Gun Lobby Greed

How sad that the gun lobby is so blinded by greed that it can’t see that cleansing our land and water of this deadly neurotoxin is in its best interests instead of a plot by the vile, ubiquitous Greenies to take away everyone’s guns and ammo. 


Non-toxic copper bullets are now widely available; and, while they’re still more expensive, they have better ballistics.  As California hunters have seen, using non-toxic bullets isn’t much of a burden. 


I heard the same BS 21 years ago when researching a lead-shot article for Audubon magazine.  At that time lead shot was killing at least 300,000 ducks and geese a year--300,000 game animals that hunters couldn’t harvest.  And eagles, which seek out crippled waterfowl, were dying like flies.  Yet the gun lobby and a large element of the hunting community had no problem with any of that.


Here’s what the gun lobby and some hunters were saying back then about the impending, nationwide ban on lead shot for waterfowl that wasn’t going to happen until 1991.  Listen carefully and see if you can hear a difference in the songs sung then and now.  I sure can’t.


*“Anti-gunners, attacking lead shot under the guise of environmentalism, have succeeded in gaining a beachhead in our continuing war…  Our enemies, after failing to restrict our right to bear arms, attacked our flanks.” 

--James Reinke, president of the National Rifle Association


*“The [impending lead-shot ban] is the latest scalp in a well-organized, scarcely recognized series of flanking attacks upon the right to keep and bear arms.”

--Neal Knox of the Firearms Coalition


*“Someone’s getting wealthy on steel shot; that’s where you need to look.”

--Miles Brueckner of Migratory Waterfowl Hunters, Inc.


And here’s what the NSSF bleated out today.  Pathetic!



NEWTOWN, Conn.-The National Shooting Sports Foundation strongly encourages
the National Park Service to reconsider its policy banning the use of
traditional ammunition made with lead components on park lands and points
out that neither humans, wildlife populations nor the environment are
harmed by the use of such ammunition.

"The National Park Service's decision is arbitrary, over-reactive and not
based on science," said Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting
Sports Foundation, trade association for the firearms and ammunition
industry. "Studies show that traditional ammunition does not pose a health
risk to humans, or wildlife populations as a whole."

The park service appears to have made its decision without requesting input
from wildlife management and conservation groups, or ammunition
manufacturers. "There is no evidence of traditional ammunition harming
humans or wildlife populations that would warrant this kind of drastic
policy change," said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and
general counsel.

Hunting is allowed in some national parks in order to reduce herd
populations or remove wounded or sick animals, and NSSF maintains that
traditional ammunition is best suited for these tasks. Traditional
ammunition costs less, and hunters are more familiar with its performance.
Hunters also are agreeable to taking voluntary measures, such as burying
entrails after field dressing game, to prevent scavengers from ingesting
lead fragments.

Maintaining healthy wildlife populations has always been a priority for
hunters, who have contributed approximately $5.6 billion to protect
wildlife and habit over the past 70 years through excise taxes paid on
firearms and ammunition.

The park service's news release does not cite scientific evidence that
wildlife populations are being negatively impacted by the use of
traditional ammunition, and there is no indication that park visitors'
health was affected in any way by hunters and wildlife managers using
traditional ammunition.

Ammunition containing lead components has been the choice of hunters for
well over 100 years, during which time wildlife populations in America have
surged. While lead ingestion appears to occur in a small number of
individual animals, overall populations are unaffected. Also, there has
never been a documented case of lead poisoning among humans who have eaten
game taken with traditional ammunition, and a recent Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention study on North Dakota hunters who consumed game
confirmed that there was no reason for concern over eating game taken with
traditional ammunition.

Unfortunately, the park service's decision to ban traditional ammunition
adds to the misinformation being circulated by anti-hunting groups to
promote fear among wildlife managers and hunters about traditional
ammunition. The park service's news release makes erroneous comparisons
between organic lead found in gasoline and the metallic lead used in
ammunition. Banning lead in gasoline and paint was related to public health
concerns because of the widespread nature of these substances and ingestion
of paint chips by young children. These issues are not associated with lead
in ammunition.

NSSF and its member companies who possess significant knowledge about lead
and its use in ammunition hope to be part of any regulatory process to
encourage the park service to reconsider this hastily concluded policy
before it goes into effect by the end of 2010.