Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring at the Roanoke Vigil for WDBJ victims.
Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, has long been expected to run for governor in 2017. The Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam has also made his intentions public to seek the governorship.
As attorney general Herring has made his mark in reversing many of the previous Republican administration’s harsh decisions effecting women, education, same-sex marriage, campus sexual assaults and the environment.
Today Herring announced that he will run for re-election as attorney general in 2017 saying that the hard-fought progress he has made is “fragile.”
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich clued me in on this. Newt called out the accessory that turns the AR-15 from a “pull the trigger” semi-automatic into a rapid fire automatic without pulling the trigger.
It was on one of many of Newt’s appearances on a talk show during a heated discussion on President Obama’s gun control executive orders. All I’ve heard from the gun-rights activists is that the AR-15 “look-alike” military rifle is a semi-automatic. The argument is that it is perfectly legal and not a machine gun.
Knowing basically nothing about guns except the Annie Oakley rifle and “cap gun” I had as a kid I took this argument at face value. Ahhh … the smell and smoke from a cap gun <sniff>. If a kid wasn’t lucky enough to have a cap pistol he could just hit the caps with a rock.
It was Newt that brought the semi-automatic argument to a screeching halt when he declared that the AR-15 could be converted easily to an automatic with an accessory called a “Slide Stock.” Newt couldn’t be right as surely the ATF would not allow such an accessory I thought.
But there it was in all its deadly glory a “Slide Stock” costing around $350. The website said it “will shock you like nothing you have ever seen.” The retailer says to “buy a Slide Fire now before the Feds change their minds!”
The retailer also explained that it comes with an ATF letter saying that it is a legal AR-15 accessory and “several thousand have been sold.” It says the manufacturer doesn’t call the capability “simulated automatic fire” but that is the result.
“There isn’t going to be any way to get around what this thing does and I think it is best to call it what it is.” The letter from the ATF approving the stock says the applicant claims it “is intended to assist persons whose hands have limited ability to “bump-fire.”
It is an invention of an U.S. Air Force veteran, Jeremiah Cottle. On the website he claims it can shoot a full magazine.”It just helps you fire the gun in semi-automatic very fast.”
The retailer goes on to say that another accessory called an Accelerator was recalled by the ATF and feared that the ATF would do the same with the Slide Stock. The argument is that because the Slide Stock has no moving parts the ATF would have to change the definition of a machinegun if they wanted to ban it. “The only thing firing the gun is you.”
If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck – it is a damn duck. The ATF is asleep at the wheel. Note in the video the shooter is using what looks to be a 100 round drum.