Thomas Schaller, Political Science, in the Baltimore Sun

Tom SchallerIn his latest opinion column for the Baltimore Sun, UMBC political science professor Thomas F. Schaller takes on accusations surrounding the recent U.S. Department of Homeland Security purchase of large quantities of ammunition (up to 1.6 billion rounds in some reports)—including claims that the Obama administration is arming itself while simultaneously trying to disarm the citizenry through gun control legislation.

In researching the purchase, Schaller found:

It turns out the order is closer to 750 million rounds and covers a five-year period and the 70,000 federal officers who require firearm certification or retraining. That’s roughly 2,200 rounds per officer per year; recreational gun users often dispense several hundred rounds during a single firing range visit.

Schaller concludes that this “scandal” is more conspiracy than legitimate critique of government overreach. He suggests that gun advocates would benefit from ignoring such distractions and instead focusing on what he identifies as real examples of government abuse of power, or addressing the risks that can come with gun ownership.