Op-Ed: If lead bullets are banned, it could compromise self-defense

by John Lott

Lead poisoning from bullets? Sounds scary, but the push by the Center for Biological Diversity in a petition to the EPA is nothing new. The claim has been brought up many times, and even the EPA during anti-gun Clinton administration dismissed the fears about traditional, lead ammunition.

The lead in ammunition has never been shown to produce any health hazards, but a ban would produce a real health hazard, making it much more difficult for people to use guns to defend themselves.

During the Clinton administration, when the risks of lead ammunition were seriously debated, the EPA found no cause for concern. Research by William Marcus, Senior Science Advisor in the EPA's Office of Science and Technology, in a letter dated December 25, 1999, stated his findings: the claim that "lead based ammunition is hazardous is in error." Lead on the soil surface "does not break down. . . . [it] does not pose an environmental or human hazard. . . . In water lead acts much the same as in soil . . . ." The hazards don't exist for indoor shooting ranges any more than they do for outdoor ranges.

Eating food shot with lead ammunition isn't a problem. A 2008 study by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted blood tests on 736 hunters, found that lead ammunition produced very small changes in lead exposure, with concentrations well below CDC benchmark levels of concern, and posed no discernible risk to human health.

"There are safe, available alternatives to lead ammo for all hunting and shooting sports, so there’s no reason for this poisoning to go on," claimed a spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity.

But ammunition containing lead, a dense and heavy metal, has a lot of advantages...

Click here to read the entire op-ed at FoxNews.com.

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