NJ2AS member Kim Ball was kind enough to share this with me. I asked for he permission to post it here. She has quite a talent for putting things into perspective.
As a woman, I have been watching the recent debates regarding subsidizing or providing free birth control with interest. In doing so, I began to contemplate the benefit/cost analysis of subsidizing other goods and services we now currently fund as individuals. During this process, I came to the conclusion we need to start subsidizing ammunition.
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a constitutionally defined right, as well as a basic human right to protect oneself from danger or aggression. The right to birth control, however, is not a right provided for in the Constitution. Since there is no defined right to birth control, but there is a defined right to defend oneself and property, I would think that makes the argument for subsidizing ammunition an even stronger one. Now, although I fully understand that birth control was not available at the time the Constitution was written, I do believe many of the arguments for subsidizing birth control could easily apply to ammunition as well.
We often see the argument for birth control/abortion explain that it is a woman’s right to control her own body. I would agree. However, if one recognizes that right, how then is it possible to explain to a woman (or a man, for that matter) that she has no right to take responsibility for her own health and well-being through means that would protect her from harm in situations that could possibly injure or permanently disable her for life? By accepting the responsibility to protect myself through use of my firearm, I am lowering my chances of rape, robbery, beating, and possibly murder. Under that scenario, my ammunition (and by extension, my firearm) increase my ability to lead a healthy lifestyle. Contrary to popular belief, the police are under no legal obligation to protect you, but even if they were they could not be there 24/7. Subsidizing my ammunition would give me a cost effective way to react to any threat to my person, health, and well-being.
Another argument for providing birth control is that it prevents the taxpayer from having to support unwanted children. My ammunition can also relieve an unwanted strain on taxpayers, by eliminating unwanted criminals. These people, once in the system, are a financial burden. Although we cannot prevent crime 100%, perhaps it would be more effective if we eliminated criminals before they can become an unwanted expense. Let’s view a situation of rape: Assuming the perpetrator is caught, we now have a costly trial, including a public defender and mounds of paperwork. Assuming they are found guilty, we now have a costly incarceration. While in prison, we fund their food, clothing, shelter, counseling, education and healthcare. We pay for prison guards to babysit them, and administrators to file paperwork. Assuming they ever leave the prison system, they are still highly likely to commit a crime again. Now let’s view the same situation, but with a legally armed woman with, let’s say, a Mossberg 500 with #00 buckshot. For the cost of 1 shotgun shell (about $1.00, give or take), the perpetrator is killed on the scene. Sure, there would be some administrative costs, like paying the guy to come draw the chalk outline. Even so, in addition to the above costs of incarcerating someone, we have also saved the woman’s health. She can avoid counseling, an embarrassing trial, intimacy issues in future relationships, and an unwanted pregnancy that might result from the rape. She will not have to worry the criminal will ever escape prison, or fear for her life should he be released. In this particular case, that $1.00 shotgun shell was very affordable birth control, at the very least. At best, the money the taxpayers have saved is probably in the hundreds of thousands.
Now, before everyone starts screaming “But criminals will use them to harm people! There will be shoot outs in the street!”. Let me be clear- no “criminal” follows gun laws, which is why they are criminals. No criminal goes through the criminal background check, fingerprinting, or mental health check a law abiding citizen does. So the way around this is simple: in order to qualify for government subsidized ammunition, one must simply present their NJ issued firearms ID. This should be sufficient enough. You don’t need ID to receive medical care, or vote, so this requirement is actually stricter than what is required in many everyday situations. I can go out of state to buy ammunition without a NJ Firearms ID, so I can promise you criminals aren’t going to try to apply for one or even forge one when they can simply walk or drive to any PA Walmart and stock up.
I will go one step further and encourage subsidizing self-defense and firearm safety classes. This will help keep citizens and lawful gun owners safer, again saving taxpayers money. I demand the right to protect my body. I demand the right to protect my health and the health of my family. And I think it is time the government stepped up and made it affordable for me to do so.