It is a shame when any firearm or accessory manufacturer has to close its doors. Colt went through its problems and Remington from its losses. We can armchair quarterback what each company did right or wrong, but in the end, it was the decisions of each company’s leadership that was ultimately responsible. Today’s tale is different. Slide Fire is set to announce that it will permanently cease all operations and sales on May 25. Was this due to poor decisions by its leaders? I would certainly say. More likely, Slide Fire’s demise is being caused by politicians in response to the actions of one person, the Las Vegas Massacre shooter. During the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, the shooter was reported to have used a bump fire-style stock on one or more of the firearms used. Although hundreds of thousands of bump fire systems have been sold, and only one recorded criminal act was purportedly committed using the system, politicians across the nation—including President Trump—have sought to outlaw the equipment.
The Blame Game
In discussions with my non-gun owning friends, I have often pointed out the error of blaming the equipment and not the evil actions of the person committing the act. I can make dozens of comparisons, for example, we do not blame the car when a person drives drunk; we blame the driver. However, when discussing bump fire stocks with fellow gun owners, I occasionally hear arguments such as how bump fire systems are a waste of expensive ammunition or that they do not care because they do not own a bump fire system, so they are not concerned with the regulation. This is a misguided attitude. What happens when politicians come for a gun or accessory you do care about? Florida recently passed a law banning any accessory that increases the firearms rate of fire. Does that mean any trigger job or short reset trigger is now illegal? Some Florida politicians have admitted the legislation was rushed and needs to be fixed, but once enacted, gun regulations are seldom altered. Do you really believe the Florida politicians will proceed with the same haste to make the corrections as they did to enact the infringing law?
If one piece of equipment can be outlawed due to a single heinous act, or even the actions of a few bad actors, where will it end? Will the United States follow Britain? Will we regulate firearms to the point of effectively banning all firearm ownership? After several years of firearm regulations, edged weapon attacks in Britain have risen to alarming rates. In fact, Britain is now considering regulation on edged weapons. Will this be our future? I am all for the free market. The success or failure of a business should be left to the consumer and the business’ ability to compete within its sector. In Slide Fire’s case, however, it is not a free market that is causing its downfall. Instead, it is politicians making poor decisions by blaming a piece of equipment and not the person committing the unlawful act. This should be a lesson to us all and cause every gun owner to take a step back and reexamine the threat this poses to the Second Amendment.
Outlawing bump fire stocks will not quench the thirst of feel good politics or the efforts of those bent on repealing the Second Amendment; it will only embolden them for the next attack on our rights. Do you agree? Share your answer in the comment section