Just what did they do?
Upon first glance, you might think, "Holy shit! An AR-15 shoots that many rounds per minute?!" And that's exactly what they want you to see. They thought they were sneaky with their choice of words - hoping no one would notice. It's wordplay like this that grinds my gears. BBC and the other Fake News outlets think you and I are stupid.
Oh, I see! So, it's a modified AR-15 that can shoot up to 1,200 rounds per minute.
What exactly does "Modified" mean?
One of the biggest reasons the AR-15 is such a popular choice is because it's almost fully customizable. Essentially, you can replace the entire gun part by part. And you can buy those parts online. But what could you possibly add that'd make an AR-15 go from shooting 23 rounds per minute to way more?
A bump stock.
The stock of the AR-15 is what's held against your shoulder as you use the weapon. A bump stock allows you to simply hold the trigger down, using the recoil action and effectively creating an automatic weapon. However, even with a bump stock, an AR-15 (or your hand) will likely melt if it fires anything over 600 rounds per minute.
Even so, 600 rounds per minute is insane. That can hurt a lot of people.
How is this legal?
In December 2018, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker put forth a ban on bump stocks and any modifications that would transform a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic or machine gun. In March 2019, the ban went into effect.
After some backlash, they did remove the photo, but added no corrections or notes to the article itself.
Let's talk about gun violence!
There's no other way to put it. This sucks. And while these numbers do reflect a 22,000 annual suicide rate, they're still far too high.
What's the problem?
According to PBS, the most common way for someone to illegally obtain a firearm is to send their friend to get it for them. Once this friend passes all the checks and whatnot, they illegally forfeit the weapon.
This is a tricky situation. How do we make sure people aren't buying guns for their friends? Perhaps multiple annual or semi-annual interviews with the purchaser?
If someone wants to commit violence, they'll find a way to do it.
What are your thoughts?
BBC. (August 5, 2019). America's gun culture in charts. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41488081
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. (February 21, 2019). Bump Stocks. Retrieved from https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/bump-stocks
Gun Violence Archive. (2019). Home Page. Retrieved from https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/
Jacobson, L. (September 30, 2018). The facts on guns in 6 charts: A 2018 midterm report. Retrieved from https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/sep/30/facts-guns-6-charts/
Lohr, D. (October 5, 2017). Here’s How Easy It Is To Make An AR-15 Even More Insanely Dangerous. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/heres-how-easy-it-is-to-make-an-ar-15-even-more-insanely-dangerous_n_59d53f85e4b0becae8022496
Noyes, D. (n.d.). How criminals get guns. Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/guns/procon/guns.html
Shipp, B. (October 4, 2017). What is a 'bump stock'? How easy is it to get one? Retrieved from https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/local/investigates/what-is-a-bump-stock-how-easy-is-it-to-get-one/480878674
T., B. (August 6, 2019). ‘How is this real?’ BBC News publishes chart of how fast weapons can fire, and people have questions. Retrieved from https://twitchy.com/brettt-3136/2019/08/06/how-is-this-real-bbc-news-publishes-chart-of-how-fast-weapons-can-fire-and-people-have-questions/
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Bump fire. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bump_fire