The NRA reckons it’s OK, now, to excoriate the Obama administration on the whole ATF Gunwalker screw-up. No surprise there. NRA fund raising has relied on fear-mongering (with or without reality-based justification) for quite some time. Decades, in fact. Besides, the Gunwalker story has passed the proverbial tipping point; there’s no longer any strategic downside to shoving it up Washington’s you-know-what. The NRA’s a little late to the party, but they’re partying like it’s 1999. In an editorial entitled Obama Administration Resorts to Mob Tactics for townhall.com, NRA jefe Wayne LaPierre gives Obama’s ATF and DOJ minions what-for. In his own special way . . .
You’ve seen this in the movies. A group of gangsters surrounds an innocent bystander. One of the thugs pulls out a bat and smashes the poor guy’s windshield. “It’d be a shame if this sorta thing continued to happen,” says the thug. Unable to afford any future damage to his property, the bystander-turned-victim is now forced to surrender his money to the mob so they can “protect” his belongings.
President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder are now using this same mob-style tactic on American gun owners.
Officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), an agency under the direct purview of Holder’s Justice Department, forced American gun shops to illegally sell guns to people they knew would cross the border and put those guns in the hands of violent Mexican drug lords.
OK, I’m confused. The ATF are jack-booted anti-Second Amendment thugs. Roger that. History is our guide. But how did Operation Fast and Furious threaten U.S. gun owners? It’s not like the guns found their way back into the U.S. where criminals have used them on American soil. Oh wait . . . Still, that wasn’t the ATF’s plan. One hopes.
Don’t get me wrong. The ATF was, is and will be a threat to American gun owners’ right to keep and bear arms. And yes, the Bureau used Mexican gun violence as an excuse to ram through an illegal gun registry. But as far as I can tell, the gun smuggling op was part of the Obama administration’s plan to arm the Sinaloa cartel against Los Zetas, the anti-Calderon cartel (for those of you keeping score).
Again, the ATF’s done that bitch-slap-law-abiding-American-gun-owners thing plenty of times. There’s lots of ATF anti-2a behavior that Wayne could lay at the Bureau’s door without making the [let’s face it] tenous connection between F&F and American gun owners. While I appreciate the anti-ATF animus, Wayne’s made a bad landing at the wrong airport.
Equally, the ATF didn’t “force” U.S. gun stores to participate in Operation Fast and Furious—although we can assume a certain amount of implicit coercion. The gun stores called up the ATF and said “We’ve got some shady customers buying multiple weapons. You want to take a look see?” The ATF simply said “We know. Fuhgeddaboutit.” Oh and webcast a transaction or two to Acting Deputy Head Melson’s office.
Gun dealers willing participation in Operation Fast and Furious doesn’t make it right. But them’s the facts as we know them. Anyway, there’s a much bigger problem with Wayne’s op ed than misplaced (but well-deserved) ATF bashing.
“This [drug] war is being waged with guns purchased not here, but in the United States. More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops that line our shared border,” said Obama during one of his visits to Mexico.
This line was repeated over and over again by Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The media ran with it. Soon, the perception everywhere was that our Second Amendment rights were responsible for drug crime and murder in Mexico.
And it was a bald-faced lie.
Leaked State Department cables proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that Central America was the main supplier of illegal guns to Mexican drug lords – not the United States of America.
And that’s just wrong. The leaked cables in question fingers Central American suppliers for Mexican drug cartel weaponry, But it states clearly that the weapons in question (grenades) were “stolen” from Central American armies. Who were supplied by . . . the United States of America.
There are links aplenty (including our own coverage) that establish the Yankee Go Home But Leave Those Fully-Automatic Rifles ‘N Stuff Over There connection. Google is your friend. This story from insightcrime.org is but one that spells it out, while, at the same time, revealing the disinformation campaign waged by the ATF before Gunwalker broke.
Does Mr. La Pierre not know that vicious—and I mean REALLY vicious—South American drug cartels wield U.S.-made guns supplied (accidentally on purpose) to nosotros amigos via U.S. government sanctioned military and law enforcement sales? Or does the NRA Veep know that we’re the cartels’ armorers and willfully ignores that fact?
Wayne could be protecting the feds even as he’s ripping them a new you-know-what. Or maybe he’s using a little slight of hand to shelter the gunmakers (e.g. Bushmaster) who feast on U.S. taxpayer sponsored military contracts to South America (including Mexico).
Stranger things have happened. Are happening. Watch this space.