Introducing the Bump Chassis. Is it evil? Depends how you use it. 

Last weekend, a 64-year-old millionaire named Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers from the window of his Las Vegas hotel room, killing at least 58 people before shooting himself. It was the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in United States history. Among the 23 guns found in Paddock's room were rifles fitted with bump stocks—aftermarket devices that use the recoil from one shot to trigger the next, effectively converting a semiautomatic rifle to an automatic. While automatic weapons are illegal in the United States, bump stocks are not.

After Paddock's mass murder, even the NRA was willing to concede that bump stocks should be regulated. Montana's congressional representatives, on the other hand, were not. Sen. Jon Tester came the closest, telling the Billings Gazette that the senate should hold hearings on bump stocks and their possible uses beyond "making it easier to kill people." Sen. Steve Daines also supported the idea of hearings, but he emphasized that no law could have prevented last weekend's killings.

"History shows us that more gun laws do not make our society safer," Daines said. "The issue is a deranged individual who is going to wreak havoc and unleash the carnage he unleashed most likely regardless of what laws we have in place."

I agree with the senator. No law can restrain individual behavior, which is why the legislative branch should amend the constitution to outlaw flag burning and then disband itself. In the meantime, Rep. Greg Gianforte—who, along with Daines and Tester, enjoys an "A" rating from the NRA—has come out against regulating bump stocks, too, in a statement that coincidentally also used the phrase "deranged individual."

"The perpetrator was an evil, deranged individual who was determined to senselessly attack as large a group as possible," Gianforte said, "and stricter laws against guns would not have prevented this."

I am pleased to hear our representatives agree with me on this issue. The problem is not that bump stocks make it possible to shoot many more people in a shorter period of time. The problem is that certain deranged individuals want to use them for that purpose, creating a regulatory nightmare for the rest of us normal folks, who only want to go out to the woods and shoot four- or five-hundred deer.

click to enlarge opinion_bumpstock.jpg

This news from our congressional delegation couldn't make me happier, because I am currently looking for investors, attorneys and lawmakers whose PACs accept donations to support my own aftermarket product, the bump chassis. While the technical details are complicated, it's essentially a kit you can buy that will convert your ordinary, consumer-grade pickup truck to a Bigfoot-style monster truck.

Would a bump chassis allow you to drive your truck over a line of other cars, up a flaming ramp and onto a school bus, smashing whatever children have been foolish enough to remain inside? You bet. But only a deranged individual would use it for that purpose. The bump chassis is designed for responsible truck owners whose driveways have become blocked by old sedans and logs.

It's true that literally every day since I released the prototype, someone with a bump chassis has driven through the front window of a Honda dealership and done donuts on the flattened cars inside. But that's no reason to make it illegal. History shows us that more monster truck laws do not make our society safer from monster truck-related incidents.

Yes, certain deranged individuals will use their bump chassis to smash through the wall of Washington-Grizzly Stadium, drive up the stands into the press box and say "penis" on the radio. That is the nature of evil. It has always been with us, and limiting private ownership of monster trucks will not make it go away.

People like that will find a way to drive their trucks on top of other trucks, whether my invention allows anyone with $300 and a Phillips-head screwdriver to have a monster truck or not. Instead of banning a simple tool like the bump chassis—which is no more inherently destructive than any other tool, such as a flame thrower or a bottle of poison—we should look at the root of the problem.

What makes people want to drive an 18-foot, nitro-burning monster truck up one side of a pyramid of cars and down onto a mini Eiffel tower made of motorcycles? Is it the fact that anyone can do it just by pressing with his foot? I think not. The answers are more complex than that, having to do with the atomization of our society and the elemental nature of evil, or possibly mental illness, but definitely not any consumer products manufactured and sold by me. The important thing is that we look into it but never, ever do anything. At all.

Dan Brooks writes about politics, culture and the delicate balance between preserving human life and owning badass stuff at combatblog.net.

  • Email
  • Favorite
  • Print

Tags: ,

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Moscow Monday

Moscow Monday @ Montgomery Distillery

Mondays, 12 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

© 2017 Missoula News/Independent Publishing | Powered by Foundation