A recent opinion piece appearing in the Daily Caller which suggests that the federal government is purchasing large amounts of ammunition with the purpose of killing American citizens is so deranged that even the conspiracy-peddling National Rifle Association has debunked the claim.
In the piece, which appears in Daily Caller's Guns and Gear section, retired U.S. Army Major General Jerry Curry wrote that "[p]otentially each hollow nose bullet" purchased by the Social Security Administration for its law enforcement arm "represents a dead American."
He then asked, "If so, why would the U.S. government want the SSA to kill 174,000 of our citizens, even during a time of civil unrest? Or is the purpose to kill 174,000 of the nation's military and replace them with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) special security forces, forces loyal to the [Obama] Administration, not to the Constitution?"
Turning to other ammunition purchases by the federal government, Curry wrote (with emphasis added):
In March DHS ordered 750 million rounds of hollow point ammunition. It then turned around and ordered an additional 750 million rounds of miscellaneous bullets including some that are capable of penetrating walls. This is enough ammunition to empty five rounds into the body of every living American citizen. Is this something we and the Congress should be concerned about? What's the plan that requires so many dead Americans, even during times of civil unrest? Has Congress and the Administration vetted the plan in public.
Obama is a deadly serious, persistent man. Once he focuses on an object, he pursues it to the end. What is his focus here? All of these rounds of ammunition can only be used to kill American citizens, though there is enough ammunition being ordered to kill, in addition to every American citizen, also every Iranian, Syrian or Mexican. There is simply too much of it. And this much ammunition can't be just for training, there aren't that many weapons and "shooters" in the U.S. to fire it. Perhaps it is to be used to arm illegal immigrants?
According to the NRA, which recently responded to Internet rumors about the intended purpose of the ammunition purchases, there is nothing unusual about the amount or type of ammunition being procured by the federal government.
Much of the concern stems from a lack of understanding of the law enforcement functions carried about by officers in small federal agencies. These agents have the power to make arrests and execute warrants, just like their better-known counterparts at agencies like the FBI.
For instance, the Social Security Administration solicited offers for 174,000 rounds of pistol ammunition. But the agency has 295 special agents who combat Social Security fraud that costs tax payers billions each year, so the order works out to roughly 590 rounds of ammunition per agent for training, mandatory quarterly qualification shooting and duty use. More than a few NRA members would use that much ammunition in a weekend shooting class or plinking session.
Perhaps most strangely, some have cited the purchase of hollow-point ammunition as evidence of the federal government's evil motives. Hollow-points are the defensive ammunition of choice for federal, state and local law enforcement officers across the country, just as they are for private citizens.
The NRA also pointed to a press release issued by Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) that explained, "[i]f 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." The press release also noted that the contract was for 450 million rounds, not 1.5 billion as Curry stated, and that the bulk purchase allowed the government to save $336 million in FY2011.
However, the NRA may not have the purest of motives in assuaging fears about the ammunition purchase. In the closing paragraph of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action press release explaining the legitimate reasons behind recent government ammo purchases, the NRA urges its followers to instead focus on NRA-approved conspiracy theories including "a cover-up of a disastrous Mexican gun smuggling operation" and "President Obama touting a ban on popular semi-automatic firearms."
The NRA continues to raise money by falsely claiming that Obama intends to ban civilian ownership of firearms and by pushing fabrications about the failed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Operation Fast and Furious.