After the ATF attempted to add the popular M855 green tip ammo to its list of restricted armor piercing munitions, there was widespread backlash against the move by the public. But barely a week after the ban was proposed, the ATF has already pulled back from its controversial decision. They’ve decided to postpone any action against the M855 round, after receiving 80,000 comments from the public, most of which were “critical” of their proposal.
Yesterday morning, the agency announced on twitter “You spoke, we listened.
@ATFHQ plans more study on the proposed AP Ammo exemption framework.” However, the White House, which most gun enthusiasts suspected of being behind the ammo ban, has remained defiant.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest recently stated that “The decision on this matter was made by the ATF” and insisted that President Obama had no role in the ammo ban, and merely supported it after the fact. When he was asked if president’s position on the ban had been effected by the efforts of the gun lobby, he replied in so many words, that the president’s stance remains unchanged.
For now, gun owners should keep in mind that they’re not out of the woods yet. The ATF has shelved their decision, but are still planning to investigate it further. Obama is still just as enthusiastic about restricting gun ownership as he’s ever been, and this underhanded attempt at working around Congress and the Second Amendment is only the beginning.
In retrospect, the ATF’s attempt at classifying the M855 as armor piercing, says a lot about the government’s long term goals. When you think about it, this whole exercise reeks of misdirection. Did they really expect to push this ban through without raising the ire of the public and the gun lobby? Did they really think they would succeed in banning the most popular munition for the most popular rifle in America?
If they really wanted to ban the M855 in this manner, they would have done it quietly. They would have started by banning a round nobody uses, so as not to set off any alarm bells in the minds of the public. From there, they could have used that to set a precedent for banning other munitions. Gun control in this country has always been slippery slope, so why start by banning a round that is guaranteed to anger the most people?
Well, their overall strategy still involves nipping at the heels of our rights while hoping that we’ll let their slight transgressions pass, but the tactics are different. To me, it sounds like the government is trying one of the most effective methods of encroachment. And that is, go big or go home.
They will propose something so onerous and outrageous, that it manages to inspire outrage across the country. They will then back away from the plan, while trying to preserve as much of their effort as possible; a “tactical withdrawal” if you will. If even one segment of legislation, regulation, or executive order survives the public’s backlash, then they’ve still made some progress. In this case, they won’t succeed in banning this ammunition, but they will come back with something less concerning. They will say “be reasonable, let’s meet halfway on the issue.”
Everyone will still be allowed to buy the ammo, but there might be an additional tax. Or perhaps they’ll ask that anyone who buys it must fill out a special form, not unlike purchasing certain cold medicines. This of course sets a different precedent, just not the same one that was originally intended.
So stay vigilant America, and don’t let up on the pressure. If you give these tyrants the slightest leeway, they’ll use it in any way they can to obstruct our rights.