You knew they’d get around to it

Bill Clinton, who knows a little something about politics, famously attributed the Republican congressional sweep of 1994, in large part, to his party’s misguided attempts to further expand gun control.

Under the circumstances, this year’s Republican candidates must be rubbing their eyes like little kids who enter the living room on Christmas morning to discover Santa’s left them a present they didn’t even dare ask for.

The congressional drafters of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act specified it does not grant the Environmental Protection Agency any authority to regulate firearms ammunition.

So when several environmentalist groups led by the Center for Biological Diversity earlier this month petitioned the EPA to ban the “manufacture, processing and distribution” of lead shot, bullets and fishing sinkers under the Act, because spent ammo supposedly harms birds, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson “could have dismissed the request due to a lack of jurisdiction,” John McCormack of the Weekly Standard points out.

But she didn’t.

Despite the fact hunting ammo made of anything else could be at least twice as expensive — raising the price of a typical box to $55, amounting to a new 100 percent ammunition tax — the EPA has asked for public comment on banning lead in ammunition, during a period closing Oct. 31. Ms. Jackson would then make a decision to accept or reject the petition on, um … Nov. 1.

“You might say that even considering enacting what is effectively a new tax on hunters and gun owners — seemingly the only non-liberal group the Obama administration hasn’t yet intentionally provoked –” would be “less-than-perfect timing for the already beleaguered Democrats,” on the day before Election Day, Mr. McCormack of the Standard points out.

Since most of the alternatives to lead are considered armor-piercing and are thus banned under other laws, “This amounts to gun control by stealth,” Investors Business Daily warned this week.

You just could not make this stuff up.

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