One of the biggest congressional debates over the past several months has been what to do about assault weapons. Attempts to legislate the problem away have failed to gain the necessary consensus and it looks a complete ban on those weapons just won't happen.
While Congress has failed to come up with a plan that might be acceptable to their partisan selves and the American public, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano may have come up with the ultimate solution. Rather than remove the weapons, DHS seems to be determined to eliminate access to ammunition. After all, what can go bang without a banger.
Over the past year, Napolitano's obedient servants have purchased more than 2 billion rounds of ammunition, including .40 caliber ammo for law enforcement's weapon of choice. And just this week, DHS issued a solicitation on the Federal Business Opportunities website detailing plans to purchase another 360,000 rounds of "Commercial leaded training ammo, pistol .40 caliber, 165 grain, jacketed hollow point."
Sister Napolitano's reps explain the purchases by saying bullets are being acquired in bulk to save money, adding that the ammo is for "training" purposes only. That powder is a little hard to burn considering hollow point ammo is about twice the price of jacketed rounds, and that even the Marines don't practice with hollow points.
An interesting side effect of these purchases is the impact on law enforcement and private citizens. In some areas of the country, police departments have contacted one another in an attempt to purchase or trade for needed ammunition.
In a news story last week(not from a "major" outlet, naturally), Police Chief Cameron Arthur of Jenks, Oklahoma said ammo and weapon prices have increased dramatically, and the time to receive the orders could be up to a year or longer. Arthur said his department is still waiting for an order placed in October of last year.
"With the delay in ammunition, some departments are limiting the number of rounds they carry in their handgun because of the shortage...," Arthur added. "We get to the point where it is difficult to have enough ammo to train and also equip the officers."
Looks like the DHS plan could soon force police departments to institute the "Barney Rule" and allow officers to carry only bullet. Whether that round is carried in shirt pocket or gun would be optional.
There are those who see HSD's massive supply build-up as something a little more sinister. In addition to enough bullets to fire off about eight rounds at every man, woman and child in the U.S., DHS has a fleet of armored vehicles and somewhere north of 100,000 armed agents and officers. Yes, Virginia, that's a lot of bureaucratically controlled gun-toters.
Reports also indicate Big Sis' folks have been actively buying large quantities of body armor; so much that shortages have occurred for local and state law enforcement officers. And, during the last year the agency has hired even more new security guards to protect government buildings. Even some in Congress are a little surprised to learn of the numbers.
All this is being done with Congressional approval, right? Nope, and that's what has some of our hired hands in D.C. more than a little miffed. When members of Congress have questioned officials from DHS about the purchases and buildup in manpower, they've been met with silence. Even Napolitano has refused to answer questions relating to what's going on.
The closed mouths and blank stares have caused one legislator, Rep. Timothy Huelscamp of Kansas to suggest that funding to the agency should be withdrawn if questions on the purchases are not answered. That suggestion received silence and blank stares, especially among the biggest stars in media. Interesting fact: Homeland Security is exempt from sequester.
A few others in D.C. wonder if the Barak Obama administration is aware of, or approves of, the activities at DHS. Of course, White House officials are mum. But if history is any teacher, from the time of her appoint as Secretary to the present, Janet Napolitano does not scratch her (insert body part here) unless the president has granted approval. Ms. Independent she is not. A loyal trooper, she is.
What is going on in DHS is worrisome to some average citizens and downright scary to conspiracy theorists. The bottom line is we are seeing these activities continue under the leadership of the person who signed off on a report, mentioned in WorldNetDaily, which singled out "right-named extremists" as one of the biggest threats to security in the homeland. Among the groups listed were white supremacists and returning war veterans who may be concerned over illegal immigration, increasing federal power, firearms restrictions and abortion.
Perhaps all this buildup and buy-up is out of concern for our safety. One must admit there have been no major terrorist incidents in this country. For that, we're thankful and must applaud the diligence of those entrusted to protecting the homeland. We have to acknowledge, though, that the vigilance of local law enforcement deserves an equal amount of credit.
It is a little disappointing that we find ourselves wondering if there's something up when we hear of things such as this DHS thing. It is no wonder that we do since it seems there's always something up in D.C. which isn't always in our best interest. With a little twist on a Ronald Reaganism, the phrase which often sends chills down the American spine is, "Hi, I'm from the federal government. You can trust me."
With all this in mind, your humble observer thought it might be nice to write a little song dedicated to DHS. Perhaps Janet will hum this at her next Cabinet meeting. Please read/sing the following to the tune of Peter, Paul and Mary's "Where Have All the Flowers Gone."
Where have all the bullets gone? Cops don't have them.
Where have all the bullets gone? Troops running low.
Where have all the bullets gone? Homeland's bought them every one.
When will we ever know? Where'd Janet get the dough?
Yeah, I know. YHO is no Pete Seeger, but he's close enough for government work.