As I reported last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms sat by and watched as known members of Mexican drug cartels purchased thousands of weapons, approving mass sales of firearms like the AK-47 that were reported by law abiding gun shop owners to the agency.
It is important to remember that the Obama Administation and the Department of Homeland Security have implied that much of the violence in Mexico is to blame on law abiding gun shop owners who "sell to cartel members" and the Second Amendment, yet continued exposure of Operation Gun Runner shows the government approving the sales reported by shop owners to ATF, giving the green light for weapons to flow freely across the border into dangerous hands, resulting in thousands of innocent deaths in Mexico and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona earlier this year. ATF sat by and watched as known criminals purchased the weapons they needed to carry out lethal operations with no take downs of cartels as a result, all while using law abiding gun shop owners as a cover.
ATF "let guns walk" into Mexico without informing the Mexican government. Lawmakers in Mexico are now demanding information about the operation.
I spoke with NRA Lobbyist and Political Strategist Chris Cox earlier this week about the developing scandal:
"These are serious allegations that border on outrageous. We call on Congress to do a full and complete investigation. The American people deserve to know the truth."
"We support legitimate law enforcement efforts, at the federal, state and local level that focus on apprehending criminals but when the Second Amendment is used as political fodder and law abiding gun owners are blamed for a serious crime problem that relates to a multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise with these drug cartels, that's not something we're going to stand for."
"This administration doesn't have the guts to address a porous border, they don't have the guts to build a wall, but they have the audacity to try and register law abiding gun owners in this country. It's not a serious approach to a very serious problem."
"We hope that Congress will take the necessary steps to deal with a criminal enterprise including a criminal enterprise within Mexico where the corruption at every level is legendary. " "Any serious discussion needs to focus on serious crime policy discussion and now focusing on law abiding gun owners in this country."
"Law enforcement 101 tells you that you don't let guns walk and you don't let money walk."
"Focusing on law abiding gun owners is not a legitimate law enforcement tool and should be dismissed immediately in pursuit of legitimate law enforcement needs."
I also asked Cox about whether the lack of a Second Amendment in Mexico is partially to blame for innocent deaths. Mexico has strict anti-gun laws and therefore only the government and drug cartels own guns. Citizens are left without legal access to firearms, resulting in being defenseless and a massive death toll of over 34,000 people in four years after being preyed upon by heavily armed cartels.
"There's no question whether it is in Mexico or other parts of the world when honest people are left defenseless they end up being victims. Is there an irony to Mexico's policies, is there a sad irony? Of course there is."
When asked about the gun used to kill Agent Terry in the Arizona desert being one ATF let walk, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a hearing that the case was still under investigation.