Why does Social Security need 174,000 bullets? (Yahoo! News)
Over the past few months, federal contracts for ammunition have become fodder for PCTists who are ignorant about firearms: "OMG look at all those bullets! They must be preparing for civil war!"
This is a perfect example: Why does Social Security need 174,000 bullets?
It didn't take long for the Internet to start buzzing with conspiracy theories after the Social Security Administration posted a notice that it was purchasing 174,000 hollow-point bullets.
The agents carry guns and make arrests — 589 last year, Lasher said. They execute search warrants and respond to threats against Social Security offices, employees and customers.
Agents carry .357 caliber pistols, Lasher said. The bullets, which add up to about 590 per agent, are for the upcoming fiscal year. Most will be expended on the firing range.
"Six hundred rounds per year for training, qualification and I would assume to carry on duty is not out of line at all," said John W. Worden, director of the University of Missouri's Law Enforcement Training Institute. "Hollow points are carried by law enforcement all over the country and are probably the preferred type of ammo no matter what caliber."
The episode illustrates what can happen when a seemingly salacious tidbit gets amplified and embellished on the Internet.
It's worth noting that paranoid conspiracy theorists aren't the only ones ignorant about firearms; having "thousands of rounds of ammunition" has become a mainstream media shorthand for someone likely to be a deranged mass murderer, despite the fact that for a recreational shooter who fires off 200 rounds at the range (not at all unusual) just once a month will go through 2,400 rounds a year.