Candidates gearing up for a primary will often do some odd things to not just raise money, but also get their name out there. This is especially important at the state and local levels where it’s not unusual for qualified candidates to lack name recognition. In Georgia, one state senator has found a way to make a point, a name for himself, and raise some money all at the same time.
A candidate for governor in Georgia is giving away a bump stock just weeks after a Las Vegas gunman killed 58 people after using a similar device to turn his semi-automatic rifle into an automatic weapon.
“Blaming guns or bump stocks for the actions of a lunatic, is the same as blaming McDonald’s for heart disease,” wrote Republican State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Michael Williams in a statement announcing the raffle Monday. “An attack on bump stocks is an attack on the Second Amendment.”
Williams said he was holding the draw “in solidarity with gun owners across the nation.”
“The tragedy in Las Vegas broke my heart, but any talk of banning or regulating bump stocks is merely cheap political lip service from career politicians,” he said. “In reality, the bump stock is the new, shiny object politicians are using to deceive voters into believing they are taking action against gun violence.”
There’s a lot about his style to like, and he has a point on bump stocks. They’re simply something new for politicians to get worked up about, and in turn to work their base up over. They’ve been around for years and, prior to October 1st, they were never a problem for anyone not named Dianne Feinstein.
Further, it’s unlikely the stocks will actually get banned. Current bills in Congress are so overly broad that they’re unlikely to garner enough support to make it out of committee, much less end up on the president’s desk. After all, when the language is so all-encompassing as to also appear to ban competition-grade trigger groups, we have a problem. A big one.
So no, I’m not sure we’re going to see a ban on these stocks, but that doesn’t mean this is the only assault we’ll see on the Second Amendment.
By doing this, Williams solidifies his Second Amendment credentials well ahead of any endorsements by the NRA, who endorsed him in 2016 for his state senate race.
The only downside is being labeled by his opposition as…well…whatever they decide to label him as because he doesn’t wet his pants at the mere sight of a 30-round magazine. Besides, Williams has an answer for them already.
“There is zero evidence that banning bump stocks would prevent any gun violence deaths,” he said, boiling it down to a mental health issue rather than access to powerful weapons.
“You cannot regulate evil out of existence,” Williams said. “If politicians wanted to have a real conversation on reducing gun violence, they would be discussing mental health awareness, and ways to reduce the weekly bloodbath in Chicago and other inner cities.”
He’s not wrong.