There are now more non-military federal government officials who carry firearms and militarized equipment than the total number of U.S. Marines, leading many Americans to question, “What exactly is the Obama administration up to?” according to a Friday op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.
The op-ed, by former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn and Adam Andrzejewski, the founder and CEO of OpenTheBooks.com, shined a light on an oversight report on the militarization of the government also released by OpenTheBooks on Friday. The study noted that roughly 200,000 non-Defense officials are authorized to make arrests and carry firearms, compared with the approximately 182,000 Marines that serve in the United States.
The massive stockpiling of weapons and militarized equipment coincides with an intensifying push by figures on the Left to disarm the public and undermine the Second Amendment.
Coburn and Andrzejewski reported that this “escalating arms and ammo stockpiling” has nearly tripled from 1996 to 2016 and constitutes a “federal arms race.”
“People from both ends of the political spectrum have expressed alarm at this trend,” the pair wrote. “Conservatives argue that it is hypocritical, unconstitutional and costly for political leaders to undermine the Second Amendment while simultaneously equipping nonmilitary agencies with heavy weapons, hollow-point bullets and military-style equipment.”
Coburn and Andrzejewski also noted that, “Progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders have raised civil liberties concerns about the militarization of local police with vehicles built for war and other heavy weaponry.”
This new report indicting the massive stockpiling of weapons and militarized equipment coincides with an intensifying push by figures on the Left to disarm the public and undermine the Second Amendment in the wake of the Orlando shooting last Sunday.
Following the deaths of 49 victims and the wounding of 53 others at the hands of radical Islamic terrorist Omar Mateen, prominent Democrats in both the House and the Senate increased their clamoring for stricter gun control measures. Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut led a 14-hour filibuster Wednesday calling for new gun control action.
“Some examples of spending from 2005 through 2014 raise the question: Who are they preparing to battle?”
The OpenTheBooks report, released in conjunction with the organization America Transparency found that in the nine years leading up to 2014, 67 agencies that were unaffiliated with the Department of Defense spent roughly $1.48 billion on guns and ammunition alone. Of that total, approximately $335.1 million was spent by administrative and regulatory agencies.
“Some examples of spending from 2005 through 2014 raise the question: Who are they preparing to battle?” Coburn and Andrzejewski wrote.
The agencies involved in the study included the IRS (which spent almost $11 million on militarized equipment and weaponry), the Department of Veterans Affairs (which spent $11.66 million), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service ($4.77 million), the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and more.
Some of the equipment purchased included night-vision goggles, propane cannons, liquid explosives, drones, remote-control helicopters, military waterproof thermal infrared scopes, and more.
Coburn and Andrzejewski note this massive stockpiling has generated many questions with few answers.
“Our data shows that the federal government has become a gun show that never adjourns,” the op-ed writers concluded.
“Taxpayers need to tell Washington that police powers belong primarily to cities and states, not the feds.”