“Lawmakers had a chance to stand up to the NRA by passing background-check legislation this spring. They failed. The (B. Todd) Jones nomination now awaits action. Congress’s indulgence of firearm fanaticism and political cowardice will have to end somewhere. Maybe the first modest step can be confirming the director of the ATF.” – editorial at bloomberg.com

63 Responses to Quote of the Day: Or Maybe Not Edition

  1. Yet another director who would no doubt continue to status quo of “bumbling alphabet agency.”

    I am more than happy to read in the article that the agency is underfunded, and lacks the resources to police all our FFL’s. Perhaps if their funds have to stretch more, programs like “fast and furious” will be fewer and farther apart.

    • So the BATFE has 2500 agents?

      That must be one of the highest agent-to-fiasco ratios in the entire federal government…

      • When someone wants to become a Federal law enforcement “G-Man”, they start by applying to work for the FBI. When the Feebies don’t take him, he then tries the Secret Service. If they live near a national border, they then put in for the Border Patrol/ICE. After all those agencies have determined the applicant doesn’t quite cut the mustard, THEN he applies to work for ATF.

        Honestly, it’s surprising that there aren’t MORE embarrassing debacles involving those guys.

        • You forgot the DEA, where they shoot themselves in the feet in front of school children.

      • I find this interesting, the editorial states that there are 123,000 FFL dealers in the states, and they have 2,500 agents. that means each agent needs to inspect 50 FFL’s a year and each one would have a yearly inspection. Then goes on to say that they don’t have the resources to do he inspections that they need. i call bull, even if they take 2 days to inspect each FFL that would only take about 20 weeks to accomplish

        • Of 2500 agents, I bet that 2300 are paper pushers, leaving 200 working in the field.

        • With a 9 month backlog on tax stamps? Bet its more like 50 on full time paper pusher duty. Who knows what the ratio on the rest is for agents to phone answerers.

        • I think the NFA branch has under 10 people processing our form four requests (pending for three months now, grumble grumble).

  2. Good morning Dan. It would be nice to see Congress accomplish anything now. Too bad they’re tied up in a fight to save their respective parties that they forget they work for the citizens and have failed at their jobs miserably. I see the only hope now is in voting out the current crop of dead weight and getting new blood in place with the next election. I am also dismayed at how polarized we’ve become. The Reps and Dems take opposing views on every issue, and for me, the choices aren’t that simple. Wish the people could vote directly on the issues and eliminate the all or nothing middle men.

    • Except they aren’t supposed to be doing much. That is how the system was designed. I would prefer that they be polarized and uncooperative than doing a bunch of stuff because generally when government “does stuff,” things get worse.

      • Either party having complete control is a horrifying thought. On the “left” we have Eurotrip 2. On the “right” we have McCain, Christie, and Graham. And on both ends of the “fork” are Patriot Act 2: Back in the Habit. We are scary close to the line where lawful government is looking more and more like an illusion.

        • I thought anything was lawful as long as the words “public safety” or “children” appear somewhere? Is that not true?

          /sarcasm

          Sorry for the snarky comments this morning … there must be something in the water today.

        • @B:

          Yep.

          Historically, when one party controls all three branches of the federal government, it hasn’t been good.

          In the late 18th Century, Federalist control gave us the Sedition Act. In the mid-19th Century, Republican control gave us the Civil War. In the early 20th Century, Democratic gave us the Federal Reserve Act and the New Deal. Recent Republican control provided the joys of the Patriot Act and recent Democratic control gave us Obamacare.

          I typically only vote in local elections. In state or federal elections, I only vote if there is a Libertarian candidate. Otherwise, I boycott state and federal elections. That way, I don’t have any blood on my hands.

        • @Chris I understand the sentiment, but I don’t think abstaining absolves you of responsibility. If you want a Libertarian candidate to vote for, then you need to work to get one … simply expecting one to be provided for you is wishful thinking, and not getting involved to dig one up is a sin of omission.

        • Gridlock isn’t good. If Congress was doing its job, dozens of horrendous laws would be repealed.

          “My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden.”

          Barry Goldwater

        • @Ralph:

          Unfortunately, there aren’t many Barry Goldwaters left. members of Congress, regardless of party affiliation, want MORE laws, not LESS. Given that, I prefer that they cancel each other out.

      • +1. The more deadlocked congress is, the better of we all are. They ought not to meet more than a few weeks a year. Idle hands are the devils playthings and the congress obviously has way too much spare time.

    • “Lawmakers had a chance to stand up to the NRA…”

      Any weasel that spouts this piece of political crap should be banned from public office for life. What this quote ACTUALLY says, but they are too cowardly to actually state, is: “Lawmakers had a chance to stand against the Second Amendment…”

      They took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Voting against, or for laws that violate, any portion of that constitution is a violation of their oath. If they want to repeal an amendment they need to stand up, man up, and say that. Otherwise they should be exposed for the contempt they show our founding documents.

    • Direct democracy with a majority rule on every issue? Talk about tyranny. There’s a reason the Founders created a republic and not a true democracy.

      • Direct democracy with a ridiculously high threshold would work. Say 85% agreement to pass a law (and 15% agreement to repeal an existing law). We could ban the bad stuff, but avoid banning the harmless stuff.

    • No kidding! That little turn of phrase speaks volumes about the statist mindset. Here, I thought we elected representatives to act on our behalf in Congress. Apparently, the Bloombergian brain trust thinks we elected moms and dads to parent us. Or, maybe Sugar Mommies and Sugar Daddies would be a better description.

      • Definitely not “sugar daddies”. Sugar daddies provide financial support. Congress sucks up almost half of what we productive types produce.

    • Wonder if they would say the same in regards to AARP. That organization is larger and more powerful than the NRA and those seniors have been given a lot of benefits over the years.

  3. I propose that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives be combined with the Bureau of Girls, Dancing, Rock’n’Roll, and Pickup Trucks to form the Bureau of Redneck Good Times.

    Seriously, what other nation has an agency specifically responsible for only those four things?

  4. “Congress’s indulgence of firearm fanaticism …”

    The nerve of our Senators standing up for our rights and upholding the oaths that they swore! When will the insanity stop?

    /sarcasm

  5. I’m going to bite at the risk of getting shot (metaphorically) again. It’s very obvious to me that the Mexican cartels and gangs are arming themselves _in part_ with weapons made and sold in the U.S. (just google images of the Zetas cartel) — no surprise here with a 2000 mile border and nothing resembling the Berlin Wall…

    I’ve been asking people whether or not it matters, and what we should do about it. I’ve really only come up with a couple of direct options:
    1. Gun tracking and registration. (which no one here wants)
    2. Seal the border.

    To be honest, I’m not sure any of those would be effective or appealing… There’s also the indirect options like drug legalization…

    • It’s very obvious to me that the Mexican cartels and gangs are arming themselves _in part_ with weapons made and sold in the U.S.

      There’s an element of this that neither of your proposals would solve and which the media is loathe to talk about: How many of these weapons “made and sold in the U.S.” were subsequently sold by the U.S. government to the government of Mexico, and from there “leaked” into the hands of the cartels?

      • @Dave:

        I think the answer to your question is “alot”.

        I don’t think I’m necessarily going out on a limb to suggest that one of the reasons that the DOJ under Holder vastly expanded the program that preceded “Fast and Furious” was specifically to manufacture violence that could then be used to feed the civilian disarmament industry.

    • The other question that never gets answered is how many of those weapons were given to the Mexican military by the American government as part of the War on Drugs, and then made their way to the cartels through corruption and outright defection? The point especially applies to the Zetas, who are were founded by rogue Mexican military units deciding that drugs and enforcing would pay better.

    • @Conrad:

      Drug legalization would virtually end the violence, crime, corruption, and curtailment of civil liberties that are associated with the drug war. The groups that profit the most from drug criminalization are the drug cartels themselves that make huge sums of money supplying a demand for an illegal service, law enforcement agencies that are the recipients of federal dollars, military technology, weaponry, and vastly expanded police powers, international banks that launder the drug money, and the prison industry that benefits from state and federal contracts to incarcerate people who are mostly nonviolent.

      So, if recreational drug use was legalized, the price of drugs would fall, cutting out the violent cartels. Police departments wouldn’t need machine guns, armored personal carriers, and helicopters and the Fourth Amendment could be rebuilt. There would be no drug money for the big banks to launder. And finally, we could stop building prisons and filling them with people who are mostly nonviolent.

      Of course, these results would also mean a much smaller footprint for the federal government and fewer reasons for government busybodies to nose around in the lives of citizens. So, the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans would never support it.

      • Perhaps the answer is to treat this problem the way we treat alcohol – make the drug itself (not il)legal, but come down hard on criminal behavior while under the influence. This would minimize the criminal gangs involved in distribution, maximize tax revenue to the feds for selling the stuff, and incentivize people to not do stupid things while under the influence. Might work. /s

        I can anticipate a lot of drug money being donated to politicians who are willing to oppose such legislation.

    • While gun tracking and registration (which would also require large scale firearm confiscation) MIGHT increase the “challenge level” for Mexican criminals who want to arm themselves, those advocating such schemes tend to overlook several relevant facts:

      1.) The US has literally millions of Mexican citizens illegally present within our borders. If the border is so porous that people can casually cross because they hope to find work raking gardens or scrubbing toilets, it’s certainly not secure enough to seriously discourage smuggling.

      2.) The US has thorough and efficient systems for registering cars, yet approximately 80,000 stolen cars cross the US border into Mexico every year. Stolen guns are certainly easier to smuggle than automobiles.

      3.) While 23% of confiscated firearms reported by Mexican law enforcement are traceable to US sources, the ATF is notoriously reticient about how many of these guns were originally in private hands. The United States is one of the largest exporters of weapons in the world, and many of these weapons were legally exported to other nations or sold to the Mexican military or law enforcement before they ended up in the hands of criminals. Schemes for registration of US firearms would have no effect on these sources of illegal firearms.

      There is one simple way to pull the fangs from these criminal syndicates: Cut off their money supply by legalizing drugs in the US and civilian firearm ownership in Mexico. (Yes, I know that it’s technically legal to own a gun in Mexico, but they make the process so burdensome that people just don’t bother.) The government needs to reform the immigration process in ways that make legal immigration more practical and ensure that illegal immigration becomes a bad idea. They must impose substantial penalties for illegal immigrants, who really aren’t discouraged by present systems.

      • Well put and some very good thoughts here James.

        I’d like to add that even if the ‘flow of guns’ from the US to Mexico could be stopped immediately and completely, so long as the cartels have money and the need for weapons (ie drug trafficking activity) there will be such a market that in no time at all they will all be carrying AK47s fresh from the mid-east and or Africa. The arms trade, drug trade, and every trade works the same, if there is sufficient demand there will be a supply. Until we recognize that there is little hope of improvement.

  6. I love how they call it cowardice and at the same time constantly beat the drum on their 90% figure.

    If the 90% figure were accurate (as they claim), then voting against Gun Control (sorry…I mean background check) legislation would be an example of political courage because they are going against the wishes of a supposed majority of voters.

  7. There needs to legislation enacted to make it illegal to put anyone in charge of certain agencies that is part of the Gun Ban Lobby including the ATF.

  8. TO: the Editors @ Bloomberg.com
    RE: Gutless Flocks

    Maybe the first modest step can be confirming the director of the ATF. — by the Editors @ Bloomberg.com

    Maybe YOU would like to lead the charge into my house? As if you had the courage to back up your words.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!]

  9. How about we incrementaly begin to restore our Constitutional rights by eliminating the BATFE & and put back the sole power of firearms regulation back to the States by eliminateing any and all restrictions on firearms at the Federal level.

    • That would be great if it wasn’t for the fact that federal regulation is far less intrusive than most states’. If it were only federal laws existed we’d all have constitutional carry.

    • I am not a lawyer (thank goodness). I still have trouble understanding why states cannot write laws infringing on the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, etc., but EVERY state thinks it can and has consistently written legislation limiting or otherwise controlling our exercise of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. know there seems to be legal reason justifying this, but the logic escapes me.

      IMO, what needs to happen is that ALL of the state laws regarding arms (the amendment does not specify “firearms”) that are in conflict with the 2nd Amendment need to be declared null and void and the natural right to self protection as enshrined in the 2A be the ONLY government statement that applies. “…SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”

  10. I wrote and called both Florida senators asking them to vote no on this guy. I also called Nelson out to quit siding with the likes of Schumer and Feinstein. This Jones guy is a tool and another Holder type.

  11. Let me fix that for you:

    “Lawmakers had a chance [a legal, moral and constitutional responsibility] to stand up to the NRA [uphold the Right to Keep and Bear Arms] by passing [rejecting background-check legislation this spring with extreme prejudice]. They failed [succeeded, much to the shagrin of civilian disarmament ideologues]. The (B. Todd) Jones nomination now awaits action. Congress’s indulgence of firearm fanaticism and political cowardice will have to end somewhere [solemn duty to defend human rights from statists and tyrants shall never end]. Maybe the first modest step can be confirming [arresting] the director of the ATF [and disbanding this unconstitutional entity forever].”

    Much better.

  12. Having Todd Jones as the head of ATF would provide Mike Bloombag with a nice new toy. Little Mike already bought New York City, Andrew Cuomo, Joe Manchin and the whole damn state of Colorado. Why not the ATF?

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