A lot of people have asked us, lately, what we think of news reports that the federal government is buying enormous quantities of ammunition for various federal agencies, including Homeland Security. Some bloggers have suggested that this is evidence of a secret government plan to fight against its citizens.
While we believe that a healthy distrust of government is both quintessentially American and patriotic, the answer is much simpler, though still worthy of concern.
While almost half a billion rounds of .40-caliber, hollow-point ammunition seems like a lot, we need to look at a couple of things.
First, that 450 million rounds is a maximum — the most that the feds might buy — over the next five years. They may not buy that many, but the contract allows them to purchase up to that many.
Second, that ammunition is for 65,000 or more federal police officers (including immigration, border patrol, and others). Divide that out, and the worst case is still less than 1,500 rounds per officer per year, for training, qualifications, and for duty. That’s not an unreasonable number — most shooting enthusiast shoot much more.
So, no, there’s probably no covert conspiracy afoot.
On the other hand, 65,000 is a whole lot of federal cops.
Thanks to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the NRA, and the office of Georgia Congressman Lynn Westmoreland for getting the real story.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Civil Rights Group Calls on Schools to Better Protect Children, Offers Free Training
St. Paul, Minn. – In the wake of yet another massacre in a “gun-free” zone, Minnesota’s Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance is offering free defensive handgun training for any school staff member who receives legal written permission to carry at a public or private K-12 school.
“It is time to dismiss the fiction of ‘gun-free schools,’ said GOCRA President Joseph E. Olson. “These schools aren’t gun-free; they’re free-fire zones for criminals.” Mass shootings in this country overwhelmingly occur in so-called “gun-free zones” — schools, post offices, and commercial locations that ban the legal carry of defensive firearms. Minnesota law already allows any licensed permit holder to carry at a school with written permission from a principal, superintendent or other official.
Olson called on superintendents and principals to immediately authorize qualified staff and faculty to carry at schools. To further protect children, GOCRA vice president Andrew Rothman will be organizing free carry permit training for any school staff member with such permission. ”Over 112,000 Minnesotans have carry permits,” Rothman noted, “That’s more than one in every 35 adults. They are overwhelmingly law-abiding, they carry to protect human life, and they can be part of the solution.”
Currently, most public schools in Minnesota follow a “lockdown” procedure in case of a violent attack. In a lockdown, students take shelter in their classroom, lock and barricade the doors, turn off the lights, and remain quiet until the “all clear” is given.
Olson pointed out that the State of Israel faced a similar school violence threat after PLO terrorists targeted schoolchildren in the Ma’alot massacre 1974, killing 25 . The Israeli government started encouraging reservists keep their guns at home and carry them on the streets. Teachers armed themselves, and volunteer parents and grandparents in plain clothing patrolled the schools and accompanied every field trip. Israel went more than a quarter century with no further school attacks.
Waiting for the police simply takes too long, Olson said. “The Israelis have proven the importance of instantly available armed resistance,” Olson said. ”In every mass shooting incident, from the Texas Tower in 1966, to Luby’s Cafeteria in 1991, to Red Lake, to the present incident, as soon as the first counterfire occurs, whether by a ‘civilian’ or the police, the first return shot ends the murders.”
Educators and other school staff interested in attending the free training are asked to contact GOCRA at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Minneapolis Midtown Greenway - Photo by Micah Taylor
This morning, journalist Jeremy Iggers was one of at least three victims violently attacked by six young thugs on the Midtown Greenway, a walking/biking path that runs through an old railroad right-of-way a couple blocks off of Lake Street.
Iggers and another biker were hit by thrown rocks; the other biker was beaten, and a third was robbed (it’s not clear if he was also injured). He writes about it here:
The Greenway has long been a favorite location for muggers, and it’s little wonder. The Greenway is a convenient conduit that brings innocent victims directly to criminal actors, in a straight-line tunnel with few or no avenues of escape, in the convenience of their own neighborhoods.
If you are fortunate enough to be there on the rare occasions when the Minneapolis Police’s bike cops are riding by, count yourself fortunate. The rest of the time, you’re on your own. Sure, you can call 911 once the damage is done, but when seconds count, the police are only minutes away (that’s no dig at the police; we wouldn’t want to live in a place with a cop in sight at all times.
Some bicyclists who avoid the Greenway because of the vulnerability of being trapped. Another, a Marine who shall remain nameless, beat the living crap out of his assailant (poor victim selection, that was).
Again: you’re on your own. If you happen to be a 6′ Marine triathelete, and want to take your chances against running into a thug — or five — with weapons, just ride and take it as it comes.
If you’re not that adept in hand-to-hand, or otherwise don’t like your chances, avoid the Greenway, or take steps to make sure you have the tools and training to protect yourself.
Carry permit training is available every week. Go get some.