First a lil history lesson in US ammunition market supply and demand… Specifically when supplies get tight and demand gets great.
It happened to a small degree when Clinton came along followed by the imposition of the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban. Things got back to normal.
Then along came Y2K and the market really tightened up. Prices doubled and the ammo dealers at trade shows were the biggest draw until 2000 / 2001 came and went and no apocalypse. While supplies were tight Wal-Mart’s shelves always had a pretty good selection, and most everyone was able to get as much as they could afford. Things got back to normal.
Next came the WoT, Afghanistan and Iraq with the associated huge increase in US military ammo supply requirements. At the time there was excess manufacturing capacity to take up the slack, AND due to the end of the Cold War a HUGE import market had opened up from the Eastern Bloc countries and Russia. So, even with the gummint’s increased needs no real shortage came about. Prices were especially reasonable and supplies abundant.
Then US elected a Black President. His progressive policies and ‘in the closet’, but well documented, anti-gun beliefs led to a run on firearms, especially those most likely to be targeted, AND [ to my surprise ] a MAJOR run on ammo. My personal take was ‘This is ridiculous’. Especially given that Obama and the demopubs avoided gun control like the plague since they’d had they arses handed to them after the hugely flawed AWB. Hell, he even signed TWO pro-gun bills into law his first term. Still, weapons and especially ammo were selling like hotcakes, and I’m thinking my ol Gun Culture buds are a bit daffy as it were. This situation persisted throughout O’s first term regardless. ‘Oh well’ I think, same fools what thought Y2K was The End.
Then O decided to Out-Bush Bush with the WoT, adopting and going even further down the road of ‘tyrannical’ measures than the Cheney / Bush / Rumsfeld Cabal EVER had the cojones to try. E.g. The NDAA, re-upping The Patriot Act, indiscriminate Drone Strikes, persecution of Whistle Blowers [ i.e. Bradley Manning, et al. ], and lawd knows what all else we don’t have a clue about given the gummint’s outrageous propensity for covert actions, not just foreign, but DOMESTIC, especially DOMESTIC. Just for starters.
Then O dropkicks that idiot ‘What’s ‘is Face’ for a second term, which was fine with me cuz I was for ABR. No telling what that One Percenter woulda done to US. ‘No never mind’ I think, since O had yet to take up the gun control cause in earnest. Regardless, there’s an immediate reaction in the firearms and ammo market similar to O’s first election.
This time though things really got tight with the ammo supply ridiculously short… already high prices more than doubled overnight, dealers started rationing sales to be fair to their regular customers, ammo came off the hand trucks straight into buyers hands, shelves hardly ever had stock on display, WalMart started restricting sales to three boxes per customer per day, not that it mattered since their entire ‘in stock’ ammo the last three times I was in one of their stores consisted of only 3-4 boxes of some oddball caliber. Their pretty decent sized ammo cabinet looked like yer local grocery store’s bread rack right before the Beeg Hurricane. Once again I’m thinking ‘This is ridiculous’. And it was IMHO… until a couple things happened…
First, along comes Sandy Hook, an y’all know the rest re: the major push for gun control, all kinds of gun control, ‘gotta have’ gun control, the ‘world will end’ without gun control… All ‘common sense’ stuff of course… Except to the MUCH larger percentage of Americans than indicated by SIMPLISTIC polls that ONLY addressed the need for keeping guns out of the wrong hands, BUT completely ignoring the ‘devil in the details’ issues which are what REALLY killed the gun control efforts, notwithstanding ‘Not Relevant Anymore’s’ embarrassing rants [ to many of 'us' in the Gun Culture ].
While on the subject, here’s a News Flash fer Ya’ll… They be a whole LOT more of US in the Gun Culture, who will resist with all Our might what we firmly believe to be any abridgment of Our Inalienable Rights, All TEN of Them, than the NRA in their widest dreams could EVER hope to squeeze Our hard earned cash from jes to line ‘ol LaPiss’airs pockets with.
What many of us didn’t know at that time was DHS’s insatiable, totally unnecessary, and indefensible NEED for HUGE ammo stocks. This only came to light recently. To Wit…
From Forbes.com… not exactly yer fly-by-night InterNet rumor mill outfit…
The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, SO FAR TO LITTLE NOTICE. It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. As reported elsewhere, some of this purchase order is for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years. In America.
The author of this article notes that…
About 20 years ago this columnist worked, for two years, in the U.S. Department of Energy’s general counsel’s office in its procurement and finance division. And is wise to the ways.
Spending money this way is beyond absurd well into perverse. According to the AP story a DHS spokesperson justifies this acquisition to “help the government get a low price for a big purchase.” Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center: “The training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.”
At 15 million rounds (which, in itself, is pretty extraordinary and sounds more like fun target-shooting-at-taxpayer-expense than a sensible training exercise) … that’s a stockpile that would last DHS over a century. To claim that it’s to “get a low price” for a ridiculously wasteful amount is an argument that could only fool a career civil servant.
Here’s a comprehensive report on the ‘Oversight of the Federal Government’s Procurement of Ammunition’ hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform – Subcommittee on National Security on April 25, 2013… [ Link to full videos of hearing follow below. ]
At a hearing at the House of Representatives on Thursday a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did his best to defuse growing concerns about excessive purchases of ammunition for its 72,000 agents. These purchases were necessary, insisted Nick Nayak, because of training needs not only for his agency, but also for the U.S. Coast Guard (41,000 employees) and other federal, state, local, and tribal enforcement personnel (70,000) who train at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) of the DHS, located at the former naval air station in Glynco, Georgia.
An example of DHS’s obfuscation…
Nayak countered, insisting that reports from the Associated Press were completely untrue. “We have not purchased 1.5 billion rounds of ammo. I have no idea where the billion or over [number] ever came from.”
House member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) jumped in:
You said you have no idea where the one billion rounds number came from? You’ve got to have some idea!
You’ve got four news agencies reporting this number. And here you are under oath [and saying that] you have no clue. Are they just making it up?
Nayak then clarified that the contracts did exist but that they were only to allow the agency to purchase “up to” the amounts specified by the AP, not that they were actually going to be fulfilled. [ Yeah Right! Hah! I'm calling 'Bull Shit' on that Sparky! ]
From the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform… The Video Link for The Full Hearing Follows – in Four Parts [ Gavel falls at 6:45 into Part I ]
For your convenience I’ve noted the length of each Part. Not really expecting anyone on here to view the entire hearing, but if one really cares about the ‘FACTS’ straight from Our gummint’s minions mouths one might find all, or at least parts of it, quite interesting. I know I always do… ‘;)
Part I [ 14:20 mins - gavel falls at 6:45 ]
Part II [ 1:54:37 hrs. mins ]
Part III [ 19:30 mins ]
Part IV [ 15:18 mins ]
For a one minute sound bite from Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who Chaired the hearing, and spoke on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, April 26, 2013, about U.S. homeland security policy in general, but specifically re: DHS ammunition purchases… view from 27:40 to 28:35.
And for your reading pleasure here’s the DHS’s offering of typical gummint speak BS in response to their having to appear before the Committee…
Written testimony of DHS Directorate of Management Office of the Chief Procurement Officer, Chief Procurement Officer Nick Nayak, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement National Firearms and Tactical Training Unit Assistant Director Humberto Medina for a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittees on Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs, and National Security hearing titled “Oversight of the Federal Government’s Procurement of Ammunition” Release Date: April 25, 2013 Location: 2154 Rayburn House Office Building
An if’n that ain’t major fodder fer ol EFB‘s ‘Conspiracy theorists of the world, unite!’, ain’t nutt’n is… ‘;)
IMPORTANT NOTE: I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT DHS’s AMMO PROCUREMENT POLICIES ARE A CONSPIRACY. I THINK IT’S JES PLAIN ‘OL GUMMINT BUREAUCRATIC MISSION CREEP, ‘SPEND IT IF YA GOT IT’ BS! SO DON’T BE ACCUSING ME OF SAME, THANK YA VERY MUCH!
[ All Emphasis within Quotes by Author ]