"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by editorial board member, Jess Sessoms.
Until Stephen Paddock smashed out the windows on his Las Vegas hotel room and sprayed gunfire down on concert-goers earlier this month, most Americans had never heard of them.
Killing 58 and wounding more than 500, Paddock applied such deadly force because he'd altered a dozen rifles, allowing him to fire bullets rapidly, mimicking machine gun fire.
Automatic gunfire is illegal in the United States. As crazy as this may sound, bump stocks, the devices that alter the guns, are not.
Since bump stocks do not technically change the firing mechanism of a gun, they've been deemed legal by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
The ATF has concluded it lacks the authority to restrict the possession and transfer of bump stocks and that only an act of Congress could change that.\
After doing nothing following mass shootings at Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and The Pulse Nightclub, surprisingly, Congress is open to doing something and the White House and even the NRA are on board.
Congress should have the guts to craft and pass sensible legislation that bans anything that makes legal guns illegal. Would such a law have prevented Paddock from going on his killing spree?
Perhaps not. But the carnage would have been less and there would be fewer funerals. The Second Amendment is worth protecting, but so are American lives.