partlycloudy
Sunday May 3rd, 2015 8:58PM

Why does Social Security need 174,000 bullets?

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - It didn't take long for the Internet to start buzzing with conspiracy theories after the Social Security Administration posted a notice that it was purchasing 174,000 hollow-point bullets.<br /> <br /> Why is the agency that provides benefits to retirees, disabled workers, widows and children stockpiling ammunition? Whom are they going to use it on?<br /> <br /> "It's not outlandish to suggest that the Social Security Administration is purchasing the bullets as part of preparations for civil unrest," the website Infowars.com said.<br /> <br /> Another website, The Daily Caller, said the bullets must be for use against American citizens, "since the SSA has never been used overseas to help foreign countries maintain control of their citizens."<br /> <br /> The clamor became such a distraction for the agency that it dedicated a website to explaining the purchase. The explanation, it turns out, isn't as tantalizing as an arms buildup to defend against unruly senior citizens.<br /> <br /> The bullets are for Social Security's office of inspector general, which has about 295 agents who investigate Social Security fraud and other crimes, said Jonathan L. Lasher, the agency's assistant IG for external relations.<br /> <br /> The agents carry guns and make arrests - 589 last year, Lasher said. They execute search warrants and respond to threats against Social Security offices, employees and customers.<br /> <br /> Agents carry .357 caliber pistols, Lasher said. The bullets, which add up to about 590 per agent, are for the upcoming fiscal year. Most will be expended on the firing range.<br /> <br /> Some bloggers have taken issue with the type of ammunition the agency is buying, questioning why agents need hollow-point bullets. Hollow-points are known for causing more tissue damage than other bullets when they hit a person because they expand when they enter the body.<br /> <br /> The bullets, however, are standard issue for many law enforcement agencies, Lasher said, a fact confirmed by the directors of two law enforcement training centers.<br /> <br /> "For practice ammunition, they do not have to be hollow-points, but hollow-points are the normal police round used for duty ammunition due to their ability to stop when they hit an object as opposed to going through it and striking more objects," said William J. Muldoon, president of the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training.<br /> <br /> The episode illustrates what can happen when a seemingly salacious tidbit gets amplified and embellished on the Internet.<br /> <br /> A few weeks ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had a similar dustup when it solicited bids for 46,000 rounds of ammunition and shooting targets, seemingly to arm workers at the National Weather Service. It turns out the notice had a clerical error and the bullets were for NOAA's Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, the agency said.<br /> <br /> Social Security's turn in the pillory hit a crescendo when Jay Leno joked about it in a recent monologue on "The Tonight Show." "What senior citizens are they worried about?" Leno asked. "I mean, who's going to storm the building?"<br /> <br /> Lasher said, "That's why we opened a blog post. We were getting a lot of inquiries and the blog gave us a vehicle to put all of the accurate information out there in one place, so that those who are interested or concerned can read what the real story is."<br />
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Doctors: Blood clot located in Clinton's head
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton developed a blood clot in her head but did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said Monday. They say they are confident that she will make a full recovery.
3:55PM ( 2 years ago )
Illinois Sen. Kirk to return a year after stroke
Nearly a year after a stroke left him barely able to move the left side of his body, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is expected to climb the 45 steps to the Senate's front door this week - a walk that's significant not just for Illinois' junior senator, but also for medical researchers and hundreds of thousands of stroke patients.
3:54PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Obama again avoids calling 1915 Armenian killings 'genocide'
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to ful...
1:00PM ( 1 week ago )
Ex-NFL star Hernandez convicted of murder, sentenced to life
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the d...
8:54PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Clinton kicks off 2016 campaign online, heads next to Iowa
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton jumped back into presidential politics on Sunday, making a much-awaited announcement she will again seek the White House with a promise to serve as the "champi...
7:56PM ( 3 weeks ago )
Hall, White, Jefferson schools recognized nationally for use of technology
Three school districts in northeast Georgia - Hall, White, and Jefferson - have received national recognition for their use use of innovative technologies. They earned top spots in the Center for Digital Education's and the National School Boards Association's 10th annual Digital School Districts Survey.
By Staff
1:00PM ( 3 weeks ago )
US Capitol lockdown lifted after man fatally shoots himself
WASHINGTON (AP) — A precautionary lockdown of the U.S. Capitol was lifted after about two hours Saturday following a suicide by a man carrying a protest sign.The man died after shooting himself on the...
6:15PM ( 3 weeks ago )