The conservative judges who now occupy large swaths of the federal judiciary are pro-gun extremists. They’re so deep in the thrall of the gun lobby that their anti-regulatory opinions are now incompatible with mainstream American views on gun safety. Conservative judges have even lurched to the right of the Republican presidents who appoint them. The proof of that came this week when the hyper-conservative US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit threw out a Trump-era gun safety rule. The culture of violence embraced by these Federalist Society–approved judges is a greater threat to peace and personal safety than all the violent video games and Hollywood movies could ever be.
The rule the Fifth Circuit overturned, the one that was so offensive to their legal sensibilities that they threw it away, banned “bump stocks.” A bump stock is a physical attachment that can be affixed to the back of a rifle, the part that hits a shooter’s shoulder. It uses the rifle’s own kinetic recoil to make a shooter’s trigger finger move back and forth. It effectively turns a semiautomatic rifle (one where the shooter has to pull the trigger once per bullet fired) into a machine gun (one where the shooter pulls once and the bullets keep firing)