Within hours (maybe minutes) after the horrific massacre in Las Vegas, social media lit up with anti-gun rhetoric. And the "fake news" machine kicked itself up to overdrive.
The depravity of the scumbag, coward killer is spirit-killing. But, we can't lose our spirit, and we, as responsible hunters, can't allow this tragedy to be an emotional "in" for the partisan media to pump out fake news or for lawmakers to restrict our second amendment rights.
Most importantly, further restrictions or bans should not be placed on semiautomatic firearms.
Shiny New Term
Most people get their news from some type of media. Something gets reported, then all the other outlets report about the report.
The Vegas tragedy introduced the country, through all that media, to a new term many folks had not heard of previously: bump stock. The fact that bump stocks are currently legal exposes semi-autos to potential restrictions or all-out bans.
When you combine a raw, desperate populace that is collectively heart-broken and angry about the massacre with new scary words, it's like active microbes combined in a warm petrie dish for "fake news" and uneducated, knee-jerk legislation.
We must be vigilant.
It is important that the media and Congress do NOT lump semi-automatic firearms with fully-automatic firearms and exotic adaptors for semi-autos when they consider additional gun laws. But, it has already started.
And if you Google "bump stocks," you will read many headlines that make it seem like bump stocks can be mounted to ANY semi-automatic long gun easily and inexpensively.
Our job as responsible hunters is to, first and foremost, stay informed and current as to what is written in the inevitable anti-gun legislation.
Next, we need to stay informed of what is being reported by the media (and correct it if it is fake news). Finally, we should get vocal with congressional representatives to NOT lump semi-automatic firearms with fully-automatic firearms and exotic adaptors for semi-autos in new gun laws. Or better yet, don't mess with the Second Amendment at all.
Semi-automatic weapons are highly effective hunting weapons. In many instances, having a semi-auto can make the harvest more humane by allowing the shooter to not break his sight on the animal if the first shot happens to only wound it.
A quick, accurate second shot puts the animal out of its misery much quicker than the shooter having to pump a lever or jack a bolt out and in, re-find the animal in the scope, re-aim, then shoot.
Hunters don't use fully automatic weapons. They are impractical, inaccurate, and inhumane. Semi-autos with bump stocks are even more so. But the fact that bump stocks are currently legal exposes semi-autos to potential restrictions or all-out bans.
We will be on top of things, and will do our best to bring attention to any and all warnings of fake news and legislation that could potentially harm or restrict hunters' rights. Decide now what you, as a responsible hunter, will need to do to stop the spread of misinformation and uneducated gun legislation.
Once their foot is in the Second Amendment's door, there's going to be a rush. We cannot let the rush restrict or take away a very valuable hunting tool that, for many hunters, enables a more productive and humane hunt - semi-automatic firearms.