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Letter to the Editor

Writer Wary of Ammo Shortages

web posted March 25, 2013

Dear Editor,
Recently I purchased a new firearm and wanted to do some target shooting and also instruct my son on some of the finer points of marksmanship. While I had been following the “spotty” shortages of ammo, much to my dismay, I discovered just how serious and widespread these shortages have become, not just locally, but also nationally (e.g. internet).

I have been following closely the major purchases the Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) has been making, anywhere from 1.6 to 2.3 BILLION ROUNDS. For perspective, DoD during the height of the Iraq war used about 5 million rounds a month…this leaves DHS enough ammo to fight a “hot” war for about 30 years and most of it is hollow point. The DHS reply is that they need it for training. As a 22 year military vet, the only thing hollow point is good for is “police action.” It has no military value since it is outlawed by Geneva Protocols for combat use. Hollow point also has questionable value for target practice since it is more expensive and can “spall” or “shed” lead particulates into the firearm. It’s true value is for killing.

Needless to say, my frustration at being able to responsibly and legally purchase ammunition is shared by others and what prompted me to call our Congressman, Jeff Duncan’s office during the first week in March. I expressed to his staffer my dismay that this was receiving NO CONGRESSIONAL attention (at least at that time). I told the staffer, that since Congressman Duncan was the Chairman on the DHS Oversight sub-committee, he should be asking some pointed questions regarding these massive ammo purchases, and its subsequent effect upon domestic ammunition production and supply. I let the staffer know that these massive ammo purchases coupled with DHS procurement of 2700 MRAP (armored vehicles) for domestic use has a disturbing foreboding. It does not require a great leap of faith to envision two probable scenarios for ammo and equipment purchases:

1. What I call the “Chris Rock” million dollar bullet joke theory. You can have all the guns you want, the bullets will be so expensive and unavailable, it will render them useless. It will be an end run around the 2nd Amendment.

2. The anticipated demise of the Dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Massive printing of dollars (fiat currency) has so devalued and destroyed the long term/life savings of the middle class and made govt treasuries worthless..that when trillions of dollars abroad “come home”, the American public will be pissed to wake up to discover their savings is worth a 1/3 or less than it used to be. No doubt, political and financial leaders will be fearful of public retribution and chaos.

Whatever scenario has applicability, our Congressional Leaders and representatives should be asking some tough and pointed questions. While our country is wrestling with sequestration and massive budget deficits, DHS is spending MILLIONS of dollars on Billions of rounds of ammunition, nearly 10,000 assault weapons, and nearly 3000 assault vehicles, with the arrogance of believing they do not have to answer for those purchases, essentially using our own tax dollars against us; either directly (preventing us from purchasing ammo) or indirectly, anticipating a martial law type scenario.

I have attached Congressman Duncan’s written reply back to me. I have since responded back to him pointing out his error in paragraph 3 where he states the “Army purchased the MRAPs, not DHS.” The several articles I have read, and I provided him the references, clearly stated that the Army provided and refurbished those vehicles for DHS. I like Congressman Duncan and have voted for him in the past. However, the tone of his response gives me the impression that he’s more content to sit back, write a letter to DHS and sit back and await their reply…that is not good enough. During my time in the service, I was an Executive Assistant for the Deputy Commander in Chief for US Central Command. When my boss, a 3 star LtGen testified before Congress or was queried by a member of Congress, we usually had answers within 24-48 hours. WE NEVER refused to answer a Congressman. Congress (e.g. the House) controls the budget and purse strings. If an Executive Branch administrator refuses to comply with a legitimate Congressional inquiry, they have every right to suspend (e.g. CUT OFF) funding to that agency. When will Republicans develop a spine? I replied back to Congressman Duncan that if Republican Leadership is unwilling or unable to stand up to an increasingly hostile and ever expansive Executive Branch, than perhaps it is time for some “Political Human Sacrifice”

The theory is that if your local representative (local, state or fed) is a good guy worthy of reelection, but his party’s leadership is full of a bunch of idiots, but clearly you can’t vote the leaders out because you’re not in their district, than you vote your guy out….he’s hostage (and accountable) for the sins and idiocy of the party leadership. Some might say, “you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face.” Perhaps….but odds are, your rep is really not doing you or your district any favors anyway…(e.g. look at the classic RHINO, Lindsey Graham), so why not make an example of them. Sure, you might have to put up with the opposition candidate for a year or two, but they’ll probably think long and hard about crossing the constituents. Just the fear of being “sacrificed” for the sins of the party leaders should add enough stiffness into the wet noodle spine of most representatives…and you can use this with your state representatives also. One would hope that other districts would apply this so idiots like John Boehner would be fearful of losing seats to render their speakership moot.

I would encourage other residents to contact Congressman Duncan, Senator Graham and Senator Scott and share your concerns of the impact the DHS ammo purchases is having upon local sportsman and let him know you’re watching their actions closely…then perhaps we can get some answers.

LtCol Mark S. Jebens, USMC (Ret.)

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