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December 6, 2015

THE ARSENAL IS AS AMERICAN AS APPLE PIE. WHAT HE DID WITH IT, NOT SO MUCH. But when even The Nation is publishing articles like this, the market for NYT-style gun hysteria would seem to be small:

Many in the media say it suggests a level of planning typical of terrorists. But, in fact, millions of Americans have that kind of “arsenal” at home. The AR-15 is the most popular gun in America—around 8 million have been sold. Two thousand five hundred rounds of ammo for the AR-15 seems horrifying to an anti-gun, middle-class liberal like me—that’s enough bullets to kill 2,500 people!—but, in fact, ammo is sold in 1,000-round boxes, and it’s not unusual for gun owners to buy several boxes when the price is low.

I asked Marc Cooper about it—he’s an award-winning journalist and a friend who’s also a gun person. Two thousand five hundred rounds? “Believe it or not, these are modest amounts of ammo,” he told me. “A gun hobbyist, a target shooter, can easily go through 500 rounds in one two-hour visit to the range. The amount found in this guy’s apartment in no way by itself indicates anything strange.”

Another friend said, “It’s like buying 48 rolls of toilet paper when you go to Costco.”

If possessing two AR-15s and 2,500 rounds of ammo makes you a terror suspect, then we need to investigate several million Americans, most of whom are older white men—and Republicans.

Well, that’s actually what the media hysteria is aiming toward, of course.