Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Get the Lead out
by HARLEY

I Love to shoot, when i get the time, it is in many ways a great form of release from the stresses of daily life. Sadly the cost of it is ever growing, the cost of ammo is on a continual rise, due to the prices of the metals used in production of ammo. Copper, Zinc, Brass, Tin and Antimony, are on the rise oh and now it seem that Lead, will be to.  It seem that our Imperial Federal government, via the EPA has decided that the lead, specifically used in ammo, is a danger to the environment.

With the fall hunting season fast approaching, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Lisa Jackson, who was responsible for banning bear hunting in New Jersey, is now considering a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) – a leading anti-hunting organization – to ban all traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976, a law in which Congress expressly exempted ammunition.  If the EPA approves the petition, the result will be a total ban on all ammunition containing lead-core components, including hunting and target-shooting rounds. The EPA must decide to accept or reject this petition by November 1, 2010, the day before the midterm elections.


The CBD is pretty much your typical feel good environmentalist organization, with the admirable goal of saving wildlife from the ravages of man, at pretty much any cost. This group is so concerned about overpopulation, destroying the enviroment, that they are handing out Endangered Species Condoms.
Now this is just a petition from one organization, how much weight they carry with Lisa Jackson, is something I do not know, but you can bet your sweet ass that other anti-hunting and firearms groups will pile on this.

So what is the issue here?
According to the CBD:

An estimated 10 million to 20 million birds and other animals die each year from lead poisoning in the United States. This occurs when animals scavenge on carcasses shot and contaminated with lead bullet fragments, or pick up and eat spent lead-shot pellets or lost fishing weights, mistaking them for food or grit. Some animals die a painful death from lead poisoning while others suffer for years from its debilitating effects.
“The science on this issue is massive in breadth and unimpeachable in its integrity,” said George Fenwick, president of American Bird Conservancy. “Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies show continued lead poisoning of large numbers of birds and other animals, and this petition is a prudent step to safeguard wildlife and reduce unacceptable human health risks.”
American Bird Conservancy, Center for Biological Diversity, Association of Avian Veterinarians, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, and the hunters’ group Project Gutpile are asking for the ban under the Toxic Substances Control Act, which regulates dangerous chemicals in the United States.

With a error range like that one has to wonder how they conducted the estimation. I would assume that they took a few known deaths and multiplied it by a number of their choosing.
While it is true that animals some times consume lead shot, it is also true that many pass it and are unharmed, others once they get the taste of the metallic lead spit it right back out, it is not a pleasant taste. None the less, the source of the Lead that poisons the Condors can not be verified.
Lead, when consumed is dangerous I have not doubt that the hundreds of peer reviewed studies show that. As far as the Human race, we have gone on a crusade to ride the nation of Lead paint, and pipes. One often repeated myth is that Children got lead posing from eating chips of paint, when in fact, it was the inhalation of lead dust during renovations, that was the major factor.

From Wikipedia:
Ingestion of metallic lead, such as small lead fishing lures, increases blood lead levels and can be fatal. ingestion of lead-contaminated food is also a threat. Ceramic glaze often contains lead, and dishes that have been improperly fired can leach the metal into food, potentially causing severe poisoning. In some places, the solder in cans used for food contains lead. People who eat animals hunted with lead bullets may be at risk for lead exposure. Bullets lodged in the body rarely cause significant levels of lead poisoning, but bullets lodged in the joints are the exception, as they deteriorate and release lead into the body over time.

And yes that is peer reviewed too. Oh notice words like, can be, potentially, and may be.

As a hunter in California, compliance with the recent state nonlead ammunition regulation has been simple,” said Anthony Prieto, a hunter and co-founder of Project Gutpile, a hunter’s group that provides educational resources for lead-free hunters and anglers. “I still get to hunt, there is no toxic impact on wildlife or my health, and copper bullets shoot better.”

Shoot better? How so? Copper has a lower mass, which to any person that knows their firearms an ammo, know this means less range, less energy delivered and worst of all less accuracy.
Oh by the way Copper can be toxic too.

So how much of this horrible Lead is injected into the environment each year?

In the United States, 3,000 tons of lead are shot into the environment by hunting every year, another 80,000 tons are released at shooting ranges, and 4,000 tons are lost in ponds and streams as fishing lures and sinkers.


I wonder if they realize that a vast majority of the bullets fired at ranges is recovered and recycled? Lead is a commodity and is has value, no range owner in their right mind would pass up recovering that precious metal. 3000 Tons might seem like a lot but it is spread over the vastness of this nation,

Lead ammunition also poses health risks to people. Lead bullets explode and fragment into minute particles in shot game and can spread throughout meat that humans eat. Studies using radiographs show that numerous, imperceptible, dust-sized particles of lead can infect meat up to a foot and a half away from the bullet wound, causing a greater health risk to humans who consume lead-shot game than previously thought. A recent study found that up to 87 percent of cooked game killed by lead ammunition can contain unsafe levels of lead. State health agencies have had to recall venison donated to feed the hungry because of lead contamination from lead bullet fragments. Nearly 10 million hunters, their families and low-income beneficiaries of venison donations may be at risk.

notice the use of “can “ again.

This guy lived for years with a bullet in him. There are numerous stories similar to this and none of then that I can recall ever mention lead poisoning. 

Some studies have shown that hunters do not have elevated lead levels. Think about it. What dinner plate would have the most “harmful additives”? The plate of a rural hunter, or that of a suburban dweller?

The CBD helpfully cites alternatives to lead based bullets, such as

Non-toxic steel, copper, and alloy bullets and non-lead fishing tackle are readily available in all 50 states.

See here is the thing, all metals are toxic , it just depends on the amounts you are exposed to. Also You get a performance hit with the lighter metal bullets, and metals that are less malleable, such as steel, are banned or controlled due to their penetration abilities. You know Armor …..
Oh and another thing, those non-toxic bullets?
Tungsten
and again.
“Green" ammo
And more Green ammo. Which is vastly more expensive than the traditional ammo.
Copper bullets, which also is very much more expensive than traditional lead based bullets, are on the market, but due to the price, and performance hit, they have not flown off the shelves.

the EPA with out any congressional over-site, can unilaterally ban a entire class of commodity from the market., while claiming as they did with CO2 that it is a pollutant and needs to be regulated, you know for our own good.
IF this rule goes though it will cause a major uproar in the gun owners community. One part of this that particularly bothers me is Enforcement, will one just get a ticked and a fine,in the 100’s or 1000’s of dollars? Or will they get a 2 AM visit from the EPA swat team?
A major component of the firearms community is handloaders, men and women that reload their own ammo and cast their own bullets. What will become of them? Will this require them to turn in thier lead, stop manufacturing new cast lead bullets? What would the penalties be,and how will this effect the re-manufacturing market?

I would have to guess the people at the CBD dont give a shit.
The folks over at the CBD, are pushing a agenda that has no real basis in reality, it is simply another backdoor means to restricting firearm ownership.

Oh by the way the decision is due to me made on November 1, 2010…

Thoughts, comments?

Update:

The EPA has decided that, they do not have the authority to ban lead in bullets, but it can regulate the CO2 you produce from your daily activities.
So for now we win, but we must remain vigilant.

Posted by HARLEY on 08/26/10 at 08:40 PM in 2nd Amendment  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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