DHS Navistar MRAP vehicle

The Department of Homeland Security — which is theoretically a non-military organization tasked with protecting Americans from mass terrorist attacks —bought almost three-thousand armored vehicles meant to patrol American streets.

These urban tanks aren’t just Tonka toys. Instead, the tanks, which Navistar Defense manufactures, are serious battle vehicles intended for use on city streets. NavistarDefense.com describes them as follows:

The International® MaxxPro® is Navistar Defense’s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle and incorporates the latest design in armoring technology. Extensively tested by the military and used in theater today, the MaxxPro features a V-shaped hull and other design features that greatly improve survivability. With so much protection, it’s the vehicle that every crew wants when they’re out in the field.

The MaxxPro MRAP is built to withstand ballistic arms fire, mine blasts, IEDs, and other emerging threats. Its V-shaped hull helps deflect blasts out and away from the crew and its armoring can be customized to meet any mission requirement.

With these tanks on the street, not to mention 2 billion newly purchased bullets and 7 thousand newly purchased “personal defense weapons,” it’s no wonder that concerned citizens, Sarah Palin among them, are worried that the federal government is preparing to defend, not against enemy fighters, but against massive civil unrest:

If we are going to wet our proverbial pants over 0.3% in annual spending cuts when we’re running up trillion dollar annual deficits, then we’re done. Put a fork in us. We’re finished. We’re going to default eventually and that’s why the feds are stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest.