Congress should move to ban bump stocks

By now, virtually everyone knows what details are available relative to the Las Vegas massacre on Oct. 1, where a lone gunman sprayed a crowd with rifle fire, killing 58 and wounding hundreds.

Investigators from at least a half-dozen police agencies have spent the past week digging into the shooter’s background, sifting the circumstances of his life for anything that would explain why he did it.

So much is unknown, in terms of motive. But a whole lot is known, however, about how the shooter did it.

His hotel room was jam-packed with a wide assortment of firearms and plenty of ammunition. In addition, a number of the legal, semi-automatic rifles were fitted with a device called a bump stock, an apparatus that effectively transforms them into machine guns.

Bump stocks, which are legal in the state of Michigan, use the rifle’s natural recoil to rapidly pull the trigger, enabling something near fully automatic fire.

Very quickly, police agencies across the country decried the devices. They were joined by the National Rifle Association, which said it was open to discussion about legislation banning bump stocks.

We believe bump stocks have no legitimate use. Civilians shouldn’t have machine guns — period.

And perhaps, most importantly, bump stocks have no connection to the Second Amendment. Congress should move quickly to ban them. It’s just that simple.