woman with gunEvery year, bad taste kills way more people than gunsPhoto: StarMama

Saturday night, a deputy attorney general for the state of Indiana said that police should shoot the peaceful U.S. citizens who have taken over the capital building in Wisconsin in protest.

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Yeah, so this is stunningly callous and inhumane, plus it would probably cause a civil war or something. But suppose that’s not enough for you? Well, how about this: Gunning down peaceful protestors is also crappy for the environment. Here are some additional reasons police in Wisconsin might not want to shoot picketers dead with actual bullets:

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Trumpeter Swans, among the most regal of America’s waterfowl, eat buckshot decades after its been fired and die:

The lead can be picked up as grit or consumed by accident along with the swan’s food source. Because birds don’t have teeth, they use the grit to help break up or grind their food in their gizzards.

“Waterfowl think lead shot is grit,” said Jordan, the Washington Working Group chair for the Trumpeter Swan Society. “They eat it for digestion, then it gets into their bloodstreams. It only takes three pellets to kill a trumpeter swan.” A single shotgun shell can contain more than 250 lead pellets.

Lead in bullets is a major source of this pernicious environmental toxin, but mostly if you eat whatever’s been shot with it:

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Lead ammunition also poses health risks to people. Lead bullets explode and fragment into minute particles in shot game and can spread throughout meat that humans eat. Studies using radiographs show that numerous, imperceptible, dust-sized particles of lead can infect meat up to a foot and a half away from the bullet wound, causing a greater health risk to humans who consume lead-shot game than previously thought.

The EPA has rejected efforts to get the lead out of bullets, but only because it’s a politically charged issue:

In a swift and unexpected decision, the Environmental Protection Agency today rejected a petition from environmental groups to ban the use of lead in bullets and shotgun shells, claiming it doesn’t have jurisdiction to weigh on the controversial Second Amendment issue. The decision came just hours after the Drudge Report posted stories from Washington Whispers and the Weekly Standard about how gun groups were fighting the lead bullet ban.