Saturday nutpick-a-palooza: Did you hear that Obama is trying to buy 1.6 billion bullets?

Picture of bullets

Tools of freedom! Er, Tyranny!

Have you heard this conspiracy theory? It’s currently very popular in right-wing circles.

Why Does Obama Need 1.6 Billion Bullets? […]

During the last 10 months, the Department of Homeland Security has purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition, including millions of hollow-point bullets. The department also has purchased 7,000 fully automatic assault rifles, and it has overseen the retrofitting of more than 2,000 light tanks, which, of course, were originally designed to resist the mines and ambushes of the battlefield. Why does DHS need such offensive and defensive firepower?

Wait, is Obama buying the bullets so he can stash them in the White House basement and his Chicago house, or are we talking about the U.S. government agency tasked, for the most part, with protecting our nation against external threats? Because if it’s the latter, then that headline is extra stupid.

But no, to the wingnuts, it’s obvious that “we [are] watching administration battle plans take shape against American citizens on the streets of Your Town, USA.” Sure. That’s exactly it.

Either that, or maybe the Department of Homeland Security includes such law enforcement agencies as the Border Patrol, US Customs, the Federal Protective Service (which guards federal buildings, including Congress), the Secret Service, and the Coast Guard—all of which use guns and bullets as part of their regular duties. It also runs the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Target practice uses up more bullets.

Then there’s the math. The number of bullets purchased wasn’t actually 1.6 billion, it was 450 million over five years, or 1,384 rounds per federal law enforcement agent, or 276 rounds per year, or 23 rounds per month. I blew through way more than that at shooting ranges when I was in the Army. And it was bought in bulk to save money. And those tanks? They aren’t actually tanks.

But reality aside, note that the wingnuts are getting the vapors over the US government buying guns and ammo, when they’ve been claiming that it’s our patriotic duty to arm ourselves to the teeth—lest our children get killed or womenfolk get raped. So guns are good, except for the ones that the government carries. Because tyranny.

Heck, even the NRA has told its crazies to chill. But as you’ll see below the fold, the crazies don’t care.

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