On Friday, I warned that the environmental groups, American Bird Conservancy and the Center for Biological Diversity, were not giving up on their attempts to ban lead based ammunition. With predictable timing and their usual logic, the New York Times editorial page has weighed in on the issue. As SayUncle correctly refers to it, an idiotorial.
They buy the arguments of the environmental lobby without question:
The N.R.A. should consult the hunters among its members. They know that getting lead out of the environment is essential. Lead is as toxic in nature as it is in the form of lead paint in houses. Scientists have established a clear link between lead from ammunition and the poisoning of some 75 species of birds — especially waterfowl and scavengers like condors, eagles and ravens.
As to consulting hunters, I suggest that the NY Times consult hunters instead. They would find that most feel that lead shot and lead bullets let them kill game more cleanly. Moreover, I doubt that many target shooters could afford to shoot Barnes copper-based bullets on a regular basis. It is a great bullet but with the world price of copper so high, it isn’t cheap.
The Times concludes with this:
We urge the E.P.A. to reconsider this hasty decision. The agency has the authority it needs to regulate the lead in ammunition as a toxic substance, even though it isn’t authorized to regulate the manufacture of ammunition itself. (It has said it will consider a ban on lead fishing sinkers, which would be welcome, but that is not going nearly far enough.) A bullet fired from a hunter’s gun should kill only once, not go on killing again and again.
The EPA may or may not have the authority to regulate the lead in ammo. It is borderline legally and I predict that regardless of which side ultimately wins, it will end up in court. Frankly, it is time for Congress to clarify that ammunition and its components are outside of the EPA’s oversight.