Social Question

syz's avatar

Every time I think I can't be more disillusioned, I'm wrong. Did you know about the limits that don't allow the ATF to enforce Federal Law?

Asked by syz (32695 points ) January 17th, 2013

Yes, I do indeed get much of my current event information from the Daily Show.

The lead in

The pertinent clip

How did we get to such a state?

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17 Answers

bookish1's avatar

Yep, I watched the Daily Show this morning too >_<
For some reason, learning of restrictions on the ATF doing their job didn’t blow my mind nearly as much as did learning that the CDC has been forbidden for more than a decade to do research on gun violence.

augustlan's avatar

I found out from you, on Facebook, heh. It’s absolutely absurd that they are hampered from doing their actual jobs in such a way. I hope Obama’s plans include rolling back some of these ridiculous restrictions.

ETpro's avatar

I only learned today. The real depravity of the NRA is coming to light. Their biggest donors are the manufacturers of the high capacity and ultra-high capacity magazines that were, thanks to the lobbying efforts of the NRA, available to the lunatics that carried out the mass slaughters at Virginia Tech (most deaths in US mass murder history), Columbine, the Gabby Giffords shootings, the Batman Movie (most casualties in US history) and the Sandy Hook Elementary murders. Their CEOs are board members as well.

The NRA has also successfully lobbied to prevent any closing of the loopholes that let 40% of all US gun sales go with no background checks. They have successfully lobbied to keep ultra-high-capacity clips legal (The Batman Movie shooter had an AR-15 style weapon with 100 round clips). They have successfully lobbied to prevent the FBI database from getting comprehensive information on people with mental health issues. They have successfully lobbied to prevent the Center for Disease Control from even studying deaths from gun violence, or gathering statistics on it. The NRA’s purpose might just as well be to make sure that our nation’s madmen are the best equipped, most deadly homicidal maniacs in the world. That is, in effect, what they are doing.

woodcutter's avatar

It’s just too bad the NRA couldn’t have castrated BATFE before they dumped thousands of straw purchased firearms, they helped finance, in Mexico. I suppose hundreds, and climbing still, dead Mexicans can never be as bad as 20 white kids in America, ever, huh?

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter So do you think having no appointed director in charge of BATFE for the last 5 years thanks to the NRA and Senate Republicans couldn’t have had anything to do with that?

serenade's avatar

Disillusionment can lead to enlightenment.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro The BATFE is vehemently anti gun and so what can you expect from a civil liberty org that keeps gun rights or fight to? If a fair director palatable to the 2nd amendment would be brought up for consideration there could be a change. BATFE has become a bloated monster in its own right and they do nothing that our state police and FBI cant do. BATFE missions revolve around breaking the back of the gun industry. This has always been a fight. Want to reign in pork spending? Try this: defund the BATFE I promise you won’t notice them gone. Except maybe these cross border weapon smuggling schemes wouldn’t materialize.Having or not having a legitimate director would not have changed stopped that tactic. The head of the snake is gone and still, it bites.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter Let’s agree to disagree. Their budget has been slashed to the bone and I do not for a moment believe that a police organization is anti-gun. I think that’s gun lobby propaganda that’s been very effectively packaged and sold. We can’t even discuss gun safety and reasoned regulation without some instantly running around with their hair on fire sure the black helicopters are circling to take their guns away. There is no way this Supreme Court is going to suddenly decide the 2nd Amendment does not exist.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro that always goes without saying. There is always going to be a struggle. Police organization you say? That is what the gestapo was, am I wrong? When the BATFE forces gun dealers to comply with their demands to sell tons of straw purchased weapons to known smugglers, that is not police action or at least bad police action but hey if you are the type who believe “the ends justify the means” then we can only agree to disagree. After, they play dirty by sending that DEMAND LETTER to DC wanting gun registration in the border states, a condition we now know they themselves were complicit in.

Lookit, you can’t drum up criminal activities under the guise of law enforcement and then turn right around and expect congress to pass new laws to combat those exact criminal activities you were part of. BATFE knew exactly what they were doing when they were doing it and the A G tries, after being sued, to smooth it all over by explaining it as a reckless operation that went horribly wrong. that he was completely in the dark

again I say to you: you are smarter than that.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter Our government is not the Gestapo, thanks be, and it is disgusting to suggest it is.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro Are you confusing the govt as a whole with BATFE? What I was trying to express was the BATFE is the modern gestapo. But you want to tie them both together? It is but a different elite branch of law enforcement. They are underhanded and need to be held accountable. The way this is done is to get a better choice for director and Mr Melson was not it. This thing is so big, I seriously believe there is no way a singular person can direct it. After all they are so elite the AG isn’t kept in the loop if you believe Eric Holder had no clue about their illegal gun running operation in Mexico.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter I feel the same way about the NRA’s “Jackbooted Thugs” charge as George H. W. Bush did. He was so disgusted by Wayne LaPierre’s Nazi reference he immediately wrote the NRA after their Jackbooted Thugs” ad ran and in his letter he cancelled his lifetime membership and asked that they remove his name from their list of supporters.

That sort of vile rhetoric is what led an unstable Timothy McVeigh to blow up the Muir Federal Building with the loss of so many innocent lives. He honestly believed that the Branch Davidian fire was a secret Federal conspiracy to gin up support for taking everybody’s guns.

And yes, I do not think that the Attorney General had any knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious until the whole thing exploded and the nation knew. I’m entirely on board with investigating OFF, and I think some folks might deserve a nice stay in Ft. Levinworth for their part in it. But that is a far cry from claiming that the entire agency are a bunch of Nazis.

woodcutter's avatar

One thing for sure that the BATFE can put any gun shop out of business at will because they have the power. There are so many ways they can jack up a legitimate business for not doing what they demand. A business ,whether you like that type, is a family’s lifeblood and they all walk a very thin line just to stay open. Unless it is a very large store with resources to lawyer up any gun store can be steamrolled over by these people. It is a tactic that is available to the BATFE. They have all the sway so to these dwindling gun stores they are the gestapo. They be not be to you, but to a person who has their entire livelihood riding on their firearms business they are some people to be reckoned with. So yeah they would be classified as gestapo like if you were to get on their bad side. Now…imagine being told you are going to be forced to knowingly break the law “or else”. Watch your newly sold inventory just walk out the door knowing full well it will be used in criminal activity real soon. It is going to go badly for everyone and who wants to be documented as that gun store where the bad guy got his weapons. Could you imagine living with that?

Do you know anyone who owns a sporting goods store? If you do you would no doubt hear them say this.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter If they are abusing their power, then that should be dealt with. Republicans have the majority in the House right now. Why aren’t they holding hearings. Oversight is their job. Hate government propaganda is NOT their job.

woodcutter's avatar

@ETpro “Why aren’t they holding hearings”

You certainly remember Darell Isa and others leading the congress’s investigation of “Fast and Furious” this past year? Some people were promoted, some were fired, some retired early and that’s about it. The msm declared it a partisan witch hunt and Holder more or less said “Sorry about that”. Meanwhile two border patrol personnel are still dead from these BATFE supplied guns. Not to mention hundreds of Mexican nationals and counting. Most of those guns are still out there being used and it is unlikely they will ever be recovered.

If there had been a republican in the WH do you honestly believe the msm would have called it a partisan witch hunt? Do you think there would have been some outrage over all the dead Mexicans that resulted?

ETpro's avatar

My point exactly. They did hold hearings, and they found NOTHING they could turn over to a prosecutor. You know damned well that if Mr. Isa had been able to dredge up any crime or perjury under oath, he would have made sure there were indictments. The so called MSM (as opposed to political propaganda operations like Fox News and Drudge) called it a witch hunt because it was a witch hunt. The corporate masters of the MSM cut the right far more slack than they deserve, but it’s never unfair enough to satisfy the “Fair and balanced” crowd.

Re the outrage comment, you’re spot on there. I’m not about to claim there isn’t bias on both sides of the isle.

woodcutter's avatar

To even suggest that higher ups had no clue about that operation would mean we all would need to suspend all disbelief. Some have the ability to do just that. But I do not.

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