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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