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Got ammo? The hoarders do

Joe & Linda Skinner
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Free Press Opinion Columnists
Joe Skinner
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HE SAID: A friend invited me to go target shooting recently, so I tried to buy some .22 ammo to sacrifice on my attempts to hit the bull’s-eye. Imagine my surprise when the store had empty shelves. I was told a truck would come Friday and I could stand in line to buy a limited amount of ammunition. I was thunderstruck. I asked the employees why, and I found I have been out of touch with what was going on in the U.S. today — ammo hoarding. Everyone is stashing ammo. We have the same amount produced, but the demand is way up.

The end-of-world quacks are hoarding to survive in a devastated world. The conservatives are hoarding because they think everyone is out to take away their guns. The liberals are hoarding because the conservatives are hoarding, and they do not want to be left defenseless if the power shifts. And everyone is hoarding because everyone else is hoarding because you can’t get any ammo. There ought to be a law.

SHE SAID: People’s looniness aside, it is the current laws and the fear that they could change that seems to be driving the madness. I remember when Obama was first elected, there was a gun shortage here in Mesa County stores. When I was getting fingerprinted for a job, someone was registering 10 new guns. This was before there were any checks on a person’s so-called sanity. I am sure that man saw nothing wrong with having that many guns. But it is kind of like purses, you can only use one at a time.

Last Sunday, the Denver Post reported that a man’s house in Aurora was far more damaged by fire than it should have been, but firefighters could not enter the premises because the man had a large amount of ammo stored in the basement and garage. They could only fight the fire from a safe distance. So, it’s just not criminals who might shoot you now, it could be the neighbor’s house or part of the neighborhood watch committee. What did you and your friend finally do, throw rocks at the target?

HE SAID: No, I didn’t need rocks. I did stand in line to buy some cartridges, but then I bought four times what I needed so I wouldn’t have to stand in line again. But, that is different from the person you saw buying 10 new guns all at once. He could only use two at a time so why the overkill?

I understand how you can gather deer rifles, duck shotguns and a few other arms over a lifetime. Even you have that nice hunting rifle that you used to kill the elk. But that, to me, is different from the person who owns an assault rifle because “…when you shoot one its such a rush.” We will see more cases like the recent ones where someone pulls a gun, because they have one, and an officer has to defend himself.

A good friend, a defense attorney, told me about a felon he asked about not being allowed to have guns and the guy replied that it was good because when he had guns he thought like a gun, but now he solves his problems in other ways. So those who have the mentality that guns will save them and build an armory in their house may still be destroyed in a way they had not considered. Like the man in Denver, they will have to stand there and watch their house burn up because no firefighter would risk going close. Each time they buy more needless ammo or another gun they are buying into the fear that drives them, making it stronger. Guns used to be tools and now, for some, guns have become a dangerous psychological crutch.

SHE SAID: It’s a fear that has filled the coffers of groups like the National Rifle Association. It’s a fear that causes people like George Zimmerman to shoot a teen like Trayvon Martin. Whatever happened to moderation? You do not need an assault rifle with a 25-round magazine to hunt elk or shoot at targets. You do not need a gun to be part of a neighborhood watch group. If you want to feel empowered, go take karate or judo. Those skills cannot be legislated away. By the way, where did you store that extra ammunition?

The Skinners hope that good sense can combat fear. They can be reached at jlajtls@bresnan.net.


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