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Green tip ammunition ban = distraction

Written By | Mar 11, 2015

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2015 — Over the last few weeks, we have seen the entire gun culture of America up in arms (you read that right, just deal with it) over the proposal by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to ban the M885 5.56mm “green tip” ammunition.

The rationale of the ATF was that, since 5.56mm can now be used in pistols, their armor-piercing capabilities pose a threat to law enforcement. Although not a single person could come up with an instance in which a law enforcement officer was killed with said round, gun control advocates frothed at the mouth to see the ban implemented, as gun rights advocates sharpened their rhetoric and stocked up on energy drinks for the boost they needed to address uninformed ammunition comments around the internet.

Today it seems as though the ATF is shelving this proposal. Now, liberal gun control advocates can put down their picket signs, and gun rights advocates can finally get some rest and log off of Facebook.

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And so ends the great key jingling of late winter 2015.

The ATF was never going to ban this ammunition, not with the apparent tide of gun control/rights swinging the other way. They were never going to follow through with this action because it was never designed to succeed in the first place. The entire purpose of the ATF ammo ban of green tips was to distract the public and force the GOP to fight the DNC and the President on an increasingly polarizing issue.

President Obama and his allies in the DNC had a number of reasons for pushing the ban. Let’s take a look at a few of them:

  • It forced the Republicans to come out and say that they were for bullets that could cut through police quality body armor, which allowed for Democrats and other gun control advocates to stand up, point and say, “you hate police officers!” in a tone which one can imagine to be shrill and in the voice of Vector from “Despicable Me.”
  • President Obama forced the Republicans to fight on another front. With the Lois Lerner Emails, Benghazi, the new IRS revelations, and the new Clinton Email revelations, President Obama needed some relief. So he pushed one of the buttons on his phone under an app called “Distract the GOP.” Two buttons down from “Equal Pay” and in between the buttons labeled “Marriage Equality” and “Racism,” is a handy button called “Gun Control,” that the President pushes every time he needs a break from GOP lead assaults on his legacy. It works every time, because if the Republicans fail to fight it they run the risk of alienating their base, more so than it already is.
  • The GOP had to call in a lot of favors on this one, and the NRA and other gun lobby groups most likely had to move some money around. That money was probably meant for projects to defend against magazine restrictions and outright bans, but no, it had to be used to fight the ban of a potentially armor piercing weapon.
  • It cost them nothing. By simply stating that the ATF was going to “look into” reclassifying M885 as armor piercing the Obama Administration riled up his enemies into such a frenzy that it probably amused him more than anything else. The ban was never going to go through, and the entire measure was a distraction tactic.

It is a well thought on plan, and it makes perfect sense strategically. If you want to exhaust your enemy and deplete his resources, and you can afford to do so, open up the war on a new front. Make your opponent react to you instead of you reacting to your opponent. The ban was never going to go through, it served no real purpose in the first place. When the Fraternal Order of Police comes out and says that the round you are trying to ban to save cops does not in fact pose a threat to cops, then you know the ban has little merit.

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Not that it was a fight without merit or purpose. The stand needed to be made in order to push back against the not so subtle attempts at backdoor gun control. But that is part of the problem, the Obama Administration knows that fight needed to be made, and the gun lobby knows they would need to fight it. The predictability is part of the problem. By making the fight the gun lobby and their allies in the GOP distract themselves and the nation from other issues. Conversely, if that fight is not made then the GOP risks the erosion of national gun rights, possibly drawing the ire of the gun lobby.

However in making that fight, in the midst of all of that noise, the nation and the GOP has been distracted from the fact that while Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton did not follow procedure and set up a public email account. Furthermore, it would seem as if she is not the only high ranking cabinet official to do so. In addition to that issue, we hear that the IRS may have done some more illegal stuff, and Iran is going to make a deal with the US bringing it closer to the bomb in all actuality. But President Obama jingled the gun control keys, and an entire nation of gun rights advocates dropped what they were doing to stare and wonder what all the noise was.

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Conor Higgins

Conor Higgins has a BA from Catholic University in DC and an MA form George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, both in history. When he not getting his hands dirty in 2nd Amendment and firearms news he is doing his best to take a crack at some drive-by political analysis. And every now and then he may or may not review a low end bourbon for the tax write off. Sit back, relax, and enjoy Back Porch Politics.