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praise the lord, and pass the ammunition

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

Apparently Walmart has announced a new policy, limiting customers to three boxes of ammunition per day. This isn’t a government thing or a political statement, but simply the free market at work. They couldn’t keep ammo in stock.

Think about that a minute. According to the Walmart.com website, gun ammo is usually sold in boxes of fifty shots. Some people thought that having the ability to shoot a gun 150 times wasn’t enough, that they needed more. And not just a few – enough people that they had to put together a policy.

I try to avoid swearing here, but on this topic I can’t quite help it. This is Absolutely. Bat-Shit. Insane.

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 1st, 2013 05:45 am (UTC)
Thinking about it for quite a while
Target practice requires a lot of ammo. 150 rounds of small caliber isn't even funny. It is relatively easy to stop production or ban some product compared to expropriating already possessed. It is very, very expensive to go after somebody quietly armed in his little house in the prairie, nukes (prohibitively expensive) or not - and this consideration really reflects on policy. I grew up in a place there going after people at night would only cost big brother some overtime. Also, in a place there people would stockpile salami and buckwheat, like these poor ridiculed Walmart patrons stockpiling ammo before it goes illegal. I like it better here. So far.
Feb. 1st, 2013 06:04 am (UTC)
Re: Thinking about it for quite a while
I see two points in your comment, one of which I think is quite reasonable: that target-practice takes a lot of ammunition. And if I thought that was all that was going on here, I'd be much more tolerant of it. But the discussions I've seen about why it is so important to acquire ammunition right now suggest this isn't the real concern. Or at least not the other one. And it's that other concern that has me so worried.

You say it yourselves: people are arming themselves on the assumption that the government is going to come to their house and engage them in a firefight. That mindset just seems more driven by fear than the situation really warrants. It also makes me wonder, if you are so fearful of the government, why you should trust me enough to work with me. This mindset just seems defensive to me, as a way of checking out of fixing our common problems in a drive to protect yourself. And from my position, things simply don't seem that desperate yet.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 1st, 2013 02:34 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I'd realized just how much ammo you can go through when shooting practice. Over at FB, an American friend who does competitive target shooting told me that 150 rounds was not unreasonable for a single practice session. At the range where I learned to shoot they provided bullets as part of the membership fee, and I only took about two months of lessons so I wasn't shooting at that level by a long shot.

That said, my problem here isn't with target shooters, whether they're doing it for sport or just to improve their skill with a gun. The last thing I want to do is discourage target practice. I mean, if we're going to have people owning guns, by all means do what it takes to use the gun well. What really bothered me was some of the reactions I read that they needed lots of ammunition to fight off tyranny. I think there are a lot of people in America these days who are actually anticipating some epic struggle between the government and themselves. I find that line of thought disturbing because it seems so divorced from reality to me (whether that's just me having my head in the sand, I'm not sure). But I think it also gets in the way of having a mature discussion on how to reduce gun violence. It's also damaging in other ways. That's what I was trying to get at here.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 2nd, 2013 01:43 pm (UTC)

That was definitely the impression I got when I did my study abroad in the UK back in... 2002? 2003? Somewhere in there. I'm not sure whether I was impacted by those experiences or whether I so liked the UK because I had a bit of that outlook already. But it definitely is an approach to society and politics that I agree with, and one of the reasons I'd love to emigrate to the U.K. one of these days.

I think part of the problem is that America is so large, geographically, and we don't have the long history that gives people a shared cultural identity the way you do in Europe. Because of this, there is a sense that in a real sense, the national government doesn't represent you. For one thing, you don't necessarily have real experience of those other places. I live in the outer boroughs of NYC now and know that we have genuine neighborhoods and families and communities, but to family and people I knew back in North Carolina, I thinks at some level they have shows like Friends and Seinfeld in mind when they think about my life. That was my expectation, too, before I moved here. It really did seem like another country in a lot of ways.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 5th, 2013 05:28 pm (UTC)
This is a very perceptive post!
Feb. 1st, 2013 02:39 pm (UTC)
It does not help either, when people in the position of "spokesperson" and presumably people of intelligence and some authority continue to discourage *any* kind of restrictions, even reasonable ones. Too many in the NRA have their own agendas. I am left to wonder if David Keene really believes the stuff he says; if he does, I wonder about his intelligence. If he does not, I wonder about his motives.

As for Walmart, good for them, even if they are motivated more by the need to keep their shelves stocked than by an opposition to gun violence.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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