You sometimes meet the most interesting people at the gun range. Recently, I initiated a conversation with a fellow who turned out to be a retired ATF agent. Naturally, I brought up the subject of the foul operation known as Fast and Furious. To my surprise, this fellow stated that an operation such as Fast and Furious is just one part of a 3-part ongoing procedure. Fast and Furious, according to this retired ATF agent, was developed to discredit firearms dealers. If guns purchased in the US “walked” across the southern border and wound up in the hands of drug cartel members, then ATF would have cause to put even more restraints on firearms retailers while at the same time giving the ignorant public a poisoned view of gun shops and gunsmiths.
Second part of ATF’s discrediting procedure is to put an undue strain on manufacturers and importers and in some cases, actually put them out of business. The way they perform this neat little trick is by coming up with rules and regulations that are completely arbitrary.
Third part in the procedure is to “examine” and “test” firearms to make sure they comply with the Gun Control Act of 68, the National Firearms Act and whatever other federal law may apply. This is aimed at the individual gun owner, who is then arrested and prosecuted based on what comes out of the ATF lab.
Project Gunrunner was an operation during the Bush administration to track guns from the US into Mexico. Tabs were kept on the guns and the operation was kept under close scrutiny. As soon as the Obama administration hit the White House and let it be known it was hostile to the Second Amendment, ATF developed Fast and Furious, to pump guns out of Phoenix into Mexico, and Wide Receiver, to do the same out of Tucson. During Obama’s first year in office, a figure was thrown out to the press to discredit gun dealers. It was said that over 90% of the firearms ending up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels came from sales in US gun shops. This figure was obviously false, but in order to bolster it and make it come true, ATF forged ahead with Fast and Furious and Wide Receiver. The bureau figured that pushing guns across the border into cartel hands would do irrevocable harm to US firearms retailers and give the bureau an excuse to develop even more Draconian anti-gun regulations. This would especially be true with a sympathetic anti-gun administration. It may have worked if not for the deaths of Customs Special Agent Jaime Zapata and Border Patrol Brian Agent Terry at the hands of ATF’s untraced weapons. As it turned out, ATF’s inability to track weapons they coerced firearms dealers to sell led to not only the deaths of two American law enforcement individuals, but hundreds of Mexican citizens as well.
It’s a long piece, but well worth reading. You can click the ATF tag below the blog post title here and find many of the things mentioned in the story covered here. Much of it is easy to corroborate, and many of the little notes are only a google search away if they seem outlandish.
For example, the ATF’s shoestring machine gun letter.
If the “retired ATF guy spills the beans” seems implausible, think about how anyone who retires from a crappy job talks about it. They may shut up when they work with the company, but as soon as they’re out, they’ve got no more job to protect, no more concerns about “what if the boss hears”. Beyond just high-visibility whistleblowers like Dodson, there are some good people at the ATF, who either want to keep guns out of the hands of actual bad guys, or who want to make the licensing procedure run smooth so citizens can get through the red tape that does infringe on their 2A rights.
And if it seems sinister (beyond the nightmare conspiracy that really is Fast and Furious, that is), remember this is an agency that was getting “Always Think Forfeiture” put on their Leatherman multitools. And the agency that throws parties when they impose restrictions and regulations on citizens.