On Sunday, October 1st, 2017, Stephen Paddock used a cache of more than twenty firearms to rain a hail of gunfire down upon country music festivalgoers from his room in the Mandalay Bay hotel. It’s now being described as the worst mass murder in modern U.S. history. Fifty-eight people died. Hundreds were injured, some critically. The entire country was traumatized.
(CNN) The gunman in the Las Vegas massacre may have rigged his guns with devices that enable a shooter to fire bullets rapidly, mimicking automatic fire.
Twelve bump-fire stocks were found on firearms recovered from Stephen Paddock’s hotel room, said Jill Snyder, the special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ San Francisco field office.
Also known by the brand name Slide Fire, bump-fire stocks, or “bump stocks,” modify such rifles as an AR-15 to “allow it to fire in rapid succession or automatic fire,” said Sam Rabadi, a retired ATF special agent.
Prior to Monday, I’d never heard of a “bump stock”…and part of what my husband does for a living is selling guns. Actually, he hadn’t heard of a bump stock before either. Confused, I asked him, “What the hell does a recreational firearms user need with one of those things when they’re just screwing around on the range?” My husband explained that a bump stock gives the “sensation” of an automatic weapon while using a legal firearm. Okay. I want to preface the rest of my commentary by saying that I am not opposed to private citizens owning guns. I grew up around guns. My dad did and still does have a modest gun collection. He use to load his own shotgun shells in the basement, and, as a result, I can easily recognize the smell of gunpowder. Dad shot trap as a hobby when I was growing up, too. We regularly went to trap shooting events as a family. I gave it a try, but it wasn’t my thing. My husband and I own a handgun. I was reluctant to agree to keep a firearm in the house, but I will confess that shooting it at the range has been fun. Even amidst the recreational fun, however, my brain cannot ignore the serious caution I feel when I use it. I am hyper-vigilant and, to be honest, still a little nervous when that gun is in my hand. I STILL don’t get it, though. I don’t understand the need to feel the sensation of an automatic weapon. In my struggle to find an answer, I told my husband, “I’d really like to know what has happened over the course of human history or what those men lacked in their upbringing that they would need to feel such a sensation.” Then it hit me. Men can’t have babies. That’s it. Women can have babies. They can bring life into the world…and some men subconsciously resent that. Deep down, they secretly seethe over it. Yeah, yeah, yeah – you need a guy’s sperm to make a baby, but that’s the end of their part in actual procreation. A woman gestates that new human life for nine months. A woman brings it forth into the world, with great travail. Frankly, it’s a pretty awesome and heroic thing. Men, with their man-egos, secretly hate that women can do something so amazing – something they can’t. So, they’re like, “Okay, so I CAN’T bring life into the world…but I sure as hell can take it out!” Aaaand therein lays the origin of their dark need to destroy. Well, that’s my theory anyway. Do you have a better one? Look, I’m not saying there aren’t ladies out there that get a little thrill from squeezing off a few rapid-fire rounds at the range. I just find it interesting that we never hear about some chick bringing down a rain of blood in a suburban Sephora with her pink, souped-up automatic rifle.