Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why is the USDA buying machine guns?” you ask? Good question . . . timely too. (Besides, it beats answering the question: “Why does my little brother think things he pulls out of his nose are edible?”)
For those not up to date, online sources such as Modern Farmer the Inspector General of the USDA filed a formal request for an unspecified quantity of 40 caliber S&W submachine guns. Why does the USDA (the United States Department of Agriculture) need to buy machine guns?
A USDA spokesperson told the press the weapons are needed for defense or self-protection. Specifically, “OIG (Office of Inspector General) Special Agents regularly conduct undercover operations and surveillance. The types of investigations conducted by OIG Special Agents include criminal activities such as fraud in farm programs; significant thefts of Government property or funds; bribery and extortion; smuggling; and assaults and threats of violence against USDA employees engaged in their official duties.”
The OIG’s Investigation Development bulletins do reveal three specific occurrence in the past year that “involved firearms” and two additional incidents in which some USDA agents were actually “verbally threatened”. Between the fact that most of the time the USDA deals with more white-collar fraud and the lack of accountability, some folks have other questions. In fact, Utah Congressman Chris Stewart is sponsoring a bill, H.R. 4934, which will “prohibit certain federal agencies from using or purchasing certain firearms, and for other purposes.”
When asked why the USDA is buying machine guns, Stewart stated: I can’t envision a scenario where what they are doing would require that. Being a good politician, however, he was quick to add: “We have never argued that federal regulators don’t need to protect themselves.”
If a USDA investigation appeared as if it could get violent he said: “They should do what the rest of us do, call the local sheriff.” While to many it seems like overkill, the USDA placed the order for machine guns because at present they legally can.
Why is the USDA buying machine guns? Now you know.
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