Speaking on the House of Representatives floor on September 17, 1997, then-Rep. Ron Paul warned of the “massive buildup of a virtual army of armed regulators.”
Paul, the chairman and founder of The Ron Paul Institute, proceeded to comment in his speech that, with the number of armed federal employees approaching 60,000, the Secretary of the Interior was pushing for even the Bureau of Land Management to be armed.
With the continuing rise of SWAT over the following 16 years, the number of armed US government employees continued to grow.
According to the bulletin - Federal Law Enforcement Officers, 2008 of the Bureau of Justice Statistics - by September of 2008 “federal agencies employed approximately 120,000 full-time law enforcement officers who were authorized to make arrests and carry firearms in the United States,” with 255 of them working for BLM.
We saw the United States government’s armed agents in action recently at the Bundy ranch in Nevada. We also saw them back off, at least for now, when confronted by armed protestors. Paul’s concluding sentences of his 1997 speech seem apropos:
"The gun in the hands of law-abiding citizens serves to hold in check arrogant and aggressive government. Guns in the hands of the bureaucrats do the opposite. The founders of this country fully understood this fact."