On a rare occasion I receive so much email (sometimes hysterical email) about a subject that my response needs to be in print vs. on the show. During this week while on vacation I must have gotten no less than 100 emails about the supposed “plan to ban lead ammunition and lead fishing weights”. Most of these emails say things like, “The EPA is going to rule on this issue on Oct. 31, 2010 and if they decide to go through with the ban lead ammuniton and fishing weights will immediately be illegal and banned from all sporting use. This is of course nothing but a back door attempt at gun control”.
This is followed by links to a news story about blog post about the pending “ban” that is just a hairs breath it seems from being “passed”. Problem is presented this way the event is pure fiction!
Now let me be clear I am totally opposed to this “ban” and think we should all voice our opposition to it and we should let congress know if we are opposed as well. We should tell them we don’t think they should let the EPA circumvent them with out any challenge on any issue especially one that can have a back door impact on the second amendment. Just if we are going to be heard we need to be heard FACTUALLY and with common sense and reason to our objections. We should not make ourselves look like half informed hysterical hicks, especially when communicating with government types that already see us that way to some degree.
So what are the facts about this proposed ban?
- There is indeed a petiton filed by the “American Bird Conservatory” sent to Lisa Jackson via official channels asking the EPA to consider banning all lead sporting ammunition and fishing tackle. This is a PETITION though, it is not being “ruled on” by the EPA it is simply being “heard” as a petition. Thousands of such petitions are currently being heard and are available for comment on regulations.gov
- You too can submit a petition on anything to many government bodies and if you follow procedure your petition will end up on regulations.gov. Doing so is a step in getting a government body to act but 99% of such petitions are never taken to the next step.
- The current petition is not being considered as a potential rule, just being considered to possibly be considered as new docket, some day, may be with the potential to become a rule. Sounds like a lot of words but that is what it is. To verify this go to the docet on regulations.gov here (Lead Fishing Sinkers and Ammunition Components) and on that page you will see a phrase that says, “Show More Info about this Docket”, click on it to get the “more information”. When you do one thing you will see on line three is the words “Docket Type: Nonrulemaking”, meaning the current docket is not about creating a rule but hearing a petition asking for a rule to be considered.
Now onto something I present to you as opinion. I don’t believe the American Bird Conservatory to be a bunch of anti gun nuts, over zealous environmentalists, yes but this I don’t see as a back door attack on gun owners. The truth is in many areas lead shot is already banned at state, federal and local levels for the hunting of water foul. Water foul are indeed damaged by lead shot as birds like ducks and geese typically end up with it ingested into their crops as “grit”. This ban has been in effect for decades and any duck or goose hunter will likely be familiar with it. This is why we have shotgun ammo like “Hevi-Shot” and some that use tungsten etc.
The expanded ban would include all sporting ammunition and that is definitely not necessary but if you believe that the ghost of Ted Kennedy wants to use this to control your gun rights you just are seeing to much in it. The reality is lead is a toxic substance and there is good reason to ban its use in certain environments. Specifically in wetlands and in the use as “shot” in shot guns due to the high volume of fire and large number of small projectiles. This is already largely covered by existing bans, if we have wetlands that should be protected via existing game regulations that are not than those should be added to the protected list under EXISTING LAW, not under a new EPA mandate that circumvents the legislature.
A congressman or senator should be receptive to such a message because it is both factual and demonstrates the potential for a circumvention of power. To make waves in government you need to understand it, this is the case to make in a professional manner to your elected officials if you see fit to do so. Rambling on about some conspiracy against the second amendment will be discarded as hick rhetoric here. When ever possible avoid hot button issues, this is about existing law and circumvention of power so make the case with that if you feel the need to do so.
Above all please take the time to fact check all hot button emotional email information. I get 20-30 a day about something Obama or whoever has supposedly done. 99% of the time they don’t check out even with a very low effort search for the truth. Like many of you I don’t like very many politicians at all no matter what party, many of them are slime and I detest above all else a bureaucrat that can regulate with out being subject to elections. Due to that distaste it is always easy to be angry and believe the worst, it is however, much more effective to fact check, stay logical and oppose bad legislation on the facts rather that hearsay and conjecture.