New Conspiracy: EPA Banning Bullets!

The NRA, Gun Owners of America and the right wing blogosphere is up in arms over their latest imagined conspiracy theory, that the EPA is engaging in “backdoor gun control” because the last lead smelting plan is shutting down rather than comply with the Clean Air Act. Allen West pushes this cockamamie claim, but first he assures us that he’s too careful to fall for a false conspiracy theory:

I am one who steers very clear of tinfoil hat conspiracy theories. I often believe progressives plant stories in order to distract and disrupt, enabling them to pursue their true goals and objectives.

Oh yes, of course. It’s the liberals manipulating those brilliant wingnuts into thinking that Obama was born in Kenya, that the UN is on the verge of taking over the country and all the other bizarre delusions they continually promote.

However, as a former combat commander, I have been trained to look for trends.

That may be the weirdest appeal to authority I’ve ever seen.

And I believe we’ve found a very disturbing one. it seems that back door gun control is in full effect in the United States. Why? Thanks to Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we can no longer smelt lead from ore in the United States.

Wrong. It’s entirely legal to smelt lead in the United States, but they have to comply with federal regulations to protect against enormous environmental damage. Allen West doesn’t like that, of course, because he thinks God will magically protect us from all that (at least the good Christians).

What this all means is that after December 2013, any ammunition that will be available to US citizens will have to be imported, which will surely increase the price and possibly come under government control. It seems this is fully in concert with the US Military and Homeland Defense recent purchase of large quantities of ammunition.

Oh yes, you can definitely establish the credibility of your current false conspiracy theory by referring to your previous false conspiracy theory. Well played. Of course, all of this is nonsense. This all began under the Bush administration in 2008, not Obama. Even Glenn Beck’s The Blaze website has debunked this one, which of course means that Beck will be repeating it on his show this week.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • troll

    I am one who steers very clear of tinfoil hat conspiracy theories. I often believe progressives plant stories in order to distract and disrupt, enabling them to pursue their true goals and objectives.

    So tinfoil hat conspiracy theories are a liberal conspiracy, eh? How very meta.

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    Remember, guns don’t kill people bullets do.

  • greg1466

    I particularly like how he uses a conspiracy theory as justification for avoiding conspiracy theories.

  • doublereed

    That’s self-contradictory!!! MY LOGIC CIRCUITS!!!

  • John Pieret

    I am one who steers very clear of tinfoil hat conspiracy theories.

    Umm … ah … oh, never mind! There really isn’t any use, is there?

  • Artor

    If this is an example of Rush “steering clear” of conspiracies, I hope he isn’t allowed to drive a car. His idea of steering is pretty defective. As are most of his ideas, of course.

  • whheydt

    Looks to me like the bigger “threat” is to the production of conventional (Lead-Acid) car batteries.

    [wingnut]

    OMG! “They” are going to take away our SUVs!

    [/wingnut]

  • hrafn

    Last I heard, environmentalists were attempting to persuade hunters to shift to non-lead ammo, to reduce lead poisoning of endangered scavengers (e.g. condors). So “no lead” hardly equates to “no non-imported ammo”, even if “no lead” were true.

  • troll

    Last I heard, environmentalists were attempting to persuade hunters to shift to non-lead ammo, to reduce lead poisoning of endangered scavengers (e.g. condors). So “no lead” hardly equates to “no non-imported ammo”, even if “no lead” were true.

    I can see a certain segment of the wingnut population switching to DU rounds just to spite the environmentalists.

  • snoeman

    troll @#1: I read that passage and started wondering if Dispatches commenter Modusoperandi had hacked Allen West’s website.

  • troll

    @10, yeah, that really does fit Modusoperandi’s modus operandi.

  • DaveL

    Here’s the thing – this isn’t the country’s last lead smelting plant. It’s the last primary smelting plant: a smelter intended for producing virgin lead ingots from lead ore. There are plenty of secondary smelters around, that recycle scrap lead. In fact the ammunition industry uses recycled lead pretty much entirely – it’s the electronic manufacturers who need the high-purity lead from primary smelters.

  • raven

    What this all means is that after December 2013, any ammunition that will be available to US citizens will have to be imported, …

    As noted in comment #12, this isn’t even close to right.

    1. There is plenty of lead to recycle, it being a law that car type batteries be recycled. And lead use has been falling for decades because it is a persistent and poisonous metal.

    2. Even if there wasn’t a lot of recycled lead around so what? We would import lead just like we import oil, cars, and everything else. And make the ammo here.

    What it came down to was the Invisible Hand of the Free Market in St. Ayn Rand’s gospel. US lead smelters couldn’t compete with smelters in other countries.

  • dmcclean

    12 & 13 are right.

    I looked in to this last week at the behest of a local wingnut and conspiracy theorist par excellence, who had it mixed up and thought the EPA had “banned” lead mining as opposed to lead smelting.

    Apparently we make almost all the lead we need from secondary smelters that recycle lead items at the end of their service lives.

    We remain one of the world’s largest miners of lead ore, but exporting it as ore has apparently become more profitable than smelting it here and exporting the metal. (Undoubtedly because some other countries are willing to incur huge negative externalities from sloppy smelting practices.)

    Meanwhile, on planet earth, the long-term decline in violent crime in the US continues, and one of the major drivers is the reduction in environmental lead exposure during childhood and adolescence.

  • plutosdad

    If is he in the military and reads any military journals, he damn well knows the Pentagon is already testing copper core bullets, which are already being mass produced and, according to army testing, worked better in every measure.

    No need to buy foreign bullets, the new bullets are already here, and they have the advantage of not poisoning the environment for decades or hundreds of years.

    Considering the research coming out on how much more damaging lead is than we even thought, it only makes sense to not want to leave lasting damage, but rather to rebuild a country so it is more stable and on friendlier terms with the US.

    Copper core bullets are only positive all around. The only people against it are NRA and the conspiracy people they can convince, because the NRA really represents manufacturers, not gun owners, in my opinion.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    And mayor Bloomberg banned big bullets in New York City. Now you have to get two smaller bullets, instead.

    snoeman “troll @#1: I read that passage and started wondering if Dispatches commenter Modusoperandi had hacked Allen West’s website.” & troll “@10, yeah, that really does fit Modusoperandi’s modus operandi.”

    Please. I have standards.

    DaveL “…secondary smelters…”

    Dibs on band name!

  • snoeman

    @ Modusoperandi: Amazon will be delivering you an internet via drone shortly.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    I talked to a guy a few years back, at his recycling facility. He had something like 10K old batteries which is prolly about 100 tons of lead. Lotsa bullets, sittin’ there for the reclaimin’–oh, wait, recycling is anotheroneathem lefty conspiracies.

  • chilidog99

    There was a study a few years ago were deer carcasses were x-rayed at a check in station to determine the amount of lead remaining in the meat even after the hunters dreesed out the carcass and supposedly removed the contaminated wound channel.

    The results were: “A lot.”

  • garnetstar

    Lead affects cognitive functioning. Allen West seems to have already breathed in enough of it.

  • chilidog99

    Oh, and the primer used in rimfire cartridges is a lead based compound.

    Lead exposure at rifle ranges is a real issue.

  • beelzebibble

    “Even Glenn Beck’s The Blaze website has debunked this one, which of course means that Beck will be repeating it on his show this week.”

    Wow, you’re pretty good at spotting trends. Are you sure you were never a combat commander?

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    Why should they worry? After both the 2008 and 2012 elections the gun cranks went on a big gun and ammo buying spree because Obama was going to ban guns and begin the gun grabbing. Surely some of these guys have a 10 year supply of ammo already, so why do they need to buy any now?

  • roggg

    I am one who steers very clear of tinfoil hat conspiracy theories. I often believe progressives plant stories in order to distract and disrupt, enabling them to pursue their true goals and objectives.

    First, that is probably the most internally inconsistent and ironic two sentences I think I’ve ever seen side by side. I’m going to laugh about that for a week.

    Second, is it really the case that importing ammo from, say, China is going to blow the cost so much that it prices it out of reach of the public? Where I’m from, it’s very hard for locally made consumer goods to compete with cheap imported goods. Not that it matters since the importation scenario is predicated on an inaccurate understanding anyway.

  • lochaber

    This is pretty rich, coming from the faction that is using back-door methods to shut down women’s reproductive rights.

  • caseloweraz

    Timgueguen: Why should they worry? After both the 2008 and 2012 elections the gun cranks went on a big gun and ammo buying spree because Obama was going to ban guns and begin the gun grabbing. Surely some of these guys have a 10 year supply of ammo already, so why do they need to buy any now?

    Because ammunition has such a short shelf life. /sarc

    Actually, depending on the type, ammo lasts 20 years or more. Here’s a very detailed breakdown:

    http://www.preparedsociety.com/forum/f15/gun-ammo-shelf-life-495/

  • caseloweraz

    @Beezlebibble:

    I was thinking along similar lines. I had an image of Allen West in a foxhole somewhere. As the shells began to rain down, he stuck his head up to determine the barrage’s rate of increase or decrease over time.