Friday, March 12, 2010

Do your homework.

So there's been a lot of nattering on the gunblogs about the Department of Education's purchase of 14" Remington 870s, complete with wild speculations about their intended use.

The Dept. of Education, like all the other federal agencies that pour the slop into the trough, dispenses squillions of dollars of loot. Wherever there is federal loot, there is fraud and corruption and, like all federal agencies, the Dept. of Education carries out fraud investigations on its own patch. This means it serves warrants, and when it serves warrants, it brings its own cops and, like all federal agencies, they come loaded for bear. The 14" Remington is pretty much the standard entry gun across the entire broad spectrum of federal law enforcement, since it's a lot easier to get in and out of vehicles and through doorways with the shorter tube.

Now, my objections to the very existence of a federal department of education aside, the proliferation of raid teams in every federal agency is not as much alarming as it is ridiculous. It's empire-building, plain and simple. If the guys at the DEA get a SWAT team, then ATF wants one, and if ATF has one, then the Bureau of Land Management wants one, and so on down the line. Once upon a time, even the FBI served mostly investigative functions and relied on local authorities for muscle; now the Department of Education has its own in-house door kickers, its own slice of FLETC pie.

Don't we have a Marshal's Service? To say nothing of a bewildering variety of state and local agencies, some of whose SWAT teams are so unneeded that they're being used for low-level narcotics arrests? How about letting them do the heavy lifting for the Department of Education when it comes time to go through the door? It'd save me the cost of 27 shotguns, for starters.

33 comments:

Don said...

My understanding is that the proposal is coming out of a Chicago office. They may just be for truancy officers on the south side.

Either way, as a school teacher, I'm very excited about the opportunity to write my first grant proposal.

WV: pabacen.

"Pabacen should not be taken by women, children, minorities, children or men. Some users have reported side effects including but not limited to hair and toenail loss, liver cancer, hallucinations featuring Jim Morrison, heart disease, lung disease, toe cheese, occasional headache and Sudden Pabacen-Related Death Syndrome (SPRDS.) Ask your doctor if Pabacen is right for you!"

Kevin said...

I cannot help but recall the key graph from U.S. v. Miller:

In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.

Contrast that with your statement:

The 14" Remington is pretty much the standard entry gun across the entire broad spectrum of federal law enforcement, since it's a lot easier to get in and out of vehicles and through doorways with the shorter tube.

I'd say that the fact that "the standard entry gun across the entire broad spectrum of federal law enforcement" being a "shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length" pretty much answer's the Court's Miller question.

I hope Alan Gura will now file suit to get the 1934 NFA overturned, at least insofar as short-barreled shotguns are concerned.

WV: "guliatio" - First thing that pops into my brain is Rudoph Giuliani as "Client 10."

Waited too long. NEW WV: "difitium" - the new element that will be discovered in the residue after Diane Feinstein explodes when she is defeated in the next election.

Tam said...

Kevin,

That was one of the more puzzling things about NFA '34.

Assuming arguendo that short-barreled shoulder arms are a threat to truth, justice, mom, and apple pie, where did they get the "sixteen inch rifle, eighteen inch shotgun" numbers, other than maybe pulling them out of a hat?

CTD said...

I could be mistaken, but doesn't the 16-inch rule for rifles have its origins in the DoD's surplussing of a ton of carbines that were that length? Isn't that why the "evil" number for rifles is lower than shotguns, because otherwise the Army would have just sold several thousand "illegal" rifles? Again, I could be misremembering.

Firing Pin J said...

Abolishing the entire department would be a good start. It troubles me that each department in the FED needs their own Stormtroopers. The federal dollars being pumped into cities could go toward having local law enforcement provide the muscle, as stated, plus most LEO's try to go to the FBI Schools anyway to get that "federal" training.

An army is massing.

MCSA said...

Relying on the CPD? To serve warrants?

Um, isn't that why we had Elliot Ness and his own team?

Did it MY way said...

Ever notice that Save starts with the same letter as Spend? Since when does government want to save money?

What in the hell does the Department of Education need shot guns for?

See Ya.

staghounds said...

Did you know that it was a federal crime to kill an Egg Inspector before it was a federal crime to kill the President?

Oddly enough, I'm reading a book about mid nineteenth century Japan. It's full of problems- incredibly convoluted yet unable to act administration, decadence of every kind for those who have any leisure, producers who work like crazy but can never become independent of debt, baroque layers of contradictory enforcement, and huge self referential classes of people who produce nothing at all.

No wonder the whole thing fell over when it was pushed a little from the outside.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that many more of those shotguns are needed. They'd be great for maintaining order in the classrooms, wouldn't they? Job creation for both the manufacturers and the room-guards!

Your stimulus money at work...

Art

theirritablearchitect said...

They keep tabs on their own, huh?

Can't imagine that it's all that effective. Isn't that what the Fibbies are for anyway?

Oh well.

Also; "...the proliferation of raid teams in every federal agency is not as much alarming as it is ridiculous."

I'm gonna have to disagree with you here, but only in degree. It's both alarming and ridiculous, but I'd say it's not a balance, it's far more alarming...for me.

Frank W. James said...

I wonder if the Dept. of Agriculture SWAT Team has 'Tactical' overshoes for wading through the manure when they raid a hog barn or cattle feed lot?

That has to be the next step in this ever increasing insanity...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Bram said...

I guess they aren't buying them to teach the kids shotgun skills?

Tam said...

irritablearchitect,

"I'm gonna have to disagree with you here, but only in degree."

A federal Department of Little Red Schoolhouses is alarming.

A federal Department of Little Red Schoolhouses SWAT team is ridiculous.

D.W. Drang said...

One of the problems I had with Unintended Consequences was the listing of .gov agencies with law enforcement agents, and no one said "Hey, you gave us enforcement powers, we have to have someone to do it, and they have to have to tools." I'm not saying that the Department of Education of Agriculture need cops with guns and badges and handcuffs, let alone SWAT Teams, but if you give the power to arrest, the accouterments follow.

"Have we no Marshal's service?" Exactly.

WV: wanatop. Uh, never mind...

kahr40 said...

I wonder if the Dept. of Agriculture SWAT Team has 'Tactical' overshoes for wading through the manure when they raid a hog barn or cattle feed lot?

Pretty much did when they came out to use the local police range the other day. Those rogue cows must be hell.

Just My 2¢ said...

Looking at the solicitation, it looks like the shotties are destined for the Dept of Education's Inspector General office. Every federal agency has an IG function. They're usually intended to investigate Federal "waste, fraud, and abuse". Why they need firearms is a complete mystery to me. As a previous post mentioned, if I were a Federal IG staffer, I'd call for US Marshals to accompany me if I needed the horsepower.

T said...

Reading elsewhere, these are replacements for "older and malfunctioning models".

Umm. So they use the shotguns enough to wear them out? Wait, what?

Tam said...

Yes, LE shotguns wear out. From training courses and getting banged around in cars, mostly.

Lewis said...

Art said:

Seems to me that many more of those shotguns are needed. They'd be great for maintaining order in the classrooms, wouldn't they? Job creation for both the manufacturers and the room-guards!

Art, A3 (aka Alabama 3) incorporated a soundbite in their song "Mao Tse Tung Said" from Jim Jones: "This place would be a paradise if every department had a supervisor with a sub-machine gun."

T said...

That's a lot of use, Tam. How much work/training do the Education department doorkickers get? The Winchesters we had in the Army were ancient, and I'm betting Joe is a lot rougher on his gear than Officer Friendly. If the shotguns we had were considered serviceable, I can't imagine what one ready to be DXed looks like.

TJP said...

Not only does the DoEd not have constitutional authority to exist, they don't have constitutional authority to conduct fraud investigations; and neither do they have authority to make arrests or paramilitary raids as the result of such investigations.

If Chi-town needs Truancy SWAT, they should ask body-guarded Boss Daley if they can borrow at least part of his machinegun-toting entourage.

Tam said...

T,

I'm riffing her, but some guesses:

1) .mil has much better organic armorer support than most any LE agency. .mil can rebuild, LE can at best repair.

2) A shotgun that has been through a SWAT course or two a year for five years has likely seen more buckshot down the tube than a typical .mil issue shotgun will over its service lifetime. (SpecOps doorkicker types excepted.)

3) LE swaps out guns more often because they can. It's a lot easier to get an order for 27 shotguns approved than 2700 shotguns.

Tam said...

"her" should, of course, be "here".

The question, as I keep trying to point out, is not "Why do these people have guns?" Badges come with guns. The question is "Why do these people have badges?"

theirritablearchitect said...

I want those "old" or "wornout" shotguns to actually look old and wornout.

The local Po-po at my usual haunt turns in their shit every two or three years for new, and all of those guns seem to end up getting sold in the used case, with little more than some visible holster wear.

Well cared-for gear can last a lifetime or two, and when it's Joe Taxpayer doing the buying, that's the way it should be.

WV: orblasto

staghounds said...

I wish they WERE to encourage the doing of homework.

It would beat the nothing at all they are using now.

If only educating were the department's mission.

Anonymous said...

Second sentence third paragraph says it all. I worked or the beast for ten years and can so attest.

Anonymous said...

Tam,

The badges came with the Homeland Security act of 2002:

http://www.ignet.gov/pande/standards/agleguidelines.pdf

Les Jones said...

I think po-lice definitely trade guns a lot more than the military.

I was looking at a lightly-used, 3rd generation Glock 22 police trade-in yesterday afternoon at a new gunshop in Maryville, TN. I asked what the department had replaced them with, thinking they had probably stepped up to .45 ACP|Glock.

Answer: the department traded them for newer 3rd generation Glock 22s.

Tam said...

I'd read it, but that's not what Sec. II of the document states; rather it seems that the Homeland Security Act of '02 formalized and made permanent what had been going on in an increasingly common if ad hoc fashion since the Inspector General Act of '78.

ZerCool said...

The 14" Remington is pretty much the standard entry gun across the entire broad spectrum of federal law enforcement, since it's a lot easier to get in and out of vehicles and through doorways with the shorter tube.

Not to mention it can be vertically-mounted in front of the console without having to remove the cupholders. Even federales have priorities.

Anonymous said...

Many LE agencies trade pistols every 5 years or so (especially if they're Glocks) so they don't get into parts replacement (and they still get a good trade-in price for them). Most LE pistols and longs get will show external wear and tear but internally are in good shape because most cops shoot when they have to (often less than 200 rounds a year)

Anonymous said...

They're gonna need more than shotguns when they come up against all the armor-piercing, cop-killer bullets I've been stockpiling the last year or so.

But, hey, let them continue buying shotguns. Works for me.

Tam said...

I'm confused... Are you saying you've been embezzling Department of Education funds?