On yesterday’s Kilmead & Friends radio show, Brian ranted on and on and on about how the Midnight Movie Massacre had nothing to do with gun control. Gun control couldn’t have prevented the spree killing. “We have to identify the psychos amongst us,” he railed, blaming Holmes’ mother—and other mothers, fathers, sons, friends, colleagues and acquaintances—for not dropping the dime on a potential psycho killer. Brian also called for laws that require people to buy ammunition in person, rather than via the Internet. In fact, ban internet ammo sales! Just like they do in California. Oh wait . . .
Cast your mind back to January 25, 2011, when msnbc.com reported that “Fresno County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hamilton struck down the law [banning Internet ammo sales in California], saying the definition of handgun ammunition used in the legislation was so vague as to be unconstitutional.”
So not quite the reason gun rights advocates would like, but the right result. Unfortunately, it’s clear that spree killer James Holmes’ internet ammunition purchases—six thousand rounds!—have opened a new front in the war on guns. Needless to say, the New York Times is right there in the trenches with Suspect Bought Large Stockpile of Rounds Online . . .
Unhindered by federal background checks or government oversight, the 24-year-old man accused of killing a dozen people inside a Colorado movie theater was able to build what the police called a 6,000-round arsenal legally and easily over the Internet, exploiting what critics call a virtual absence of any laws regulating ammunition sales.
With a few keystrokes, the suspect, James E. Holmes, ordered 3,000 rounds of handgun ammunition, 3,000 rounds for an assault rifle and 350 shells for a 12-gauge shotgun — an amount of firepower that costs roughly $3,000 at the online sites — in the four months before the shooting, according to the police. It was pretty much as easy as ordering a book from Amazon.
Now you and I know that 3000 rounds of ammunition is, at best, a moderate supply. For the non-gunnies out there, I never shoot less than a 100 rounds per range session. Per gun. Three thousand rounds would be thirty range sessions, max. If I’m focusing on one firearm, I’ll shoot a minimum of 500 rounds through the gun per session. Three thousand rounds would last me four sessions. And take less than an hour to shoot.
I purchase my ammo online and in person. Occasionally, I’ll buy some rounds at a Massachusetts gun store, where I have to show my expensive, hard-t0-get Massachusetts License to Carry. Out-of-state residents bereft of this bureaucratic blessing are banned from buying bullets. Apparently, that’s a good thing . . .
A few states like Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey, and cities like Los Angeles and Sacramento, have passed restrictions on ammunition sales, requiring permits for buyers or licenses for sellers. Or insisting that dealers track their ammunition sales for law enforcement.
The Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 specifically states that
No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records [of firearms purchase or ownership] required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established.
As Wikipedia points out in maddening detail, federal, state and local governments routinely piss all over this provision (e.g., how did the police in New Orleans know where to go to confiscate guns post-Katrina?). So what about bullets? Is it illegal to keep a gun registry in the interest of forestalling government tyranny but fine and dandy to keep an ammunition purchase registry to ID psycho-killers?
A few states like Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey, and cities like Los Angeles and Sacramento, have passed restrictions on ammunition sales, requiring permits for buyers or licenses for sellers, or insisting that dealers track their ammunition sales for law enforcement.
But in Colorado, and across much of the United States, the markets for ammunition — online and in storefronts — are largely unregulated, gun-control advocates say.
OMG! Unregulated ammo sales! Anyone, even a mass murderer can, buy thousands of rounds of ammo! Something must be done!
A 1999 bill in Congress aimed at regulating Internet sales of ammunition was never adopted. Democrats in the House and Senate have introduced measures to restrict the sales of large-capacity magazines, but neither measure has gained any traction with the House controlled by Republicans, who tend to be strong supporters of gun rights, and election-year politics shunting politically volatile issues like gun control to the side.
Notice how the Times links a DOA thirteen-year-old bill on internet ammo sales to more recent efforts to ban high capacity magazines on the federal level. [NB: many states, like Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts, already ban magazines that hold more than ten cartridges.] It’s all much of a muchness for the media: guns, bullets, tactical vests. It’s all gun nut stuff.
Which is why they let Dudley Brown have the last word.
Dudley Brown, executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, said there was no need to track sales of ammunition or require ammunition dealers to follow the same strictures as gun dealerships. He said law-abiding sportsmen and target shooters often bought ammunition in bulk to save money, and may keep rounds on their shelves for years. He said they can easily blow through 400 or 500 rounds in one vigorous day at a shooting range.
“I call 6,000 rounds of ammunition running low,” he said.
What the Times and their left-leaning friends in the mainstream media fail to realize is that Brown’s right. And any move to restrict ammo sales is not a slippery slope towards gun control. It IS gun control.