For those conspiracy-minded people who think the U.S. government is out to get them, here’s some ammunition they could use: the arming of federal government employees now shows the number of non-Defense Department federal officers carrying firearms (200,000) now exceeds the number of U.S. Marines (182,000)
That shocking statistic comes courtesy of a Wall Street Journal op-ed penned by former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn and Adam Andrzejewski the founder and CEO of OpenTheBooks.com.
The spectrum of agencies whose employees are armed is cause for real concern. The authors note that IRS agents have access to AR-15 military-style rifles, Health and Human Services “Special Office of Inspector General Agents” have been trained by the Army’s Special Forces contractors, and the Department of Veterans Affairs boats 3,700 armed employees.
According to the op-ed, federal officers with arrest-and-firearm authority numbered 74, 500 in 1996; over 200,000 exist today. As the authors ask, “What exactly is the Obama administration up to?”
On Friday, the authors’ organization, American Transparency, will publish its OpenTheBooks.com oversight report, which will enumerate “federal purchases of guns, ammunition and military-style equipment by seemingly bureaucratic federal agencies.” The authors write, “During a nine-year period through 2014, we found 67 agencies unaffiliated with the Department of Defense spent $1.48 billion on guns and ammo. Of that total, $335.1 million was spent by agencies traditionally viewed as regulatory or administrative, such as the Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. Mint.”
Here are some more staggering statistics: between 2005 and 2014, the IRS spent $11 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment; the Department of Veterans Affairs spent $11.66 million, including over $200,000 on night-vision equipment, $2.3 million for body armor, over $2 million on guns, and $3.6 million for ammunition; 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-control helicopters, thermal cameras, military waterproof thermal infrared scopes and more.”
There’s more: The Environmental Protection Agency spent $3.1 million on guns, ammunition and military-style equipment; The Food and Drug Administration has 183 heavily armed “special agents.”
And more: the Small Business Administration, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Education Department, Energy Department, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, National Institute of Standards and Technology have all increased their arsenals.
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is using the Orlando massacre as one more way to encourage the populace to disarm itself.