What’s the answer to failed government? More government!
In the June Issue of Townhall Magazine, I wrote Misfire: Obama's Scandalous Secret Gun Control Agenda, about how Operation Fast and Furious would result in calls for more gun control and I questioned whether officials in the Obama Justice Department purposely allowed thousands of semi-automatic weapons to flow into the hands of dangerous drug cartels in order to meet President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder’s goal of re-instating the ban on assault rifles and other forms of harsh gun control.
During an Oversight Committee hearing on June 15, Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings stated the following: “No legitimate examination of this issue will be complete without analyzing our nation’s gun laws, which allow tens of thousands of assault weapons to flood into Mexico from the United States every year, including fifty caliber sniper rifles, multiple AK variants and scores of others. When Mexican President Calderon addressed Congress in May, he pleaded for us to stop fueling a full-scale drug war with military-grade assault rifles.”
The problem is, as Mr. Cummings failed to point out, many of these weapons were been provided directly to violent cartel members courtesy of the U.S. government, not because of “lax” gun control laws.
Today, democrats on the House Oversight Committee, led by Rep. Cummings, issued a report calling for more gun control in light of Operation Fast and Furious. Their solution to the Obama Justice Department’s Operation Fast and Furious scandal is to give the same officials who purposely broke U.S. federal law within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) overseen by the Justice Department, even more power and control over American gun rights, stomping on the Second Amendment to defend government incompetency rather than placing responsibility on Washington bureaucrats.
During the same hearing on June 15 we found out ATF Director Kenneth Melson watched a live video feed from his cushy Washington D.C. office of straw purchasers in Arizona, who he knew were working for Mexican drug cartels, buying mass amounts of weapons, but democrats like Cummings are blaming the Second Amendment for the lethal consequences of the operation.
The report executive summary outlines “three specific improvements to current law that would allow law enforcement to more effectively counter firearms trafficking by Mexican drug cartels,” including calls for Congress to increase criminal penalties for illegal straw purchases, enacting a dedicated firearms trafficking statute, requiring reports of multiple long gun purchases and a Congressional delegation to Mexico.
The report calls for improvement of the nation’s gun laws “to assist law enforcement agents in their efforts to counter drug violence and firearms trafficking by Mexican drug cartels,” stating these are “common sense” ways to help.
“ATF tracing data indicates that the number of U.S. firearms seized in Mexico is increasing dramatically,” the report states.
Once again, U.S. government officials have been illegally trafficking the firearms, therefore more gun laws won’t stop illegal trafficking and will only punish law abiding citizens and impose on Second Amendment rights.
The report claims 75 percent of guns traced to Mexico were originally purchased in the border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
“ATF’s chief intelligence analyst in Mexico, Dennis Fasciani, confirmed for the delegation that the vast majority of weapons recovered at crime scenes in Mexico do come from the United States,” the report states.
Again, considering the U.S. government was illegally trafficking these guns south of the border, it makes sense data indicates the number of U.S. firearms seized in Mexico has increased significantly thanks to the Obama Justice Department. This data doesn’t even take into account the number of guns lost in Mexico since the only way the U.S. government can trace firearms is when they are found at final crime scenes. The rest are lost until someone is killed.
The report also accuses the United States of “fueling a torrent of violence in Mexico.”
According to Dr. Arturo Cervantes Trjo who contributed to the report, “there have been at least 34, 550 homicides in Mexico from 2006 to 2010. The number of homicides has increased dramatically, from 8,868 in 2007, to 14,007 in 2008, to 19,804 in 2009, to an estimated 15,000 for the part of 2010 included in the data. According to his report, the number of drug-related killings has also increased during this time, from 2,773 in 2007, to 5,661 in 2008, to 8,281 in 2009.”
Operation Fast and Furious started in 2008, yet even with the homicide data clear, Rep. Cummings doesn’t draw the conclusion that maybe, just maybe this had something to do with ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious instead of U.S. gun laws. The idea that providing violent criminals with high powered weapons would result in an increase in homicides doesn’t make sense to Cummings, but blaming U.S. gun laws does.
The report also cites the June 27 smear job of an editorial from the Washington Post, the same newpaper that smeared Carter's Country Gun Shop in Texas after they were forced by ATF to sell to criminals. The editorial read, "Lawmakers should give the ATF the tools it needs to fight illegal gun trafficking. They should enact stronger penalties for straw purchases and craft a federal gun-smuggling statute; close the gun-show loophole, which allows buyers under certain circumstances to purchase weapons without a background check; resuscitate the ban on assault weapons; and give the ATF the authority to collect data on multiple sales of long guns in border states. The Senate should move quickly to confirm a director for the long-leaderless bureau."
Bottom line: Officials within the Obama Justice Department have been breaking, not enforcing, current guns laws. It doesn’t matter how many more gun laws the U.S. government imposes on the law abiding public, a government willing to break its own laws for political gain without common sense or basis on factual evidence, will only lead to more corruption and more innocent deaths in Mexico and the United States. Operation Fast and Furious is a result of illegal government activity, not lax gun laws.
Katie Pavlich is the Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her latest book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, was published on July 8, 2014.