A Republican candidate for the governorship of Georgia says that the Las Vegas shooter's use of bump stocks actually saved lives, and that he's going to give away the controversial attachments to raise funds.
Why does he think bump stocks saved lives?
Michael Williams said he opposes any ban on the bump stocks, and claimed that many experts agree that the attachments made the shooter more inaccurate.
“Many firearms experts determined the Las Vegas shooter’s use of a bump stock actually prevented more casualties and [injuries] due to its inconsistency, inaccuracy, and lack of control," he said.
"There is zero evidence that banning bump stocks would prevent any gun violence deaths," he concluded.
Is he right?
Bump stocks modify a gun so that the recoil is used to artificially quicken the pace at which the trigger is pulled, simulating fully automatic fire. But it's known very well among gun enthusiasts that the quickness gained by the attachment makes it much less easy to control and aim.
It's questionable however, whether the shooter, Stephen Paddock, would have been able to murder more people had he not used the bump stocks. But it's debatable.
A bump stock giveaway
To show how strongly he believes in the right to use bump stocks, Williams is sponsoring a giveaway of the attachments.
I oppose a ban on bump stocks. As a show of support to defenders of #2A, enter to win a bump stock here:… https://t.co/3tAMxyl8kg— Michael Williams (@Michael Williams)1508209328.0
Many Republicans joined the NRA in the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre in the call for lawmakers to consider regulating bump stocks or outright banning them.
Williams denies any connection between bump stocks and greater lethality.
"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 said. "Blaming guns or bump stocks for the actions of a lunatic is the same as blaming McDonald's for heart disease."
Williams is one of five Republicans running for the Republican nomination for the governorship of Georgia. He touts himself as the first elected official in Georgia to have endorsed Donald Trump.