Letter — Control ammunition to control guns

Published 4:20 pm Wednesday, May 4, 2022

To the Editor:

We seem to be undergoing a problem with controlling the use of guns in this country. Automatic weapons with performance very similar to the AR15 have been known since a patent was issued to Remington in about 1918. See: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedersen_device) It therefore seems to me that it is not a matter of controlling the actual weapons. The problem seems to be changing the attitude of the folks who are purchasing the guns. But really the problem is that it’s not actually a matter of controlling the guns. Guns do nothing without ammunition. But the government seems to have no interest in controlling ammunition. If you fix things so that if you have all guns registered then in order to buy ammunition you need to produce this registration. Until you control purchase of ammunition, you cannot control guns. I suggested many years ago that we tag our ammunition with compounds that produce very strong odors and are not dangerous themselves. Such compounds exist but no one chooses to use them. If such materials were used we would know when someone was using “legal” ammunition, If you did not use legal ammunition you could be arrested. This has always seemed pretty obvious to me. In the last week Public Broadcasting Service has had a very long discussion about gun control but ammunition control never came up. Guns are completely harmless without bullets. Even “Ghost” guns are harmless.

Woodfin V. Ligon Jr. Ph.D.