Twas quarter-past Hysteric, and
The media did sound alarms;
All froozy were the Democrats,
Yarping of firearms.

“Beware, my son, the Bumperstock;
The muzzle-loading barrel shroud!
Priced less than books, the plastic Glock,
Which the Gunshow Loophole allowed!

“The machinegun, bought at Wal-Mart,
With silencers! And don’t forget
The Shoulder-Thingy-That-Goes–UP;
Likewise, the Chainsaw Bayonet!”

Yet forth he went, unto the range,
The Dum-Dums for himself to see –
He emptied several magazines,
Nor contracted PTSD.

“Woe! Hast thou shot the pew-pew-pew?
“Thou backwards, redneck, naughty guy!”
She spat, then ambled past, in quest
Of simpletons to terrify.

‘Twas quarter-past-Hysteric, and
The media did sound alarms;
All froozy were the Democrats,
Yarping of firearms.

(With apologies to Lewis Carroll.) 

Anyone following America’s gun-control debates for very long has surely noticed an odd recurring phenomenon: advocates of further gun restrictions boldly make absurd statements about firearm characteristics. One recent example was the Gifford Group’s warning that muzzleloaders (!) could be “the new bump-stock.” (In other news, horsedrawn carriage wheels might be the new Monster Truck tires.) Other equally ridiculous comments abound and are gleefully chronicled by Second Amendment enthusiasts around the Internet.

Why does this go on? Why would the anti-gun activists continue exposing themselves to derision by making their abysmal ignorance on the very subject they’re passionate about, so apparent? Why don’t they arrange some sort of firearm orientation seminar, or even simply distribute a simple list of common mistakes (starting with the definition of “semi-automatic,” perhaps, and enhanced with some audio files showing what a shot fired through a so-called “silencer” actually sounds like?) Dumb mistakes could be surely avoided with the same discipline with which the Left sticks to its ideological talking points.

Yet there might be several reasons anti-firearm political and media figures seem content to continue to spout demonstrable nonsense. One particularly disingenuous reason is that blurring firearm categories and misusing common terms helps enable broad restrictions—supposedly targeting “assault rifles,” for instance, but legally including weapons to which no rational human would apply that term, in the legislation.

Another reason, not to be discounted, is that many anti-gun media and political figures truly are abysmally ignorant where firearms are concerned. Occam’s Razor might suggest this to be an adequate explanation by itself: they sound like pompous fools because they are pompous fools.

But in defiance of Occam, I suggest that there’s another explanation: demonstrating ignorance about the details of firearms might sometimes, in itself, be a form of virtue signaling. The Lefty politician who speaks inaccurately about firearms is a bit like a posturing Fundamentalist preacher referring to a pornographic magazine in a sermon and getting its name slightly wrong: the congregant thinks, “Oh, Brother Fred is so righteous he doesn’t even know it’s titled ‘Playboy,’ not ‘Playmate’.” The audience is reassured that the speaker is above such nasty knowledge.

Then, of course, we firearm enthusiasts respond. It is terribly easy to bait those of us who know a “clip” from a “magazine,” and were taught to take pride in using proper terminology, in correcting improper statements, and it’s hard to refrain from gloating a bit when we do. Knowledge of weapons is a virtue to us, and we enjoy signaling, too.

Yet, to the Leftist’s target audience, the correction simply replaces one phrase which they did not understand in the first place, with another unfamiliar term—while demonstrating that presumably, we do know stuff about guns, which the opposition implies is ominous—even sort of “dirty.” (Terms of abuse for gun enthusiasts include “ammosexuals,” which is apparently the one alternate lifestyle the Left won’t tolerate!)

There follows a dynamic which can actually be seen in many Left/Right debates: the right-leaning person believes he has won since he has demonstrated the nonexistent factual basis for the other side’s presentation, but the Leftist claims victory because his interlocutor fell into the trap of demonstrating (to the audience the Leftist has prepared) that he’s unfeeling or downright wicked. This leads to both sides claiming victory in many impromptu skirmishes, and perhaps to each proudly pointing out the opposition’s arguments to his friends: “Look at how I 
destroyed this guy!”

Is there a way to break this cycle? Probably not, in the cases when the opposition’s purpose is simply to posture, as it often is. However, perhaps one good question to level, when some aspect or other of firearm ignorance has been demonstrated, might be: “What’s an example of a model of firearm which ought to be generally available to law-abiding Americans?”

Of course, if Davy Crockett’s “Ol’ Betsy” doesn’t even make that cut, the discussion’s effectively over—but it won’t waste nearly as much valuable time.                

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4 responses to “Bumperstocky”

  1. The way to break the cycle of gun-control rhetoric is to say “No” and exercise your right to bear arms.

    • A worthy sentiment! Yet a number of prominent Leftists, of late…Franken, Conyers, Lauer, et al…have conclusively demonstrated that they don’t really understand that ” ‘No’ means ‘NO’.”

      Keep clinging merrily!

  2. Joe never fails to hit the Mark (target?) and probably actually owns a blunderbuss! He fails to mention that his patient wife also must have an incredible sense of humor! He makes a strong case for an explanation of baffling behavior that I have seen up close and personally. ????

  3. Should we be surprised the Leftists have their own language to deceive. i.e. Progressive as though it’s moving forward in a positive way. If anyone would check they would realize the term goes back to Teddy Roosevelt and of course Woodrow Wilson. It wasn’t about positive progressive movement!

    Or we have one Alcee Hastings (D-FL) “…“we just make up the rules as we go along.”Lefties have been making it up as they go along for decades!