Saturday, January 19, 2013

Rubber Bullets?

The other day the President made a speech about guns and talked about four groups of people: hunters, target shooters, collectors, and people looking for protection in their homes.  That got me wondering if maybe non-lethal ammunition should have a significant part of the conversation about gun control.

See, it seems to me that only one of those groups really needs lethal ammo.

Think about it.  Collectors don't really need ammo at all, but if part of collecting is popping off a few rounds now and then, there's no reason those rounds have to be lethal.  Target shooters by definition are not trying to kill something, so non-lethal ammo would seem to be absolutely appropriate in that case.  People trying to defend their homes really only need something that will turn an assailant away or put them down long enough to subdue.  Rubber bullets ought to be able to fill that bill.

Hunters.  Hunters do need lethal ammunition.

Although, thinking about it, maybe non-lethal ammunition would be a boon to hunting.  Maybe using that type of ammo would enable a "catch and release" mentality for much of hunting like we often have for fishing.

But that would be a conversation for another day.

So lets say hunters do need lethal ammunition.  Isn't it likely that we could put a reasonable cap on the number of rounds per day.  I haven't been hunting, but let's say for argument that a responsible hunter can get by on 10 rounds/day and that a typical hunter is a weekend hunter needing two days of ammo between trips to refit.  Would it be unreasonable to require purchasers to present a hunting license at the point of purchase for ammunition and limit ammo purchases to 20 rounds at a time?  The next time you came to buy ammo you would have to sign off on a statement saying when and where you had fired the ammo you previously purchased.

Hard to kill dozens of people with hundreds of rounds if you can only possess 20 rounds at a time.

There are of course dozens of possible objections to this sort of thing, but I also think there would be dozens of corresponding adjustments.  Target shooters will say that the ballistic characteristics of rubber bullets are too different from standard ammunition.  So maybe Shooting Ranges would have to have a different type of access, and maybe you could have as much ammo as you wanted at a range, but you could only leave a range with the same 20 round cap and license requirement.  Hunters will say that there are people that go on longer excursions between refits and that there are actually subsistence hunters both of whom need more than 20 rounds available.  So there would need to be classes of permit for outfitters and subsistence hunters.

We keep hearing about types of guns and about the number of rounds that can go into a single clip, but there hasn't been much discussion about ammunition.  I wonder why.

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