Pity poor Obama. When you’re trying to be the “Green President,” the “Anti-War President,” the “Anti-Gun President,” and the “Fix the Deficit/Economy President” all at once, it can be daunting job. Especially when these goals are at cr0ss-purposes from each other. Case in point: ammunition.
You see, when it comes to ammo, the U.S. Government is Customer Numero Uno. The dirty little secret of guns is that if you wanna be able to hit what you’re aiming at (my definition, by the way of gun control), you gotta practice. Practice makes perfect, my daddy is fond of sayin’ – and in this case, “practice” is the difference between being able to, say, hit the side of a barn, versus hitting an innocent bystander (what the media calls “collateral damage”) when you’re busy trying to keep the bad guys from separating you from your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
In order to keep our troops sharp, Uncle Sam has to go through a lotta brass – rounds and rounds of ammunition. Despite the best efforts of America’s Video Game Manufacturers™, there’s no substitute for pulling the trigger and letting some lead fly. That virtual stuff just doesn’t cut it. So the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force use thousands of rounds of live ammo every month, to keep our troops ready to blow the Hell out of anyone who wants to do the same to us. Good for us. Good for our troops. Bad for the bad guys.
If you’re not a shooter, you might wonder what happens to what we call the “spent brass,” that part of a modern cartridge that stays behind, once you fire the lead projectile out of the front of the barrel of your weapon of choice. Up until now, the answer is, the brass gets recycled – to a “remanufacturer” of cartridges. Here’s the way it works…
G. I. Joe or Jane fires a live round in training. The bullet flies down-range and hits the target. The spent brass casing is ejected from the weapon, where it is eventually collected and sold to a remanufacturer. The spent brass is cleaned up, the primer replaced, it’s refilled with the specific amount of gunpowder, and a bullet is affixed to the business end of the cartridge, according to exacting specifications. The refreshed cartridge is then sold to consumers as a “remanufactured” cartridge, at a fraction of the cost of a new cartridge. Along the way, the government has made a nice fee for reselling the brass cartridges, the remanufacturer makes a tidy profit on the remanufactured cartridges, and the consumer gets a deal on practice ammo.
Just so’s you’ll know, nobody uses remanufactured ammo in their guns for self-defense. Why not? If you’re gonna defend yourself (or for that matter, if you’ve a life of crime planned) you want to load up with hollow-points or something exotic, like frangible ammo. Your average wad-cutter or FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) round is ill-suited for the task of personal defense or assault. Two reasons: reduced stopping power, and reduced ability to eliminate your target and force them into assuming room temperature. A hollow-point round blossoms from a bullet-shaped thingy into something resembling a daisy in full bloom (he wounds me…he wounds me not…he wounds me), which tends to make a small entry hole and do a serious amount of organ damage as it plays pinball inside your targets innards. An FMJ or wad-cutter round tends to go “through and through” – enter the body and leave clean, unless it hits a bone or something. Hollow-points have what the pros called “maximum stopping power,” which is what you want when you’re trying to stop and adversary. There is much debate in the gun community over this very topic and how it relates to caliber. The legendary .45 ACP round has mucho stopping power, because the bloody thing is just shy of 1/2″ in diameter, whereas the NATO-approved 9mm round…does not. To put it another way, let’s say you’ve got 8 rounds in your semi-auto. How many rounds do you want to have to use per bad guy to take them down? My vote would be 1 round = 1 dirt nap per bad guy. If you are shooting a round with less-than-optimal stopping power, your results will vary. And not in a good way.
So this sounds like a healthy ammo ecosystem – the government recycles spent brass, free-enterprise does it’s capitalistic thang, and defense-minded consumers benefit from the process. And you’d be right. Right, that is, up until this week, when the DOD (Dept. of Defense, for you civilian mooks) sent out a decree across the land that No Spent Brass May Be Sold To Remanufacturers. No, instead, the military must now destroy the spent cartridges, and sell the resulting brass glop as scrap metal.
So let’s see…what makes more sense…A) resell the spent brass cartridges, make money, provide small businesses with the raw materials they need to survive, and promote self-defense across our land, or B) destroy the brass, lose millions of dollars in revenue (that can offset a need for new taxes people!), screw over a legal, law-abiding industry, and drive up already skyrocketing prices for self-defense.
If you’re the Obama administration, your choice is “B.”
The net effect is…(drum roll please)…GUN CONTROL.
I hate that term. It’s so bloody “PC”…”gun control” really means “take the guns out of the hands of private citizens and prevent them from having access to anything that can defend them against bad guys…or bad governments.”
You see, there’s more than one way to skin the “gun control” cat. Sure, you can try to pass oppressive gun laws. Then a test case is filed, and it wends its way through the courts, where – eventually – you have a decision like Heller, where the Supremes tell the Feds, “No, you can’t ban guns – it’s a 2nd Amendment right.” When that doesn’t work, simply dry up the availablility of ammunition. No ammo – no need for guns. Whadda ya gonna do…THROW your gun at the bad guy?
Been to a Walmart lately? Like in every other area in which they play, Walmart is ruthlessly efficient in the ammo biz – bringing lower prices and increased availability to ammunition. Except now. When demand exceeds supply. My local Walmart blue vested-guy told me yesterday, “Our Winchester White Box 100 count goes for $29.95 a box…but we’re out. In fact, we have NO handgun ammo…haven’t had any for a week. When we DO get in some ammo, it’s put out one night and gone by 11 the next morning.”
So the government wants to make this situation worse – not better. Brilliant.
- Let’s recap: by changing the rules of the game, the ObamaNation has…
- Increased prices for practice ammo
- Reduced the supply of practice ammo
- Passed what amounts to a degree of gun control
- Eliminated a lucrative revenue stream that offset higher taxes
For those of you moderates who voted for Obama because you wanted “Change,” is this the kind of change you had in mind?
In Blackadder Goes Forth, a BBC Britcom, Private Baldrick attempts to carve his name on the side of a cartridge, his logic being that if there is a bullet somewhere with your name on it, if he owned that bullet with his name on it, he would avoid being killed. Thanks to the ObamaNation, bullets have just become a lot harder to come by – and those that are available look as if they’ve got all our names on them.
Get ready to duck.