The People’s National Security State of Heaven

The People’s National Security State of Heaven August 17, 2012

Feel safer:

First it was the Department of Homeland Security, then it was the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and now the Social Security Administration is set to purchase 174,000 rounds of hollow point bullets that will be delivered to 41 locations across the country.

A reader notes about the same story:

295 armed agents. @250 rounds each that’s 73,750 rounds per day of practice for all 295 agents. 2 days at the range for all 295 agents is 147,500. That leaves 26,500 rounds. Assume duty load of 27 rounds per agent, that takes up 7,965 rounds. That leaves 18,536 rounds to spare — enough for 74 range practice sessions.

What’s weird here is the proliferation of federal law enforcement agencies. Fisheries, SSA? What’s next, National Endowment for the Arts Police? Department of Agriculture SWAT teams?

The same reader also sends along this:

Meaningless drivel from America’s police-state community:

Points 1 through 6 mean, “We will keep our insurance coverage so that when one of our UAVs takes out a cell phone tower or light aircraft, we won’t be on the hook for it because we’ve documented our use of the UAV by trained personnel.”

Rule 7 is just creepy — “This is your local police-state agency. An umanned aerial surveillance vehicle will be overhead some time during the next 72 hours. Do not be alarmed. We are not spying on you. We are spying for you. Have a nice day, serf.”
Rule 8 means they’ll watch whatever the hell they want because they have no way of knowing beforehand whether the UAV will detect criminal activity. As to “legitimate expectations of privacy” you don’t have any when it comes to aerial views of your property from licensed and approved police overflights. Interestingly, you do have a legitimate expectation of privacy inside your home, leading one to believe these UAVs will be equipped with infrared and other advanced surveillance technology that can look inside your home.

The story says the code of surveillance requires “letting any images captured by unmanned aerial vehicles . . . be open to inspection by the public.” This isn’t part of the 8 points, and is just creepy besides. Not only are state-security goons going to take photos of my back yard, they’re going to let anyone look at them.

” . . .and that the images not be stored unless they are evidence of a crime or part of an ongoing investigation.” Again, not part of the 8-point plan. If you think any police-state agency is going to delete these images, you’re dead wrong. What they will do is define “deleting” as “moving from the publicly-accessed server to the proprietary police-only server” and keep the images forever. The ATFs been doing that with background-check information (also required to be deleted) for decades, building a database of every gun owner in America.

If we apply the basic template “Our Ruling Class vs. the Rest of Us” things fall rather obviously into place. They hate us for our freedom. They are getting ready for when the economy goes to pieces and they have to step on our necks to keep themselves safe and us in our place. Sensible precautions for a Ruling Class that no longer believes in democracy but maintains the illusion of it for as long as possible in a dying civilization.

Our help is in the Lord, who made heaven and earth, not in this police state we are constructing in the vain hope of finding safety.

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  • I don’t think they hate us for our freedoms as much as they’re just stupid. (which might actually be worse)

    Or not even that, they’re afraid. After all, government agencies require and prefer predictability. That’s why it increases and freedom decreases. It wants things to be predictable, and freedom is chaos.

  • Blog Goliard

    I’m pinning my hopes on sheer incompetence to take the edge off of whatever tyrannical outrages await us in future.

    • Irenist

      This is why I have trouble with conspiracy theories. Grand conspiracies require more competence than the evidence indicates is available.

      • DTMcCameron

        Even incompetents, scattered and in disarray, can do much harm. Especially with hollow-point bullets. For the most part men need no encouragement to do evil, but we’ve a devil to help us where our imaginations fail.

  • Debbie

    This really alarms me. Why would government agencies buy hollow points, if not to kill people?

    • Joseph H. M. Ortiz

      While a hollow-point bullet doesn’t always kill a person, it always injures an aggressor more than is necessary to stop him, and is therefore gravely immoral. I’m surprised that such bullets are employed by any American law-enforcement or military agency anywhere.

      • Michael

        Hollow points reduce the risk of over-penetration and hitting the wrong people which is why Law Enforcement claims they use them. Of course, they are illegal in war by treaty because they cause such nasty wounds.

      • jolly

        As Michael says above hollow points do limit overpenetration. Mr. Ortiz, I must say that I completely disagree that hollow-points are gravely immoral because it injures an aggressor more than is necessary to stop him. Bullets in flight and upon impact have so much unpredictability that it is impossible to know what any individual or type of bullet will do once it impacts a person. For example, in some smaller and some not so small calibers a person wearing thick clothing or if the bullet hits a superficial bone, the person will not be stopped by a hollow point or will only be slightly injured by the bullet due to lack of penetration. In this case it would be the old style Geneva convention approved Full Metal Jacket bullet which due to increased penetration which causes more damage than the hollowpoint.

        Short answer is- if you are shooting someone your intent includes the possibility of killing them- full stop, period. If the situation does not necessitate killing the person in order to defend yourself or others then you should not be shooting them with anything. “Winging” someone to stop them -while possible with a well trained marksman, and the appropriate conditions, and luck- is not a reasonable or appropriate tactic for civilians or military personnel outside of rare cases.

    • SecretAgentMan

      It’s difficult to accept this, perhaps, but here it goes. The reason police shoot people is to incapacitate them. But (except for Jack Bauer) it’s impossible to “shoot to wound.” Situations requiring armed force arise in split seconds; everyone is moving or shouting or shooting already. It’s impossible to react with sufficient speed and accuracy to “shoot to wound.” In fact, if you tried it, you’d just miss (or hit the wrong target). There’s a lot more that goes into it, but as just one part of this explanation think about trying to hit someone’s moving forearm with a bullet fired very quickly in a poorly-lit area. Beyond human ability for 99.99% of humans. You have to shoot “center mass” which is basically aiming for the middle of the torso. That’s the most realistic chance you have of hitting anything in a deadly situation where guns are used.

      Back to incapacitation. At the turn of the last century, Col. Julian Hatcher conducted experiments for the US army on terminal ballistics (what happens when bullets hit targets). His tests proved that incapacitation from a gunshot wound is caused by rapid blood loss. Rapid blood loss is caused by tissue damage. Studies done by the US Army at the end of the last century by Dr. Marvin Fackler of the Wound Ballistics Center proved the same thing — again.

      Police departments use hollow-point bullets because they expand on impact, causing rapid tissue damage, rapid blood loss and, therefore, rapid incapacitation. As noted, they also tend to be stopped at the first obstacle, so over-penetration isn’t as likely as it is with full metal jacket bullets.

      Look at it another way. Suppose we have a drug that will incapacitate as quickly and reliably as a bullet. And we’ve developed a dart-that will fly as accurately as a bullet and stand up to being carried day-in, day-out as part of a cop’s duty equipment. And let’s assume we’ve developed a gun that will shoot multiple darts on demand with the same velocity and range as a handgun (velocity is important, because you want that dart or bullet stopping the target *right now*). What dosage do you administer? Unless we’re in Buck Rogers land (and we already are by imagining such a drug, such a dart, and such a dart-gun), with the ability to instantly adjust dosages, we’ll need a one-size fits all dose. It’ll have to be a pretty big dose too — capable of quickly inacpacitating a raging 300 pound suspect with his own pharmaceutical peculiarities. Now shoot that same dose into a 110 pound teenaged female weilding a knife. The risk of death is still there. There’s just no way around it.

      • Joseph H. M. Ortiz

        I’ve read with interest and respect the previous comments in this thread, including SecretAgentMan’s.
        I admit that if the situation here and now renders it necessary in order to incapacitate an aggressor, shooting him with precisely that intention is indeed legitimate, even at the risk of his death. But incapacitation, not death, nor even greater-than-necessary injury, is still the goal.
        And a previous commenter here notes that for this goal of incapacitation, a hollow-nosed bullet can be LESS effective, “due to lack of penetration”.

        • SecretAgentMan

          Good call. If there were a way to incapacitate without firearms, police would be all over it. Millions are spent each year trying to come up with that kind of a device. But all there is to show for it to date is tasers (which also have risks of harm), pepper spray, and bean-bag guns. None of them are realistic alternatives to firearms in most situations where life is at risk.

          One note about full-metal-jacket (FMJ) bullets (the opposite of hollow points). Because they do less tissue damage, they’re also less incapacitating. Militaries don’t care too much because a) most battlefield killing isn’t done with firearms; and b) the firearms shooting FMJ bullets have been semiautomatic or full-automatic for decades. (Of course, comparing rifle and handgun rounds is apples/and/oranges, but suffice it to say that if you’re in a battle and you’re using your handgun, you are at a serious disadvantage). You might consider this from the New York Times (1998):

          “According to statistics released by the [NYPD], 15 innocent bystanders were struck by police officers using full metal jacket bullets during 1995 and 1996, the police said. Eight were hit directly, five were hit by bullets that had passed through other people and two were hit by bullets that had passed through objects,”

          • Joseph H. M. Ortiz

            The eight bystanders hit directly would presumably have been hit by hollow-nosed bullets. And in a military operation, a gun which can be (at the soldier’s discretion), but need not be, rapidly fired, can remove the disadvantage mentioned, I daresay.

  • Michaelus

    Last year the Dept. of Education sent a paramilitary squad to drag Mr. Kenny Wright out of his house in Stockton, CA. I cannot find any more about this story – there was a momentary uproar, the DOE issued an idiotic denial claiming the paramilitaries were not a SWAT team (so what – did they break down the guys door and lock him up for 6 hours, take his kids etc. or not?). If the DOE can do it while investigating student loans why shouldn’t the SSA do it to check on possible fraud? Are armed SSA paras heros in the war on terror or what!

  • Michael

    Apparently the Department of Homeland Security was created to protect the government from we the people if things ever got really bad. This ammunition is not for training. It is for their own protection.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      I was wondering the whole time, don’t they shoot ball at the range?

      • jolly

        Usually they do, due to cost considerations. You might run a few magazines of hollowpoints to make sure that they feed properly.

  • Ted Seeber

    On the plus side, a few years from now kids will be able to have free remote control plane toys just by shooting them down and hacking their controls.

  • David

    A simpler way to look at the math of this is that each agent gets 589.8 rounds. Enough for a couple days at the shooting range, 51 rounds on their person (3 17 round magazines), and a few extra just in case. I’m not going to panic about this.

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    Ok good, they aint planning to gun us down like dogs.

    Now why isnt anyone incensed they are wasting hollowpoints where ball is applicable. If we dont have money for entitlements, we sure dont have itto waste on bennies like practicing with any thing but ball.

    • SecretAgentMan

      Reference FMJ v. JHP for practice, it all depends. Top-flight training has you practice with your duty load — if you carry JHP, then you practice with the same JHP. Also I’d note that cost may or may not be a factor. US ammo manufacturers have been working overtime since 9/11 and related invasions; there’s a lot more capacity now than there was then. The price difference between FMJ and JHP may not be extreme enough to warrant FMJ for practice. THat may be why the price is no more for FMJ than JHP.

      On the other side of the cost equation, .357 Sig is a bit of an odd duck as far as handgun calibers go. It was originally developed for federal law enforcement that wanted .357 magnum performance in a semiauto handgun. For a short time 9mm and .357 Sig looked like the rounds that would dominate US law enforcement firearms selection. But then .40 S&W was developed and just about everyone decided that it was a better caliber, except for large police departments that had already invested in 9mm. My impression is that almost nobody uses .357 sig except federal law enforcement and a handful of local departments who switched to semiautos during the .357 Sig craze. That may be another reason why JHP is no “less” expensive than FMJ in that caliber.