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According to media outlets such as the Denver Post and Forbes, the Department of Homeland Security has intentions to purchase 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition over some period of time. Some believe they have already purchased that amount. Given the shortage of ammunition available in the country, Conservative blogs have picked up on alleged government hoarding.

The DHS recently placed a solicitation to purchase 360 thousand rounds of 40 caliber hollow points. Hollow point rounds are forbidden to be used in war by international law and any gun enthusiast knows you use cheaper non-hollow point rounds for target practice or plinking.

Expanding to the extreme upon someone’s observation that the 1.6 billion rounds equates to 5 bullets per citizen, it also equates to 25 bullets for each of the 63 million Republican and Libertarian presidential voters. As the peak rate of ammo usage during the Iraq war was 6 million rounds per month, if the allegation is true, the DHS is preparing for a 20 year war. This all sounds scary, right? Be careful.

Amid a myriad of questions from the public and Congress, the DHS has been mostly silent. Friday the DHS issued a long convoluted explanation which raised more questions than it answered, stressing the government’s intent to hold down costs, a government priority of course (sarcasm intended).

Possible explanations of the alleged purchases I can think of are:

1. Some sinister plot is brewing in Washington to squelch opponents.
2. Preparations are being made outside regular military channels to repel a foreign invasion.
3. Fear exists that either the Tea Party or the Occupy Wall Street movement will take up arms.
4. The government, in Keynesian mode, is trying to stimulate the economy by any spending means.
5. The government believes that buying all available ammunition will drive up the price and keep it out of the hands of legitimate gun owners or criminals.
6. The rumors are not true. By feeding the rumors and refusing to refute them the bureaucrats cause a frenzy of wild speculation which diminishes the credibility of government opponents.

Seriously, 1-2 are not plausible even for the most cynical. Number three is a huge stretch as Tea Party members although well armed have shown no signs of violence and the Occupy crowd while disruptive and uncouth generally have an aversion to guns. That leaves 4-6. I think all could be in play. Number 5 makes no economic sense as driving up the price will eventually increase production as more suppliers enter the market and ultimately lower prices, but this administration is not known for understanding market forces. Unless, that is; the administration plans on imposing heavy regulation disrupting market forces of which they have much practice.

However by feeding wild speculation the administration has encouraged some on the Right to marginalize themselves by tacitly implying a sinister intent of the government.

Have a fulfilling and profitable day,

W C (Bill) Augustine,

One Response

  1. Angie

    Now let’s see, how many people has our governemtn murdered lately? When the government buys bullets others don’t get them to kill people.

    I’m glad the government is buying dangerous items, by the crazy right’s logic Joe and Tom could own a nuke.


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