Bullet, Not Gun Control

Gun control has been the subject of debate for years now. Some people want to tighten gun registration and licensing, while others demand their second amendment right be recognized and protected without limitation. Seeing how banning guns seems nearly impossible, people are trying to find a middle-ground. There are many possible solutions out now, but they are all focused on guns themselves, but there maybe another solution. Jim Dwyer, writing in The New York Times, quoted United States Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan who said: "we have only a three-year supply of ammunition."

In 1993, Senator Moynihan proposed that we ought to give up on gun control as a way to reduce criminal violence. "These mostly simple machines last forever," Senator Moynihan said. "On the other hand, we have only a three-year supply of ammunition." He proposed a tax on bullets. But he proposed a "Ten thousand percent" tax on hollow-tipped bullets. The result, a 20-bullet pack would cost $1,500. "Guns don't kill people; bullets do," said Moynihan.

It didn't happen, but maybe it should have.

I did some research to see how much handgun ammunition costs, and I was shocked. Anyone can buy 50 rounds of basic 9mm ammunition, which is used in any common handgun, for about $12. This rounds out to be about $0.24 per bullet. No ID, no background check, just put in your credit card into Sportsman's guide and wait for your bullets.

Yes, there are background checks for guns. Yes, people can bypass that background check by buying a gun from someone at a gun show. But, logically, having more guns won't make someone more dangerous. If you have a gun and no bullets, the gun is just for show at that point. If you have a single gun and over 50 bullets, you could be a public danger.

Comedian Chris Rock said, the trick is making bullets more expensive. How many issues do you think Senator Moynihan and Chris Rock agree on? He wouldn't take away peoples guns, but instead create a barrier to stockpiling a militias supply worth of ammunition. If someone lives in a rural part of the country and they want a gun to protect themselves and hunt, that's perfectly reasonable. The amount of ammunition you would need to keep your home safe from potential thieves and those who would cause you harm wouldn't be even close to 100 rounds of anything. A single clip is more than enough to be threatening and protective if worse comes to worse.

While I do think this is a useful solution, I have no doubt there are plenty of other people who would claim that I'm endorsing the destruction of the second amendment. They can say that all they want, but in the end the Constitution says "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." but it doesn't say anything about bullets. People can petition for better gun control all they want, but gun control isn't the problem. Guns are merely a tool while the real killer is the bullet, which is significantly cheaper and easier to buy.