DHS: Bullish on bullets

Many people buy in bulk. Why purchase toilet paper a four-pack at a time, goes their thinking, when I can make one trip and pick up a year's supply?

Many people buy in bulk. Why purchase toilet paper a four-pack at a time, goes their thinking, when I can make one trip and pick up a year’s supply?

Counter conformity.

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This stock-up mentality can make sense – up to a point. A year’s supply of toilet paper? Check. But a hundred year’s worth? What, are you nuts?

Which brings us to the Department of Homeland Security. This conglomeration of airport screeners, border patrol agents, and other armed federal forces is a major purchaser of guns – and guns need bullets. So it’s no surprise that DHS would make a bulk bullet buy. But it is somewhere way north of surprising that it purchased 1.6 billion bullets!

You might wonder: Is that a lot? Well, at the police agency’s present use of 15 million rounds a year fired at its training centers and in the course of official duty, 1.6 billion is more than a hundred-year supply of ammo. Or think of it this way: At the peak of the Iraq War, our army was shooting 6 million rounds a month, so DHS is stockpiling enough for a 20-year hot war.

Now, let’s wonder about this: Why? Homeland Security, as its name states, is a domestic force, so what war is it anticipating? Also, these 1.6 billion bullets are just not little poppers – Forbes magazine notes that they include hollow-point rounds that are even outlawed for use in war, as well as “a frightening amount [of bullets] specialized for snipers.” Again: why?

DHS says blandly that it’s just a matter of getting a better price by making a big buy. Another theory is they’re doing it because they can – Congress will okay any purchase wrapped with a homeland security ribbon. Then there’s the conspiracy theorists who say that We The People are the target of the buildup.

"The issue isn't just jobs. Even slaves had jobs. The issue is wages." --Jim Hightower

I don’t buy that, but the question remains: Why? Shouldn’t someone in Congress be inquiring?

“1.6 Billion Rounds of Ammo For Homeland Security? It’s Time For A National Conversation,” www.forbes.com, March 11, 2013.

“Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6 billion rounds of ammo,” www.denverpost.com, February 15, 2013.

“Government ammunition stockpiling story breaks through media censorship and goes mainstream,” www.infowars.com, March 13, 2013.

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