The ammunition shortage (a rant)

There are, I once discovered as an editor, essentially two kinds of hack. One can write, but has nothing to say. The other has something to say, but can’t write. Really there is a third: for the largest group can’t write, but has nothing to say, either. In theory, there is a fourth group; but they are hard to find.

The people on this planet are, in the main, fairly ineffectual. This is certainly true of writers, but there are probably parallels in the other disciplines.

I was going to write today about the ammunition shortage, but then realized that I know nothing about it. There is a consensus, at least among rightwing bloggers, that while Americans are clattering with guns, the gun stores can’t keep up with their ammunition orders. I supposed the problem was with foreign suppliers; but no, a correspondent tells me this was one industry not “offshored” to China. Whether he, actually, knows any more than I do, I leave between him and his personal arms dealer. He said he was only shopping for a few thousand rounds. Surely any hardware store on Main Street could supply him, I thought; unless he was asking for fancy.

My own ballistics training fell short of Royal Marine. If I had to confront a dozen bad guys, with a machine gun and a belt-fed magazine, I would probably miss them all. As Obama used to say, back in the days when he was inciting violence, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” As his wife added, “If they go low, we go high.” My guess is, shooting somewhere in the middle makes more sense. But what use is the gun, anyway, if it isn’t loaded?

Some years ago (let me not say how many), I was shamefully flirting with a ridiculously blonde young lady; who promised to take me to a gun range for practice. I was attracted to her for other reasons to start (I am a shallow male), but her enthusiasm for guns was the clincher. She collected them; and not pointlessly pretty antiques, either. She had, for instance, something light and plastic from Israel, that could make wide holes. You could drive your jeep over it, she said, and it would still fire.

Verily, it seemed that she was flirting back. I was doing my best to present myself as an insensitive male pig (she liked that); I was implying a knowledge of firearms that was supererogatory. Imagine her disgust, when it turned out that I didn’t even own a gun; only a brass model of the Zam-Zammah that would take hours to clean, and might not discharge even then. (I wouldn’t count my chances against a real gunslinger.)

I was dropped like a malfunctioning Brown Bess.

So what can I say about the shortage of ammunition? Only that it strikes me as bad news, if we’re going to have a war. One feels na├»ve, and under-armed, clinging only to one’s Bible. I do have a cricket bat, for when the progressives come for me, but the truth is, I was never a good batsman. I have a hard cricket ball, but my spin-bowling isn’t quite what it was.

I can rant, however. That will intimidate them.