Things That Make You Go Hmmm — September 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Ammo shortage + tea parties = fear of an alternate reality


The AP is reporting this week that there is a massive, nationwide shortage of ammunition for guns. Bullet-makers can’t keep up. And why is this? The answer, of course, is obvious:

Bullets, especially for handguns, have been scarce for months because gun enthusiasts are stocking up on ammo, in part because they fear President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress will pass antigun legislation

This shortage as a response to what they believe our president will do, like the tea parties to protest higher taxes, is an over-the-top response to a reality that does not exist. It’s the reality of Beckistan. Of Limbaughland. Of Bachmanville. Of Palintown.

It’s not the reality of United States of America, though.

The so-called “Tea Party Express” is, in part, a protest against “higher taxes”. At every Teabagger Orgy of Anger you’re sure to see signs decrying how over-taxed Americans are. “TEA = Taxed Enough Already” they cry! Climate change legislation is pitched as the “Cap and Tax” bill. To help further this meme, Senator Ensign introduced an amendment to the health care legislation before the Senate Finance Committee to “strike the word ‘fee’ everywhere it appears in the bill and replace with the word ‘tax'”. Not because they are taxes but because it makes it look like Democrats and President Obama want to raise taxes.

But the reality? Taxes have gone DOWN for the vast majority of Americans. Maybe they haven’t in Beckistan, Limbaughland, Bachmanville or Palintown. But they sure have in the good ole USA.

Back to the bullets, the shortage of ammo is mostly due to people stockpiling ammunition in anticipation of a President Obama banning guns. Nevermind the fact that if guns are banned, these people suddenly are transformed into criminals if they keep all their guns and stockpiled ammo. That’s neither here nor there because, as the AP article points out:

nothing specific has been proposed and the president last month signed a law allowing people to carry loaded guns in national parks.


So far, the new administration nor Congress has not been markedly antigun. Obama has said he respects Second Amendment rights, but favors “common sense” on gun laws. Still, worries about what could happen persist.

Here are the president’s own words just over a year ago:

We essentially have two realities, when it comes to guns, in this country. You’ve got the tradition of lawful gun ownership. It is very important for many Americans to be able to hunt, fish, take their kids out, teach them how to shoot. Then you’ve got the reality of 34 Chicago public school students who get shot down on the streets of Chicago. We can reconcile those two realities by making sure the Second Amendment is respected and that people are able to lawfully own guns, but that we also start cracking down on the kinds of abuses of firearms that we see on the streets.

Only in Beckistan, Limbaughland, Bachmanville or Palintown does that sensible assessment constitute an effort to take away everyone’s guns.

Then there’s the ranting and raving about how the health care bill is, in Rachel Maddow’s words “a plot to kill grandma” or to “deny health care to Republicans or based on race”. And death panels. And free medical coverage for illegal aliens. And health care reform resulting federal funding for abortions. And on and on and on. None of it true.

I’m actually not sure how to combat this. How do you combat protests and utter freak-outs against things that aren’t even happening?

Maybe it actually is time for Texas and South Carolina to secede. Then, while the rest of us get on with our reality-based lives, these freaks can argue about whether to name their new country Beckistan, Limbaughland, Bachmanville or Palintown.

I’m just sayin’…