Want one of the dumbest statements made all time by someone representing the gun industry? Try this brief interview of Mark Oliva, chief spieler for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) last week on – where else? – Fox News. He was asked to comment on what has been a shortage of ammunition over the last year as the ammo makers have had some issues catching up with the surge in gun sales.

              Actually, it’s not so much that there’s no ammo on the shelves, but the prices are a lot higher than they were a year ago and don’t look like they will be going back down anytime soon or maybe at all. I used to pay around $30 bucks for a 500-pak of 22-caliber ammo at a nearby Wal Mart store; now they want $42 for the same 500 rounds.

              So why is ammo flying off the shelves? Because everyone is stocking up on all necessity items thanks to Covid-19.  To get this point across the NSSF spieler reminded viewers of how nobody could find toilet paper on the shelves last year.

              “When people get scared,” he said, “they want to make sure they can get their hands on everything they need, so demand always jumps ahead of supply. Last year it was toilet paper, this year it’s ammunition.”

              Now I ‘m sitting here trying to figure this out. People get scared. Fine. People begin to think that in order to protect themselves they want to be sure they have all the things they really need.

              Do we really need toilet paper? Well, kind of, I guess. Although when I lived in Spain in the early 1970’s, it was not uncommon to walk into a public toilet or even into someone’s home bathroom and find the Sunday newspaper cut in strips that allowed it to be used to wipe one’s rear end.

              But this is the United States of America and toilet paper isn’t just something we need, it’s something we buy because it has a soft texture, a matching color and if you really want to get fancy, you can order it with your initials nicely printed on each square.

              Think I’m kidding? Grandma received a carton of monogrammed toilet paper that she ordered from Bloomingdale’s every month. It was still being delivered to her apartment even though she had quietly and peacefully passed on the previous year.

              Bur let’s not kid ourselves. Toilet paper, monogrammed or not, is considered an essential item and it didn’t come as a surprise when it began disappearing from store shelves last year.

              But ammunition?  Since when has ammunition become a product that we all have to have? Since when do I need ammunition to do anything except fool around with one of my guns?
              Oh, I forgot. Darn it – I’m getting old and forgetful. How could I not understand why people need to stock up on ammunition during a worldwide pandemic which is still not yet under control? Because as everyone knows, we don’t need no stinkin’ mask to keep ourselves safe. We need a gun filled with ammunition because that’s why we own guns.

              Except the truth is that guns don’t keep us safe. Yea, yea, I know how every once in a while, some dope barges into a mini-mart, demands all the cash and then finds himself staring down the barrel of a Glock or a Sig. And there’s even a slight chance that the guy hanging around the ATM will think twice about harassing the other guy pulling money out of the machine if the guy using the machine also cranks out his gun.

              But the guy behind the mini-mart counter and the guy at the ATM have to take those guns home at night and that’s when the trouble begins. Because sooner or later he’ll forget to lock the gun away and don’t’ ask me how, and don’t ask me why, but it just so happens that the time he forgot to lock away the gun is when his teenage son wants to show ‘Daddy’s gun’ to a friend.

              You don’t need all that ammo because you really don’t need the gun.