Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Governmental Gun Control

David:
As usual, following a tragedy like the mass killing in Orlando, the Democrats in Congress are pushing for a ban on "assault weapons", which they have now taken to calling "weapons of war". Instead of condemning the ideological monster bent on killing Americans, they'd like to go after their favorite target, the 2nd Amendment.

Doug:
There are so many "ideological monsters" that it seems it would be prudent to take away their weapons. That seems to just be common sense. But if you are using the Second Amendment to justify these weapons, then they are weapons of war by definition... weapons to be used in war by militia against your government.

David:
Which is actually a fair Segway to the topic I'm interested in discussing this week, which is why bureaucratic agencies in the executive branch are buying up these same weapons they want to ban for the American public, to use against Americans. Why do they need this firepower? Why are Health and Human Services agents being trained in the use of AR-15s by Army Special Forces contractors?

http://www.openthebooks.com/openthebooks_oversight_report_-_the_militarization_of_america/

Doug:
Wow... that is a whole book. I can't respond to a book this week... I'm on vacation.

David:
Here's a Cliff-Notes version...

http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/23/politics/auditors-guns/












Doug:
That report is a couple of years old. But I don't know. I guess if Americans have AR-15's then the government needs them too? Why do you think they need "machine guns" (as the article calls them)?

David:
I don't.  And the article calls them "machine guns" because they are actually military machine guns.

Let me give you a quick run down on some of the numbers, and perhaps you can tell me why a bunch of Washington pencil-pushers are armed to the teeth.

Doug:
Pencil-pushers armed to the teeth! Is this exciting or scary? Sounds like a Revenge of the Nerds sequel, so I guess both exciting and scary. Give us the rundown.

David:
In your world, it's scary for Americans to be able to live under the Constitution, with all of the rights that document grants them, but when the government is the one buying all of these weapons, it becomes a comedy. Got it.

The IRS spent just shy of $11 million for ammunition and "weapons of war". That comes out to almost $5000 in gear and arms for each and every agent.  As if the IRS isn't scary enough! The EPA has put $8 million into it's "Criminal Enforcement Division" buying guns and ammunition. The FDA has 183 special agents armed with "weapons of war". (Maybe they're fighting obesity with force?) The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (yes, there is such an agency) spent nearly $5 million on assault rifles, night-vision goggles, propane canons, military waterproof infrared scopes, and more. Propane cannons! Yikes!

In 1996, there were 74,500 federal officers authorized with firearm-carrying authority. Under the Obama "ban-all-guns" administration, that number has risen to 200,000. There are now more IRS employees armed with serious firepower than there are US Marines. My question is why?

Doug:
Because the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun?

David:
Hey, that's a novel argument. People should be able to defend themselves by using a gun.  Maybe we can add that idea to your version of the Constitution, which apparently leaves it out.

Doug:
I was mocking you. I'd like to get guns out of everyone's hands. But if any idiot can get a machine gun, then I don't see a problem with government employees having them too.

David:
Any idiot can't get a machine gun. You'd have to get a special permit and pay a hefty fee to be able to get something like that, and only if a bureaucrat gives his approval.

Doug:
Ohhh, a special permit, you have to pay extra money, and get a bureaucrat's approval. That sure sounds like it will keep out the idiots.

David:
You obviously don't have a clue what you're talking about on this particular topic, so I'll forgive your last comment. If any idiot could get a machine gun, every idiot would have one. They don't, because it's very, very difficult to obtain those types of arms.

But back to the topic at hand, Do you really trust governmental desk-jockeys to be armed? 

Doug:
I trust them exactly the same amount as I trust everyone else that can get a gun. No more, no less.

David:
Then the number of folks you trust is pretty small. Police have guns, and the military have guns. But why should the government spend taxpayer dollars to arm non-Defense Department employees in bureaucratic agencies, like Health and Human Services?

Here's a frightening statistic: IRS "Special agents"  accidentally shot their firearms 11 times between 2009 and 2011, and at least three of the cases “may have resulted in property damage or personal injury.”  Agents actually fired their guns accidently more often than they intentionally fired them in the field, according to an audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The report also found that the agency, which is now training with AR-15s, does not always provide remedial training to agents who fired their weapons due to “negligence.” This coming from the same administration that wants to prevent citizens from being able to protect themselves from regular bad guys, as well as doofus bad guys in the government. That isn't a large number of firings, which begs the question why they are armed at all.

Doug:
Less guns all around gets my vote.

David:
I'd just like to have my big brother join me in preventing the rise of Big Brother, ala 1984. Taking guns from the citizens and militarizing government agencies seems a pathway for totalitarianism. That's how just about every dictator through history has achieved their power. Here's a summary of just a few of the agencies that are arming:
-The Small Business Administration
-The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
-The Energy Department
-The Social Security Administration
-The Bureau of Engraving and Printing
-The National Institute of Standards and Technology
-The Food and Drug Administration
-The Department of Veterans Affairs
-The Environmental Protection Agency
-The Smithsonian Institution
-The US Mint
-Health and Human Services

All told, there are 67 agencies not part of any law-enforcement or defense departments that are now spending your money on guns, ammunition, night-vision goggles, helicopters, and other military-grade weapons. In the past 9 years, the Obama administration has spent $1.48 Billion to arm agencies that deal with Americans. Who do they think is the enemy?

Doug:
Your fears of 1984 come from a very different place from those of mine. I fear things that are actually happening, like the majority of people working more and earning less. I fear all of the wealth and power ending up in the hands of few people. I fear Big Business being able to track me without my consent. I fear government eavesdropping on all of my communications. I fear the militarization of the police. Do I fear pencil-pushers with guns? No, because that is a fantasy, or bad movie plot.

David:
Are you actually participating in this blog? Or are you pasting your answers from some other discussion? That last comment had nothing to do with this discussion, and seems a bit of a diversion.

I understand that you didn't read the report above, because it was too long for you, but it details the reality that this government you follow so blindly is hypocritically calling for the banning of guns, while at the same time arming itself with those same weapons. For Pete's sake, the Smithsonian Institution now has armed staff! All of these agencies have access to federal marshals to provide security when needed. Why are they buying guns for themselves? You fear the militarization of the police, who are trained to provide security and enforce laws, yet your not concerned at all that other government workers are more heavily armed?

Who do you think really has the power? Sounds like that would be Hillary Clinton and her Wall Street and foreign donors. Well, now she has an executive-branch army at her disposal. Perhaps you'd be a bit more alarmed if Democrats and liberals had been targeted by the IRS. Or if the EPA began targeting solar companies, instead of coal plants.  Or maybe you'd be at least a little alarmed to know your boogie-man, Donald Trump, might be in charge of an armed executive-branch.

If Democrats really want to eliminate certain types of guns, they should start with themselves. Otherwise, they're just reinforcing the notion that they are above the rules they create for the rest of the peasants (who are the rest of Americans). After all, I certainly don't want the guys who created the disaster known as Healthcare.gov to be  in charge of anything at all, while heavily armed!

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