Now that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF and sometimes E) have sucked $37.5 million from the public purse to create seven new teams to fight the flow of illegal guns to Mexico, what? Nothing much. But that doesn’t stop the pandering political pawns from pwning the PR. Details of Project Gunrunner and its true GRIT [Gun Runner Impact Team] are filtering through, countering a new report that says the ATF’s anti-gun running interdiction effort is a cluster you-know-what. [click here download the “official use only” pdf]. Meanwhile, dallasnews.com reports that the ATF reports that each team will have ten members. What’s more, the paper is buying everything that the ATF’s spokesman is selling . . .
“They’ll come up and purchase guns here, or have someone purchase them for them,” said Tom Crowley, a spokesman for ATF’s Dallas division.
Crowley called North Texas a “comfort zone” for drug cartels that use “straw purchasers” – U.S. citizens with no criminal records – to buy guns in large quantities for smuggling . . .
Dallas was selected because ATF has already prosecuted numerous traffickers in North Texas, Crowley said. In once case, he said, a trafficking group purchased guns in Oklahoma City, stockpiled them in Lewisville and eventually smuggled them into Mexico through Laredo.
Given the sums of money involved with this project, it would be nice to know exactly how many guns Agent Crowley is talking about. What are the “large quantities” involved? While we’re at it, define “numerous.”
And here’s another monkey wrench that someone should have tossed at Crowley’s spinnery: how do we know that a portion of these guns aren’t going to Mexican citizens to defend themselves from the drug cartels? Earlier today, there was a story about a Juarez newspaper capitulating to drug lords after they whacked two journalists. Maybe desperate Mexican are buying black market weapons to save life and limb.
Mexican gun control amounts to a de facto gun ban for its citizens. If more gun equals less crime in the U.S., why not Mexico, which may already have tipped into a state of near complete lawlessness? Once again, the U.S. feds’ gun control may be evoking the law of unintended consequences, achieving the exact opposite of its stated intentions.
“We’re trying to look at the big picture,” Crowley said. “It’s not just a border issue.”