Bump-stock ban isn’t gun control

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Most of us, like most of you, had never heard of a bump stock until a few weeks ago when the Las Vegas massacre proved their deadly punch.

But once becoming aware of them, it was a quick and easy decision to agree with the general consensus that they are a dangerous and unnecessary part of most arsenals. Essentially, the bump stock is an add-on device that lets a semi-automatic rifle mimic a fully automatic weapon by harnessing the gun’s recoil and using it to speed up the trigger action.

Yes, bump stocks may add a thrill to the shooting repertoire of a non-criminal gun owner, but they are plainly not a firearm, and thus not covered by the Second Amendment protections that we vociferously support.

It is certainly not unprecedented that certain types of arms can be restricted legally without violating the Second Amendment. Congress in 1986, for instance, outlawed the sale of new automatic weapons to civilians, though it allowed those who had previously registered such a gun to continue to own or sell it. But in this case — we again emphasize — banning the bump stock is not a form of gun control. That’s why even the National Rifle Association is open to looking at restrictions on the device.

Now that the bump stock’s killing power has been tragically put in the spotlight, it is prudent to regulate the device. It may be a case of closing the barn door after the horse has already escaped, but there’s no reason to tempt fate by hiding behind technicalities. Congress should, at the very least, act to ensure that bump stocks have limited availability.

Pay attention to school redistricting plans

Kalispell Public Schools has begun the difficult job of redrawing its elementary school boundaries.

The goal of this redistricting process is to reduce overcrowding at some schools while also defining boundaries for the new South Kalispell elementary that is under construction off Airport Road.

The district has already presented three alternatives for these new boundaries, while recently adding a fourth option that will be discussed in an article in the Daily Inter Lake on Saturday.

We encourage families of young students to get involved in this public process. Whatever option is finally approved, some families will be forced to move their children to a new school if their residence ends up falling within a new boundary.

Let your opinion be heard at upcoming public forums set for Oct. 19, 23 and 26. The meetings will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Kalispell Middle School library.

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