BOSTON (CBS) – I had the following email exchange with a viewer Wedneday that I’d like to share with you.
He wrote: “Have Mass. Democrats filed a bill to ban rental trucks like they did with bump stocks? I bet they don’t – they only go after our 2nd amendment rights.”
I wrote back asking him to clarify that he opposed restricting bump stocks, devices which have sold for as little as $100 that can convert a semi-automatic weapon into a much more dangerous fully-automatic one, like a machine gun.
“Jon,” he wrote, “the bump stock didn’t hurt the people in Las Vegas, it was a mad man behind the gun, just like the truck did not hurt the people in NYC, it was the mad man behind the wheel. So if they ban the bump stock they should ban trucks.”
A few quick points on this.
It’s not just Democrats backing the bump stock ban – 31 of the 34 Republicans in the House voted to ban them, and the Republican governor, Charlie Baker, says he’s for it too. Many Republicans in Congress are also calling for the overturning of an Obama-era federal ruling that legalized bump stocks. Even the National Rifle Association wants tighter controls on them.
Plus, the old “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” cliché misses the point entirely. We know that we can’t always stop vicious mass murderers like the Las Vegas shooter or the creature in New York. But it’s hard to understand why we wouldn’t do all we can to make their evil work harder and limit the damage they can inflict by restricting bump stocks or scrutinizing truck rentals.
My correspondent also wrote: “God bless the people hurt” in New York. Nice to know there’s at least one thing we agree on.