The day before two of the U.S. Congress's most liberal, anti-gun legislators introduced a bill to severely restrict the online sales of ammunition, an American Olympic athlete who uses hundreds if not thousands of rounds a day in practice won a gold medal at the London games.
One of the astounding stories to come out of this year's Summer Olympics is the amazing success of American shooter Kim Rhode, who won the gold medal in skeet shooting on Sunday, hitting an amazing 99 targets hit out of 100 possible. "She set a new Olympic record in the morning's qualifying round with 74 hits out of 75," Washington Post sports writer Rick Maese noted in today's paper. As part of her ongoing training, "Rhode averages 500 to 1,000 rounds a day, seven days a week," Maese noted in his positive human-interest story. But as the Scared Monkeys blog notes today:
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (NJ) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (NY) will announce new legislation on Monday to regulate the online and mail-order sale of ammunition. Because no one could ever have a legal reason and purpose to use large amounts of ammunition.
Indeed, here are some relevant excerpts from Lautenberg's Senate website (emphasis mine):
"If someone wants to purchase deadly ammunition, they should have to come face-to-face with the seller,” stated Lautenberg. “It's one thing to buy a pair of shoes online, but it should take more than a click of the mouse to amass thousands of rounds of ammunition. This legislation is a simple common-sense step that would put safeguards in place to detect suspicious activity, helping to prevent the sale of ammunition to a terrorist or the next would-be mass murderer.”
“The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act pulls ammunition sales out of the shadows and into the light, where criminals can’t hide and responsible dealers can act as a line of defense against the planning and stockpiling of a potential mass killer,” Rep. McCarthy said. “Law-abiding gun owners and shooters should support this legislation because it hinders criminals from abusing the Second Amendment right that our nation promises and could save innocent lives in the process.”
The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act works through four components:
· It requires anyone selling ammunition to be a licensed dealer.
· It requires ammunition buyers who are not licensed dealers to present photo identification at the time of purchase, effectively banning the online or mail order purchase of ammo by regular civilians.
· It requires licensed ammunition dealers to maintain records of the sale of ammunition.
· It requires licensed ammunition dealers to report the sale of more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition to an unlicensed person within any five consecutive business days.
We at NewsBusters are not certain if Rhode purchases her ammunition online or via mail-order, both of which seem likely for a sportswoman who buys such ammunition in bulk. It certainly seems unwieldy to go to a local gun store every week or so for a fresh supply of ammunition for target practice, which would certainly be the case for Rhode if she doesn't presently have an arrangement to have her ammunition shipped via online or mail-order arrangements.
But the bottom line is, that, yes, there ARE legitimate sportsmen who consume large quantities of ammunition and who would have to jump through extra hoops were the Lautenberg/McCarthy bill to be passed into law.
Rhode was interviewed briefly on the July 30 Today by co-host Savannah Guthrie, who gushed over how Rhode has mastered "that calm, that focus, that intensity" that are the hallmarks of her sport. No questions were posed about the politics of gun control generally nor the bill to ban online sales of ammunition specifically.
That said, to the extent that the Olympics-carrying NBC networks let proceed unchallenged the talking point that no rational person has a need for thousands of rounds of ammunition, they would be doing so in clear contravention of what they know shooting sport Olympians like Kim Rhode need for practice to remain successful on the global stage.