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April 18, 2013

Overnight Open Thread (4-18-2013)

Why the OMG!! 1.6 Billion Round DHS Ammo Purchase is All Bullshit

Pretty much everything you've been told about this is wrong - and possibly deliberately so by certain click and link-whoring websites.

Andrew Tuohy who writes for the Military Times has experience with government proposals and contracts and bothered to do what no else seems to have done: actually read the RFQ (Request for Quote).

And here puts us some knowledge on what it really means. Basically it's just asking for a price quote for up to a certain amount of ammo with absolutely no commitment to purchase.

Before we begin, it's important to understand that an RFQ (request for quote) or solicitation is not a purchase. When Infowars says something like "the Department of Homeland Security is planning to buy a further 750 million rounds of ammo in addition to the 450 million rounds of hollow point bullets already purchased earlier this year," or "Following controversy over its purchase of around 1.2 billion bullets in the last six months alone, the Department of Homeland Security has put out a new solicitation for over 200 million more rounds of ammunition," the reader is led to assume, naturally, that DHS has actually purchased that amount of ammunition. That is simply not the case. A solicitation is the equivalent of a want-to-buy ad on Craigslist, writ large. It's not an actual purchase.

The actual amount in the RFQ is 63 million rounds over 5 years - not 1.2 billion. But isn't this still a gigantic amount? No - not really:

Put simply, there's no way that FLETC [Federal Law Enforcement Training Center] is going to actually buy 750 million rounds of ammunition. Given the historical use of ammo at FLETC of approximately 15 million rounds per year or less, it's probably going to be pretty close to the line items in the PDF linked above which, again, total 63 million rounds over a 5 year time frame.

But isn't a total which might approach 90 or 100 million rounds per year excessive?

DHS is a massive umbrella agency, with over 100,000 armed law enforcement personnel according to a DHS spokesperson. If we divide 90 million by 100,000, that means each agent gets 900 rounds per year to shoot. That isn't a whole lot, considering that civilians going through handgun training courses sometimes shoot twice as many rounds - in a single weekend.

Furthermore, federal agents, including those under DHS, generally use the same ammunition for duty and practice. Currently, it's a .40 S&W jacketed hollow point made by Federal, commonly known as the HST. Most of DHS's evil, banned-for-war, elderly-and-baby-killing hollow points end up going through paper targets and into dirt berms. Each CBP (Customs and Border Protection) agent is currently given 250 rounds per quarter, or 1000 rounds per year. While things may differ from agency to agency, that lines up fairly nicely with the above math for the 450 million round contract.

In other words, that 5-year, up-to-450 million round ammo purchase is just what the agencies need to sustain proficiency for the next 5 years.

And the whole DHS getting 2700 MRAPs thing - mostly just a way for the Army to get rid of some of vehicles it doesn't need any more while still retaining the ability to call them back if necessary while making the DHS pay for the maintenance. And the maintenance is not trivial. Also the actual number of MRAPS the DHS has is only 16 and they aren't likely to get that many more either. So the 2700 is another bogus number trotted out.

The sad fact is that a lot of websites on the right don't bother with even minimal fact checking and/or just outright lie and mislead. They lie to you because it gets them hits and they know you'll believe the lies. And sadly it works.


Ask.fm - Worst Website Ever or Just Another Avenue for the Usual Teen Bullying?

8 Signs You're Getting Old

Of course #0 is the fact that you even read articles like this.

Are You a Human?

I barely passed the first one but then I'm not fully human either - I just pass well. The second test is more sensitive and put me in the H. Sapiens group W.

Male Underwear of the Future (NSFW-ish)

For Who the Bell Tolls

Whom has been dying for years and I say good riddance.  It doesn't add any information and just fucks you up trying to get it right. And shedding unpopular grammar is a long tradition in English.

Yahoo group. That is all.

And my Twitter spew.

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