, aren’t the issue. It’s the violence part.

Better to focus on the issues that created the anger in the first place.

A probable side effect of this move, though, is that Donald Trump will get flamed by both sides of the aisle. Democrats will see this either capitulation, and capitalize on it, or as a token gesture, and will be called out for his ineffectual leadership.

Republicans will likely see this as a betrayal, unless they’ll use it for whatever political gain they can, since this is an off-election year and many House members are looking to keep their jobs.

Certainly, it is yet another erosion of our liberties.

Saying that nobody needs one is a weak argument that comes up as a knee-jerk reaction to an event. Over the years, these types of moves have chipped away at the freedoms we enjoy; soon, there will be nothing we can do without the government’s approval.

It’s happened before — gasoline, light bulbs, plumbing, wetlands, even airport security — crises occur, government “must do something,” limits are enacted, and the cycle continues.

No matter what, the government cannot, nor should it, save us from ourselves. While that sounds harsh, the damage a government can do with full control over our lives is much worse.

•This week’s Headline of Note comes from the New York Post: Farty passenger forces flight to make emergency landing.

On a Transavia flight from Dubai to Amsterdam, two Dutch passengers were sitting next to the passenger in question. The passenger was asked to stop, and did not, and after the flight crew passed on trying to help, a fight broke out, which forced the pilots to land.

The two Dutch, as well as two women, were kicked off the flight and banned from flying Transavia.

No word on the gasser.

Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.