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Texas Courthouse Shooting

Most gun owners in the US hear the letters A – T – F and instantly think “AHA! The great Satan! They hate our freedom and want to take our guns!” Which, in some cases, might be true. But in the grand scheme of things, we’ve got it pretty good here in the United States. Other countries have drunk so deeply the gun control Kool-Aid that it permeates their entire culture to the point where “gun control = good, guns = bad” is the accepted common sense. The UN-based outlet for that gun control fervor is the U.N.’s Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, commonly known as PoA. They met last week for the sole purpose of berating the US for their “backwards” gun laws . . .

From the National Review’s article on the proceedings:

In theory, the PoA is about promoting cooperation against illicit international arms trafficking, not about what goes on inside nations. If it stuck to its job, it could be modestly useful. But in practice, it’s a forum for promoting gun control. Statements by U.N. member nations regularly assert that the civilian possession of firearms is dangerous and needs to be severely controlled, if not completely eliminated. Speakers regularly imply that the business of the PoA is to focus on the domestic realm, not international trade.


The result is that the PoA focuses resolutely on peripheral concerns and on blaming the U.S. At the MGE2, the big items on the agenda have been the 3D printing of firearms, modular firearms, and the challenges of marking and tracing polymer (i.e., plastic) firearm frames.


And, of course, it blames the U.S. Earl Griffith, of the Firearms Technology Branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, spoke to the meeting on Tuesday on marking and the U.S. eTrace system. As always, the U.S. has stood out at this meeting because it is one of the few nations that knows what it is talking about — most of the so-called experts in the room are nothing of the sort. But inevitably, Griffith came under attack when he stated, accurately, that in the U.S. if you make a firearm for your own personal use, and are not engaged in the firearms business, you don’t need to mark it. There is no evidence that homemade U.S. firearms are contributing to the illicit international arms trade.

It gave me a lot of pleasure to watch Griffith, with the aid of his colleagues in the U.S. delegation, defending U.S. law and policies with determination. As the U.S. speakers pointed out, the PoA is utterly irrelevant to what the U.S. does inside its borders, and it is up to the U.S. court system to decide whether firearms manufacture inside the U.S. has violated U.S. laws. Even better was the reminder from the ATF that “we’re proud of many things here, including our Constitution and the right to lawfully possess and use our weapons.”

When the skeptical meeting chair commented that he was “quite surprised” by U.S. polices, and that “some groups of people” have the temerity to support them, Griffith replied politely but firmly that “the Second Amendment in the United States is sacred. It has been passed down through generations.”

All the usual suspects for a gun control gaggle are here. The “experts” who have no idea what they’re talking about. The miracle cures that are impractical, impossible, or just downright stupid. And the ATF.

This time it’s the ATF that is speaking on the behalf of the American people and their Second Amendment rights, and they seem to be doing a damn good job. I suppose it just goes to show that, when viewed against the actual insanity of European gun control, even the ATF can seem reasonable and well-intentioned.

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  1. Besides, if all firearms were outlawed where would all of those unemployed ATF employees get a paycheck?

    • Winston Blake, 28, black, British
      Peter Gent, 24, white, Australian
      Peter Hipsman, 28, white, American
      Perry Jones, 64, white, American
      Michael Schroeder, 29, white, American
      Jaydean Wendell, 34, Hawaiian, American
      Katherine Andrade, 24, white, American
      Chanel Andrade, 1, white, American
      Jennifer Andrade, 19, white, American
      George Bennett, 35, black, British
      Susan Benta, 31, black, British
      Mary Jean Borst, 49, white, American
      Pablo Cohen, 38, white, Israeli
      Abedowalo Davies, 30, black, British
      Shari Doyle, 18, white, American
      Beverly Elliot, 30, black, British
      Yvette Fagan, 32, black, British
      Doris Fagan, 51, black, British
      Lisa Marie Farris, 24, white, American
      Raymond Friesen, 76, white, Canadian
      Sandra Hardial, 27, black, British
      Zilla Henry, 55, black, British
      Vanessa Henry, 19, black, British
      Phillip Henry, 22, black, British
      Paulina Henry, 24, black, British
      Stephen Henry, 26, black, British
      Diana Henry, 28, black, British
      Novellette Hipsman, 36, black, Canadian
      Floyd Houtman, 61, black, American
      Sherri Jewell, 43, Asian, American
      David M. Jones, 38, white, American
      David Koresh, 33, white, American
      Rachel Koresh, 24, white, American
      Cyrus Koresh, 8, white, American
      Star Koresh, 6, white, American
      Bobbie Lane Koresh, 2, white, American
      Jeffery Little, 32, white, American
      Nicole Gent Little, 24, white, Australian
      and unborn child
      Dayland Gent, 3, white, American
      Page Gent, 1, white, American
      Livingston Malcolm, 26, black, British
      Diane Martin, 41, black, British
      Wayne Martin, Sr., 42, black, American
      Lisa Martin, 13, black, American
      Sheila Martin, Jr., 15, black, American
      Anita Martin, 18, black, American
      Wayne Martin, Jr., 20, black, American
      Julliete Martinez, 30, Mexican American
      Crystal Martinez, 3, Mexican American
      Isaiah Martinez, 4, Mexican American
      Joseph Martinez, 8, Mexican American
      Abigail Martinez, 11, Mexican American
      Audrey Martinez, 13, Mexican American
      John-Mark McBean, 27, black, British
      Bernadette Monbelly, 31, black, British
      Rosemary Morrison, 29, black, British
      Melissa Morrison, 6, black, British
      Sonia Murray, 29, black, American
      Theresa Nobrega, 48, black, British
      James Riddle, 32, white, American
      Rebecca Saipaia, 24, Asian, Phillipino
      Steve Schneider, 43, white, American
      Judy Schneider, 41, white, American
      Mayanah Schneider, 2, white, American
      Clifford Sellors, 33, white, British
      Scott Kojiro Sonobe, 35, Asian, American
      Floracita Sonobe, 34, Asian, Phillipino
      Gregory Summers, 28, white, American
      Aisha Gyrfas Summers, 17, white, Australian
      and unborn child
      Startle Summers, 1, white, American
      Lorraine Sylvia, 40, white, American
      Rachel Sylvia, 12, white, American
      Hollywood Sylvia, 1, white, American
      Michelle Jones Thibodeau, 18, white, American
      Serenity Jones, 4, white, American
      Chica Jones, 2, white, American
      Little One Jones, 2, white, American
      Neal Vaega, 38, Somoan, New Zealander
      Margarida Vaega, 47, Asian, New Zealander
      Mark H. Wendell, 40, Asian, American

      • Yep, I wasn’t being cynical enough. Federal Government agencies never get any smaller. In fact part of the reason for the NFA ’34 was to keep from having to fire a bunch of now useless federal employees since Prohibition was over and they needed something for the “Revenuers” to do.

        Eventually we will all work for the Federal Government, in a way we already do for the first few months of every year.

      • I believe no other federal agency wants ATF agents mixed with their own should the ATF be eliminated. Way too much baggage, bad training, bad tactics, and bad oversight from the senior staff. The agency is focused entirely too much on a political agenda of closing down gun stores, harassing the law abiding public over paperwork snafus and not on catching the bad guys.Just Google “BATF abuse of power” and see all the crap that the BATF has become famous for. Illegal entrapment, encouraging the commission of felonies, agents actually committing felonies, shootings of innocent people and the list goes on. Apparently the BATF is too big to disband, so it gets ignored in the hopes that it will somehow either fix itself, or self destruct.

    • Are you kidding? How much of a budget do they command now for NOT arresting straw purchasers and armed felons? They don’t need a thriving gun culture to justify themselves, not when you can define a shoelace as a machine gun.

    • Parkinson’s Law: work expands so as to fill the time [and government employees] available for its completion.

  2. Comparatively speaking, yes, we do have it good here.

    However, I am rightly unconcerned with the blathering of educated idiots who do not and have never lived here, and know less than nothing about what goes on inside our borders or why. I choose instead to focus on things that actually matter, like the BATFE’s constant assault on our rights.

    Stay in your fucking lane, PoA Chairman. That is all.

  3. The thing to remember is that everybody has a useless nephew or two who needs a job. The UN, basically, is an enormous bureaucracy with no clear, external deadlines or deliverables, and thus serves as a giant repository where the political class around the world can stuff their talent-challenged relations.

    • Which I would have no problem with if my tax dollars weren’t helping to support the UN. Move them out of the US and the US out of the UN and they can put all their retard relates to work in the new US free UN.

        • Sadly, the billions we give to the U.N. isn’t even 1% of our annual budget deficit… De-funding the U.N. might be a great idea, but Federal budget-wise, you’re going to need to look elsewhere for “wonders”.

  4. Somehow, I am having a hard time getting all warm and fuzzy about this event. On the one hand I like what I heard. On the other hand the ATF just tried to criminalize the sale and manufacture of 5.56 mm M855 green tip ammunition. And of course the ATF already criminalizes the manufacture and possession of suppressors, firearms of arbitrary barrel and overall lengths, and full auto firearms … unless you first pay for a tax stamp. Keep in mind that the ATF is chartered as a tax collection function of the Internal Revenue Service. How they became bastardized into enforcing arbitrary firearm “restrictions” is beyond me.

    • To be fair, the ATF didn’t criminalize silencers, SBRs, etc. That distinction belongs to Congress. One may argue about how the ATF applies those laws, but at some abstract level, doing so is their job.

      Let’s not forget where the problem started.

      • Congress is full of politicians. We know they are the scum of the Earth. However Congress aren’t the ones planning or physically carrying out “operations” ranging the gamut from unethical to illegal to treasonous.

        BATFE are well known for bankrupting, imprisoning and ruining otherwise law-abiding citizens lives over minor clerical oversights or weapons malfunctions.

        I find the particular brand of malice and contempt so many of their agents display for the citizenry especially reprehensible.

        ***My sincere apologies and heartfelt thanks to the “good guys” in that agency who have tried to change the culture from within, and particularly the agents who were hung out for exposing wrong-doing within the agency. Those men are Oath keepers and heroes, but from the bleachers they appear to be the vast minority.

        • “Congress aren’t the ones planning or physically carrying out “operations” . . . ” I respectfully beg to differ with you on this point. Congress, the President and our Judiciary are supposed to see to enforcement of the law within the Constitution and the supervision of their employees. When the employees are doing precisely the opposite of enforcing the law or are in violation of the Constitution, the first thing we must suspect is that culpability rises to the top.

          The truth of my assertion has never been in evidence prior to the present administration. Absolutely no scandal is great enough to motivate Congress to intervene. Not one of the many scandals. Each new scandal seems to serve as an excuse to cease work on the last investigation.

          In any bureaucracy the one thing you can be confident in is that the underlings are primarily motivated by personal ambition to conform to the policies of their superiors. It is now clear that Congress is answerable to the President; shocking as that statement might seem. SCOTUS, having ruled 9-0 against the President numerous times, at least still seems to remain independent and in power (notwithstanding its refusal to consistently uphold the Constitution.)

          You can reach this conclusion by examining how few whistle-blowers have emerged from the Federal bureaucracy. Just a very few from the ATF; and, it took running guns down to Juarez to motivate these few to put their careers – and perhaps their lives – on the line. Most of the other ATF employees – just as with the employees of every other Department and Commission – carried out the explicit or implicit wishes of the politicians.

          If you have chosen a career in public service it is far easier to drink the Kool-Aid and do what is expected of you by those who hold your future in their hands. It is nearly impossible to find and follow your own conscious.

  5. arguing for their own existence.
    which is fine i suppose. they made a good argument.
    I can only hope whichever pant-suited puppet weebles their way into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave next November will view the UN like tits-on-a-boar and thumb their nose at the people control attempts.

    now, Mr. ATF, quit effing with manufacturers of incomplete lowers, give up your unholy hatred of the SIG brace, and loosen up those silencer regs! maybe someday the BATFE will just a one-stop superstore for all your weekend needs.

    “I’m heading down to the ATF! Getting some Black Velvet, Pall Malls, and a couple 1919’s! You comin’?”

    • “I can only hope whichever pant-suited puppet weebles their way into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave next November will view the UN like tits-on-a-boar and thumb their nose at the people control attempts.”

      I think you mean January after next, instead of next November. The next POTUS will take office on Jan 20, 2017.

  6. Looks like this ATF representative, Earl Griffith, did America’s gun culture a stand-up job. It’s time to give credit where credit is due.

    If we have any expectation of being treated decently by ATF it’s our duty to express our appreciation for ATF agents to do a good job. Then, and then only, are we entitled to excoriate them for their sins; which, I suspect, originate more so from the top than the rank and file.

    • Agreed. But have to be careful that they don’t take compliments as a license to do more harm with further restrictions. Remember that Caesar thought that Brutus was his buddy, right before he stabbed him. I agree that most of the bad ideas likely come from the top through political pressure and that the rank and file could be pretty decent folks. Another thought from history comes to mind though. That is, many of the rank and file Nazis may have been decent folks too. After all, they were “just following orders”.

    • I hope he has his resume in order. When the Zulu king hears about this, it is a good bet he will be another unemployed.

      • my though exactly. someone, somewhere up the chain will hear about this, and he will be made senior chief executive duster in the records warehouse.

      • The “Zulu king”.

        First I’ve heard him called that; that’s funny…and fits him well!

        You’re right by the way on the other part too. Maybe he’s up for retirement and willing to speak his mind, the current administration be damned.

      • You maybe be right. I wondered about this as well because his comments were spot on and in direct conflict with Lurch Kerry and Barry. We only have to look at the history of the Small Arms treaty and how Lurch and Barry pushed Mexico to keep pressing it and their willingness to get on board in spite of a bipartisan resolution against it from the Senate.

      • Please don’t insult the Zulu tribes like that. They have a proud warrior tradition unlike our current wannabe commander-in-thief.

  7. And one of the most vocal opponents of the Arms Trade Treaty was — wait for it — Canada. Yeas, that Canada. Never known as a haven for gun rights, Canada still hasn’t signed the ATT and probably never will.

    It doesn’t matter what the ATF says. It only matters what it does.

  8. “The thing to remember is that everybody has a useless nephew or two who needs a job”

    Second chuckle of the day.

    F the ATF. Ohhhh my barrel is less than 18 inches. Sorry I lack an overcoat to hide evil length and have no desire to rob a bank or citizens of the homeland. The want of a manageable home defense weapon in 300 blackout eludes me. Some day, almost possible maybe.

  9. I’ve said it here before. It’s an agency staffed by human beings, some of whom are conservative, and many of whom love guns. If you are in the executive branch, you do what the President tells you to, even if it’s argue issue and defend a bad regulation you personally hate, but we can’t just paint every person who works there with a broad brush.

    If we find ourselves horribly displeased with the current crop of suggested ATF regs, we’d likely notice a dramatic difference, with 99% of the same employees working there, if a non-prog is elected in roughly 18 months.

    If an agency in the Executive branch does “dumb” things, quite often it ain’t the agency; it’s the Executive.

    • While you’re right that the fish rots from the head, I have a hard time feeling very warm-and-fuzzy for people who use the old “I was just following orders” defense for enforcing blatantly wrong and unconstitutional infringements on civil rights.

      They may not all be amoral monsters, but anyone who works at the ATF is at the very least a collaborator in undermining the rights of all Americans.

  10. Americans can pick on each other, but let the UN folks do it and we will defend our own. suck it UN

  11. Kudos. We’ve gotten so used to berating the ATF and gun legislations that we have no idea just how “good” we actually have it compared to the rest of world. Sure, NFA items might be an exception. Buying a silencer in Europe is a trivial matter. But in the overall big picture, we really DO have it better here. Compared to the U.N. PoA, the ATF is angelic.

    • meh, a better comparo of the UN vs ATF would be more like the Armenian Genocide vs Waco massacre. while one pile is much larger then the other, the piles are still made from corpses. different times, governments and circumstances. same thought process.

  12. The ATF might be bad, but the UN is the most useless entity ever organized by man. This is the same organization that puts counties like China and United Arab Emirates on the Executive board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Saudi Arabia, China, Russia and Cuba on the United Nations Human Rights Council. This is the same organization that proclaimed that all the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035 based on an unscientific speculation by a mountaineer that they might be gone by 2350. I’m personally embarrassed that the country I live in is even a member, let alone footing 80% of the bills. By comparison the ATF are a bunch of really nice guys.

    • I concur, the UN is useless and should be abolished and in its place should be a museum of its many failures as to remind others not to make the same mistakes. The UN is full of NGOs that make the entire bogus process even worse. I is a country club job for many well connected people and provides zero value.

  13. Give credit where credit is due? Waco? Almost a hundred men, women and children burned to death because the ATF wanted a dramatic take down at the ranch instead of quietly arresting Koresh at his favorite coffee shop.

    Ruby Ridge? A mother holding a baby shot in the head and and boy shot in the back running away?

    Fast and Furious? Gun stores forced to sell guns to known straw purchasers by the ATF and then later the ATF tries to say the gun store was complicit in the sale? Guns sold to known Drug Cartels, then used to murder Mexican citizens and American law enforcement.

    Gun stores penalized thousand of dollars or closed down for paper work errors?

    Yeah, I’ll give credit where credit is due.

  14. Happy build your own bang stick not withstanding…reminding the TTAG crew, these are the A-holes that got snippy about green tips pro-ject-tiles. AND they pre-printed the regs B-4 public comment was solicited. And jacked a company’s poly lowers cause the black injected molding indicated something around the second injection of red polyethylene.

    Make no mistake, these are the thugs coming for your armaments. No hugs & smooches for them.

  15. something that i have yet to figure out or heard any opinion on is what and how the Europeans stand to profit from controlling our guns. i just don’t get why they are so concerned with us and our guns. any ideas guys?

    • They probably look at the largest arms supplier in the world, then at all the Algerians and Somalis piling up north of the Mediterranean Sea, and are quite reasonably fearful of Europe going the way of Mexico.

      Careful control.of international trade makes sense, but the black trade is a serious concern and the U.S. a great place for that trade to originate.

      Their concerns are legitimate, and as good trading partners we should help them all we can – outside our borders, that is.

      • Aren’t most of those Algerians and Somalis armed with cheap Russian and Chinese guns? Those aren’t Arsenal AKs they’re randomly firing into the air to celebrate getting a good parking space.

    • Because their own arms industries and militaries have become so emaciated that they fear us dominating them. It’s not like it’s unprecedented (post WWII), and this time they aren’t fresh off the boat of hell and thankful. Which is why they are so resentful of what little strength we have remaining.

      Or perhaps they are a cancer on mankind hungry for One Party World Governance; that’s been the steady progression of the Germanic Tribes since like the 1600’s (I think it may be genetic)

  16. If the ATF is taking up your side, you know you’ve gone around the bend.

    Why don’t we push the fcking UN into to Hudson? No more permanent vacation in the US and everyone gets a one way ticket back to the shthole they came from.

    • Not really. In the context of Europe they’re almost heaven, but you do need a permit to even own a gun. Granted, it’s pretty much a shall-issue permit if you’re Czech, EU or a citizen of a NATO country, but one of the requirements is to be able to speak Czech fluently for the written test (no interpreter allowed), so an ex-pat or someone there for a few months on business can’t get one without a lot of work.

      I’d take Vermont over the Czech Republic. I’d even take Colorado over the Czech republic, not withstanding the stoopid mag restriction here.

      The good news is, it’s absurdly easy to find CZs there. They’ve figured out the best answer to the Glock vs. 1911 question.

  17. “The result is that the PoA focuses resolutely on peripheral concerns and on blaming the U.S. At the MGE2, the big items on the agenda have been the 3D printing of firearms, modular firearms, and the challenges of marking and tracing polymer (i.e., plastic) firearm frames”
    Why, this almost perfectly parallels the Democrat Party’s recent gun control policy initiative focus! More specifically, the regulatory measures directed by our President without the input of Congress or the courts.

    You don’t suppose he’s being lobbied ($) by foreign/UN interests, do you?

  18. I’m hoping to live to see the day when the US kicks the UN out, and takes that big ugly gun with the knot in the barrel sculpture, and auctions it off to American barrel manufacturers for melting down and forging into limited edition, commemorative AR 15 barrels.

    I can dream, can’t I?

  19. A pat on the back for following The Bill of Rights really?
    We’ve turned so far left you wanna give them a prize for a small right turn?
    Taking an Oath and not following it should be a Pat Down and Cell rather than normal.

    • The defense was from the Tech Branch, btw, not the enforcement goons. The Tech Branch, when they aren’t being forced to defend/justify idiotic whims of directors & presidents bent on disarmament, are actually about as pro-gun as you could possibly expect. They wish the NFA backlog was shorter, stamps issued faster, more agents on staff to issue determinations more quickly, and I guarantee more than anything they wish their duties and obligations were clearer. But that isn’t what their bosses want, and they want to keep their jobs, same as anybody else. They are at worst complicit, is my understanding, but not the instigators.

  20. Words are cheap, actions are all which matters. I can appreciate the defense of our Constitution on the world stage, but how is it enforced on home turf? Are they acting, I mean, consider recent history. That said, it is a top-down Gov’t agency and the POTUS is a left extreme progressive who despises the 2A.

  21. Imagine a world where the president of the United States orders the ATF to stop enforcing unconstitutional laws, and instead sends ATF agents from state to state to ensure that the states are complying with the supreme law of the land, as written in plain English in the 2nd amendment…..

    Man, I really need to lay off the Hoppe’s!

  22. “Other countries have drunk so deeply the gun control Kool-Aid that it permeates their entire culture to the point where “gun control = good, guns = bad” is the accepted common sense”

    Don’t forget “And government = God”

    That’s always the connection. People who enslave themselves to the state do so with utter faith in government, an entity that has caused more devastation to humanity than any other force in history. Also remember that American leftists are no better than foreigners when it comes to understanding and appreciating the concept of freedom.

  23. “ATF FTB Spokesman Defends American’s Second Amendment Rights. No, Really!”

    So did the ATF agent say that NFA restrictions were unconstitutional and that he would gladly resign from his position and get a real job that’s not on the american people’s dime enforcing laws that take the american people’s dime? No?

    Sounds like they didn’t defend 2nd amendment rights. They attempted to justify their existence that guns are a tradition in the US so they could keep their cushy jobs. Allow some guns but not others right? And who else is going to decrypt the bizarre and wildly arbitrary gun laws on the books? Did they seek their repeal? No?

    It’s great and all what the ATF agent said – but his statement is a drop in the bucket for an otherwise ocean of unjust and unconstitutional actions made by the ATF. If he was a real patriot he would copy all the files on their servers and release them to the public so we can cross reference them to all the lying statements the ATF and other bureaus have made for decades. He could resign and publicly denounce their activities which would be illegal for the normal citizen. He could publicly state that he worked for the ATF FTB and the gun laws in the US are the most asinine illogical garbage created for the sole purpose of collecting money. No? I didn’t think so.


  25. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Should be the advertisement for a convenience store, not the name of a government agency.

  26. I’d be more convinced/impressed if and when they take such a principled stand against POTUS/COTUS – even unto the departments destruction. Its not the U.N. I’m worried about.

  27. I seem to recall a long time ago about the metal workers in Afghanistan or Pakistan that were “creating” AK-47’s and the old British Enfield 303’s in their workshops; It would NOT surprise me that other weapons were being made the same way in many of these countries.

  28. I think part of this is the “I can bad mouth my family, but don’t dare you” reaction.

    I hate many things about California, yet I find myself defensive on her behalf against non-Californians who show even the slightest ignorance of exaggeration. I will be critical of the US policies at times, but often defensive with my European friends. My family have many issues, but I don’t want to hear them from an outsider. And so on.

    And part of it is simply that being in the US and dealing with firearms- police/legal/regulatory – he is going to see their ignorance regardless of his personal beliefs. And perhaps lacking ignorance himself, he sees the silliness of their ideology.

  29. Griffith was the cheif of the firearms technology branch when the” sig brace from the shoulder is not a sbr” letter was sent in his name. Sounds like he may be one of the good guys.

  30. The quatrième tête de série, la Suisse a admis qu’il ya une pression sur son c?té étant le champion en titre du tournoi.


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