On Government Ammo Purchases, Do the Math

You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to wonder about the Obama administration’s recent run on ammunition.

Beginning in the summer of 2012, various federal agencies began purchasing large amounts of ammunition – agencies which aren’t often thought of as having a law enforcement capacity, much less a substantially armed policing force:   the Social Security Administration, the National Oceanic and and Atmospheric Administration and between 450 million and 1.6 billion rounds over the next five years for the Department of Homeland security.  Mainstream media sluggards didn’t cover this story for more than 2 months after it first appeared in the blogosphere and then only to parrot the administration’s explanation for the timing and extremely large amount of the ammunition purchases.

Now, less only six months later the DHS is putting out a bid for another 1.6 billion rounds.  That’s 5 rounds for every American or equal to the amount of ammunition needed for 24 years of the Iraq war at its peak.    When they address it at all, the major media has once again trotted out the Administration’s explanation for the purchases rather than doing an independent investigation.  The administration claims, for example, that the DHS they uses 15 million rounds a year in during practice and qualifying;, but do the math, at that rate they have enough ammo for 100 years – yet in these times of tight budgets they have to have all 1.6 billion in the next four years.  Maybe the government got a 1 billion round price break.  Must have a large storage facility with a great shelf life.  Prices have skyrocketed and civilian ammunition has dried up  — now I’m not suggesting an ulterior motive for the huge purchases but you’ve got to wonder.

Another  set of issues  to make one  think:  while this inexplicable ammo buying binge is going on, the Obama administration and several state governments are pushing new gun control bills.  Private sales would have to go through the same background check system as purchases from licensed gun dealers – evidently the government believes that criminals will break all other laws but the one they will obey is the one have the FBI check on them before they buy, sell or steal guns.  Gun owners recognize this push for universal background checks as a step towards registration – and believe, based on ample historical precedence, that registration inevitably leads to confiscation.  Indeed,  a recent government report argues that universal background checks would do little or nothing to reduce crime unless it was accompanied by gun registration.  Concerning the administration’s other proposals, it finds that none would be particularly useful in preventing crimes – so why expend so much political capital to pass them unless there is an ulterior motive (note another opening one could drive a truck through if one believed the government was out to subvert the second amendment).    While long time gun control advocates and New York Senator Chuck Schumer and various state legislators and governors have argued that background checks will not lead to registration or confiscation, their words belie  their actions.  For instance, in Washington state, legislation was introduced allowing local Sheriffs to enter private homes to see that only legal guns are owned and that they are stored properly.   (Some might recognize this as an assault on another constitutional right, the Fourth: prohibiting unreasonable search and seizure and the need for probable cause before search warrants are issued – oh, well, what’s one more Constitutionally protected right on the bonfire.   ).

Finally, have you seen the multimillion dollar order for targets that the Homeland security and other domestic law enforcement agencies have requested.  Look at the targets and see what you think:


When the government wants to “target” (pun fully intended but not funny at all) little old ladies in house coats, small boys, pregnant women and little girls, we are supposed to ignore what the targets represent. And the admonishment on the targets – “No More Hesitation!”  Is this really the attitude we want law enforcement agencies to take, shoot first, ask questions later?   This is what security now means, your average citizen, men, women and children are all targets?

Like I said, you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to wonder what the heck is going on and why the mainstream media is not all over this, playing its self-appointed role of the fourth estate (the independent guardian of the people against abuses by government).  One pleads for the old printing presses helmed by the likes of Thomas Paine, William Bradford, Isaiah Thomas, Hannah Bunce Watson, Samuel Adams and the Committees of Correspondence.  These were the bloggers of their day.  They uncovered and disseminated widespread government wrong doing and suspicious activities whereas today’s popular press excuses it as long as it is their “party” in power.


Comments (9)

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  1. Kyle says:

    They’re buying up ammo in order to push through ammunition ban, which me and my trusty single loader are all set to endure.

    That figure on Iraq doesn’t count the use of all of the lovely specialty rounds we got, and is purely speculative. Truth is that the Army is nott even sure how many rounds they use because extra ammo is often left in country or passed off to incoming units. There are figures arguing that during Vietnam and Iraq it averaged several thousand rounds of shots fired per KIA.

    Those sorts of targets are also misleading. Yes to the average person they look like training for hostile takeovers, but it’s really for engagement sequencing. It teaches law enforcement to actually look for the threat rather than shooting men and not shooting women or old ladies (this is important, especially if you’re talking about my family).

    This doesn’t take away from the very important point that Dr. Burnett is making. When the world’s largest arms dealer is talking weapon bans and buying up ammo — it’s time to do the same.

  2. Andrew O says:

    In regards to the target though, here is an explanation of why they posted these online:

    “The subjects in NMH targets were chosen in order to give officers the experience of dealing with deadly force shooting scenarios with subjects that are not the norm during training. I found while speaking with officers and trainers in the law enforcement community that there is a hesitation on the part of cops when deadly force is required on subjects with atypical age, frailty or condition (one officer explaining that he enlarged photos of his own kids to use as targets so that he would not be caught off guard with such a drastically new experience while on duty). This hesitation time may be only seconds but that is not acceptable when officers are losing their lives in these same situations. The goal of NMH is to break that stereotype on the range, regardless of how slim the chances are of encountering a real life scenario that involves a child, pregnant woman, etc. If that initial hesitation time can be cut down due to range experience, the officer and community are better served.”

    However, the overarching issue at hand is the lack of transparency that has transcended through decades in the modern history of American politics.

  3. Kyle says:

    Like I said, engagement sequencing, it’s been an evolving part of military indoctrination training for at least the last 60 years.

  4. Chris says:

    What Dr. Burnett hints at, Sara Palin lays it on the table…the Feds are stockpiling bullets to use against us. http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/sarah-palin-were-finished-88166.html?hp=f3

  5. H. James Prince says:

    Since we are diving into the world of conspiracy theories, I’ll present my coincidence:

    According to the DHS, they have 240,000 employees. Obviously not all of them are combat proficient or have a gun. They purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition, which divides out to 6666.6 rounds per person. Cue the mentions of “Satan’s number”.

    I am not a conspiracy theorist by any stretch of the imagination, but that is an odd coincidence.

  6. Corey says:

    dictionary.com/conspiracy theory: the idea that many important political events or economic and social trends are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public.

  7. Cindy says:

    “Some might recognize this as an assault on another constitutional right, the Fourth: prohibiting unreasonable search and seizure.”

    Not to mention costly to enforce given how many homes they’ll need to enter and, finding nothing of note, leave after ushering in major inconvenience.

  8. Big D says:

    I have a theory.

    Pundits have the feds arming up to repel the tea party and 2nd amendment nuts. In reality, if things get really bad, we are the most prepared, and won’t be out marauding, raping and pillaging. They’d have to come to us. I don’t think so.

    Who do they fear?

    What happened in Greece? (etc.) …the takers got pissed off when the govt was unable to keep its promises. So they rioted. We know damn well the
    govt is not going to be able to keep its promises.

    That’s what its for.

    This may be military types reading the tea leaves (no pun intended) and getting prepared. Whether the politicians are complicit or not, I don’t know. I would believe they think the activity IS for the tea party, and are just letting things progress (also no pun intended).

  9. This is old, but a comment to Kyle: “Engagement sequencing…” Yeah, right. That also explains why DoD, DoJ, and DHS are all putting out materials identifying Tea Party members, people who advocate a strict interpretation of the Constitution, Christians, Ron Paul supporters, and people who think the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms as “dangerous extremist” and potential terrorists.

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