Posted in: Opinion

Wal-Mart Ammunition Limit And America’s Gun Panic

wal-mart ammunition limit 2013

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 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!

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.

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8 Responses to “Wal-Mart Ammunition Limit And America’s Gun Panic”

  1. Dan Mask

    You are a lunatic. The writing on the wall of the availability of ammunition eventually being limited or taxed out of sight from citizens the reason. What good are guns if one day there is no ammo. Guns don't kill people no more than cars do. In fact, a whole lot more die in cars. Heck, more die in this country being beat to death with bats or fists than guns. Why don't you harbour on that? Its a small sliver of the 300 million or so in this country that are either crazy or make bad decisions. If all guns were gone, they would just use bats, knives, bow and arrows, bombs, whatever. A person wanting to kill will use just about anything.

  2. Dale Turnbo

    Don't worry about it- pretty soon the ammo bootleggers will be up and running and everything will be fine!

  3. Randy Storey

    More people die from idiots texting and driving and it gets worse every day. Why not ban texting and driving?
    Oh, wait, we don't want to piss off the spoiled brat 30 somethings that voted the Dems into office. Let's see how you feel when they come for you IPhones Skippy!

  4. Steve Schwartz

    the problem is on BOTH SIDES. I hope the author reads this because his opinion is warranted, though obviously biased. Who can argue that the children of Sandy Hook should be the focus in the days/weeks/months after the tragedy…however, it is not and never was the gun enthusiasts, right wingers, NRA…etc, that screamed loudly the second it happened that the US Government should ban all fire arms or make it illegal or harder at least for citizens to purchase or own firearms…Yes, how biased is it that the same folks who say "the children should come first" are the ones who started the whole gun debate/frenzy in the first place. Now that said, hopefully you are still reading, it is insane for folks to feel that 3 boxes of ammo a day isn't enough…I would like to think that is obviously going too far…but the mere fact that certain medias are implying that guns or ammo may not be accessible, and perhaps soon, could make even the average american think, "if I do want a gun, I better get it now…if I want to shoot it, I better get some ammo now. If the debate could change to "what can we do to prevent this from happening again on the Mental Illness side" and even lets try a federal "license for ownership of firearms"…just like cars…instead of acting like gun supporters don't care about children, and non supporters are socialists or un-american…

  5. Randy Storey

    So is drinking and driving but how many drunks you think are out on the road tonight? Nothing is illegal if you don't get caught at it. Just ask the convicted felon that's carrying a gun when it is illegal for him to do it.

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