Saturday, June 18, 2011

What do the Congressional Hearings on ATF Really Mean?

What do the Congressional Gun Hearings on ATF Really Mean?

By John M. Snyder

There are a number of lessons to be learned from an analysis of the news.

One is that you cannot trust government agencies.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is conducting hearings on activities of the Justice Department and its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The ATF is supposed to enforce federal firearms law.

It is against the law for a federal firearms dealer to sell a gun legally to an individual the dealer knows or has reason to believe is buying the gun for a person who cannot legally purchase the firearm. This is known as a straw purchase.

The hearings show that ATF has been allowing and perhaps encouraging straw purchases of thousands of guns. These guns then wind up in the hands of criminal gangs, including Mexican drug cartels. ATF has been behaving in this way in a claimed attempt to follow the path of these guns. This path supposedly would lead to the higher ups in the drug cartels in an attempt to build criminal cases against drug kingpins.

However, what the hearings bring to light is that many of these guns have been used in crimes in Mexico and the United States, including murder, even the murder of U.S. law enforcement agents.

What you've got, then, is a Justice Department through its ATF aiding and abetting outrageous felonies.

This is what's come out of the hearings, thanks primarily to the committee chairman, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA).

Of course, the buck for this stops at the top of government, with Barack Hussein Obama.

Remember when Obama was throwing verbal stones at the banks and other commercial entities, blaming them for American economic problems? Remember when Obama was blaming the chief economic officers for America's money problems?

Let's take a page right out of Obama's own book. Let's lay the ultimate blame for Justice Department/ATF behavior where it really belongs – with Obama. That guy has got to go!

Congressional gun grabbers and their supporters are seeking to block the effect of the hearings. They are attempting to blame what they say are weak gun laws for criminal behavior. They're reiterating their demands for more gun control. They're seeking to curtail the operation of American gun shows, for instance. They're even citing false claims by Islamist terrorists. Some terrorists state falsely that they can buy fully automatic firearms at these shows. The gun grabbers cite these false claims as a reason for more gun control.

Anyone at all familiar with American gun laws knows that no one can buy a fully automatic firearm legally anywhere in the United States without official federal registration. Let alone at a gun show.

Islamists threaten to murder Americans in the United States. What this really means is that we need less gun control, not more. Law-abiding Americans everywhere should be able to get and use the guns they need to defend themselves and their families against Islamist murderers if and when they strike.

Fortunately, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has told advocates of more gun controls to go take a hike. Three cheers for him.

Americans need guns to defend life. Whoever believes in the right to life and really wants to defend life should realize this. Guns save lives.

John M. Snyder
Telum Associates, LLC
Arlington, VA

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