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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How Congress can empower the ATF

THE GUN RIGHTS lobby has spent considerable time and energy in pursuit of one goal: crippling the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It has largely succeeded — and with dire consequences.

Concerned to the point of paranoia about the erosion of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, 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. They have won reductions in the ATF’s already meager budget. They have restricted the bureau’s ability to share information with other law enforcement agencies. They have kept the bureau rudderless for the past six years by blocking confirmation of new directors. And they continue to fight new rules that would allow the bureau to track bulk sales of long guns that have played a major role in the drug-fueled violence in Mexico.

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.

Operation Fast and Furious was launched in 2009 and was centered in the ATF’s Phoenix office, where agents surveilled straw purchases of AK-47 knockoffs and other high-powered weapons known to be favorites of the drug cartels. The agents did not try to seize the weapons but instead watched as straw buyers made repeated visits and passed firearms to third parties. In January, the Justice Department indicted some 30 relatively low-level individuals on charges of gun running and making straw purchases.

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, some of which have now been traced to criminal activity south of the border. Two such weapons were found in December at the scene of the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General and Congress are investigating, understandably. The probes could help to explain what went wrong and what could or should have been done differently. But Capitol Hill’s intense interest in the ATF should not stop there.

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. The Senate should move quickly to confirm a director for the long-leaderless bureau.

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.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2011/06/21/AGaGOcmH_story.html

That was from the Washington Post, published on 26 June, by "Editorial." No one would even put their name on it. You can read a reaction to that article at the Weekly Standard http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/washington-post-blames-nra-atf-gun-running-scandal_575582.html
 

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Stupidity knows no bounds.
I sit here trying to come up with a viable relate too on this, but there is none.

Who reads this crap expecting truth anymore?
 

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One must remember, it is illegal only if someone other than the "government" does it. This is not really stupidity, just willful ignorance and arrogance. SOP for most government entities, particularly the Federals!
 

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I love it, its the NRA's fault. They are well known for wanting Mexican drug cartels well armed after all. It's anyone's fault but the ATF.
Well, it couldn't be the fault of the Attorney General or the POTUS could it? After all, they're PERFECT! GI8
 

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Don't you just love how propaganda has taken the place of reporting.

The lie;
They have won reductions in the ATF’s already meager budget.
The truth;
On pg 3 from a report produced by the Congressional Research Service http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/bitstreams/19331.pdf


Notice that those amounts are in the thousands, so that means that the Washington propaganda rag considers a billion dollar budget to be meager.
 

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They have won reductions in the ATF’s already meager budget.
You all are looking at this all wrong! That's only a 4.3% annual rate of increase (with compounding). Obama, Reid & Pelosi have increased Federal spending by 20% or more in only two years, so it's a decrease relative to the growth in other Federal spending...

Seriously, the present day denizens of D.C. live in a world where tax reductions are called "tax expenditures", proposed expenditures are called "investments" and a BILLION DOLLARS is "meager. We are so screwed.
 

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I wouldnt even use the Wash Post to wipe my ars
 

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Stupidity knows no bounds.
I sit here trying to come up with a viable relate too on this, but there is none.

Who reads this crap expecting truth anymore?
Yes, but the problem is that too many people who read that story will believe it.....GI4
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Don’t blame the NRA for the ATF’s weakness

The June 26 editorial “A better gun agency” reported that the Obama administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) surveilled straw gun purchases that took place in Phoenix and then “lost track of” 2,500 such weapons, “some of which have now been traced to criminal activity south of the border.” Despite this scandal, The Post editorial board absurdly concluded that the ATF needs more power and that National Rifle Association (NRA) members are to blame for the ATF’s weakness because they’re too “paranoid” about losing their Second Amendment rights.

Most reasonable people would process these facts and alarming lack of competence and conclude that the ATF needs less power and that the NRA should be commended for its vigilant pursuit of the truth surrounding the ATF’s gun-running operation. But not The Post.

As for gun owner “paranoia,” there would be less reason for worry if The Post ceased its anti-Second Amendment campaign. After all, the paper railed against the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision affirming Americans’ individual right to keep and bear arms, and it advocated for the draconian laws that robbed D.C. residents of their Second Amendment rights.

Chris W. Cox, Fairfax

The writer is executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...-atfs-weakness/2011/06/30/AGlhCLuH_story.html
 

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Latest news is the Mexican govt. wants to prosecute those in ATF responsible for the project. What is Barack gonna do now?
I'm sure our President will say "the buck stops here" and take one for the team.
 

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I can remember during the Reagan administration there was an attempt to close down the ATF. Other departments were willing to assume the tasks but none wanted the agents and they were pretty adamant about that. Anymore they are simply useless, they were a tax collection agency that is no longer needed as all taxes are collected at POS. And whoever assigned them a law enforcement mission???? They have proven their incompetence over and over again to the point of absurdity and the Fast and Furious ops is just their latest screw up.

The fact they still exist is disturbing. DI5
 
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