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MILLER: Dispelling bullet myths

Ammunition bans are a sneaky attempt to deny self-defense options

- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gun grabbers aren't getting far in their attempt to ban handguns, so the next best step is to go after ammunition. They use scary terms to demonize ordinary self-defense equipment, hoping this will make Americans more comfortable with their incremental effort to diminish and ultimately eliminate the Second Amendment.

Federal agencies, for example, have made a stir recently with large ammunition purchases for use by their respective law-enforcement divisions. Much of the hype surrounding the orders from the Department of Homeland Security, the Social Security Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service emphasized the use of "hollow points" to give the false impression that bullets Uncle Sam ordered were something beyond standard-issue.

Just 20 years ago, all bullets had full metal jackets, so they would go straight through a violent felon with the potential to strike an innocent bystander. "Hollow-points bullets were designed for law enforcement to hit the intended target and not cause collateral damage behind the target," explained Mike Stock, an engineer at Winchester Ammunition. "Our modern hollow point technology increases safety so a round goes in the bad guy and nowhere else."

Self-defense ammunition relies on the hollow-point design because it does more internal damage to stop an assailant, ideally without penetrating beyond 12 inches, the width of a man sideways. Target-shooting ammunition does not have a hollow point because the more complex design is expensive to manufacture. Some ammunition experts surmise the Aurora, Colo. shooter might have used full-metal jacket rounds since people were hit through the walls of the neighboring theater.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer spoke on the House floor in July citing the Colorado incident as evidence there's "no reason to permit armor-piercing, cop-killer bullets to be sold like Tic Tacs" because they "have no useful purpose in sports activities or target shooting." The Oregon Democrat is misusing the military term "armor-piercing" to describe a bullet that can penetrate kevlar vests worn by law enforcement.

Many rifle-fired bullets can penetrate kevlar, though cumbersome rifles are rarely the weapon of choice for criminals on the street, who prefer less obvious handguns. Banning so-called "cop-killer bullets" is a sneaky way to end up with a de facto prohibition on hunting rifles popular among sportsmen.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg also exploited the tragic movie theater shooting last month to push his legislation to ban online gun sales and report purchases of 1,000 rounds or more. The New Jersey Democrat said these provisions would "prevent the sale of ammunition to a terrorist or the next would-be mass murderer."

Terms like "stockpile" are used to scare people, but gun owners know they can go through that amount in a couple days of training. The handful of people who buy ammunition with the intent of committing a crime could just circumvent Mr. Lautenberg's provisions by buying 999 rounds in local stores.

As usual, the gun grabbers won't do anything to stop actual crime, but they'll hinder innocent Americans who just want to protect themselves and their families. That's why it's important to avoid the loaded language crafted by the gun grabbers to mislead the public.

Click to read Emily Miller's recent editorial Dispelling Gun Myths. 

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

 

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