By Jon Keller

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.

bumpstock Keller @ Large: Let’s Make It Harder For Mass Murderers, Not Easier

Bump stocks allow semi-automatic guns to fire rapidly and continuously as if they were fully automatic weapons. (WBZ-TV)

“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.

nyc Keller @ Large: Let’s Make It Harder For Mass Murderers, Not Easier

An investigator takes pictures near a pickup truck following the terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan on October 31, 2017. (Photo credit DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

My correspondent also wrote: “God bless the people hurt” in New York. Nice to know there’s at least one thing we agree on.

Your email is always welcome at, or you can reach me on Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

  1. Your e-mailer makes a common sense argument, Jon, using the logic similar to yours.

    You do believe in “common sense” don’t you?

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