Billions of rounds of hollow points, black helicopters- what does it all mean?

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Black hawk helicoptersAP

At IBD Andrew Malcolm asks the question:

Why are the feds loading up on so much ammo?

In a puzzling, unexplained development, the Obama administration has been buying and storing vast amounts of ammunition in recent months, with the Department of Homeland Security just placing another order for an additional 21.6 million rounds.

Several other agencies of the federal government also began buying large quantities of bullets last year. The Social Security Administration, for instance, not normally considered on the frontlines of anything but dealing with seniors, explained that its purchase of millions of rounds was for special agents’ required quarterly weapons qualifications. They must be pretty poor shots.

But DHS has been silent about its need for numerous orders of bullets in the multiple millions. Indeed, Examiner writer Ryan Keller points out Janet Napolitano’s agency illegally redacted information from some ammunition solicitation forms following media inquiries.

This administration did something illegal? Shocking.

DHS could shoot us all- with hollow points:

According to one estimate, just since last spring DHS has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion bullets, mainly .40 caliber and 9mm. That’s sufficient firepower to shoot every American about five times. Including illegal immigrants.

To provide some perspective, experts estimate that at the peak of the Iraq war American troops were firing around 5.5 million rounds per month. At that rate, DHS is armed now for a 24-year Iraq war.

Question is, against whom?

Did Obama hint at why in 2008?

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

It’s not just this either. Events start to add up:

Black helicopters appear in US cities:


MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Some members of the U.S. military were busy in Miami Thursday night as they conducted exercises in Downtown Miami.

CBS4 captured video of Black Hawk helicopters flying over the city as part of a joint military training exercise.

Thursday night’s training took place near the Stephen P. Clark Center in Miami and a nearby Metrorail station where troops could be seen rappelling from the military choppers onto the Metrorail station platform.


HOUSTON (KTRK) — The sight of Army helicopters and the sound of gunfire created a lot of concern Monday afternoon in one Houston neighborhood.

We received a lot of phones calls, Tweets and Facebook posts from worried neighbors, wondering what was going on.

SkyEye 13 HD was over the south side where at first look, it appeared there was a massive SWAT scene happening.

With military helicopters flying above her southeast Houston neighborhood, Frances Jerrals didn’t know what to think.

“When you see this, you think the worst. When you hear this, you think the worst,” Jerrals said.

And so, she passed along her concern.

“She told me ‘don’t come home it sounds like we’re in a war zone. Guns, shooting, helicopters flying around the house,'” Isaac Robertson Jr. said.

The U.S. Army along with other agencies took over the old Carnegie Vanguard High School near Scott and Airport. There were armed men in fatigues, plenty of weapons and what many thought were real live rounds

“I felt like I was in a warzone.” Jerrals said. “It was nonstop. I was terrified.”

Gunfire? In a residential neighborhood? Yes, blanks, but without warning?

We had Janet Napolitano warning us of domestic terrorists such as US military veterans, pro-life groups and those opposing illegal immigration.

Mike German, policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union and a former FBI agent, said his organization was concerned about law enforcement agencies’ focus on radicalization, regardless of the specific ideology.

“Certainly, the right-wing report is focused far too much on rhetoric and things people say and things people think rather than on criminal activity and the people involved in criminal activity,” he said. “There is plenty of crime out there for federal, state and local law enforcement to worry about. They don’t need to invent threats that they have no factual basis for supporting.”

Right wing report. That would let Bill Ayers and the Weathermen slide as they were left wingers. And it would also omit these lovely people as Napolitano only concerns herself with right wing terrorists and apparently not those from the left:

The privileged daughter of a prominent city doctor, and her boyfriend — a Harvard grad and Occupy Wall Street activist — have been busted for allegedly having a cache of weapons and a bombmaking explosive in their Greenwich Village apartment.

Morgan Gliedman — who is nine-months pregnant — and her baby daddy, Aaron Greene, 31, also had instructions on making bombs, including a stack of papers with a cover sheet titled, “The Terrorist Encyclopedia,’’ sources told The Post yesterday.

People who know Greene say his political views are “extreme,” the sources said.

LiveLeak has composed a list of left wing terrorists

Leo Burt- Bombed Colleges, Part of Left Wing Terrorist Group ‘New Years Eve Gang’.

Jeff Jones – Bombed Pentagon, Killed Police, Current CEO of Appolo Alliance, An eco group funded by Obama

Berandine Dorn – Bombed Petnagon, Killed Police, Obamas friend, baby sat Obamas Kids.

Bill Ayers – Bombed Pentagon, Killed Police, Obamas Best Friend, Wrote Obamas Book.

Amy Bishop- college professor obsessed with Obama, shot 6 people.

Jared Loughter – killed 6 year old girl and shot gabby giffords

James holmes – Batman shooter

John Patrick Bedell -Pentagon shooter

Floyd Lee Corkins – Chick Fil A Shooter

David Guy McKay – Plotted to bomb the Pentagon, caught first

Bradley Neil Crowder – Plotted to bomb the Pentagon, caught first

Antonio Martinez – Bombed a Recruiting Station

Una Bomber – Another left wing college professor psychopath

James W. Von Brunn – Holocaust Museum Shooter

Andrew Joseph Stack III – Bush Hating Leftist Who Flew His airplane into IRS building 9/11 style

Ryan Komosinski – Occupy Wall Street, Caught in BOmb Plot.

Brandon Baxter -Occupy Wall Street Protester Caught Planning to Blow Up Bridges

Douglas Wright – Occupy Wall Street Protester Caught Planning to Blow Up Bridges

Anthony Hayne -Occupy Wall Street Protester Caught Planning to Blow Up Bridges

Connor C. Stevens- Occupy Wall Street Protester Caught Planning to Blow Up Bridges

Joshua S. Stafford -Occupy Wall Street Protester Caught Planning to Blow Up Bridges

I don’t believe I have ever heard Napolitano speak of left wing terrorists.

And then this claim (something I have been reluctant to touch) by Jim Garrow appeared in the Examiner:

“I have just been informed by a former senior military leader that Obama is using a new “litmus test” in determining who will stay and who must go in his military leaders. Get ready to explode folks. “The new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on US citizens or not.” Those who will not are being removed.

Alone it sounds conspiratorial but when joined by the other events, well, we need some answers.

Why do does DHS need all those hollow points?

Why is there only right wing terrorism?

Exactly what is going on? Maybe it’s all entirely innocent. And maybe you can keep your health care plan and your doctor too.

DrJohn has been a health care professional for more than 30 years. In addition to clinical practice he has done extensive research and has published widely with over 70 original articles and abstracts in the peer-reviewed literature. DrJohn is well known in his field and has lectured on every continent except for Antarctica. He has been married to the same wonderful lady for over 30 years and has three kids- two sons, both of whom are attorneys and one daughter on her way into the field of education. DrJohn was brought up with the concept that one can do well if one is prepared to work hard but nothing in life is guaranteed. Except for liberals being foolish.

132 Responses to “Billions of rounds of hollow points, black helicopters- what does it all mean?”

  1. 1


    Napolitano and Obama striking at their demons is terror enough. To them the enemy is America. Didn’t Congress have to authorize this purchases?

  2. 2


    The government made most of their large ammo purchases before Sandy Hook happened.. Because they knew after that, ammo would be harder to get due to citizen orders.. Did the gov’t know Sandy Hook was going to happen? Most likely!

  3. 3



    Oh wingnuts, the more elections you lose the shit-house rat crazier you get.

    Cannot wait until you drag the GOP to their next defeat, you are the DNC’s most valuable tools.

  4. 7


    Let’s not forget last year’s military “exercises” in St. Louis, Missouri. As tanks rolled down the streets of St. Louis neighborhoods, the military claimed it was only exercises by the Military police to deal with “urban” tactics. Odd, that the troops that participated in those “exercises” were not from Fort Leonard Wood, or even some other near by base that houses the Military Police, but were conducted by troops from New Jersey. What? The military couldn’t find a large city closer to the base to conduct their “exercises?”

    Can any of you ever remember having tanks roll down your streets before or watching as helicopters fly over your cities conducting exercises using black ammunition?

  5. 8


    Hollow points are commonly bought by civilians.

    However, the DHS preppers have made them, as well as other normally common rounds, more scarce. At least for a while…

  6. 15


    As of 2004, the total number of federal law enforcement officers who carry firearms was about 105,000. Lets say they fire 100 rounds per month on the range, to maintain proficiency with their weapons. There are 12 months in a year.

    105,000 x 100 x 12 = 126,000,000 rounds per year, just for routine use on firing ranges.

    If someone relied on their firearm in their daily work, 25 shots on the range each week to keep an edge wouldn’t strike me as excessive. Does that seem unrealistic? I’m guessing a civilian shooting enthusiast might easily go through more than 25 rounds per week.

    So far as hollow point ammunition goes, the government probably provides the same sort of ammunition for range use that law enforcement officers routinely carry. I would expect training with the same ammunition and the same firearm an officer carries would be the norm. Again, I’m making a guess.

    “Billions” might relate to multiple year purchase authorizations, or involve the stockpiling of multi-year supplies.

  7. 16



    Greggie, pencil pushers at the FBI, Secret Service do not use nearly that much ammunition as you are trying to represent. They have to qualify ONCE A YEAR. That’s it. Same with pencil pushers at the U.S. Marshall’s Service.

    So, as with everything you come up with, you are waaaaaaaaaaaay out of line.

  8. 17


    @retire05, #16:

    The 105,000 figure doesn’t refer to pencil pushing federal employees. It refers specifically to firearm-carrying federal law enforcement personnel. Such people don’t get their pistol out once a year for range qualification. They don’t wear guns as a decoration. They need to maintain a reasonable level of proficiency. Their primary reason for doing that isn’t to pass an annual test.

  9. 18

    Nan G

    Obama has removed several top military leaders.
    At least one Admiral and at least three Generals that I have read about have been removed since Benghazi.
    Why not interview one or more of them?
    Rather than be flammatory about Obama’s ”litmus test,” why not go to one of these horses’ mouths?
    In CA you must leave your brass when you use a firing rage, makes reloading impossible.
    Is Obama trying to create a nationwide brass shortage, thus an ammo shortage?
    Stores do run low more now than at any time in my LONG life.

  10. 20


    @retire05, #19:

    I made no claims. I found an approximate number of gun-carrying federal law enforcement personnel, did some quick arithmetic, and suggested that the amount of ammunition the federal government purchases doesn’t necessarily seem out of line with what might reasonably be expected. So what’s the big deal?

  11. 21


    Nan G
    would he try to weaken the MILITARY OF AMERICA?

  12. 22


    @Nan G, #18:

    Maybe bump-fire stocks are part of an industry plan to increase the consumption of ammunition. Those things can probably burn through the brass like there’s no end to it.

    Seriously, though. . . It’s possible the government might be stockpiling ammunition in anticipation of a consumer-driven supply shortage. The general population is buying unprecedented volumes of guns and ammunition. I forget where I mentioned my visit to a local sporting good store last week. The owner told me they were out of or getting low on many things.

  13. 23

    Nan G


    Greg, that might make sense IF ranges weren’t used for TARGET practice.
    There is target practice ammo that is far cheaper than hollow point ammo.
    Only Obama would allow this inane waste of MONEY by having federal law enforcers use hollow point in target practice.
    But then, this is the same Obama who allowed State Dept to waste almost double the cost of ”green cars” for foreign embassies to use…..not armored enough for their Ambassadors to use, btw.
    Money is no object to Obama.
    He never had the kind of job where he had to count quarters, eat beans and rice or worry about the bills.

  14. 24


    I was thinking that the COP KILLER COPS,
    surely will want to aim to be on the high point of the mountain
    so he can set up his wifi computer or the same product of communication,
    he seem to be including in his bagpack with his other surviving tools and guns,
    this or on the water in a boat would suply the wifi communication connection,
    we know he try to get a boat at the beginning, but at this time of the year,
    it not as likely, but the highest top of the mountain seem to be likely where he want to be.
    I think he is use to his connection and can’t live without it.

  15. 25

    Brian Winkler

    Buying up ammo is one way to keep it out the hands of people that just might use it to repulse a usurpatory government. The Left seems to feel especially empowered to move against the 2nd Amendment guarantees.They badly underestimate how many first time gun owners they have created in the last two months.The FBI reported 2.5 million NICS background checks for gun purchases in Jan.,just behind 2.8 million in Dec. 2012. Time will tell as to just how badly the Libs want to push this.

  16. 26


    @Brian Winkler: the Leftist Dupes in the PRK are pushing hard on taking our weapons and ammo, all for the sake of the children of course. I guess that the falling crime rate due to lots of people exercising their Constitutional rights ,is getting them nervous but I think that’s temporary because they don’t think that funding LEO’s is necessary. I honestly think that the Left wants more crime so they can exercise more draconian control.

  17. 27


    @Nan G: Although I agree completely with your comments re Obie — please remember — and – everybody else start paying a little more attenetion– and — when ever you start to refer to Obie doing this – or that — PLEASE PLEASE remember and it is not JUST Obie — he is just their latest MOST useful front man IDIOT of the year– the VAST Bolshvik conspiracy — not just Obie — watch ALL DemocRAPS — watch their every move (esp the “What difference does it make?”- hildabeast ) – that you can find out about — THEY ARE the enemy — and are getting very – very antsie — ’cause more and more real people are catching on —

    Re: all the Anti-personnel bullet stockpiling that is going on — pay closer attention — The friggin’ rinos are saying nothing — hey bubb’s just what is up?? —

    First — all of the “target practice” — why are hollow point bullets needed for target practice – hmmm? — inquiring minds demand to know!! — umm? just what (who) are these targets? hmm?

    Second — WHERE IS this ammunition being stockpiled? — I highly recommend that anyone with any knowledge of the locations — start spreading the word — BUT — very important here — start pressuring your local US rep’s re what?, where?, and why???? — all of the ammo purchases and stockpiling? — why??? — and if they claim ignorance — remind them they are in charge of the treasury and expenditures therefrom — and that you demand to know why the stockpiling?, why the hollow points for ‘target practice’?? and DEMAND to know where the stockpiles are withing HIS(HER) district — AND WHY?

    Third — just who – or what “ARMY” is this massive ammo being stockpiled for? — hmm?

  18. 28


    You people have gone absolutely out of your minds. No wonder you want guns to protect you from the bogeymen. You’re a bunch of Alex Jones, Glenn Beck-inspired paranoid lunatics. It’s time to inform your psychiatrists it’s time for a change in your medication regime.

  19. 30


    Why does obama want so much ammo? (It’s actually the puppeteers who are pulling the puppet’s strings)

    (1) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has to be able to defend itself against the terrorists who say global warming is fake.
    (2) The Social Security Administration has to be able to enforce obamacare so that we ALL join it.
    (3) Unless the Constitution is changed, obama can’t run for president again. If the Constitution isn’t changed so he can be president again, will he try to make himself the ruler of the USA, or whatever he decides to call it? How does obamaland sound? I am partly joking, but I am getting more worried all the time that this is obama’s goal. I am also getting more glad that I live in Idaho where the politicians don’t mind us being able to defend ourselves if we choose to.

    You Californians who want to keep your guns, you and they are welcome in Idaho.

    http:[email protected]/8460110663/in/photostream

  20. 33


    @rockybutte: Why would we want to consult our shrinks? We’re not the ones that are clinically insane. We don’t trust this administration at all. They’ve chosen deceit, lies and outright fraud as the way they do business. Please understand that we know that many prior administrations have been almost as bad but this one is setting record lows. Toss in Barry’s comments about a private army, forcing energy costs up, controlling our food supply and taking away our ability to defend ourselves and his history of disdain for this country one might get an inkling that things aren’t right. Obviously those inklings are far too subtle for your mind to comprehend but if you reach up and grab your ears and pull hard, you might get your head out of your arse.

  21. 34

    Nan G


    I had a dinner at a local fish market at the Port.
    Ran into some Coast Guard/DHS guys who protect our Port.
    They DO use hollow point in target practice …. because the GOV’T supplies it for FREE!
    They all agreed it is a gross waste of our tax resources.
    It is like taking brand new cars into a destruction derby.

    They would be perfectly happy using cheaper target practice ammo.
    Another attempt by Obama to kill two birds with one stone:
    1. “Help” the economy by buying stuff at full price.
    2. Cause ammo prices to artificially rise and phony shortages to occur for the rest of us.
    (This is a classic example of the “Broken Window” Fallacy. Dollars wasted replacing windows cannot be spent upgrading equipment or giving raises. It looks good in the short-term, however. And that is all Obama is about.)

  22. 35



    Isn’t this conspiracy theory unworthy of those who consider themselves rational, informed…and conservative? And isn’t this conspiracy paranoia so 2012? Or does it predate even earlier to this?

    The Blaze (March 2012, fer crissakes!):

    This is not the first time DHS has placed such an order, however. In 2009, it signed a contract with Winchester for the procurement of 200 million hollow points.

    The order may seem unusually high, but gun experts I talked to said it is not necessarily unusual and simply reflects a long-running practice by DHS and law enforcement agencies to use any remaining budget surplus on items routinely used and that would not be called into question. The idea being that if an agency does not use its entire budget in expenditures, the government will lower its budget the following year.

    On the other hand, the decreased retail availability for hollow points does drive up demand, and hence price for such ammunition. Whether the consequence is an intended one, remains to be seen.

    So is this a calculated move by the government to curb ammunition availability to civilians or is it simply another way for it to spend money?

    Steve McGough:

    The claims hollow point ammunition is not used for training or qualifying is total bull excrement. The claims ranges do not ever allow hollow point ammunition is total bull excrement. Some ranges have backstops or setups that are not set up for hollow point rounds, or it is a range preference. I just spent a few minutes visiting the websites of at least six different ranges with both indoor and outdoor facilities and not one of them mention a ban on hollow point ammunition, but most mention incendiary, tracer and explosive bullets can not be used. Those are not hollow points.

    Again, law enforcement and civilian shooters can easily go through 750 rounds a day during training.

    There are more than 1,000 Connecticut State Troopers. If they train only five days a year, they can easily go through 2.5 million rounds a year.
    There are more than 13,000 sworn FBI agents. If they train only five days a year, they can easily go through 32 million rounds a year.
    There are more than 34,000 New York police officers. If they train only five days a year, they can easily go through 85 million rounds a year.

    As for the claims law enforcement would never, ever practice with hollow point rounds, tell me … where are all the orders for the full metal jacket ammunition the law enforcement agencies are using for training? Or maybe the trolls think they are not practicing at all and just saving up for the big election finally?

    Look, hollow point rounds are – in general – safer for all those involved except for the intended target since it will expand and not penetrate as far as a full metal jacket round. Interested in some information about self-defense rounds, ballistics, pistols and rifles? Try reading this.

    DHS Buys in Bulk to Save You Money:

    DHS contracted with a manufacturer for 40 caliber ammunition not to exceed 450 million rounds. Like with most of their contracts, prior to negotiating DHS headquarters in Washington reaches out to all the agencies under their umbrella, including state and local police forces, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), etc, and asks them all how much of a certain item they need. Once they have an account of the full amount of an item needed and have reviewed those requests, they put out a request for an “Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity” (IDIQ) contract. This contract allows them to purchase up to a certain number of needed items without requiring them to purchase a specific item and allows them to purchase this item over a certain number of years. This is a common form of contract used by DHS for many of their needed supplies, including working dogs, computer equipment, vehicles, etc.

    In this case, DHS entered into a contract that allows them to purchase up to 450 million rounds of 40 caliber ammunition over the next five years. They cannot exceed 450 million rounds and are not required to purchase 450 million rounds. Basically, they have a tab with a manufacturer to order more rounds as they are needed over the next five years – not a onetime ammunition order.

    Setting up contracts in this manner allows for a cheaper purchase price, saving money over the long-term. In fact, contracts like this one saved taxpayers $336 million in FY2011 alone. Additionally, purchasing in bulk like this helps DHS headquarter conduct better oversight over its agencies and ensures consistency among all the agencies under DHS. So, in this case CPB, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Secret Service, and other DHS agencies will all use the same 40 caliber round so these rounds can move between agencies if need be – another way to potentially save money down the road.

    To put this more concisely, just like you and your family take that monthly trip to Sam’s Club or Costco to get your bulk needs cheaply, DHS also buys in bulk because it saves the American taxpayers money.

    If you take the number of agencies that will be using this ammunition – CBP, Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), ICE, the U.S. Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration, the DHS police force, and all the guards that protect the various buildings these agencies are housed in, and spread that out over 5 years, you start to see that 450 million rounds really isn’t that large of an order. Especially considering it is used for training purposes like firing range and live fire exercises, on-the-job use (though that is very limited), and to shore up their supplies. In fact, there are 65,000 – 70,000 law enforcement personnel at DHS who would be covered under this IDIQ ammunition contract. If DHS were to purchase all 450 million rounds over 5 years, then that would equate to only about 1,384 rounds of ammo per year per law enforcement personnel (or about 155 rounds per month (about 10 magazines worth of ammo per month) or 3-4 rounds per day) assuming the lower estimate of only 65,000 law enforcement personnel at DHS. Considering those agents go through training exercises several times per year, that is not a lot of ammunition.

    In this post-9/11 world we need to make sure those who are tasked with protecting our homeland both from threats abroad and at home have the training and equipment needed to carry out their duties to help ensure our way of life. Firearm proficiency is an important part of any federal officer’s training and for that reason the purchase of sufficient amounts of ammunition is critical to maintaining an effective protective force. However, with all government spending Congress needs to keep an eye out for any mismanagement or misappropriation of funds in federal agencies, and the congressman will continue to be vigilant on this front to ensure our nation’s tax dollars are being spent wisely. He wants to thank all of his constituents for bringing this issue to his attention and encourages everyone to continue to reach out to him with any questions or concerns they may have.


    Praise the Internet and pass the ammunition: the blogosphere is roiling with conspiracy theories over a Social Security Administration shopping list for 174,000 hollow-point bullets.

    Depending on whom you believe, police who protect Social Security Administration officers are either preparing for impending financial doom by purchasing lethal ammo to put down rioting citizens, or they’re just making a standard purchase of ammunition for a federal police agency.

    It all began last month when the agency, which is primarily responsible for distributing benefits to the disabled and retired people, posted an announcement seeking bids for 174,000 hollow-point bullets.

    Why? cried some bloggers.

    Infowars, a website operated by right-wing talk show host Alex Jones, wanted to know if the agency was preparing for “civil unrest.”


    Conspiracy theorists had previously speculated that a purchase of hollow-point bullets by the Department of Homeland Security was similarly meant to quell impending riots. A few years ago, theorists similarly questioned why the Federal Emergency Management Agency was stockpiling body bags and other supplies, suggesting the agency was preparing for civil collapse.

    In the face of the furor, the Social Security Administration’s public affairs shop — which spends most of its time issuing releases about speeding disability decisions or looking up benefits information — issued a statement explaining that its 295 agents need the bullets for target practice and to protect the agency’s 66 offices across the nation.

    “These investigators have full law enforcement authority, including executing search warrants and making arrests,” the agency said in an August post. “Our investigators are similar to your state or local police officers. They use traditional investigative techniques, and they are armed when on official duty.”

    Hollow point bullets are standard-issue items for many police agencies, the Social Security Administration said. The bullets expand when they hit a target and can help prevent injuries to bystanders from bullets passing through a body, according to police.

    Investigators “use this ammunition during their mandatory quarterly firearms qualifications and other training sessions, to ensure agent and public safety,” the administration added.

    This is just the latest in a long history of uniquely American anti-government conspiracy theories, said Kathryn Olmsted, a University of California at Davis history professor and author of “Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories in American Democracy.”

    That another one would surface in the midst of a contentious election cycle and continued unease over the nation’s financial future is not all that surprising, Olmsted said Tuesday.

    But this one, she said, seems particularly tenuous.

    “It strikes me as one of the more extreme conspiracy theories,” Olmsted said. “I’m surprised it has any traction.”

    Yet it does.

    Let’s not believe anything the commie news network would say, however, no matter how reasonable.

    FOX News:

    Obscure federal agencies triggered a firestorm of conspiracy theories this week after they put out orders for thousands of rounds of deadly hollow-point bullets.

    But the agencies, most recently the Social Security Administration, are trying to put a damper on the speculation — noting the ammunition is “standard issue” and simply used for mandatory federal training sessions.

    “Our special agents need to be armed and trained appropriately,” said a message on the official blog for Social Security’s inspector general office explaining the purchases.

    The bullet purchases drew widespread attention as the website published several stories on them that were linked off the widely read Drudge Report and other sites. catalogued a string of recent purchases — first by the Department of Homeland Security, then by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and then the Social Security Administration.

    The Social Security Administration solicitation, posted Aug. 7, called for 174,000 rounds of “.357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow point pistol ammunition.” speculated that the purchases were being made in preparation for “civil unrest,” imagining a scenario of economic collapse where seniors could cause “disorder” if denied their Social Security benefits.

    But the Social Security Administration statement, posted Thursday, noted that their agents need firearms and ammo in the course of training, investigations and responding to threats against offices and employees.

    “As we said in a recent post, our office has criminal investigators, or special agents, who are responsible for investigating violations of the laws that govern SSA’s programs,” the office said.

    The agency said it has 295 special agents across 66 offices in the country. “These investigators have full law enforcement authority, including executing search warrants and making arrests,” the statement said.

    As for concern about the type of bullets — hollow points, which expand upon impact — the statement said the type is “standard issue” and is used during “mandatory quarterly firearms qualifications and other training sessions.”

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, found itself scrambling to respond to a similar report this week about an order for 46,000 rounds of ammo. Though the agency initially indicated it was for the National Weather Service — leading to questions about why the National Weather Service could possibly need so many bullets — a spokesman clarified the bullets are actually meant for the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement. A “clerical error” resulted in the order saying the ammo was for the weather service.

    Spokesman Scott Smullen said the error’s been fixed in the bidding system. He, too, said the ammo is “standard issue” and will be used by 63 enforcement personnel at NOAA during qualifications and training sessions.

    “NOAA officers and agents enforce the nation’s ocean and fishing laws to ensure a level playing field for fishermen and to protect marine species like whales, dolphins and turtles,” he said.

    According to NOAA, the specialized agents are supposed to have 200 rounds in their “duty bag,” and qualification and training requires another 500-600 rounds per agent.

    Tom Roberson:

    A multitude of conspiracy theorists latched on to a couple of recent American Thinker articles I wrote about the government purchasing large amounts of hollow-point ammunition for obscure agencies, but they misunderstood the point I was trying to make about the size of the federal government.

    The first American Thinker article, published on August 14, 2012, pointed out the solicitation of 46,000 rounds of .40 S&S JHP ammunition for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service and asked why the meteorologists at the National Weather Service had a need for ammunition. An alarmed AT reader contacted her congressman, who also happens to be my congressman, who promptly looked into the matter and discovered that the solicitation on the FedBizOps website had mistakenly identified the National Weather Service as the purchasing agency instead of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement as was originally intended. So, the matter was quickly resolved as to the intended agency requesting the ammunition, but another question arose as to the existence of obscure federal agencies having their own law enforcement agencies.

    In my second AT article, published on August 19, 2012, I pointed out the government response to the Internet outcry over ammunition purchases by the National Weather Service, and asked why the government was purchasing large amounts of hollow-point ammunition and just how many obscure federal law enforcement agencies exist. An order of 46,000 rounds of ammunition is not unusually large given the number of officers and the need for practice ammunition to keep up shooting skills over the course of a year. The use of hollow-point ammunition is troubling until it is explained that hollow-point ammo is preferred by law enforcement due to the fact that these rounds tend to stay within the body and not pass through to potentially harm innocent bystanders. Hollow-point ammo has become standard in law enforcement.

    I was surprised by the number of comments each of these articles received from individuals convinced that the government is planning something nefarious to keep Barack Obama in power past the election. There were stories of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) concentration camps and stockpiles of plastic coffin liners as the conspiracy theorists loosed their imaginations to feast upon their irrational fears. Many of the comments came from individuals whom I recognized from their many comments to various AT articles and respected for their insight on the topic at hand. It appears that few are immune to the powerful lure of a well-spun conspiracy theory.

    I am not inclined towards conspiracy theories for several reasons. First, Occam’s razor, or the law of parsimony, is the principle which recommends the simplest explanation from among competing hypotheses. Usually, the simplest explanation is the best. Any military member will tell you that the more complex a plan is, the more likely something will go wrong. Conspiracy theories tend toward the complex with multiple people interacting in well-coordinated and well-timed ways that just don’t happen in the real world where things go wrong, participants miss their cues, and the unexpected happens constantly. Successful operational plans are intentionally conceived to be as simple as possible to minimize the likelihood of anything going wrong.

    Second, conspiracies rely on large numbers of people to keep a big secret, and human nature is not conducive to the success of a conspiracy. Even President Obama couldn’t resist the temptation to immediately tell of the killing of Osama bin Laden along with sensitive details of the raid. Now a book is coming out from one of the members of Seal Team 6 who participated in the raid and was the first man through the door of bin Laden’s bedroom on that fateful night. His motivation is to set the record straight and shift credit away from a credit-hogging Obama using the incident for political points back toward the soldiers actually responsible for the raid. There are a multitude of motivations to tell the big secret, and the more people involved, then the more motivations that come into play.

    Third, conspiracy theories make for great fiction and Hollywood plot lines with incredible entertainment potential. The tendency to veer off into the world of imagination to find an explanation for the unexplainable is just too great. When big events that change history occur, they are sudden and shocking to our collective psyche. We demand a big explanation to go along with a big occurrence, when it’s much more likely to be a simple explanation. The Kennedy Assassination has spawned a multitude of conspiracy theories involving the Mafia, the CIA, the KGB, Fidel Castro, and others acting either alone or in some combination to explain a truly shocking event. However, it turns out that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating Kennedy for the simple reason that he was a pathetic nobody who sought to be somebody in the world and committed a heinous act to garner attention. A simple explanation to a massive event that leaves one feeling unsatisfied that something so huge could be pulled off so simply by one lone individual seeking attention.

    It turns out that the FEMA concentration camps mentioned in various comments to my AT articles are really National Responder Support Camps constructed as a counter to the government’s poor response to Hurricane Katrina. FEMA’s performance in New Orleans demonstrated the woeful inadequacy of the government in responding to natural disasters. These camps were constructed to pre position supplies and provide a support base to disaster recovery teams in order to improve the government response to the next disaster. There is nothing nefarious about them, and their solicitation can be found here. Anything the government does for the right reasons can be misused by someone in charge who has a nefarious agenda. We must be careful not to allow a situation where someone can misuse the government against us, but we shouldn’t assume every government action is automatically sinister. Popular Mechanics has an excellent article that debunks many of the conspiracy theory myths about FEMA camps.

    In my AT articles, I first intended to highlight the disturbing purchase of ammo by the National Weather Service and question the need for this agency to purchase ammo. When it turned out that this was a simple clerical error, I shifted focus to the size of ammo purchases and the number of obscure federal law enforcement agencies in an attempt to highlight the explosive growth of the federal government. Hey, mistakes do happen and government employees aren’t immune to making the occasional innocent mistake which I consider perfectly reasonable and understandable. Given the number of federal law enforcement agencies and the number of agents involved, the size of the ammo purchases becomes reasonable given that some of these were multi-year solicitations. These are simple explanations and plausibly explain the situations under consideration.


    The OIG responds (in 2012, mind you)

    Will we see this conspiracy theory push-pedaled again in 2014 for another round of paranoid hysteria running through the conservative blogosphere?!

  23. 37


    @Nan G: Classic marxist economics — 1930’s all over again — burn those crops – kill those baby pigs — let the people in the cities stand in soup lines run by bleeding heart idiots and the people in the country get squeezed off their farms — only this time there aren’t any places to migrate to — should backfire big time.

  24. 38


    @Wordsmith: Great articles, but using Snopes, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of George Soros. is a bit suspect. I’m even willing to say that the procurement Dweeb doesn’t bother to figure out the cost differential between JHP and FMJ because they’ve got so much of our money to spend. I do know that when I go for a full day of live fire training I’ll burn through 400-600 rounds, all of which comes out of my pocket. That said, I still don’t trust this administration one iota.

  25. 43

    Brian Winkler

    @UpChuck.Liberal That is the natural and logical evolution in their designs upon our freedoms.The liberal response to Sheriff Clarke’s statements last week in Milwaukee showed that.The end result is the same for all of the Proggie’s agenda. Total dependency on the government for sustenance ,care and protection all at the price of individual freedoms.The Left will overstep foolishly as the state govt.s in California,New York and New Jersey are doing and they will galvanize more Americans to support their 2A guarantees than ever before.It is rather aggravating that the panic buying that always follows the the threat of new bans and restrictions makes it damn difficult to buy ammo and components to the point that it restricts range time and training not only for private individuals like myself but also for local law enforcement.

  26. 44

    Brian Winkler

    The last six mass killers have been Liberals or the children of Liberals and psychotropic meds are involved in every instance.Sounds and looks like Liberals need their meds changed and maybe they should be categorically denied access to weapons.Or maybe restricted from ownership until they reach adulthood,say age 30-35 maybe.People do not trust this government after the lies of Fast&Furious and the continuing lies about Benghazi.There is nothing that anyone could put past this WH in light of their track record to date, they have raised lying to the American people to a high art.

  27. 45


    Brian Winkler
    FOX is talking about the DRONES WHICH KILLED AMERICANS,,
    I say they send drones in the backyards of AMERICANS MILITARY IN AFGHANISTAN,

  28. 46


    @Aye: Is the government stocking up on tin foil as well?

    I load my own to save money. I’ll bet the government never thought of that.

    Once I have my rifle sighted-in during the week leading up to hunting season, I am done whether it takes twenty rounds or a hundred, the rest of my ammo is for hunting; unless a horse smacks my rifle against a tree while it is in the scabbard, that can knock your scope way off target. Perforating the horizon with hundreds of rounds seems like a tremendous waste of resources, but that seems to be the government’s primary intent.

    All that ammo seems to be burned up so that guys can remember how to shoot their pea shooters, that must be why they need so many rounds. Give me a rifle that you can count on to penetrate a ten inch Pine tree and kill whatever is behind the tree. You won’t do that with a pea shooter.

  29. 47


    @Brian Winkler:

    OK, no guns for Liberals or Democrats. That’s about 51% of the population. Good start. Now we need to work on the other 49%. Maybe we can catch them holding the door for an obviously illegal alien. That’ll make them Liberals and no guns for them. Every time we observe an individual doing or saying something Liberal that’ll qualify them as a Liberal and ineligible for gun ownership. Pretty soon the only people with guns will be bearded, camo-wearing, unwashed weapons bearers hunkering down in the depths of the forests cooking squirrels in popcorn poppers and drinking their own purified urine. Thank god for Liberty!

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