Politics, it is claimed, is the art of the possible. Thanks to the exponential growth of the public services sector, governing is the art of the impassable. Gun running? That would be The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Or maybe the FBI. Could be the CIA. Or the Department of Homeland Security. Or . . .”The Obama administration approved the sale of [850K] American-made rifles [from South Korean’s Lend Lease program] last year. But it reversed course and banned the sale in March – a decision that went largely unnoticed at the time but that is now sparking opposition from gun rights advocates. A State Department spokesman said the administration’s decision was based on concerns that the guns could fall into the wrong hands . . .
“The transfer of such a large number of weapons — 87,310 M1 Garands and 770,160 M1 Carbines — could potentially be exploited by individuals seeking firearms for illicit purposes,” the spokesman told FoxNews.com . . .
The majority of this article explore the “debate” over whether restricting these sales is a good idea or a gun control agenda gone global. (As you might expect from a writer with the last name Lott.)
On the “hell no, don’t let ’em back in” side, the Brady Campaign is the usual suspect (the speed dial go-to group for opposing anything to do with guns that’s not to do with restricting them). Their less-than-compelling argument: the imported rifles are dangerous because . . . they’re guns.
“Guns that can take high-capacity magazines are a threat to public safety,” said Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “Even though they are old, these guns could deliver a great amount of firepower.
The NRA and the Independence Institute are on the other side of the issue, asking what’s wrong with that, then?
“Any guns that retail in the United States, of course, including these, can only be sold to someone who passes the National Instant Check System,” said David Kopel, research director at the conservative Independence Institute. “There is no greater risk from these particular guns than there is from any other guns sold in the United States.”
Same old, same old. Again, it’s the bureaucratic labyrinth that really rankles.
Asked why the M1s pose a threat, the State Department spokesman referred questions to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. ATF representatives said they would look into the question Monday afternoon, but on Wednesday they referred questions to the Justice Department. DOJ spokesman Dean Boyd referred questions back to the State Department . . .
The White House referred questions on the issue to the Pentagon, which referred questions to the U.S. Embassy in South Korea, which deferred back to the State Department.
Leadership? Nope. Not ahead of the mid-terms. At least for now, call it the art of the impossible.