The massive purchases of ammo and weapons by non-military federal agencies, like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration (SSA), that first began under the Obama administration has continued unabated under the Trump administration, while receiving less media coverage.
According to a report released last December by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and recently highlighted by Forbes, the mass purchase of ammunition, weapons and other military-grade items by ostensibly civilian government agencies has continued up through Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, the latest year for which data is available. The report also found that many agencies had misreported the amount and size of their ammo and weapons purchases to the GAO by a significant degree. In one case, the GAO found that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had actually spent eight times more on weapons and ammo than it had disclosed to their office.
The budgets that had been proposed for FY 2017 — which ended on September 30, 2017 — had originally been drafted under the Obama administration but were amended by the Trump administration and the then-Republican-led Congress beginning in late January 2017 following President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The Trump administration chose to leave the massive purchases of ammo and weapons by non-military agencies as they were, despite the controversy they had caused among many Trump supporters and other groups when such purchases were made under the Obama administration.
Among the agencies that acquired ammunition, weapons and related equipment in FY 2017 were:
- The IRS spent $600,000 on ammunition but refused to disclose to the GAO its intended purpose and told the GAO that it could not provide data on firearms purchases. The IRS has stated in the past that such purchases are used in “investigating potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code.” Its current inventory is estimated to include 4,461 firearms, including submachine guns, and over 5 million rounds of ammunition.
- The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) of the Department of Veterans Affairs purchased around 600 firearms and nearly 20,000 rounds of ammunition, along with riot gear and camouflage uniforms. The VHA has claimed that these purchases are for “enforcing federal law at VA medical facilities (and some National Cemetery and Benefits locations).”
- The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Social Security Administration (SSA) purchased around 300 firearms and 250,000 rounds of ammunition. The SSA’s OIG has stated that it uses these items for investigations into “wrongdoing by applicants, beneficiaries, contractors and third parties, and employees.”
- The National Park Service (NPS) of the U.S. Department of the Interior purchased nearly 2 million rounds, approximately 1,500 firearms, silencers, riot shields and batons, camouflage uniforms and “pyrotechnics and specialized munitions.” The stated purpose of these items is to protect “the safety and health of NPS visitors, partners, and staff, as well as our natural and cultural resources.”
Though those numbers certainly seem large — maybe even astoundingly so — on their own, they are part of a years-long effort that began during the Obama administration that has seen many non-military federal agencies arm themselves to the teeth.
DHS buys five bullets for every American man, woman and child
As the recently released GAO report notes, from FY 2010 to FY 2017, non-military federal agencies spent $1.5 billion on ammunition, weapons and military grade tactical gear. As an example, during that time frame, the VA bought 11 million rounds of ammunition, roughly equivalent to 2,800 rounds for each of its 3,957 officers. Similarly, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has purchased 4 million rounds over the past eight years and acquired 1 million rounds for use by its 461 special agents. The HHS has called its arms purchases “imperative.” In addition, the SSA bought 800,000 rounds for their 270 special agents during this period, amounting to nearly 3,000 rounds per agent. Even the U.S. Postal Service acquired significant amounts of weapons and ammunition.
These purchases in the past have been the subject of some controversy, such as the mass purchases of hollow-point rounds by government agencies including the Forest Service, National Park Service, Office of Inspector General, Bureau of Fiscal Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals, and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Hollow-point bullets are illegal under the Geneva Convention but government agencies spent at least $426,268 in just two years (FY 2015 and FY 2016) to acquire them.
Ammunition purchases by the Department of Homeland Security in 2013 were also controversial and were subsequently investigated by the GAO. DHS had claimed that is was buying over a billion rounds of ammunition, including hollow-point rounds, in order to “save money.” However, this has long been in doubt, given that hollow-point rounds are significantly more expensive than other rounds that do not expand upon impact.
At the time, Forbes noted that the massive ammo purchases by DHS could be used to sustain a “hot war” for more than twenty years, given that during the height of the Iraq War the Army used around 6 million rounds per month. With its planned purchase of 1.6 billion rounds, DHS would have ammo left over after matching the Army’s peak daily outpouring of hot lead for two solid decades….
There is no denying that these purchases represent a significant amount of government waste. More importantly, these purchases reveal the gradual yet continual effort to militarize federal agencies that have historically been administrative, a trend that should concern all Americans.
While the militarization of domestic police forces has attracted attention, it is equally important to ask why regulatory agencies are now so heavily armed, considering that virtually all of those pursued by these regulatory agencies are American citizens who are wanted for minor infractions or non-violent crimes. For instance, in 2016, the Department of Education sent armed U.S. marshals after Paul Aker over a $1,500 unpaid student loan. The armed officers arrived at Aker’s home with an arrest warrant, which resulted in a two-hour standoff. “I’m still shaken,” Aker said at the time. “Why send seven guys with guns about a student loan?” The DOE, during the last two years under the Obama Administration, increased its spending on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment by 25 percent….
A federal judge in Texas has declared that an all-male military draft is unconstitutional, ruling that “the time has passed” for a debate on whether women belong in the military.
The decision deals the biggest legal blow to the Selective Service System since the Supreme Court upheld the draft registration process in 1981. In Rostker v. Goldberg, the court ruled that a male-only draft was “fully justified” because women were ineligible for combat roles.
But U.S. District Judge Gray Miller ruled late Friday that while historical restrictions on women serving in combat “may have justified past discrimination,” men and women are now equally able to fight. In 2015, the Pentagon lifted all restrictions for women in military service….
Drafting Women Means Equality in Slavery
Last week the House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act requiring women to register with Selective Service. This means that if Congress ever brings back the draft, women will be forcibly sent to war.
The amendment is a response to the Pentagon’s decision to allow women to serve in combat. Supporters of drafting women point out that the ban on women in combat was the reason the Supreme Court upheld a male-only draft. Therefore, they argue, it is only logical to now force women to register for Selective Service. Besides, supporters of extending the draft point out, not all draftees are sent into combat.
Most of those who opposed drafting women did so because they disagreed with women being eligible for combat positions, not because they opposed the military draft. Few, if any, in Congress are questioning the morality, constitutionality, and necessity of Selective Service registration. Thus, this debate is just another example of how few of our so-called “representatives” actually care about our liberty….
The logic of the state continues its centuries-long pattern of dismantling the structure of the human family. Draft age women will be fertile women (unless they’ve gotten the HPV vaccine anyway). Who will look after the kids? The nanny state of course. And who will look after the adult survivors of state-mananged child rearing? The police state of course. Democrat/republican, good cop/bad cop, Jekyll/Hyde.
The state is an emergent, self-organized entity with organelles like mitochondria (corporations) a nucleus (government), a bilipid layer (internal police and external military, similar in function) and the few remaining enzymes and expendable molecules which haven’t yet been swept up in the organelles or excreted through the cell wall.
And most importantly, the state has INTERESTS, which transcend generations and national identity and public justifications, which tend to grow and consume every resource available, such as human families, which are dissolved and restructured into the organs of the state as with any digestive process. The USA’s founders knew this instinctively. They also knew the malignant horror of a privately controlled blood supply (the transnational fictional reserve banking system), and attempted (unsuccessfully) to prevent that malignancy from infecting the state via the 1st article of the constitution.
The mechanical logic of this will continue until people organize against it or complete their incorporation into it.
Suzanne Venker’s recent opinion piece on FoxNews is very, very important, because she points out that almost all of the most recent deadly mass shooters have one thing in common: fatherlessness.
She begins by pointing out a tweet after the terrible shooting in Florida last week. Actor and comedian Michael Ian Black began a series of tweets in this way, “Deeper even than the gun problem is this: boys are broken.”
Venker goes on to describe how his “tweet storm” strayed from the truth:
Unfortunately, Black quickly veered off course. “Men don’t have the language to understand masculinity as anything other than some version of a caveman because no language exists…The language of masculinity is hopelessly entwined with sexuality, and the language of sexuality in hopelessly entwined with power, agency, and self-worth…To step outside those norms is to take a risk most of us are afraid to take. As a result, a lot of guys spend their lives terrified…We’re terrified of being viewed as something other than men. We know ourselves to be men, but don’t know how to be our whole selves. A lot of us (me included) either shut off or experience deep shame or rage. Or all three. Again: men are terrified.”
Mr. Black is not the first to attack masculinity and suggest it’s at the root of all evil. Indeed, the phrase ‘toxic masculinity’ has become boilerplate language in America.
It’s not a hard sell, either. After all, it is boys and men who are typically to blame for violent acts of aggression. Ergo, testosterone—the defining hormone of masculinity—must be to blame. But testosterone has been around forever. School shootings have not.
Mr. Black is correct that boys are broken. But they’re not broken as a result of being cavemen who haven’t “evolved” the way women have. They’re broken for another reason.
They are fatherless.
Yes, yes, and a thousand times yes.
Some federal officials think vaccine exemptions are used too widely and want Congress to eliminate your right to choose! Action Alert!
In response to several measles outbreaks that have been reported across the US by the CDC, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee is planning to meet on March 5 to discuss vaccine-preventable diseases and efforts to boost vaccination rates and fight vaccine hesitancy. A House subcommittee is holding a similar hearing next week. Ahead of these hearings, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has warned states offering vaccine exemptions that the federal government may intervene. This attack on exemptions is unprecedented. We must ensure that Congressional members are properly educated about the numerous safety issues that have been demonstrated. We must also respond in force to protect vaccine exemptions from federal interference.
We should say at the outset that to want safer vaccines is not “anti-vax.” Reasonable people can ask reasonable questions about vaccination—indeed, we must ask these questions given the risks that are involved. For example, why must vaccines contain dangerous neurotoxins such as aluminum, formaldehyde, and even mercury? When the government pays out billions of dollars over the years to families damaged by vaccines (see more on this below), we have a right to call for safer vaccines. Such sentiments are not “anti-vax,” but rather pro-safer vaccination.
Commissioner Gottlieb made a number of alarming remarks about exemptions. He said that states might “force the hand of the federal health agencies” if they continue to allow vaccine exemptions amid disease outbreaks, and that he was “deeply skeptical” of exemptions that are not for medical reasons. Gottlieb speculated that the federal government “could mandate certain rules about what is and isn’t permissible when it comes to allowing people to have exemptions.”
It is deeply concerning that the head of the FDA appears so willing to trample the rights of individuals and to supersede state authority. Under the Constitution, the US government has the authority to use police power to prevent those with serious communicable diseases from entering the US or transmitting disease across state borders. Established legal precedents dating back to the early 20th century, however, leave vaccine and school admission policies up to the states, so if the federal government tried to interfere there would be strong grounds for a Constitutional challenge. The danger is that the federal government could, perhaps, indirectly influence states to abandon non-medical exemptions through revoking funding for projects or other such means. If we care about states’ rights and individual rights, we must vehemently oppose Gottlieb’s insinuations.
The assumption, of course, is that unvaccinated children contract a disease and spread it to other children who may or may not have been vaccinated. As we’ve pointed out in past instances of measles outbreaks, this is simply false. Experts found in 2015 that one in ten measles-vaccinated individuals were at risk of measles because of the waning effectiveness of the measles vaccine. Because of this health authorities are now suggesting booster shots for measles.
There have even been cases where measles was transmitted in a school with a documented immunization level of 100%. What this tells us is that vaccination is not as effective at preventing disease as the public is often led to believe. Multiple studies have shown that vaccinated kids, especially those recently vaccinated, can spread disease, because the vaccine contains a live virus (vaccines that contain the live virus include chicken pox, measles, rubella, nasal flu, polio, and smallpox).
The same goes for mumps. Unvaccinated kids were similarly blamed for a mumps outbreak in recent years, despite the CDC reporting that most mumps patients said they had received both shots of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.
It is pure propaganda to blame unvaccinated kids for these outbreaks. The goal seems to be the passage of laws that eliminate vaccine exemptions as California has done. The tragedy is that, while states and apparently the federal government work to boost vaccine uptake, important questions about the safety of vaccines are swept under the rug. In fact, federal health authorities exhibit a dogged determination not to investigate the safety of vaccines or work to make them safer….
… To explore how much Roundup we’re drinking, U.S. PIRG tested beer and wine for glyphosate/Roundup. As we’ve confirmed in this study, Roundup is found in beer and wine. This confirms past studies on the topic, which found that glyphosate is found in almost all adult beverages. For example, in 2016, beer testing in Germany also revealed residues of glyphosate in every single sample tested, even in independent beers. After that study was released, German brewers managed to severely limit the amount of glyphosate used in brewing, and saw marked improvement in a 2017 follow-up study. A study from 2018 in Latvia came to similar conclusions as the original German study, finding glyphosate in all products tested.
We tested 20 products: Five wines and 15 beers. The wine brands tested included Beringer, Barefoot and Sutter Home. Beer brands tested included Budweiser, Coors, Miller Lite, Sam Adams, Samuel Smith Organic and New Belgium….