Can’t find ammo? Your flaky paranoid neighbors are buying it all!

We’ll be ready for the next wave of Iraqi invaders – which we’re training
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Gun shops across the country are reporting a run on ammunition, a phenomenon apparently driven by fear that the Obama administration will increase taxes on bullets or enact new gun-control measures.

In the last two months it’s gotten very, very difficult to find ammunition,” says Richard Taylor, manager of The Firing Line, a gun shop and shooting range in the Denver, Colorado, suburbs.

“There are a lot of rumors floating around that the present government would like to increase taxes on ammunition. I think [there is] just a lot of panicked buying going on…”

Two weeks ago, The Firing Line was forced to impose a four-box-per-customer limit on ammo. Before that, the shop was selling 10,000 rounds of 9 mm handgun ammunition a day…

Karl Roos, a physician, stopped by the range to do some shooting with his Smith and Wesson .357-caliber Magnum, using some rounds from his personal stock of ammo.

“I’m not too worried about things being banned or anything like that,” he says. But he notes that many of his fellow gun enthusiasts are scared: “There’s definitely a lot of fear…”

Responding to fear with guns and ammo is as American as baseball and apple pie. Politicians lead people around by the nose – with tales of what we should fear. The NRA recruits on the basis of fear. The Republicans are back to their early Bush mantra of fear – because they can’t think of any other way to get votes.

And, though we often joke about fundamentalist wingnuts providing shock troops for the neocon brigade – fact is, it’s only the fear-based flavor, the fire-and-brimstone nutballs, who wander far enough away from thoughtful Christianity to be seriously dangerous.

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