Guns Gone Wild -- ATF's good intentions gone bad
By Mark Alexander
In January of this year, Federal Judge John Roll, a Republican nominated by President George H.W. Bush, was among six citizens murdered by a psychopath in Tucson. Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was among 14 wounded in that attack.
Predictably, Barack Hussein Obama and his Leftist cadres in the Democrat Party were quick to convert the Tucson tragedy into political fodder to formulate a new round of "common sense" gun control legislation. Indeed, Obama claimed the Tucson assault should "at least be the beginning of a new discussion on how we can keep America safe for all our people." He went on, "I believe that if common sense prevails, we can get beyond wedge issues and stale political debates to find a sensible, intelligent way [to confiscate guns]."
But Obama's nefarious plan to undermine the Second Amendment was well underway many, many months prior to the Tucson murders -- and well below the radar. In fact, anti-gun activist Sarah Brady said that Obama told her, "I just want you to know that we are working on [gun control]. ... We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar."
Why would Obama want to be so clandestine with his anti-2A agenda?
In recent decades, Democrats have suffered serious electoral and judicial setbacks when trying to enact gun control measures. Given the lack of broad support for such measures, Obama is silently advancing the Socialist agenda to disarm Americans and, ultimately, neutralize our ability to defend Essential Liberty.
In March of this year, I detailed insider accounts regarding Project Gunrunner, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation begun in 2005, which originally had the objective of tracking weapons transfers between the U.S. and Mexico in order to expose Mexican drug cartels.
However, in early 2009, the Obama administration determined that the original purpose of Gunrunner could be altered in order to provide a new mandate for implementing their gun control rationale: Stopping the flow of "assault weapons" into Mexico. To facilitate that agenda, Attorney General Eric Holder authorized operation "Fast and Furious," that set into motion an ATF plan to encourage and enable "straw purchase" firearm sales to arms traffickers, and allow the guns to make their way into the hands of violent Mexican drug cartel assassins.
Holder determined that he could manufacture a case that guns purchased in the U.S. were responsible for all the violence in Mexico. Then Obama could use that "evidence" to make the argument that, in order to stem the violence, more stringent gun control measures were necessary, starting incrementally with restricting gun sales in Border States. As Demo Rep. Carolyn McCarthy put it, "[Obama] is with me on [gun control], and it's just going to be when that opportunity comes forward that we're going to be able to go forward."
The "opportunity" was moving forward unabated until one of the ATF's Fast and Furious guns was used last December to murder U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, and other guns were used in the February ambush of Immigration and Customs Agents Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila by Los Zetas Cartel soldiers in Mexico. Agent Zapata was killed in that assault.
I should note here that in all accounts from my sources within ATF, clearly the agents involved at the tactical level of Gunrunner and F&F were under the impression that these operations were legitimate efforts to identify transit lines between the U.S. and members of Los Zetas and other Mexican drug cartels.
However, at the strategic (high-level management) levels of the ATF in Arizona and Texas, it was well understood that Holder had a scheme to use this operation to jumpstart Obama's gun control scheme. (In a March 2010 ATF memo, agents reported that the managers in charge of Fast and Furious were "jovial, if not giddy" over news that ATF guns were associated with murders in Mexico.)
There is new evidence that Holder even used "stimulus debt" to launch "Operation Castaway" in Florida -- putting guns into the hands of the world's most brutal transnational gang, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) -- to generate additional "supporting evidence" for Obama's gun control mandate.
Recall if you will, Democrat outrage when Oliver North, working for the Reagan administration, ran a clandestine operation selling arms to Middle East bad guys so they could kill other bad guys over there, and then used some of the sales proceeds to fund the good guys in Central America fighting against Marxists south of our border. No such Democrat angst is evident this time.
Obama and Holder are moving forward with their subterfuge with no concern about rebuke. Moreover, they are doing so as if agents Terry and Zapata were still walking the line.
Earlier this month White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced, "The president directed the attorney general to form working groups with key stakeholders to identify common-sense measures that would improve Americans' safety and security while fully respecting Second Amendment rights. That process is well underway at the Department of Justice with stakeholders on all sides working through these complex issues. And we expect to have some more specific announcements in the near future."
Well underway, indeed. Lost amid the din of all the extra-constitutional federal tax-n-spend debates last week, Obama spared Democrat congressional action on gun control by unilaterally circumventing the Second Amendment via an Executive Order. You guessed it -- he decreed new restrictions on gun sales in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Holder's Deputy Attorney General, James Cole, claimed that Obama's EO would help the ATF disrupt illegal weapons trafficking networks between the U.S. and Mexico.
Meanwhile, there's a growing list of serious crimes committed in the U.S. with ATF guns that were thought to be in Mexico.
As Obama ramps up additional gun control measures, I would remind him that the first shots of the American Revolution were fired in response to the government's attempt to disarm American colonists, specifically to capture and destroy arms and supplies stored by the Massachusetts militia in the town of Concord.
As reflected in James Madison's words regarding the "ultimate authority" for defending liberty, our Founders fully understood that to secure Liberty, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."
As Madison's Supreme Court appointee, Justice Joseph Story, wrote in his 1833 "Commentaries on the Constitution," "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."
Those who are foolishly willing to compromise Essential Liberty to pursue Obama's illusion of safety, in the timeless judgment of Benjamin Franklin, "deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.