These last few months have provided me plenty of time to consider what’s in our future. There’s an election coming up and we not only have a right but an obligation to help shape our future.
This time of ‘reflection’ got me to thinking about a subject of personal interest. It made me realize what at the time seemed to be a rather innocuous piece of legislation has turned into a potential disaster.
Few people are aware that our last major lead refinery has closed due to EPA regulations put in place by the previous administration. Pretty good idea it seemed as lead pollution is a bad thing none of us want in our backyard. So we farmed the lead smelting industry out to foreign countries. Interesting that the US has an incredibly good record on reducing pollution in manufacturing. We often do it by farming out these ‘dirty’ jobs to countries with lousy records for ‘clean’ manufacturing.
One of the problems with farming out lead smelting is the potential for shortages of processed lead coming into our country for manufacturing purposes. My first thought was car batteries. Pretty hard to get the motor running without a battery. Another concern for me personally is lead for producing bullets and shot for shooting.
This situation has really been driven home by the current run on loaded ammunition and reloading supplies. In over 50 years of hunting and shooting I’ve never seen a shortage as extensive and broad as this one. At this point, most of the shortages have been the result of panic buying. As the saying goes, “..if your buying up all you can right now, you’re a hoarder. If you’ve already bought up all you need, you’re a prepper”. No matter which category your in, the shortage is real.
The most critical shortage started with most retailers being out of the common calibers of handgun ammo. This was quickly followed by a shortage of even the common hunting cartridges. With hunting season starting up this situation is bound to get worse before it gets better.
For reloaders and high volume shooters like us, primers for reloading were the first thing to become impossible to find at a reasonable price. Small pistol primers used for the 9mm pistol have gone from around $28/1000 to over $150/1000 in some cases. Some powders for reloading have been hard to find at times. We’re being cautioned that bullets for the popular calibers are tightening up. A popular idea among some gun control advocates has been to ban or make ammunition more expensive and difficult to get. I’m not suggesting the current shortage is part of a bigger conspiracy but it sure gives substance to the idea.
All of this is happening at a time when gun sales have set all time records. We’re in the midst of one of the most divisive election cycles I can remember even going back to the 1960’s. Social unrest and political uncertainty are making more people aware that they need to take a serious interest in their own security. Few of us are not in a position to hire our own private security detail. We used to watch the news and think how lucky we were that the violence was happening in somebody else’s backyard. Now, it’s hitting a little closer to home.
We’ve heard some incredibly disturbing comments about reshaping the Supreme Court. No attempt has been made to disguise a total disdain for the Second Amendment.
The lead smelting ban should be a warning for all of us when suggestions are made on how to bring our carbon footprint to zero. California’s ban on gas powered vehicles by 2035 is going to have a huge impact on the auto and energy industries we can’t yet imagine. As our dependency on battery powered vehicles becomes a reality our dependency on raw materials from foreign sources increases accordingly. We seem, as a country, to have a knack for exporting critical resources without thinking about the future. Be careful what you wish for.
Take the time to research your favorite (????) candidate. Don’t just read their platform, think about what they’re proposing. (BUT….I’m ready to vote for the first candidate to ban “Political Correctness”.) Try to get answers if they’re vague about their stance on a subject. Remember “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Seriously???? Don’t let that theme carry over to the election. Read, Listen, Read some more. Elections have consequences. VOTE!