The cause for the shortage was cited as our armed forces’ unending need for small arms ammunition. I’d heard last year about Army and Marine snipers having to unlink 7.62 machine gun belts to feed their rifles, because the Lake City match ammo for which those rifles are designed had long dried up. But apparently it goes beyond this. In 2001, the armed forces asked for 426 million rounds of small arms ammo. In 2006, the figure had climbed to 1.65 billion rounds.

But even this might not explain the shortage. Could it be:

a) the skyrocketing costs of brass, copper, and lead?

b) Hillary?

c) Chuckie?

d) the U.N.?

I’ve also heard, although I can’t confirm it, that the NYPD has altered its tactical doctrine to compensate for the shortage. Officers with pistols are now prohibited from firing more than 50 rounds at a suspect. If the suspect is firing back, the limit is extended to 75 rounds. Limits for officers armed with MP-5s are, of course, higher.

If anyone knows anything definite about the shortage, let the rest of us know.