derekm, This falls under the "boiling a frog" philosophy. I understand what you're saying about the politics of fear and this may be the case. But when the politics of fear is used someone has something to gain. I fail to see who has something to gain here.
The NRA who want to bind followers closer
The anti-NRA who want to show them up as illogical fanatics
Speculators in commodities who want to make a buck out of a lead fantasy
Ammunition industry (get people to up their stock of bullets)
Any politician who wants a bandwagon to jump on.
EPA officials who want more column inches on their actions
a company that wants to cover up its pollution with a story about bullets
Journalists who love to hype a story and get another by line
The right who can say "interfering big government"
the left who can "Polluting big companies"
is that enough ? or do you need some more
politics of fear a game that everyone can play