CBS News reports that the ATF’s “Fast and Furious” program was used to even further encroach the right of every individual to own, sell, and buy private property.
Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation “Fast and Furious” to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.
In Fast and Furious, ATF secretly encouraged gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels to go after the “big fish.” But ATF whistleblowers told CBS News and Congress it was a dangerous practice called “gunwalking,” and it put thousands of weapons on the street. Many were used in violent crimes in Mexico. Two were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3”. That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.” Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.
Unfortunately, as with most federal scandals, we probably won’t know all of the details until after Obama, Holder, and the rest of the Junta are soaking up their pensions, selling books, and giving speaking tours.
This whole “Fast and Furious” program has turned into an absolute nightmare. It’s a classic example of Ludwig von Mises’s insight that government intervention always begets more and interventions.
The drug war, like alcohol prohibition before it, has led to the rise of ruthless and bloodthirsty cartels, which leads to border violence, which leads to more money flowing into federal agencies, which then leads to this hairbrained scheme by the ATF.
One has to wonder though: is it stupidity or the plan? Are Holder, the ATF, and the Justice Department that incompetent? These are, after all, government agencies. Or was “Fast and Furious” just an excuse to expand the scope of federal laws and controls over firearms?
Probably a little bit of both. Governments, of course, hate the idea that their subjects are armed; they, and only they, should have a monopoly on owning weapons. Privately-owned firearms are the mark of free individuals, make them harder to push around, and represent one of the biggest threats to the state’s desire to monopolize any and all police protection.
And while we’re on the topic of gun regulations, here is a great video (on the left of the page) of a story that got virtually no press a couple years ago when Hurrican Katrina broke the Army Corps of Engineer’s government levees.