The Democrats' gun-control theatrics were on display last month in the House of Representatives during a 24-hour-long tantrum/fundraiser, where they demanded a vote on more "sensible" gun laws following the radical Islamist terrorist attack on an Orlando night club. "No more Auroras, no more Orlandos!" DNC honcho Debbie Wasserman-Schultz shouted
as she left the sit-in.
Similar gestures were made in the Senate with four different firearms-related bills introduced with an eye to qualifying lawful gun ownership. Minority Leader Harry Reid called
the Republican measures "political stunts" and "meaningless in doing something to stop gun violence."
Second Amendment foe President Obama used the Orlando tragedy to call, once more, for expanded gun regulations. "The notion that the answer to this tragedy would be to make sure that more people in a nightclub are similarly armed to the killer defies common sense," he said
. "Those who defend the easy accessibility to assault weapons should meet these families and explain why that makes sense."
According to a recent report from openthebooks.com, non-military spending on guns, ammo and military-style equipment soared from $119.3 million in 2008, President George W. Bush’s last year in office, to a high of $224.7 million dollars in 2012, the year Obama won re-election.
It's not just law enforcement agencies accumulating weapons; the report showed that agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are also growing their firepower.
Here are the key findings from the report for FY2006-2014:
- Sixty-seven non-military federal agencies spent $1.48 billion on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment.
- Of that total amount, ‘Traditional Law Enforcement’ Agencies spent 77 percent ($1.14 billion) while ‘Administrative’ or ‘General’ Agencies spent 23 percent ($335.1 million).
- Non-military federal spending on guns and ammunition jumped 104 percent from $55 million (FY2006) to $112 million (FY2011).
- Nearly 6 percent ($42 million) of all federal guns and ammunition purchase transactions were wrongly coded. Some purchases were actually for ping-pong balls, gym equipment, bread, copiers, cotton balls, or cable television including a line item from the Coast Guard entered as "Cable Dude".
- Administrative agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Smithsonian Institution, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Mint, Department of Education, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and many other agencies purchased guns, ammo, and military-style equipment.
- Since 2004, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) purchased 1.7 billion bullets including 453 million hollow-point bullets. As of 1/1/2014, DHS estimated its bullet inventory-reserve at 22-months, or 160 million rounds.
- Between 1998 and 2008 (the most recent comprehensive data available) the number of law enforcement officers employed by federal agencies increased nearly 50 percent from 83,000 (1998) to 120,000 (2008). However, Department of Justice officer count increased from 40,000 (2008) to 69,000 (2013) and Department of Homeland Security officer count increased from 55,000 (2008) to 70,000 (2013).
- The Internal Revenue Service, with its 2,316 special agents, spent nearly $11 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spent $3.1 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment. The EPA has spent $715 million on its ‘Criminal Enforcement Division’ from FY2005 to present even as the agency has come under fire for failing to perform its basic functions.
- Federal agencies spent $313,958 on paintball equipment, along with $14.7 million on Tasers, $1.6 million on unmanned aircraft, $8.2 million on buckshot, $7.44 million on projectiles, and $4 million on grenades/launchers.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) spent $11.66 million including more than $200,000 on ‘night vision equipment,’ $2.3 million on ‘armor – personal,’ more than $2 million on guns, and $3.6 million on ammunition. Veterans Affairs has 3,700 law enforcement officers guarding and securing VA medical centers.
- The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service spent $4.77 million purchasing shotguns, .308 caliber rifles, night vision goggles, propane cannons, liquid explosives, pyro supplies, buckshot, LP gas cannons, drones, remote controlled helicopters, thermal cameras, military waterproof thermal infrared scopes, and more.