In the next few days, I expect that you’re going to start to see articles around the country about how a “majority” of Americans support a ban on lead ammunition. I base this on the latest press release from the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), in which they reference a recent poll of 657 registered voters. The poll found that 57% of the individuals polled support a mandated ban on lead ammunition. Only 48% supported an all-out ban on lead in ammunition, and 51% want Republican lawmakers to work with Democrats to craft a ban.
Here’s how the press release begins:
As the California legislature begins considering Assembly Member Anthony Rendon’s bill mandating use of nonlead ammunition for all hunting in California, a new national poll has found that 57 percent of Americans support requiring the use of nontoxic bullets for hunting. The poll, commissioned by the Center for Biological Diversity, also found that more Americans support a ban on lead ammunition than oppose it and that a majority of voters think Republicans in Congress should work with Democrats to ban lead in ammunition.
Compelling stuff, huh?
But how much can you learn about a poll in which the participants have little or no demonstrated knowledge about the subject matter? What’s more, how much can you learn when the poll is crafted by the same organization that has been running an extensive (and largely unopposed) campaign of press releases that demonize the subject matter… and the national media has been perfectly content to publish those press releases, verbatim, without so much as a call for opposing viewpoints? Seriously, if you do a search for recent articles about lead ammunition, you’ll find identical “articles” in newspapers, blogs, and news websites around the U.S. These “articles” often have different bylines, but the truth of the matter is that these news outlets have done nothing more than reprint the press releases from the CBD.
It’s no wonder that, given the information that the general public has seen about lead ammo, the general attitude is negative. Hell, if all I knew was what the CBD told me, I’d hate lead ammo too. But I know better. I think some of the rest of you do too. But the majority of the American public does not… and many others are simply confused on the subject.
So far, California has borne the brunt of it, but sooner or later the CBD is going to find that weak spot and they’re going to get this lead issue into a position where it will be decided by the public. It will be too late then to point out the fallacies and the deception. It will be too late to prevail with logic or common sense… or even to find compromise. Lead ammo will be banned because people have been convinced that it’s as environmentally devastating as lead gasoline additives, and as dangerous to our children as lead paint.
Attention, hunting and shooting community, we have have a problem! The industry should take note too. This stuff can’t go unanswered. There needs to be a measured, intelligent, and logical response. And it needs to come from someone with a little more clout than some itty-bitty blogger.
If you think the current ammunition shortage is rough, just wait until the talk around banning lead ammo starts to get serious!