It’s not easy carrying water for big government these days. Especially with all the manifest failures staring the public right in the face. A flack has to twist and contort himself into all kinds of death-defying shapes, inventing novel rationales why bigger and more expansive government really is the solution to all our problems. But today’s editorial in the Washington Post about the ATF’s, er, difficulties makes those Chinese acrobats look as flexible as a two-by-four in comparison. Because, you see, the whole Fast and Furious f-up is really the fault of the NRA…
Yes, you read that right. And now, a few highlights for your reading (and jaw-dropping) pleasure:
The National Rifle Association and far too many lawmakers have fought against virtually every proposal to empower the bureau to better track and crack down on illegal firearms.
Now, the very critics who have tied the bureau’s hands are expressing outrage over a novel, and we would agree questionable, ATF operation intended to curb gun smuggling into Mexico.
The ATF had hoped to move against higher-ups in the chain of command, but the operation went awry when the bureau lost track of 2,500 weapons….
Lawmakers should give the ATF the tools it needs to fight illegal gun trafficking. They should enact stronger penalties for straw purchases and craft a federal gun-smuggling statute; close the gun-show loophole, which allows buyers under certain circumstances to purchase weapons without a background check; resuscitate the ban on assault weapons; and give the ATF the authority to collect data on multiple sales of long guns in border states.
We may never know whether the bureau would have launched the Fast and Furious operation had it had other, more effective tools at its disposal. Those who would clobber the bureau for possible mistakes should look in the mirror and accept some responsibility for its failings.
Sorry . . . let me wipe the coffee off of my screen. There. That’s better.
The ATF really did have its heart in the right place, the poor dears. It was only a chronic lack of funds and regulatory power that kept the valiant gunwalking facilitators from nailing the Mexican cartels’ Mr. Bigs right to the wall. If only the NRA had just minded their own damned business.
Fast and Furious is one of the most embarrassing and ill-conceived bureaucratic clusters in recent memory. And the WaPo’s solution is to give ATF more power. I’ve exhaustively searched the archives but can’t seem to find where they called for more executive branch power in the wake of that whole Watergate thingy. Or Iran/Contra. Damned search engines.