Chris Rock is a funny and smart guy. I liked his routine on five-thousand-dollar bullets. But while that’s good comedy, it’s an extraordinarily bad idea. People who own guns need regular practice because gun handling is a perishable skill. And responsible gun owners really do need to know what they’re doing. At $5000 a round, a day at the range could cost millions.
Sadly, it isn’t just comedians who have this idea, but also some legislators. They want background checks to buy ammunition. They want a database of who is buying ammo. They want to drastically increase the difficulty and cost for regular, law-abiding citizens to maintain their proficiency and enjoy the shooting sports. And how will this help anything? A drive-by gang shooting takes a handful of ammunition. A day at the range with friends takes boxfuls.
Here’s an idea to consider. Thousands of people are killed each year by drivers without a valid license. It’s illegal for them to drive, but they’re doing it anyway. Should we force gas stations to verify your license and put your details into a database every time you fill up? It might help save many lives, but we would never do this. That’s because of the cost, inconvenience, and violation of privacy that it would mean to every law-abiding driver.
Although it might well save some lives, it doesn’t make sense to intrude on everyone’s lives with gas-station license checks, does it? Ammunition control laws make even less sense.
It’s just gun control by another name, and doesn’t make sense.