We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis Brandeis
Trickle-down economics is the first cousin of austerity economics. Austerity is nuts when so many millions are out of work. And as we’ve learned before, trickle-down is a fraud. Nothing ever trickles down. - Robert Reich, "A Story for May Day"
And then they classified the purchase. I suppose opaque black markers would be a good business to be in right about now. The contract for the bullets has already been let, to defense contractor ATK, so you can't sell them those. Hollow-point ammunition is allegedly never used for training, and its use in actual combat is said to be a violation of the Geneva Conventions.
You have choices in reading about the now-"secret" purchase, ranging from the just-a-wee-bit-paranoid to the almost-reasonable and everything in between. If you read several articles, you'll find that DHS is also purchasing bulletproof checkpoint booths with Stop-Go lights on them. That contract has also been let to a company called Shelters Direct; in fact, it is really public knowledge mainly because Shelters Direct announced it on their web site. (Sorry; no link from here.)
Oh, and did I mention the DHS has put out an "urgent" request for riot gear, supposedly in anticipation of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions?
All these articles are dated March through August of this year, so whatever it's for, it's coming right up. Good: I hate that kind of mystery.
I don't even know how paranoid we should be about all of this. For me, it basically comes down to one question:
What kind of agency is DHS?
It isn't military, but it acquires military gear and military expendables. It isn't border security like ICE (Correction: Bryan reminds us in comments that ICE is part of DHS, as is Border Patrol), but it acquires bulletproof checkpoint booths. (Does anyone else remember the Berlin Wall?) It may be law enforcement, but then what is the role of the FBI? It may be intelligence (OK, OK, stop laughing), but then what is the role of the CIA, etc. (insert names of a dozen shadowy agencies here)?
The very name of the agency is all too reminiscent of Nazi Germany. I know; saying that violates Godwin's Law, but tell me it isn't true. Heimatssicherheitabteilung... is that not a name to inspire fear in American citizens? You tell me!