Trigger Happiness


Attempting to calculate how many bullets troops fire every day in Iraq, Steve Sailer digs up a few data points from military researchers and congressional testimony and comes up with a big number: 275,000.

Of course, the vast majority of bullets fired never hit anybody, but you can imagine the psychological impact on Iraqis of having 275,000 American bullets per day flying around their county trying to kill somebody. The .50 caliber rounds from the old M-2 machine gun are particularly alarming—they can fly for several miles and at close range can punch through several walls. It's kind of hard to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis when you are firing a quarter of a million bullets per day in their homeland, some of them winding up in random living rooms. Borat's joke—"We of Kazakhstan support your War of Terror"—must not be too funny to Iraqis.

Consider, too, that most of those bullets are being fired in Baghdad and Anbar Province, and the number is even more astounding. But has anyone compared how the bullet expenditures have changed since 2003, or if this is even a good metric to use for judging war progress? Maybe Congress could inves… well, maybe someone could check it out.