President Joe Biden wanted to teach the Russians a lesson. They poisoned an opposition leader, something we don’t like countries doing, so Biden decided to hit them hard by…hitting Russian ammo?
It’s a bizarre tactic to take if want to punish another country. After all, while there’s a lot of ammo that comes from Russia, it’s not like it’s a major export for them.
That’s because Russia isn’t really the target. They’re just a pretext.
On Aug. 20, the U.S. State Department announced that it would soon prohibit the importation of Russian ammunition and firearms, adding to an already dramatic ammunition supply shortage.
According to the State Department, the reason for the sudden ban is not related to some important problem with the safety of Russian firearms or ammunition; rather, the ban is part of a “second round of sanctions on the Russian Federation over its use of a ‘Novichok’ nerve agent in the August 2020 poisoning of Russian opposition figure Aleksey Navalny.”
A quick point: The ban is really just on new licenses for ammo importation. That’s right, the companies that already import can continue to do so, meaning any impact to Russia is lessened still further.
The poisoning of Navalny, an intense critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was tragic and undoubtedly indicative of the tyrannical nature of the regime that continues to rule Russia. But if you believe these sanctions will hurt Russia in any meaningful way, you’re wrong.
And it’s just as absurd to think Putin will soon come crawling on his hands and knees, eager to please the State Department’s extensive demands, all to avoid relatively meager sanctions — especially in the wake of the Biden administration’s irresponsible reaction to the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
A much more logical (and maddening) explanation for the new sanctions is that the Biden administration wants to make it more difficult for American gun owners to buy guns and ammunition.
The timing of the new sanctions gives the game away. The United States is currently facing one of its most intense ammunition shortages in recent memory, due in large part to recent increases in gun and ammunition sales.
A lack of new Russian ammo on American shelves isn’t going to have any kind of an impact on the Russian economy. At most, it cuts off some potential avenues for expansion, but that’s it.
No, the people hurt by this will be the American shooter, who is in the midst of an ammo shortage and there’s less chance of it being mitigated through Russian ammo importation.
Russia isn’t the target. You are.
See, if the Biden administration wanted to hurt Russia, they’d go after something like oil. That’s their largest export and we’re a huge consumer of petroleum. That would hurt Russia in meaningful ways.
Ammunition exports, though? That’s not likely to even be felt in the Russian economy.
But shooters will feel it. We may not notice it, but the fact that new providers aren’t hitting the shelves will result in less ammo available for purchase. We’ll feel it.
And I can’t help but believe that the State Department did it this way on purpose. They can’t be dense enough to believe cutting off import licenses to Russian ammunition companies would actually make Putin step in line.
They’re damn sure hoping it’ll make us step in line, though.