According to a recent report by openthebooks.com, non-military federal agencies have received $1.4 billion in “guns, ammunition, and other military style equipment during the last nine years.” Meanwhile President Obama continues to lead the assault via the White House “bully-pulpit” against individual citizens' gun ownership and the Second Amendment.
Investopedia.com describes a federal agency in part as one “set up for a specific purpose such as the management of resources, financial oversight of industries or national security issues.” Examples include the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, and Energy — all of which on the surface would appear to have no use for vast amounts of high-powered firearms and combat equipment.
One example of such federal agency militarization is the Internal Revenue Service. From 2006 to 2014, openthebooks.com documents that the IRS, “with its 2316 special agents, spent nearly $11 million on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment."
Another example of the prolific arming of the federal government is the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a branch of the Agriculture Department — in essence a department full of biologists documenting human impact on plant species. The APHIS mission statement is "to protect the health and value of American agriculture and natural resources.” The last decade of APHIS expenditures reveals $4.7 million for high-powered weaponry and other military gear such as explosives and night vision goggles. One cannot help but wonder how seriously they must be taking their mission to “protect” the agriculture.
APHIS claims to need such equipment to protect their workers from feral swine (wild hogs). However, with $4.7 million in guns, propane cannons, ammo, and other military gear, it brings up the question: Just how many wild pigs do they anticipate confronting?
The report from openthebooks continues, “We estimate that federal non-military agencies now employ more officers with arrest and firearm authorization than there are U.S. Marines. There are 182,000 U.S. Marines and over 200,000 plus officers employed within the rank-and-file federal agencies.”
It would appear our country is safe from a “feral swine” uprising.
While federal agencies across the nation are increasingly being armed with myriad types of military-grade weaponry, President Obama has ramped up his cry to further limit the Second Amendment. After the recent terror attack in Orlando, he asserted, “This massacre is, therefore, a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or in a movie theater, or in a nightclub.”
However over the course of the past decade — increasing under the current administration — non-military government agencies have armed themselves more than at any other point in our nation’s history. According to the openthebooks.com report, during President George W. Bush’s last year, 2008, spending for these agencies topped out at $119.3 million. The year President Obama won re-election, 2012, spending for these agencies hit an astounding $224.7 million. Feral swine indeed.
Below are a few examples of line items from the “Open the Books Oversight Report.” There are 125 pages such as this, with 95 line items on each page.
• BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 9/1/2010 TASERS AND TASER EQUIPMENT $298,030.00
• BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 5/13/2009 TASERS AND TASER EQUIPMENT FROM GSA CONTRACT $51,528.
• BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 5/22/2008 COLT RIFLE SPARE PART KITS $30,620.00
• BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT 9/10/2008 AERIAL IGNITION DEVICE $12,350.00
• NATIONAL PARK SERVICE 8/12/2014 VRP FIREARMS $210,560.00
• FEDERAL ACQUISITION SERVICE 10/30/2008 LEVEL III-BULLET PROOF VEST, X-SMALL THRU LARGE. SEE ATTACHED QUOTE. FHSJP/8191. AWARD IS MADE $155,250.00
While the federal government continues to arm civilian agencies at an unprecedented pace, the attacks on the Second Amendment are also escalating. That amendment reads, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” However, presidents, politicians, Hollywood personalities, and mainstream media outlets continue to demand that this amendment be either revised or altogether abolished.
One such media personality calling for complete civilian disarmament in the United States is actor Matt Damon. Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia recently, he asserted, “You guys did it [disarmament] here in one fell swoop and I wish that could happen in my country, but it's such a personal issue for people that we cannot talk about it sensibly. We just can't.” The hypocrisy of Damon’s timing is worth noting. He was in Australia for the red carpet premier of his latest Jason Bourne movie — in which he plays a trained assassin who has killed at least 10 people. With firearms.
For many people the issue of limited governmental powers versus heavily armed federal agencies comes down to trust and personal responsibility. If citizens implicitly (and foolishly) trust the government to act on their behalf and for their good in every instance, then they might be sympathetic to the outcry against the Second Amendment.
If people believe that it is not their own right and responsibility for self-protection, but first and foremost the responsibility of elected politicians to provide protection, then as stated above, they will probably closely relate to those people calling for firearms to be seized.
However, if people believe that the right to protect their life and liberty falls first and foremost upon themselves — if they believe in limited government but maximized personal responsibility — they would do well to take note of our increasingly armed federal government and decreasing Second Amendment rights.
It is not only the right, but the responsibility, of U.S. citizens to learn firearm safety and ensure their families learn such measures. It is also the responsibility of citizens who are educated on said safety to also educate themselves on the Second Amendment. They must learn which politicians would further arm the government while disarming the citizens.
And maybe, just maybe, it’s time to care just a little less about the opinions of hypocritical Hollywood elites.