Archive for January 17, 2013

There is an old saying that if you want to see nonstop displays of rampant stupidity, look no further than politicians (of both parties) and the media.  I’d probably modify that to replace stupidity with wanton disregard for truth.  Politicians are, in fact, rather smart when it comes to manipulating facts.  In their world, truth is relative and perception always trumps facts.  Manipulating facts and truth usually involves the following tactics, proudly on display throughout the mainstream media and inside the Beltway.

1 – If it’s popular, it must be true

2 – If you repeat it often enough, it becomes truth

3 – If some perceived authority says it, it must be true

4 – Sabotage the person telling the truth and thereby sabotage the truth itself

And, let’s not forget the latest,

5 – If the children are gathered around and I say it, then it must be true, or at least reasonable.

In the latest attempt to demonize gun owners, the concept of bulk ammo purchases has been linked with offensive intent, namely the gathering of an ‘arsenal.’  That sounds mean and intimidating, and of course we are constantly barraged by talking heads who continuously lecture about what we ‘need’ or ‘don’t need.’   You’re watching #2 and #3 in action.

How amusing that the lecturer often begins with some statement that identifies with hunting, such as “I grew up around hunting,” or “I went hunting as a child,” or “I have lots of hunters as friends,” or “I’m a member of the NRA.”  These statements attempt to bolster a hypothesis that leads to the conclusion in #3.  Of course, NRA membership does not require expertise.  It only requires a tiny amount of time and money.  Association with hunters or hunting does not equate to firearms or tactical expertise.   Nor does being a talking head on the big-screen TV.  The only things required to be a talking head are a photogenic appearance (or the ability to produce such via makeup), a minor amount of brain matter, and a mouth.  In fact, it’s not even necessary that the latter two be connected in any meaningful manner.

As evidence, I submit one of the most outrageous statements regarding the purchase of bulk ammo and the attempt to equate it with the collection of some offensive arsenal, “A thousand rounds could fill a closet, and no one needs that much ammo.”  The implication is that people who purchase thousands of rounds of ammo are evil and since they have no legitimate need, they must be planning something nefarious (more abuse of logic).  Those who take the talking heads at face value are prey to the manipulations of truth listed above.

So, just what is the deal with bulk ammo?  To provide some perspective, let me bring another sport into the discussion.  I also play tennis, or at least I try when both the weather and my body cooperate 🙂  Now, let’s consider two statements that could easily be made by the talking heads,

1 – You don’t NEED to buy a hundred tennis balls.

2 – You don’t NEED to open a new can before every practice session.

I’ll address these statements in reverse order.  When I took regular lessons and practiced multiple times a week, I DID open a new can before every practice session.  Did I NEED to?  The talking head clearly believes I could re-use balls between practice sessions.  To borrow a line from the movie, Passenger 57, “those are your emotions talking, without the benefit of intellect.”  And, therein lies the problem with the talking heads.  I open a new can of balls every practice session so that I can PRACTICE EXACTLY the same way I PLAY IN A TOURNAMENT OR LEAGUE MATCH.  If you groove your timing on older balls, then you are at a disadvantage to a player of equivalent skill who is well-adjusted to the pace of new balls.

So, why do I go to Costco to purchase balls 48 or 96 at a time?

IT’S THE COST, STUPID!

My reference, of course, is to the talking heads, not the reader 🙂

Now, let’s return to bulk ammo.  There are two types of ammo, practice and carry.  The latter is literally carried every day in a firearm.  Carry ammo should be shot enough to gain confidence that it is reliable and has suitable recoil characteristics for the individual.  Beyond occasional practice to verify your skills with the EXACT ammo you carry, it is not necessary to accumulate carry ammo in bulk.  After 200 rounds or so to decide on whether or not to carry a particular brand, I generally keep only a couple boxes for each of my firearms.  Not much of an arsenal there.  Ideally, carry ammo should be carried and never shot because the latter condition indicates a self-defense scenario requiring a deadly-force response.  I pray every day that I am never involved in such a situation.

Practice ammo is another issue.  Shooting is like tennis.  It is a wasting skill.  If I practice tennis three times a week and lay off even a week, it takes time to restore my timing to prior levels.  If I quit hitting for several months, then I must invest a significant amount of practice time just to return to my prior skill level.  Shooting should be practiced on a regular basis, especially if you carry on a daily basis.  I personally practice (on average) twice a week.

So, what’s the advantage of buying practice ammo in bulk?

IT’S THE COST, STUPID!

It has nothing to do with collecting arsenals, stocking up for doomsday, or any of the other silliness promoted by the talking heads.  You simply get a much better price by ordering in bulk, just like any other consumable.  Buying practice ammo in bulk is no different than buying toilet paper, paper towels, deodorant, toothpaste, or any other item in bulk for a better price per item.

Now, what does a thousand rounds look like?  Does it fill a closet?  Well, here’s what’s left (300 rounds) of a box of 1000 in .357 Sig.

ammo

That’s my size-10 hiking shoe for comparison.  Yes, that’s a pretty small box.  Without the packing material enclosed with the original purchase, I could easily stuff 1500 rounds into that tiny box.  How about 6000 rounds, a number that gets Piers Morgan’s little undies in a twist?  That’s four boxes, pretty much the same space as my duffel bag in the closet.  In fact, it would take many, many tens of thousands of rounds to fill my small, walk-in closet in our apartment.

And, in case you’re wondering, the box stays locked inside a safe.  One bag at at time is moved from the box to my Voodoo Tactical bag before each practice session.

But, a thousand rounds!  That’s an arsenal right?  Well, are my 96 tennis balls an arsenal?  After all, I could stand on my third floor balcony with my assault racquet and serve brand new tennis balls at over a hundred miles an hour at innocent people below.  OMG!  We really should have an assault racquet ban.  After all, I don’t really NEED two racquets, now do I?

In order for ammo to be used in the offensive context implied by ‘arsenal’ in its use by the talking heads, it needs to be loaded into magazines in order to be effectively fired out of a weapon.  After all, you can’t go on an ‘assault’ loading one round at a time from that heavy box.  Bulk ammo in sealed bags can hardly do any damage beyond throwing the bag at someone.  OMG, we need a ban on assault bags of ammo!

At 15 rounds a mag, it would take 67 mags to load the measly, small box of 1000.  Now, if someone actually has 67 mags loaded and stored in their closet, then maybe we can start talking about an arsenal.  But, to demonize someone just because they purchased a thousand rounds of practice ammo is unintelligent, uninformed, and unhelpful in a discussion of violence in our society.  It is nothing more than false positioning of law-abiding gun owners and fearmongering by scared, uninformed, and misguided people who launch actual assault tactics on the truth.  Those tactics are, in fact, the ultimate assault weapon in our society.

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