Bump stocks and automatic operations

So according to the ATF and Sotomayor’s dissent in the “bump stock” case, Garland v. Cargill, these two operations are identical:

rm *.NEF


rm DSC_0001.NEF
rm DSC_0002.NEF
rm DSC_0003.NEF
rm DSC_0004.NEF
rm DSC_0005.NEF
rm DSC_0006.NEF
rm DSC_0007.NEF
rm DSC_0008.NEF
rm DSC_0009.NEF
rm DSC_0010.NEF
rm DSC_0011.NEF
rm DSC_0012.NEF
rm DSC_0013.NEF
rm DSC_0014.NEF
rm DSC_0015.NEF
rm DSC_0016.NEF
rm DSC_0017.NEF
rm DSC_0018.NEF
rm DSC_0019.NEF
rm DSC_0020.NEF

Yeah, obviously not. Sure they might have the same result, but they aren’t identical in operation.

The first command automatically removes all files matching the wildcard, similar to holding the trigger on a machinegun, with Ctrl+C to interrupt the operation before it completes being the same as removing your finger from the trigger before the magazine is emptied. The second list of commands is removing each file you want to delete individually, which is the same as pulling the trigger for each round you want to fire.

And the equivalent of a bump stock is taking the second list of commands and putting it in a script.

The Supreme Court got it right here in ruling that bump stocks don’t convert a semi-automatic firearm into an automatic firearm. Just as putting a list of rm commands in a script doesn’t make it the same as an rm command using a wildcard.

Now the Supreme Court did NOT say that bump stocks are protected by the Second Amendment. They said only that the ATF exceeded its authority in conjuring a rule that attaching a bump stock to a rifle makes it a machinegun. Congress can still act and make bump stocks illegal – though I doubt they will since all legislative attempts at Congress failed.

But 15 States have banned them, and those bans are still in effect after today’s ruling.