Wal-Mart’s ammunition limit is making headlines right now, and the mere words “Wal-Mart ammunition limit” are enough to set basically everyone south of the Mason-Dixon line’s hair on fire — which is sort of an indication to where the feverish and unreasonable extremes our national gun debate has gone.
A Wal-Mart ammunition limit combines some of America’s most shining bits of pathos into one predictable hissy fit — Wal-Mart, which we can’t get enough of despite its deleterious effect on our manufacturing sector and wages; ammunition, which we cling to in times of stress like a molten lead teddy bear; and limits, because America is Eric Cartman and we do what we want.
But the handwringing over a Wal-Mart ammunition limit due to “high demand” puts me in mind of something that, at my age, I had not and never believed I would see as it was out of my personal frame of reference. (I am not yet 35, but older than 30.)
Late last year, the island on which I live (Long) was decimated by Sandy, my town in particular badly hit. But islandwide, the larger story was a crippling lack of gas. For neither love nor money could any be had, gas stations pumped dry as soon as they were replenished, lines at the few with any to purchase stretching into five hours or more of waiting. One night as the gas shortage kicked off, I (nearing empty despite filling my tank as Sandy began to hit) spotted a full but lineless station, ten cars at the ready and no fighting queues.
As I pulled in and prepared to gas up, another patron rolled down his window and told me all the pumps were dry. I gestured around to the waiting 12 or more vehicles and asked what they were doing, and he said everyone was waiting in case the gas truck came.
— The Inquisitr (@theinquisitr) January 31, 2013
The problem with things like Wal-Mart’s ammunition limit and the gas shortage here is that America seems to have a terrible habit of manifesting our very fears with alarming alacrity. It took all of a day and a half of post-hurricane generator running for the panic to have bled Long Island dry of all gas, and, for two or so weeks, the Island ground to a halt with much commerce and work attendance interrupted.
Because so scary was the idea the pumps would be empty, we emptied them ourselves. Immediately. So too is it with Wal-Mart’s ammunition limits. If you stop to think about the insanity, it’s breathtaking.
Twenty children murdered and concern drifts not to the issue itself but to fear of lack of access to ammunition. And so instead of calmly discussing the horrible incident that preceded it, and, in the absence of any governmental ban or limit, America went crazy and bought up all the ammo. Bought up the ammo. Because children were shot!
starve the govet of our money and starve the businesses that keep supporting the socialist agenda.. start w walmart for restricting ammo
— nick schmanek (@AlleyKat2) January 31, 2013
And so the great fear of the gun rights enthusiasts came to pass — Wal-Mart ammunition limits, and not because of the government or people who hate the Second Amendments. Their own paranoid frenzy ultimately precipitated the one thing they worried about most, lack of access to ammo.
America, dude, I love you, but this is getting out of hand. Panic and guns do not well mix, and the Wal-Mart ammunition limits are a situation that could have been wholly avoided had everyone not given in to baseless panic.
— We are Greece (@dupui) January 31, 2013
Walmart is limiting how much ammo you can buy? Fine #DontShopWalmart
— MAMA JUKES (@MamaJukes) January 31, 2013
— THERESISTANCE (@PROVIDENCE1791) January 31, 2013
— Charlotte Gibson (@sassymolassy09) January 28, 2013
— Survivor Jane™ (@SurvivorJane) January 27, 2013