Since the very first days of this president's administration, the drug-fueled cartel violence in Mexico has provided a stalking horse for the gun control agenda. Early on, both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder cited Mexican violence as a reason to renew the Bill Clinton gun ban of 1994. After those trial balloons were shot down, the ball was passed to Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who repeatedly has blamed American gun rights for Mexican violence. And more recently, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives cited cartel mayhem as justification for an attempt to mandate the reporting of all multiple long gun sales in border states. This regulation would force dealers to report all purchases of more than one long gun if the guns are magazine-fed and larger than .22 caliber -- effectively creating a registry.
But now, shocking revelations that grow bigger every day completely undercut the argument for additional restrictions. In fact, they illuminate bureaucratic arrogance, recklessness and hypocrisy of the highest order in the hallways of the Obama administration -- including the spreading stench of a massive cover-up.
As it turns out, the ATF was already aware of efforts by shady characters to undertake mass gun purchases in border states, because law-abiding gun dealers reported the attempted purchases voluntarily. But ATF agents acting on "orders from Washington" encouraged gun dealers to complete these transactions against the dealers' better judgment. Worse yet, the guns -- thousands of them -- then were allowed to be smuggled, or "walked," into Mexico and into the hands of drug cartels. And worst of all, these guns now are turning up at crime scenes -- including where a U.S. federal agent was murdered.
The operation is called "Fast and Furious," and it's absolutely appalling -- but it's all true, and there is still much more to come. Attorney General Holder has attempted to deflect the call for an investigation by asking the inspector general of the Justice Department to look into the matter. Sounds good on paper, but this is the same IG whose office ignored the first expressions of concern from rank-and-file agents who now have turned into whistle-blowers.