I wouldn’t call myself a gun expert, but I am pretty familiar with gun laws and what may be legal to own in the United States versus what isn’t going to fly anywhere in the country. After watching a couple of videos from the saddening incident in Las Vegas last week, I hypothesized on a Facebook post that the shooter probably had a “bump stock,” along with a YouTube video I found demonstrating the device:
My hypothesis — based on the rate of fire I could hear in the videos and knowledge of the difficulty any civilian in this country would have obtaining a real machine gun — was confirmed after photos leaked from the shooter’s hotel room.
If you’ve not yet become familiar, the “bump stock” is a legal rifle modification that is just two pieces of plastic with a spring between them. The spring allows the trigger to release itself using the kinetic energy of the gun, allowing for the firing of the next round far faster than would be possible by manually releasing the trigger. They are sold for as little as $100, and some gun enthusiasts have pointed out that with practice, you can use your shoulder like the spring and get faster rate of fire even without the $100 mod.
But when I went back to the video that I had posted, I got the following message:
YouTube, it seems, has now decided that videos showing perfectly legal guns in perfectly legal ways are “harmful or dangerous content” that violates its content policy. People shooting real machine guns can still be found all over the site, and indeed, they haven’t gotten around to banning all the videos yet, but several of the videos that had been around for years have now disappeared.
I’m apparently not the only one who noticed.
I must assume that reason behind this is to make a political statement in favor of gun control, but why? Watching videos of bump fire in action is pretty shocking when you’ve never seen it before, and if anything, I’d expect it would prompt the public to call for their immediate ban. Google has, quite simply, taken it upon itself to impose its morals on all of us and to deprive the public of information. Given the control over the Internet that Google has, I think we have a right to demand some objectivity rather than moderation practices based on emotions and feelings.