He's also the chairman of the House Homeland Security oversight committee. In late May, he was touring a federal law enforcement facility and saw agents training with semi-automatic weapons on the range. The weapons used are this little device, an AR-15.
The AR-15 was first built and sold as an assault rifle for the US military (a spin-off version of it, a select-fire model, is the infamous M16). In 1963, a semi-auto version was made by Colt for sale to civilians. It is lightweight, magazine-fed, and uses a rotating-lock bolt and direct impingement gas operation or long/short stroke piston operation to fire. It fires 800 rounds per minute at top settings, meaning this has what is known among gun enthusiasts as "stand-off capability". I trust I don't need to explain what that means.
So, which agents were training with these little toys the day Duncan visited?
The agents identified themselves as IRS.
Duncan told POLITICO, "When I left there, it's been bugging me for weeks now, why IRS agents are training with a semi-automatic rifle AR-15, which has stand-off capability? Are Americans that much of a target that you need that kind of capability?"
Now, yes, the IRS does have an enforcement capability. But this raises a lot of red flags, such as co-ordinating with other law enforcement agencies so that no one gets killed. This also comes on the heels of leaks that the IRS was targeting right-wing groups and questions of excessive spending. "We'll ask the questions, and hopefully, they can justify it. And if not, we'll bring them in front of the committee for a hearing and ask the questions on the record." Yeah, bring in government officials to testify before Congress. That always gets to the bottom of things.
The IRS is defending finding new ways to make the cat dance, saying, "As law enforcement officials, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agents are equipped similarly to other federal, state, and local law enforcement organizations. Special Agents receive training on the appropriate and safe use of assigned weapons. IRS Criminal Investigation has internal controls and oversight in place to ensure all law enforcement tools, including weapons, are used appropriately." Sounds good to me. I mean, if you can't trust the government, who can you trust?
Wow. I guess a lot more people are a lot more pissed about Obamacare than I thought.