Thursday, November 15, 2007

National Ammo Day/Week 2007

Monday is the official “National Ammo Day.” I support it even though it’s not blessed by whatever committee declares a day a Day. Blogger Kim du Toit started it and selected his birthday as the first Ammo Day.

The idea is to buy ammo on that day or during that week. There’s no reporting on what people buy, no public celebration, no “official” declaration of Ammo Day, and no real support in tradition. With all of these apparent negatives, why do I support it?

One good reason is there should have been such a day officially declared many years ago. The Federal government is responsible for having a well-regulated militia. The militia is the whole body of the people who can defend the nation. It’s basically what’s found in Federal law.

The government also used to encourage shooting through its Office of Civilian Marksmanship. They supplied guns, ammo, built ranges and supervised riflery matches. Its successor, The Civilian Marksmanship Program, is a quasi-private group that’s still a great source of M1Garands, M1Carbines, runs some matchers, and sells ammo, but is a shadow of what could have been. The government would rather scrap its guns than sell them.

The whole idea behind civilian marksmanship was to ensure Americans could shoot. That way, in time of national emergency, civilians could be called up and would need less training to be able to meet defense needs.

Today, shooting is seen as a dangerous skill and as something that the “right” people never do (unless it’s skeet with $40,000 shotguns). The government certainly didn’t help alleviate this attitude.

Instead, they banned cosmetic features on certain types of guns, put up import restrictions, and more. They should have been sponsoring more school outreach, more gun sales to the public, more urban ranges, and other programs. After all, we all know that the way to break down hoplophobia is to take someone shooting.

So I support National Ammo Day because it’s something our government should do in the first place. There are other reasons. It’s a way to get more ammo in private hands and that’s never bad. It’s a way to reward retailers who carry ammo. Most importantly, it helps us improve our own marksmanship whether it’s bullseye pistol shooting or action shooting, plinking or long-range competition, or whatever type of shooting you prefer.

Go out this coming week and help your local ammo dealer.

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