By Craig Masters
The blogosphere has been buzzing about some very large orders for bullets placed over the past few months by the Feds. And it might seem a little scary to read that the Social Security Administration just bought 174,000 rounds of high-powered pistol ammo. Or that NOAA took delivery of 46,000 rounds of ’40 caliber Smith & Wesson Jacketed Hollow Points.
So why does a weather station in St Petersburg, Florida need 24,000 rounds of ammunition? Well, they don’t. And they didn’t actually get those rounds there, the order was meant for the law enforcement officers of the Fisheries division, which is within NOAA – remember the ‘O’ is for Oceanic, long for Ocean, where the fish are… its a government thing.
But what about those orders the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has placed this summer for a total of 1,200,000,000 rounds of JHP’s? That is not a typo. DHS has placed orders for one-billion-two-hundred-million rounds of ammunition in just the past few months. That seems a like a lot of bullets for the federal government – not counting the military – to be hoarding away in a country with a total population of only 310 million.
Before you write a nasty letter to your congressman or senator, look at some break-out details. First of all, these are timed release acquisitions over the next 5 years. Second, DHS buys for every armed federal employee from the secret service to those policemen walking around the Capital and all those monuments; even FEMA and of course let’s never forget TSA. Altogether DHS has some 65,000 weapons carrying officers. All of them have to practice and qualify several times a year. So if you break out the numbers by the number of officers using the ammunition over five years, it really isn’t a lot of ammo.
One of my two nephews in AFROTC (ok, I’m bragging a little) recently completed some weapons training at summer camp. He told me they only fired 45 rounds total. As a marine, I can assure you that 45 rounds isn’t really that much “training.” While 4000 rounds a year might seem a little high for the guard at the Washington Monument, those nine bystanders who were all shot by the 2 guards in front of the Empire State Building this week as they fired at a ‘shooter’ would probably support at lot of practice for guys who are paid to protect us from being shot in just such cases.
A long-time member of the NRA and avid hunter suggested that he believed the reason the feds were buying up “all the ammunition available” was to force the price up for civilians and deplete even the raw materials needed to make more bullets. But when I directed him to the NRA’s own Institute for Legislative Action website he was less pessimistic when he read:
“…there are more than enough actual threats to the Second Ammendment to keep gun owners busy. … there is no need to invent additional threats…”
Now. about those bullet-proof checkpoint stands with the stop and go lights…
Tags: AFROTC, Craig Masters, DHS, Empire State Building, government, Homeland Security, JHP, lot, NOAA, NRA, Obama, proof, Second Ammendment, Smith Wesson Jacketed Hollow Points, Social Security, Social Security Administration, St Petersburg, TSA, Washington Monument, year
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