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19,060 Shotgun Shells On Our Beaches

In the United States of America, people have the constitutional right to bear arms (carry weapons). I’m not writing this article to criticize that right. What I am interested in communicating to those American who do bear arms that they do not have the right to litter. There is no constitutional right to go around firing a gun, leaving trash behind without cleaning up after yourself.

spent shotgun shellsThe Ocean Conservancy has just issued a report of the results of its 2008 Coastal Cleanup. During the Coastal Cleanup, volunteers go to local shorelines with garbage bags and pick up the garbage they find there. As they they pick up the garbage, volunteers keep a tally of the kinds of objects they’re cleaning up.

Last year, volunteers picked up 19,060 shotgun shells from America’s beaches. Consider that these are just the shotgun shells that happened to wash up on the shores where volunteers were working. Many more washed up in areas where no one from the Coastal Cleanup could go. Many other shotgun shells lay in fields, forests, and other areas where they will probably never wash away.

You have the right to bear arms, but you don’t have the right to be respected by other people for the garbage you leave behind when you do. Go ahead and bear arms, if you really feel that you must, but when you do, bring along a bag, and bear your spent shotgun shells back home with you.

Most shotgun shells are brightly colored so that they’re easy to find, so there’s no excuse for leaving them behind, unless your beer gut is so big that you can’t bend down to pick them up. Until America’s gun owners learn to clean up after themselves, they will rightfully earn the reputation of selfish slobs.

4 comments to 19,060 Shotgun Shells On Our Beaches

  • Kevin

    “so there’s no excuse for leaving them behind, unless your beer gut is so big that you can’t bend down to pick them up.”

    whoa!! you should have stopped at behind. or said something like “your behind is so tight you can’t bend over…”

    rather than alienating beer drinkers and fat people which comprise 78.6% of the population…

    How many cigarette butts did they find? I say we need a nickel apiece deposit on butts. When I smoked, I smoked camel non-filters and would strip the butt, sprinkle the tobacco and put the little piece of paper in my pocket.

  • When I was younger my dad would take me on summer vacations to Iowa. There was a little back road that cut through a fairly large hill. It became a favored spot to stop so people to blaze away st the cliff-face around 25 or 30 yards away. The whole ground wasn’t just littered with shotgun shells, but also casings from .308 rifles, .223 rifles, .30-06 rifles and about every pistol caliber you can think of. Most of these rounds had been there so long they’d been burred in the ground. Waste of brass, to be sure, but here’s something else you didn’t mention in the main article.

    I went up to the cliff-face, which had been chewed away into a shallow concave by years of gunfire, and I found the lead and copper slugs nearly paving the ground below. That’s a lot of lead left to lay around.

    They actually make shell-catchers for most types of weapons, cloth bags that are designed to fit over the ejection port. Shouldn’t these come in the package with every firearm bought?

  • Britney

    Nuh ah! Reel men wud never use a cloth bag shell catcher what do they come in pink and lavendar? lol Reel men let spent casings go ping ping on tha ground cuz thats what happen in tha movies!

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