The NRA is once again doing what it does best: stoking paranoia and fear in a bunch of scared white guys to sell guns and gun-related products, in this case, armor-piercing bullets.
Move to Ban a Bullet Adds to Its Appeal
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s administration has proposed banning the manufacture and sale of one of the most popular bullets used in AR-15 semiautomatic rifles, a move that has enraged gun-rights advocates and caused a run on the ammunition at gun shops across the country.
The proposal would allow people to use up the ammunition they have already bought. Gun shops and firearms organizations on Thursday said there had been a rush to snap up cases of the bullets since the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups sent out urgent alerts to their members.
Those alerts accused Mr. Obama of seeking to enact by the backdoor gun control measures that he could not pass in Congress in 2013.
Yes, the "gun grabbers" are at it again! Quick, get thine self to the gun shop and buy that ammo!
In fact, this proposal was covered in a diary here that included a classic, fear-stoking title taken straight from the NRA playbook: "The latest brilliant backdoor gun control measure."
Never mind, of course, that this proposal (now labeled "back door") has been in the works for more than three years, and has involved discussions with gun industry and gun advocacy groups:
The proposal by the A.T.F. to reclassify the rifle ammunition started more than three years ago, before the Newtown shootings, and included meetings with members of the firearms industry, advocacy groups and law enforcement officials. After the 30-day comment period expires on March 13, the attorney general will have to make a final decision, officials said.
The rule-making, submitted on a Friday before a three-day weekend, appeared to catch many in Washington off guard.
But it has been a priority for law enforcement groups that have long pushed for restrictions on armor-piercing bullets.
The NRA and its advocates have said the bullet is no more armor-piercing than many other bullets.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said this month that it planned to restrict the armor-piercing 5.56-millimeter “M855 green tip” rifle bullet because of new handguns that use the ammunition and pose a greater threat to the police. Previously, the millions of inexpensive green-tip steel and lead bullets sold each year were only for rifles typically used by target shooters and hunters.
Gun control organizations said police officers had pushed for the new rule because the bullets can easily pierce bulletproof vests and other armor that are worn almost exclusively by law enforcement personnel. Handguns are considered more dangerous to the police because they are easier to conceal and are more often used in crimes. But gun rights advocates said that the ammunition being targeted was no more lethal than traditional rifle bullets, made only of lead, which they said could also pierce bulletproof vests.
So buy, buy, buy! As usual, the NRA and other gun rights groups do the bidding of the industry and sew fear to sell product. It's an age-old tactic that Wayne LaPierre and company have used to great effect to sell handguns, AR-15-style weapons and related paraphernalia to scared white guys for years. As LaPierre put it
at last year's NRA convention:
"We know, in the world that surrounds us, there are terrorists and home invaders and drug cartels and carjackers and knockout gamers and rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers, road-rage killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids, or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse the society that sustains us all. I ask you. Do you trust this government to protect you? We are on our own."
Fear and paranoia sell. This bullet story is just the latest example.