Things That Matter

The Border Patrol Just Bought 33 Million Bullets And Brown And Black Bodies Are The Target

The United States-Mexico border has historically been a contradiction. On one hand, it is home of a rich and multifaceted culture that has produced great music, art and food, and where acts of everyday solidarity reveal the best of humanity. On the other hand, la frontera has also sparked fierce political debates, acts of State abuse and cruelty, and government policies that have turned it into a quasi-militarized zone. 

The border is becoming increasingly militarized and the use of new Glocks and the acquisition of 33 million rounds might just be the tip of the iceberg.

During the Trump administration, the Border Patrol has gotten an increasingly free reign over the use of lethal force, and a recent acquisition has raised red flags over the firepower of the government body in charge with dealing with border crossings and undocumented migrants and refugees. 

The total investment in ammunition might reach over $180 million in the next few years.

Credit: Bloomberg News

That is a lot of money that could perhaps be best invested in social programs or some much needed cultural awareness courses for Border Patrol officers. The rounds are sold by Winchester Ammunition Inc. and are special hollow 9mm Luger bullets. Each bullet is priced at 30 cents. 

The bullets are to be used in the Border Patrol’s new Glock G47 handguns.

Credit: The Truth About Guns

The 33 million bullets are meant to be used with the agency’s new Gluck handguns, which were bought in April in an $85 million deal. As reported by the Boston Globe, an extra 300 million bullets could be purchased over the next five years.

In a press release, Border Patrol’s aid Deputy Commissioner Robert E. Perez said: “This contract provides CBP law enforcement personnel the latest in handgun technology and represents our commitment to providing the highest quality use-of-force tools and equipment to our law enforcement personnel who defend America’s frontline every day”. We don’t know about you, but this certainly sounds like wartime talk. Well, that is probably how some law enforcement agencies see the border, to be honest. 

The bullets are basically enough to wipe out the population of a country like Australia, with a few to spare.

Credit: The Conversation

Just to give you an idea of the amount of ammunition bought by the Border Patrol, there would be a bullet for every person in Australia, with over seven million to spare. The figure is just mind blowing and puts into question the priorities of border policies. It seems that security measures and allocation of budgets echo the Trump administration’s near paranoia regarding undocumented migrants and refugees. This type of expenditures also reinforce the idea that there is a crisis in the border, and that a hoard of bad hombres are threatening the American way of life. 

The number is staggering, but there is a reason behind it that sorta justifies it… just sorta.

Credit: American Security Today

Many of these bullets are used during training sessions in which agents need to fire live ammunition. There are about 50,000 U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees that are authorized to carry a handgun. 

However, there is an increasing number of cases of misconduct among border officers, which raises red flags in relation to the amount of ammunition being made available to them.

Credit: VOA News

As Pete Norman writes in Bloomberg: “However, staff behavior has come under increased scrutiny in recent years amid President Donald Trump’s determination to build a wall on the country’s southern border to thwart illegal aliens and drugs. Criminal misconduct by border officers recently reached a five-year high, an internal government report obtained by Quartz revealed”. So putting this much live ammunition and so many guns in the hands of officers that seem to be increasingly trigger happy does not seem like a very good idea at all. 

The situation in recent years has been so dire, that Senate Democrats have introduced a new bill.

Credit: The Daily Beast

The Homeland Security Improvement Act. One of the promoters of the act, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA),  has said in relation to this: “Since the beginning of this administration, the Department of Homeland Security has been a party to human rights abuses against immigrant children, multiple deaths in U.S. custody, abhorrent conditions in detention centers, and so much more. DHS’s actions have shocked the American people and severely damaged our nation’s standing as a safe haven for those fleeing violence and oppression. We must prevent this in the future. We must require training, oversight, and accountability within DHS to ensure the department respects the basic dignity of every person.”

Things will get interest next year come election time, and we are sure that border security issues will be key for Trump and whoever faces him.

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Naomi Osaka’s Display Of Support For Black Lives Matter Was The Biggest Win At The U.S. Open… Other Than Her Big Win

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Naomi Osaka’s Display Of Support For Black Lives Matter Was The Biggest Win At The U.S. Open… Other Than Her Big Win

Al Bello / Getty

After taking home a massive victory at Saturday’s U.S. Open, tennis star Naomi Osaka cemented her status as the reigning women’s tennis champion of the year. Her victory against Belarusian tennis play Victoria Azarenka meant she took home her third Grand Slam title in just three years. But the biggest part of Osaka’s win was the powerful statement she decided to make in every match leading up to it.

The 22-year-old walked into the Arthur Ashe Stadium each day using her platform to remind the world of racial injustice.

For each of her matches, the tennis star wore masks emblazoned with the names of Black victims of police violence.

For her final match, Osaka arrived with a mask with Tamir Rice’s name. Rice was a 12-year-old boy who was murdered by Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann in 2014. At the time of his murder, Rice had been carrying a replica toy gun and had been shot by Loehmann almost as soon as the officer arrived at the scene he’d been called to. Reports notes that the caller claimed that a male was pointing “a pistol” at random people but also noted that it was “probably fake.”

Osaka used her platform to also honor Black victims such as Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and Ahmaud Arbery.

Breonna Taylor was a Black woman who lost her life after being fatally shot by police in March while she was sleeping in her home. Elijah McClain was killed by police in August 2019 after being put in a chokehold. Ahmaud Arbery was killed while on a jog in February. Osaka also wore the names of Trayvon Martin and Philando Castille. At the time Martin’s death in 2012, he was just 17-years old. Castille was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop in 2016.

“I feel like I’m a vessel at this point in order to spread awareness,” Osaka noted to ESPNW after her quarter-final win earlier last week. At the time, Osaka sported a mask bearing George Floyd’s name. Floyd’s murder in May, sparked protests across the country.

In seeing Osaka’s dedication to his son, Ahmaud Arbery’s father Marcus Arbery, Sr. told Osaka in a video message, “God bless you for what you’re doing.” Osaka later remarked in a tweet that after watching the video messages she “cried so much. The strength and the character both of these parents have is beyond me.”

After being asked about the intention behind the masks and what message she was intending to get a cross in a post-match interview, Osaka asked “Well, what was the message you got?… I feel like the point is to make people start talking.”

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Jacob Blake Sends A Powerful Message To His Supporters And It’s One That We All Need To Hear

Things That Matter

Jacob Blake Sends A Powerful Message To His Supporters And It’s One That We All Need To Hear

@attorneycrump / Twitter

As protests over the shootings and deaths of Black Americans continue to take place across the country, one survivor of police violence is speaking out.

Jacob Blake, who was shot by police in the back seven times, is now paralyzed from the waist down. However, despite his heartbreaking story, he is using his voice to speak out amidst the violence and is offering an uplifting and encouraging message to those who are supporting him.

Despite being in extreme pain – which he details in the video – Blake appears to be in good spirits and hopes to help create change with his story of survival.

Jacob Blake is speaking out from his hospital bed where he lies paralyzed from the waist down — and his message is simple.

A video was posted this weekend by Blake’s family attorney, Ben Crump, which appears to have been filmed by a friend of his named Mike. It shows Jacob lying in his hospital gown and addressing the camera — sharp, alert and precise with his words.

He tells anybody who might not be living right to turn things around, as he assures them they don’t wanna end up like him, with unbearable pain, which he documents in great detail. He also addresses the African-American community at large — and it’s very uplifting.

Blake also spoke of the pain he was suffering. “Every 24 hours it’s pain, nothing but pain. It hurts to breathe, it hurts to sleep, it hurts to move from side to side, it hurts to eat,” he said.

“Your life, and not only just your life, your legs, something you need to move around and forward in life, can be taken from you like this,” he said, clicking his fingers.

“Stick together, make some money, make everything easier for our people out there, man, because there’s so much time that’s been wasted,” he added.

Blake is paralyzed from the waist down after a white police officer shot him in the back, seven times.

A white police officer shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times while trying to arrest him, as he tried to get into a car. The shooting happened just inches away from his children, who watched what happened in horror.

Blake was not armed when he was shot and the footage of the incident paints a damning picture of police brutality.

Videos of the shooting, which were uploaded online, sparked a series of protests in Kenosha, which turned violent at points. Two protesters were killed amid widespread looting and vandalism. A 17-year-old has been charged over the deaths. 

Both President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden have since visited the city. Mr. Biden spoke over the phone with Mr Blake and met his relatives. He has called for the officer who shot him in the back to be arrested.

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