January 28, 2023

Confusing Information About Closing of Lead Smelt Plant in Missouri

doerunLate last October, I provided readers with a link to a story posted on Ammoland website. The article at Ammoland was about the Doe Run Company, a lead smelting plant in Herculaneum, Missouri that was forced, through added costs and EPA regulations to shut down. It was mentioned in this article and several others, as well as being spread like wild fire across social networks, that this forced closing was the fault of Barack Obama’s “back door” gun control policies.

The Blaze, an Internet media platform owned by Glenn Beck, a man who seems to shift positions as much as the wind and can be easily influenced by powers that could limit his popularity and ability to make money, has another article, written by Becket Adams, stating that the closing of the smelt plant will not effect ammunition production and it isn’t Obama’s fault. Really?

According to information provided by Adams in his article, it isn’t Obama’s fault that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Marxist tactics to force business (Doe Run Company) to close due to over-regulation, because Doe Run and the EPA were battling over regulations beginning in 2003.

It’s important to note that the Doe Run Company has been battling the EPA since at least 2003 and that the particular regulation cited by the company as the reason for the closure is from 2008 — before Barack Obama was even inaugurated.

It only matters to shallow or non thinkers that somehow the blame for Doe Run Company having to shut down is the blame of one person or one political party. Let’s face it. We have been over-regulated for decades now and regardless of which party was in office and controlled Congress, the Marxist/leftists and fascist/rightwing government expansion and control hasn’t really changed at all. Remember, it was under Bush, Jr’s watch that the EPA was granted extensive powers to control business if anything they were doing had any effect on “commerce.”[Edited: This is actually stated backward I believe. The power given the EPA by Bush’s Supreme Court was that the EPA had power over any business(commerce) as it pertained to environmental issues.] The short of it is that the EPA has never shrunk any during anybody’s watch in the White House.

Instead of getting caught up in a fake two-party blame game, why not recognize the simple fact that perhaps Doe Run Company was forced out of business by government regulation (by design?), period.

In addition, let’s not kid ourselves. Depending on who the puppet is in the White House and the leadership in Congress, they have influence (gang mentality) over how a government agency like the EPA goes about its business and the bravado it may or may not exert.

But, let’s move beyond the blame game for a minute and look at other information presented in this article that the author seems to be telling readers that the closing of the only mined lead smelting plant in the U.S. will not have any affect on the availability of ammunition, or at least that one might consider a “back door” gun control maneuver by the President.

Adams’ claims are based on information he used that ammunition lead does not come from mined lead ore but from recycled lead. As a result, the closing of a smelting plant that processes only raw lead ore, will have no effect on ammunition.

“[T]he majority of the lead used by ammunition manufacturers comes from secondary smelters that recycle lead from car batteries,” Bob Owens of Bearing Arms wrote.(emboldening added)

In addition:

“More than 80 percent of all lead produced in the U.S. is used in either motive batteries to start vehicles, or in stationary batteries for backup power,” the company states on its website. “In the U.S., the recycle rate of these batteries is approximately 98 percent, making lead-based batteries the most highly recycled consumer product. These batteries are recycled at secondary lead smelters.”

It’s easy, on the surface and without much thought (or perhaps with an agenda) to repeat these statements while not considering what they are really saying. For instance, it says that “the majority of the lead” used for ammunition comes from recycled lead. That tells us that not ALL of the lead used for ammunition comes from recycled lead. So, how much is a majority? How much raw lead is used for ammunition? The article really never says what those amounts are. It intimates anywhere from 80% to 98% is from recycled lead. Perhaps this statement comes the closest.

Roughly 80 percent of “lead used in the United States secondary market (which is what most ammunition manufacturers use) comes from recycled batteries and another 7 percent to 9 percent of lead on the market comes from other scrap sources,”

Perhaps 10% to 13%, or less, of lead for ammunition comes from mined ore smelted at Doe Run Company?

Consider two things. First, if the only lead smelting company in the U.S. is closing, that means importing lead that will be lost when the plant closes. It doesn’t matter whether lead from the Doe Run Company is used directly for ammunition. More than likely imported lead will force the price of lead higher. That increase will show up at all levels of lead use, including ammunition. The cost to make goods involving lead will go up, which in turn will force the price of recycled lead higher. Will this increase in the price to purchase ammunition be a deterrent to one’s ability to purchase ammunition? Of course it will, at least to some degree. Will it be enough to effect a “back door” gun control manipulation and/or a limitation on our Second Amendment rights? Maybe?

The second issue to consider is based on the statement shown above that says that the “majority” of lead used to manufacture ammunition, comes from recycled lead. And, as I stated, that means not all of it. We are left once again asking ourselves the question, “Just how much of the lead produced from mines and locally smelted is used in ammunition?”

This article doesn’t tell us any information about that, and I haven’t been able to find anything to assist in this debate. In the meantime though, consider this. We are just now coming out of a shortage of ammunition. There existed for some time, bare shelves, where those seeking to purchase ammunition could not. Depending on whose sob story you wanted to believe as to why there was no ammo, would influence how you thought about what was going on and was this also some kind of “back door” gun control.

The most common excuse for no ammunition seemed to be that people wanted to buy lots of ammunition, the motivation rooted in fear, real or imagined, of a despotic president telling the people out of one corner of his mouth that he supported the Second Amendment and out of the other corner that he wanted to take our guns away. People began to prepare. For what exactly, I’m not sure.

It appeared to me, through my own research, that for whatever the reasons ammunition was scarce, it was certainly a fickle industry, vulnerable to some fairly small outside influences, such as availability of brass and lead and political influences. Therefore, one has to ask just how much impact the loss of some lead will have on a person’s ability, into the future, to readily and within manageable costs, purchase ammunition?

Depending on one’s perspective of whether a glass is half full or half empty, the closing of the only smelting company in America, results in a “back door” gun control measure, even if its small and incremental. Do we blame Obama for this? Yes and no! Yes, in that he is just another puppet, a part of a bigger power brokerage that cannot implement fully its agenda until guns are taken away from the American people. And, no, because I don’t think that Barack Obama, as much as people want to believe he is a very intelligent person, had deliberate foresight and action, of his own accord, to shut down a lead smelting factory in order to incrementally destroy our Second Amendment rights. Or I’m all wrong.