Courting in the Courtroom: Here Comes the Judge!

“Clare, my friend, I know you’re in the hot seat these days, but do you think you can find it in yourself do one more little favor for the boys; I mean, if it’s not too much trouble?”

“What’s up, boss?”

“It’s that damn gun thing again: an infringement on the Constitutional right to sell patriotic weapons. A lot of the guys are still grousing about the stupid bump stock law that Trump got conned into signing. They’re saying if we sit back and let the wing nuts have their way with that one, then what will they try to screw us with next? Somebody has to make a stand, or the Libs will pass another one and then another one, and pretty soon there’ll be so may damn rules and regulations in place that the only kind of weapons we can sell will be the ones made for killing animals! And Clare, how much money or patriotism is in that?”

“Yeah, I hear you. Tell you what, just give me some time to poke around a little and I’ll get right back to you; don’t worry; shouldn’t take long.”


“Tony, you’re going to like it; I have the usual work-around, and the boys will love it. Back in 1934, when they described, or defined a machine gun, it did address what they knew to be true at the time: a machine gun was a gun that could rapidly shoot a hell of a lot of bullets with just a single pull of the trigger. As you probably know, it wasn’t designed for killing a herd of deer or a flock of geese; it was intended for efficient military use. Its main function was to enable the killing of a whole bunch of enemy soldiers in just a few quick seconds. Later on, when it began to find its way into criminal hands, Congress decided to codify and outlaw it because they thought that doing so would protect law-abiding citizens and be in the best public interest.”

“But Clare, how does that help us today?”

“It’s in the wordage, Tony; it’s always in the wordage. In 1934 they thought the ‘single pull’ phrase was sufficient to define any conceivable automatic weapon. Little did they know that 90 years later, some patriotic-minded genius would invent a ‘bump stock’ gizmo that turns a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon. It works just like a machine gun, but circumvents the machine gun definition and is thereby still lawful.”

“Yeah, exactly, and how could they have known way back then what the public interest would be today?”

“Right boss, but anyway it’s the finger-pull thing that gives us the out”

“Pull my finger?”

“Hah! Not that one … but close. Back in 1934, what they outlawed was an automatic weapon that could repeatedly fire bullets with just a single pull of the trigger. The beauty of the bump stock invention is that it actually utilizes your finger as part of the mechanism. You consciously pull the trigger just once, and then the machine takes over and bypasses your brain. The recoil from the first, or previous shot, pulls or pushes your finger on the trigger again, and again, and again, and it does it so fast that you don’t even have time to think about it. The gun does it for you! It’s moving your finger faster than your brain could ever tell it to move! In essence, the shooter becomes part of the gun, or maybe it’s vice versa; either way, it doesn’t really matter.”

“So, where’s the out?”

“I just told you, Tony. The machine gun was described or defined as a weapon that requires a single pull of the trigger to fire repeatedly. With a bump stock, your finger repeatedly pulls the trigger, even though your brain isn’t telling it to. So, by proper definition, it’s not really a machine gun; it just works like one!” Get it? Your finger is still pushing the trigger over and over; you just don’t have to think about it. It’s, ‘quick-pull trigger time,’ while your brain takes a holiday!”

“That’s awesome, Clare! You did it again, my friend; the boys will love it. How about the optics, though? Any concern about how the media will play it? The Libs will probably jump all over you – and the Court, too. Won’t they pompously accuse you all of just parsing old words and putting innocent lives at risk.”

“Hah! Order in the courtroom, Tony! Here comes the judge!


“Just parsing words? Are you kidding me? Tony, it’s what we do! It’s what we always do! Isn’t that why you and the boys put us here? We are the word; the last word! We’re lifers, Tony! It doesn’t matter what the Libs think; it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, because the buck stops here. Who cares about optics? If they don’t like it, they can go ask Congress to change it, and if they ever manage to do that, then maybe we’ll take another look somewhere down the road.”

“Yeah, you’re right Clare; good work all around. I think maybe you’ve earned yourself a little break. Got anything planned for you and the missus this summer? How about a nice little RV trip to get away from the hubbub?”

“Nah, it’s already looking like a super hot summer. We’re thinking more like ‘waterfront’ and a cool ocean breeze. Got any suggestions?”

“I hear you, Clare. Tell you what, just give me some time to poke around a little and I’ll get right back to you; don’t worry; shouldn’t take long.”

Vern Loomis lives in the Detroit area and occasionally likes to comment on news and events that interest him in whatever capacity available. Besides Dissident Voice, his other musings can be found at Transcend Media Service, ZNetwork, CounterPunch, The Humanist, and The Apathetic Agnostic. Read other articles by Vern.