14 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY JUNE 20-26, 2024 www.montereycountynow.com Hold Your Fire The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down bump stock ban means more people will die. By Elie Mystal FORUM We live in this most violently gun-addicted industrialized nation on Earth for one reason: Republicans control our Supreme Court. The gun violence that rages throughout our country does not happen because we play violent video games or watch violent movies. It doesn’t happen because of racial strife, poverty and inequality. It happens because the Republican operatives on the court simply won’t allow us to protect ourselves from violence; because they would rather watch children die than risk Congress or the president laying a finger on the National Rifle Association or Ruger or any arms dealer who makes their living selling death. The latest comes in the form of Garland v. Cargill. In a 6-3 ruling on June 14, divided along partisan lines, the conservative majority overturned a 2017 ban on “bump stocks” that was enacted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) during the Trump administration. In 2017, a mass shooter killed 60 people and injured over 400 when he fired on a crowd at a Las Vegas music festival. He was able to kill and injure so many people because he turned his semiautomatic weapon into a fully automatic weapon—functionally, a machine gun—with a bump stock. A bump stock is a mechanical device, affixed to the butt of a gun, that captures the recoil from firing a weapon and cycles that kinetic energy back into the shooter’s trigger finger. The shooter fires a bullet, the weapon “bumps” against their shoulder, and that action produces an additional bullet, and so on. By using bump stocks, the shooter was able to fire over 1,000 bullets in 10 minutes in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas music festival massacre is the deadliest mass shooting ever carried out by a single gunman in U.S. history. One reason it is still the deadliest—despite the fact that it happened seven years ago and this country endures a mass shooting nearly every day, including 225 in 2024, so far—is likely because, after the shooting, the Trump administration banned bump stocks. Machine guns and enhancements that turn guns into machine guns have been banned in this country since 1934, thanks to the National Firearms Act. ATF classified bump stocks as one of those attachments that makes a gun a machine gun, and took it off the market. Gun store owner Michael Cargill sued the ATF over the ban. The justices came up with a grammatical way to determine whether bump stocks fall under the umbrella of the National Firearms Act ban on machine guns and enhancements, instead of a rational one; they pretended the legal issue hinged on whether bump stocks could be determined to work by means of a single “function” of the trigger or by means of a single “pull” of the trigger. The decision is a death sentence. In a just world, the Supreme Court justices who joined this opinion should have to bury the victims of the next mass shooter who uses a bump stock to murder an entire schoolhouse, house of worship, dance club or music festival. Elie Mystal is the justice correspondent for The Nation, where this story first appeared. OPINION The shooter was able to fire 1,000 bullets in 10 minutes. GET FREE MULCH For additional eligibility requirements and to receive your voucher for FREE natural mulch, visit montereywaterinfo.org/mulch-madness. FREE MULCH FOR YOUR GARDEN California American Water (CAW) and the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (MPWMD) are sponsoring a free mulch giveaway.* We are offering: • A voucher for five (5) FREE bags of prebagged natural mulch OR two (2) FREE cubic yards of natural mulch. • A 25% discount on natural mulch purchased beyond the first five bags/ two cubic yards of mulch. *Supplies are limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. WHY MULCH? Mulch helps soil retain moisture and reduces water use by up to 25%. It also impedes weed growth and improves the health of your soil. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS • Must be a CAW water service customer or a resident living within MPWMD’s jurisdiction. • For personal use only; not for resale. Dr. Brynie Kaplan Dau, MS, DVM Compassionate Care with exCeptional mediCine. 1023 Austin Avenue, Pacific Grove • 831-318-0306 www.pacificgroveanimalhospital.com VOTED MONTEREY COUNTY’S BEST VETERINARIAN THREE YEARS IN A ROW! ’23 ’22 ’21 SURGERY DERMATOLOGY FELINE & CANINE MEDICINE PET BOARDING PREVENTATIVE CARE REGENERATIVE MEDICINE PRP (PLATELET-RICH PLASMA) LASER THERAPY EXOTICS AND MUCH MORE