07/30/15

Where Have All the Bullets Gone?

By: James Simpson
Doug Ross @ Journal

Since the day President Obama was elected, gun owners have been on an unprecedented buying spree, purchasing everything from .22 ammunition to every kind of semi-automatic firearm available.

Their fears are not unwarranted — especially because, for a while, the federal government seemed to be racing private owners to buy the ammo first.

Closer examination shows that some fears of federal activity on this front are overblown. Others, though, are deeply rooted in legitimate concerns.

While Obama claims to support “common-sense” gun laws, he has made high-profile public announcements telegraphing his anti-gun intentions and engaged in behind-the-scenes gun control — tweaking government regulations to deny gun rights to veterans, seeking the same for Social Security recipients, and using the ATF to ban certain types of popular ammo. Calling guns more dangerous than terrorism, Obama recently indicated he’ll devote the rest of his time as president to gun control.

Calling guns more dangerous than terrorism, Obama says he’ll devote the rest of his time as president to gun control.

But one event in particular fed fears of back-door government gun control: the unprecedented purchase of ammunition by the feds.

In early 2013, the Internet blazed with news that the Department of Homeland Security intended to purchase over 1.6 billion rounds of pistol and rifle ammunition. The order would fulfill DHS requirements for five years, reportedly. DHS has 55,471 employees authorized to carry firearms, which comes to about 5,800 rounds per year, per employee.

For perspective, during the first year of the war on terror, approximately 72 million rounds were expended in Iraq and another 21 million in Afghanistan — about 2,000 rounds per war fighter. Thus, giving DHS agents a much larger quota of 5,000 rounds did seem extreme.

Some people asserted the feds deliberately intended to dry up the private market for ammunition. Lawmakers demanded answers. Yet the overall requisition, in context, may not have been unreasonable.

The largest order, 750 million rounds, came from DHS’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) for instruction purposes. Another 650 million rounds were slated for Inspections and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. FLETC public affairs director Peggy Dixon said at the time that the purchase request was “a ceiling. It does not mean that we will buy, or require, the full amounts of either contract.” FLETC in fact uses approximately 20 million training rounds per year, and overall, actual DHS purchases have declined continually since 2009. In 2014, DHS-planned purchases were 75.1 million rounds, down from 84.4 million in 2013.

But there was more. In 2012, the Social Security Administration published a requisition for 174,000 rounds of hollow point pistol ammo — a particularly lethal type and certainly not suited for target shooting. Why on earth would the SSA need it? For that matter, why does SSA need a police force, much less highly trained SWAT teams? Do they anticipate an armed revolt by elderly Social Security recipients upset with their latest cost of living increases? Do they fear an anti-government conspiracy launched over tepid coffee in the reading lounges of retirement communities across the country? Given Obama’s attitude toward the elderly (e.g. “Granny, take the pill”) they may have reason to fear.

Giving DHS agents a much larger quota of 5,000 rounds did seem extreme.

Again, though, many such purchases are based on a justifiable rationale — or at least justifiable for the size of the government we have. (Whether it should be that large in the first place is a very different question.)

An unfortunate consequence of massive government growth and expansion is the requirement for a law enforcement presence to oversee it all. One would not think the Social Security Administration or the Department of Agriculture, for example, would need a large law enforcement presence.

But welfare and food stamp fraud is epidemic. Some gangsters engaged in these activities are as dangerous as drug traffickers – and are involved, often, in both. Determined welfare fraud rings connected to organized crime are ripping off billions of taxpayer dollars. One of the most dangerous federal law enforcement jobs is — believe it or not — ole’ Smokey Bear, the National Park Service rangers, since a great deal of criminal activity takes place within the peaceful aura of life in the woods. (Marijuana fields, for example, are guarded by trigger-happy, AK-47 toting goons.)

At the same time, fears of an omnipresent federal law enforcement infrastructure are justified. The growing federal police force contains the potential to evolve into a police state.

The increasing use of SWAT-type raids against established businesses like Gibson Guitar, Duncan Outdoors and Mountain Pure Water Co., and countless smaller raids against other non-threatening targets for essentially routine administrative matters reinforce the belief among many that such a police state is just around the corner, if not here already. Innocent people have been killed in some of these unwarranted raids.

It is not the amount of ammunition purchases posing the threat. Instead, it is the ominous growth of federal law enforcement under a president who abuses power and ignores the constitutional limits of his office.

The growing federal police force contains the potential to evolve into a police state.

Obama has done his best to induce panic among gun owners. This, more than anything else, has created the shortages – driven by an unprecedented increase in private market demand. At the height of the frenzy, the NRA provided a good analysis in its American Rifleman magazine. While ammunition manufacturers are loath to admit exact production numbers, the NRA found that between 2007 and 2012, excise taxes on ammunition purchases doubled.

Many other reports tell a similar story, but it is easy to understand with a simple example. There are over 80 million gun owners in the U.S. If every single one went out and bought just 100 rounds – barely enough for one afternoon on the range – it would require 8 billion rounds of ammo. But many gun owners have been stockpiling, and retailers seek to purchase large quantities to capitalize on higher demand and prices. The shooting sports, meanwhile, have enjoyed a revival, even on college campuses.

Despite the unprecedented explosion in demand, the shortage is now largely past. After producing round the clock for years, ammunition manufacturers are now able to fulfill orders for most of the popular calibers, albeit at higher prices. Even the popular .22, long unavailable after supplies of other ammo reappeared, is finally coming back on the shelves.

While the ammo shortage was not caused by excessive government purchases, Obama can nonetheless take credit for creating justifiable panic among private citizens that prompted an unprecedented ammo buying spree that cleared retailer shelves for years. It would not be at all surprising to see another uptick in demand if Obama makes good on his threat to push more gun control.

Read more at LifeZette.com

07/18/15

In Wake of Attacks, Gov. Fallin Authorizes Adjutant General to Arm Full-Time Military Personnel

OklahomaPress Release

Friday, July 17, 2015

In Wake of Attacks, Gov. Fallin Authorizes Adjutant General to Arm Full-Time Military Personnel

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today authorized Oklahoma’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Robbie L. Asher, to arm full-time personnel at installations like the military facilities that were attacked Thursday in Chattanooga, Tenn.

“Four unarmed Marines were killed in what appears to be a domestic terrorist attack,” said Fallin. “It is painful enough when we lose members of our armed forces when they are sent in harm’s way, but it is unfathomable that they should be vulnerable for attack in our own communities. For that reason, I want to make sure that our National Guardsmen are authorized to arm themselves at our military facilities.”

Fallin issued an executive order allowing Asher to arm certain full-time personnel in military installations throughout Oklahoma with weaponry as he deems necessary “to adequately provide for security of the facilities and their occupants.” Such installations shall include, but not be limited to, military recruiting offices.

In another executive order, the governor instructed that all American and Oklahoma flags on state property be flown at half-staff through 8 a.m. Monday in honor of the four Marines killed.

“This attack is a horrible tragedy for our country and especially those in the state of Tennessee,” Fallin said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those who were killed.”


Governors order National Guardsmen to be armed after attacks

Oklahoma Oath Keepers Emergency Summit Announcement


Army chief of staff Gen. Ray Odierno said on Friday he has no plans to arm recruiters or add security patrols to military recruitment centers in the wake of the Islamist terror attacks on unarmed, unguarded military offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Thursday. Odierno basically said he doesn’t trust his troops to handle their weapons properly.

Also on Friday, the Marine Corps ordered recruiters to not wear their uniforms at work for ‘force protection.’

“Security at military recruiting and reserve centers will be reviewed in the aftermath of the deadly shooting in Tennessee, but it’s too early to say whether the facilities should have security guards or other increased protection, the Army’s top officer said Friday.

“A day after a gunman shot and killed four Marines and wounded three other people in Chattanooga, Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, told reporters that arming troops in those offices could cause more problems than it might solve.

“”I think we have to be careful about over-arming ourselves, and I’m not talking about where you end up attacking each other,” Odierno said during a morning breakfast. Instead, he said, it’s more about “accidental discharges and everything else that goes along with having weapons that are loaded that causes injuries.””

…”In the wake of previous shootings at military facilities, the services have reviewed and strengthened security precautions at the centers. But most of those involve safety precautions and the need to be aware and watchful of surroundings.

“Odierno said that there are currently no plans to have security personnel posted at recruiting centers, but added that there will be a review. He said a notice went out Thursday to all Army locations reminding them of protection measures.”

07/10/15

NoisyRoom Article Recap – 07/10/15

06/24/15

Ted Cruz SCHOOLS Tavis Smiley on gun-control

The Right Scoop:

In an interview today, Tavis Smiley tried to guilt Ted Cruz over a joke he made about gun-control in the aftermath of Charleston.

Cruz joked the other day that in Texas they define gun-control as ‘hitting what you aim at’, as he was making the case for the defense of the second amendment.

Of course Smiley tried to make it all about Charleston, suggesting the joke was offensive. But Cruz defended himself on his response to the Charleston incident, and then proceeded to school Smiley on gun-control in just under a minute. It was awesome.