Greta van Susteren Comes out for Bullet Control

It is not a novel idea -- the notion that the route to gun control is not by attacking the right to bear arms which the U.S. Supreme Court has declared to be both an individual and a national right, but to use that old standby, regulation, to dry up the supply of bullets. It was that idea that was endorsed by Fox News host Greta Van Susteren when she appeared on ABC’s “This Week”:

When I practiced law in the District of Columbia, very strict gun laws. And every single one of my clients could get a gun. The guns are out there. They are all over. And you can create all the laws you want, but all the guns are out there. They’re going to be coming in through black markets. And so we’re not being very realistic that all of a sudden putting -- changing the laws is going to change anything.

The guns are there. If you really want to regulate you’ve got to be a little bit smarter, maybe regulate ammunition so that people can’t use their guns. That’s the smart thing.

The Obama administration has already tried this very tactic of achieving gun control through regulation of ammunition and actually it’s a pretty dumb thing. As Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) editorialized:

Attempts to reinstate the ineffective and expired 1994 Assault Weapons ban, which targeted "scary-looking" guns, failed. So the Obama administration decided to go after the bullets that the AR-15 uses, reclassifying AR-15 ammo as an armor-piercing "NATO round" more fit for combat than self-defense or hunting.

The problem is, police don't agree. They dismiss the 5.56mm M855 as not being a significant threat, with no record of use in violent crime.

"While this round will penetrate soft body armor, it has not historically posed a threat to law enforcement," according to James Pasco, executive director of the Washington office of the 325,000-member Fraternal Order of Police, the world's largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers.

The Obama administration has even tried to impose gun control by portraying it as an environmental effort to save the planet from lead pollution, in effect making the insane argument that the Second Amendment threatens the environment. As IBD noted in 2013:

Having been stymied by court defeats such as the Supreme Court's deciding that the Second Amendment does indeed confer a right to keep and bear arms on individuals throughout the United States, advocates of a gun-free America and a disarmed citizenry are taking a different approach: Go after the ammunition through regulations that stifle domestic production and force the use of more expensive and eco-friendly substitutes.

Expanded regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency have forced the closing as of Dec. 31 of the country's last bullet-producing lead smelter -- a facility operated by Doe Run Co. in Herculaneum, Mo., that first opened its doors in 1892….

The Herculaneum smelter, according to the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, is the only one in the U.S. that can produce lead bullion from raw lead ore and the components for traditional lead ammunition.

The seeming proliferation of mass shootings, as has been amply demonstrated, is not due to the widespread availability of guns, but to the widespread availability of unarmed targets. From Charleston, South Carolina to Aurora, Colorado to Umpqua Community College in Oregon, the shooters chose gun-free zones where no armed citizens were there to shoot back. At places like Pearl, Mississippi and Clackamas, Oregon, armed citizens were able to stop the killer’s intended carnage.

Gun control through the regulation of ammunition is silly, sort of like trying to prevent arson by banning matches.  Perhaps Greta Van Susteren, who practiced law in the District of Columbia is perhaps unaware of the D.C. crime rates before and after its gun ban was overturned by the Supreme Court in the Heller decision in 2008. As gun researcher John Lott Jr. noted in an essay for

When the Heller case was decided, Washington’s Mayor Adrian Fenty warned: "More handguns in the District of Columbia will only lead to more handgun violence."…

But Armageddon never arrived. Quite the contrary, murders in Washington plummeted by an astounding 25 percent in 2009, dropping from 186 murders in 2008 to 140. That translates to a murder rate that is now down to 23.5 per 100,000 people, Washington’s lowest since 1967.

Lott, author of the book, More Guns, Less Crime, also noted in his essay the pernicious effect of Chicago’s gun ban, overturned in the MacDonald Decision:

As shown in the forthcoming third edition of my book "More Guns, Less Crime," before the ban, Chicago's murder rate was falling relative to the 9 other largest cities, the 50 largest cities, the five counties that boarder Cook county, as well as the U.S. as a whole. After the ban Chicago's murder rate rose relative to all these other places.

Gun bans don’t work in reducing crime. Bullet bans won’t work either. All they accomplish is to create more unarmed targets for criminals.

Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.