AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Shannon Watts is always good for a laugh.
Well, she would be if so many people didn’t take her seriously. Instead, they do, and we’re stuck with legions of people who think she understands the topic at hand, namely firearms and the supposed need for laws surrounding them.
Unfortunately, for anyone who understands firearms at all, it’s not difficult to tell how clueless she is on the topic.
For example, she decided to take on the National Rifle Association yet again, this time over the subject of supposed armor-piercing ammunition.
In an attempt to attack an NRA-ILA article, Watts tweeted: “They’re proud of this? ‘In response to claims that ‘armor piercing ammunition’ could penetrate police body armor, … the @NRA stepped up, once again, and performance-based ammunition bans have been repeatedly defeated at the federal level.’”
We responded by pointing out “that all centerfire rifle ammunition pierces soft body armor” and asked Watts if she wanted “to ban all rifle ammunition used for self-defense, sport, and hunting?”
Instead of answering a simple yes or no question Watts took it upon herself to delete a large number of comments on her instagram account from individuals who just wanted a simple answer. After disabling her comments we decided to pose the question again, “Do you want to ban all rifle ammunition used for self-defense, sport, and hunting?”
Naturally, the question was not answered. Instead Watts decided to declare to her followers that “I couldn’t be more thrilled that they’re [@NRA] terrified of a middle aged mom.” Falsely claiming that the NRA encouraged its followers to threaten her. While we certainly don’t condone making threats, we do think that someone who attacked us for our policy position should at least answer a simple question about that policy.
If she had done a bit of research Watts would have discovered that NRA wasn’t alone in our opposition to “performance-based ammunition bans,” even ATF opposed the same legislation. In congressional hearings in 1982 and 1984, Department of the Treasury (where ATF was then located) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement, Robert Powis, testified against the same bills that NRA opposed.
As the NRA-ILA notes, the ellipses in her tweet conveniently leave out the bit about how such a ban would amount to a ban on all centerfire ammunition.
The problem here is that so many people like Watts don’t grasp the subject.
They don’t understand that while body armor is known colloquially as “bulletproof vests,” they’re not actually bulletproof. They’re effective against certain types of ammunition, depending on their rating. However, there’s little body armor that is effective against even some of the most common hunting rounds, for example, meaning that the 30-06 round granddad uses to bag deer for the freezer could be argued as “armor piercing ammunition.”
Or, as the NRA suggests, do they?
Banning all centerfire ammunition, calling it “armor piercing,” is a hell of a way to craft a backdoor ban on most firearms. After all, even if the guns are legal, without ammunition, they’re little more than poorly designed clubs. Maybe that’s what Watts is thinking about.
Of course, this is the same woman who freaked out over a bolt-action .22 because it looked like a so-called “weapon of war,” so I’m not interested in giving her the benefit of the doubt on this.