Avoiding Embarrassment

Operation Fast and Furious was quite an embarrassing moment in the federal government’s history. Imagine being in its shoes. You’re arguing for stronger domestic gun control to prevent drug cartels from acquiring guns and then somebody discovered that you’re simultaneously running guns to drug cartels. Now imagine that you’re forced to relive this embarrassing moment in court. I’m sure you can see why federal prosecutors are trying to hide the embarrassing memory of Fast and Furious from the jury of the El Chapo trial:

BROOKLYN, New York — Operation Fast and Furious is among the most epic boondoggles in the history of federal law enforcement, which probably explains why federal prosecutors don’t want jurors in the trial of Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to hear anything about it.


So on Friday federal prosecutors in El Chapo’s trial in Brooklyn, which is entering its fifth week, filed a motion that asks Judge Brian Cogan to make “questions or evidence” about Fast and Furious “completely off limits” to the defense. The government cited “negative reporting on the operation” and argued that mentioning it would “distract and confuse the jury.”

I think the reason most of the reporting on Fast and Furious was negative was because it involved the federal government arming the very same people from whom it claimed to want to keep guns away. And I’m sure hearing about Fast and Furious would confuse the jury. Members of the jury would likely be asking themselves why the federal government has any right to prosecute a man to whom it sold guns.

Without Government Who Would Arm The Terrorists

What’s the most effective way reduce gun violence in the United States? According to those who oppose self-defense mandating background checks for every firearm transfer would reduce gun violence. It’s an idea that sounds good to a lot of people on paper but only because they haven’t stopped to think about what that entails. Background checks require government approval for firearm transfers. Mandating background checks for every firearm transfer would, according to opponents of self-defense, ensure bad guys couldn’t acquire firearms. The biggest flaw in this plan is that it relies on government, which is more than happy to provide firearms to violent individuals:

Five years before he was shot to death in the failed terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, Nadir Soofi walked into a suburban Phoenix gun shop to buy a 9-millimeter pistol.

At the time, Lone Wolf Trading Co. was known among gun smugglers for selling illegal firearms. And with Soofi’s history of misdemeanor drug and assault charges, there was a chance his purchase might raise red flags in the federal screening process.

Inside the store, he fudged some facts on the form required of would-be gun buyers.

What Soofi could not have known was that Lone Wolf was at the center of a federal sting operation known as Fast and Furious, targeting Mexican drug lords and traffickers. The idea of the secret program was to allow Lone Wolf to sell illegal weapons to criminals and straw purchasers, and track the guns back to large smuggling networks and drug cartels.

Instead, federal agents lost track of the weapons and the operation became a fiasco, particularly after several of the missing guns were linked to shootings in Mexico and the 2010 killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona.

This is actually the same flaw every plan that relies on government suffers. How can you rely on an entity that steals, kidnaps, assaults, and murders people to stop theft, kidnappings, assaults, and murders? Do you really think an entity that drops bombs on child in foreign countries and pardons the violent actions of its law enforcers is going to have any moral opposition to handing a firearm to a person known to have a history of violence? Fast and Furious was a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) operation that involved selling firearms to people suspected of being involved with violent drug cartels. Supposedly the operation was meant to track where the firearms went. Those firearms did end up in the hands of drug cartels but the ATF didn’t do a very good job of tracking them.

A background check systems can’t work if it relies on an entity that is motivated to provide firearms to violent people. Since the government is motivated to do exactly that the background check system supported by opponents of self-defense can’t decrease gun violence.

The ATF Doesn’t Acknowledge Meat Popsicle as a Race

Race is a hot issue as of late (truthfully race has been a hot issue throughout the history of the United States). Between the propensity of police officers in certain cities targeting people of certain races with much higher frequency and whether or not there’s enough diversity in the technology market everybody is talking about race. That’s probably why the Washington Times is finally asking why the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is asking everybody purchasing a gun from a federally licensed dealer what their race is:

With little fanfare, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2012 amended its Form 4473 — the transactional record the government requires gun purchasers and sellers to fill out when buying a firearm — to identify buyers as either Hispanic, Latino or not. Then a buyer must check his or her race: Indian, Asian, black, Pacific Islander or white.

The amendment is causing a headache for gun retailers, as each box needs to be checked off or else it’s an ATF violation — severe enough for the government to shut a business down. Many times people skip over the Hispanic/Latino box and only check their race, or vice versa — both of which are federal errors that can be held against the dealer.

Requiring the race and ethnic information of gun buyers is not required by federal law and provides little law enforcement value, legal experts say. And gun industry officials worry about how the information is being used and whether it constitutes an unnecessary intrusion on privacy.

I have two theories regarding this. My first theory has to do with Operation Fast and Furious, the ATF operation to smuggle guns to Mexican drug cartels. Perhaps asking whether the gun purchaser is Hispanic is a way to speed up searches for Fast and Furious-related firearms. OK, I’m partially joking about that. My actual theory is that the ATF is demanding to know each buyer’s race for the same reason it asks each buyer if they’re prohibited form owning a firearm: the government likes to collect information redundantly. When you submit to a background check your personal information, including full legal name and current address, are submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). That information should be enough for the FBI to do a search for you in its database. If your name comes up all of your identifying information is already available to the agency since it was recorded during your arrest or involuntarily confinement to a mental health ward.

It’s the same stupidity that forces you to fill out paperwork when filing your taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) already has all of the information it need to send you a bill since your employer is so helpful to withhold taxes from your paycheck. There’s no need for you to fill out any tax forms other than deductions. But the IRS isn’t efficient by anybody’s regard so it demands you provide it with the information it already has access to because that’s how government works.

ATF Demonstrates Its Irresponsibility with Firearms

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is supposedly tasked with, among other things, enforcing federal firearm laws. You would think an agency tasked with enforcing firearm laws would also demonstrated some modicum of firearm responsibility, right? As it turns out the ATF doesn’t exactly have a stellar record of knowing where its firearms are:

ATF agents have lost track of dozens of government-issued guns, after stashing them under the front seats in their cars, in glove compartments or simply leaving them on top of their vehicles and driving away, according to internal reports from the past five years obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Agents left their guns behind in bathroom stalls, at a hospital, outside a movie theater and on a plane, according to the records, obtained Tuesday by the news organization under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

Oh, and you know all of the stink gun control advocates make about wanting laws that mandate “safe storage” of firearms to protect the children? Perhaps they should spend less time focusing on us gun owners and more time focusing on the ATF:

In December 2009, two 6-year-old boys spotted an agent’s loaded ATF Smith & Wesson .357 on a storm sewer grate in Bettendorf, Iowa. The agent lived nearby and later said he couldn’t find his gun for days but didn’t bother reporting it — until it hit the local newspaper.

The article contains more incidents where ATF agents lost firearms. I’m not sure if these loses were part of the ATF’s ongoing program to provide guns to drug cartels or just pure incompetency. Either one is equally likely when the ATF’s past is considered. But I think the moral of this story is that the ATF is not competent enough with firearms to have any authority regarding firearms.

Exploiting the Mentally Disabled to Enforce Gun Control

When people develop the attitude that the ends always justify the means the doors open for some really heinous acts. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has developed a history of questionable actions during its existence. Recent revelations with Operation Fast and Furious, where the ATF and other federal agencies provided firearms to Mexican drug cartels, show just how wicked the agency’s enforcement methodologies have become. But I believe it has outdone itself. This time the ATF tatooed a mentally disabled teenager and used him in a sting operation:

They would even pay him and a friend $150 apiece if they agreed to turn their bodies into walking billboards.

Key, who is mentally disabled, was swayed.

He and his friend, Marquis Glover, liked Squid’s. It was their hangout. The 19-year-olds spent many afternoons there playing Xbox and chatting with the owner, “Squid,” and the store clerks.

So they took the money and got the ink etched on their necks, tentacles creeping down to their collarbones.

It would be months before the young men learned the whole thing was a setup. The guys running Squid’s were actually undercover ATF agents conducting a sting to get guns away from criminals and drugs off the street.

The tattoos had been sponsored by the U.S. government; advertisements for a fake storefront.

The teens found out as they were arrested and booked into jail.

Statists often ask who would take care of the mentally disabled without a government. I want to know who is protecting and providing for them now. The state seems to have a knack for exploiting the mentally disabled in its never ending quest to control our lives. This case not only shows the state’s willingness to exploit the vulnerable but also how corrupt the ATF has become. None of the high ups in charge of approving operations decided this idea was too extreme? Is the agency really operated entirely by psychopaths? Judging by the actions of the agency over the last several years I’m left to believe that it is.

At Least He Doesn’t Lie Exclusively to Us

Although I expect every politician to lie I have admit that Obama has a knack for it. Read the following excerpt from a story about Obama’s recent trip to Mexico City:

President Obama vowed Thursday during a press conference in Mexico City that the White House would continue pushing for an expansion of background checks to cover firearms purchases online and at gun shows.

“Things happen somewhat slowly in Washington. But this was just the first round,” Obama said. “I believe we’ll eventually get that done. We’ll keep on trying.”


“Frankly, what I’m most moved by are the victims of gun violence not just in Mexico but back home,” Obama said.

Then read this post from last week. Now explain to me how Obama is moved by the victims of gun violence in Mexico when he is obstructing an investigation into an operation taken by his administration that involved giving guns to Mexican drug cartels. If Obama actually cared about the victims of gun violence I would think he would want the investigation to conclude successfully.

It’s pretty dickish to tell people you feel for their plight when you’re part of the problem they’re suffering under.

Obama Announced Gun Control Plan

I won’t spend a great deal of time on this since you’ve likely already heard about Obama’s annoucement:

Mr Obama called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and wider background checks on gun buyers.

The Democratic president also signed 23 executive-order measures, which do not require congressional approval.

Mr Obama said gun-control reforms could not wait any longer, after last month’s school massacre in Connecticut.

“While there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil,” he said, “if there’s even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.”

It was a pretty standard affair. You can read about the 23 executive orders here but most of them appear to be variations of enforcing laws that are already on the books. Some of them were somewhat humorous considering the Fast and Furious fiasco:

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

I’m guessing the executive order only means dangerous people who are not employed by a Mexican drug cartel.

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

This one surprised me. Weren’t traces of guns recovered in criminal investigations what lead to the Fast and Furious scandal coming to light? You would think the state would be smart enough to avoid advocating policies that have backfired in the past.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

Does this mean the Department of Justice will notify domestic law enforcement agents when guns are “lost” in areas of Mexico known to be heavily populated with drug cartel members?

The last order I found rather funny was:

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

I thought the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) proposal was considered bat shit crazy by everybody proposing gun control. I wonder what they have to say now that Mr. Obama has signed an order implementing the plan.

If a ban on semi-automatic rifles, standard capacity magazines, or both makes it into law I’ll take comfort in knowing it will ring in a new era of agorist business. Instead of relying on centralized firearm and firearm accessory manufacturers we will have independent individuals building and selling those goods. The sale of those items will not contribute to the state through the taxation policies that currently lead “legitimate” firearm and firearm accessory manufacturers to line the state’s coffers.

Who Watches the Watchmen

Gun control advocates claim that the general populace must be disarmed because they are too irresponsible to own firearms. Meanwhile those very same advocates want to let people like this maintain access to firearms:

A semi-automatic pistol found near the scene of a gun battle in Mexico where five people died, including a Mexican beauty queen, has been traced to a former federal gun agent in Minnesota who was part of the government’s controversial Fast and Furious border gun-tracking operation.

The Justice Department’s inspector general has confirmed that it is investigating allegations that an FN Herstal Five-seven handgun tracked from the area of a Nov. 23 shootout in Sinaloa was linked to George Gillett Jr., who oversaw Operation Fast and Furious from October 2009 to April 2010.

Gillett played a central role in a similar Twin Cities gun sting a decade ago that was shut down after several government-tracked guns were connected to violent gang crimes.

For the record I want it known that my firearms have never harmed anybody nor have I given or sold firearms to violent individuals. Meanwhile the United States government, the same government gun control advocates want to leave armed, has been traffic firearms to violent Mexican drug cartels for ages now. Gillett, the person who provided one of the firearms recovered from the above mentioned shootout, had previously helped arm gangs here in the Twin Cities.

Any claim of opposing violence made by gun control advocates should be summarily dismissed. Such claims are obviously lies since the people making them want to disarm nonviolent individuals while allowing violent individuals to remain armed.

The Border Patrol, Arming Mexican Drug Cartels So You Don’t Have To

There has to be some amount of irony in the fact that the United States government won’t allow persons it labels as prohibited persons to own firearms but gladly gives such weapons to members of drug cartels that qualify as prohibited persons. Testimony by a Mexican drug cartel assassin indicates that the United States Border Patrol has been arming members of Mexico’s drug cartels:

The testimony of a Mexican hitman turned government witness has revealed some astonishing details of life inside Mexico’s criminal underworld. Most astonishing of all: claims that cartel assassins obtained guns from the U.S. Border Patrol.

According to Mexican magazine Revista Contralinea, the testimony comes from a protected government witness and former hitman, who cooperated in the prosecution of a Sinaloa Cartel accountant by the Mexican Attorney General’s Office. The testimony details a series of battles fought by a group of cartel members attempting to drive out rival gangsters from territory in Mexico’s desert west. To do it, the group sought weapons from the U.S., including at least 30 WASR-10 rifles — a variant of the AK-47 — allegedly acquired from Border Patrol agents.

This shouldn’t be surprising to anybody that’s been following Fast and Furious. Evidence has shown that the United States government has been arming favored Mexican drug cartels so they can fight other drug cartels. The United States government has made alliances with those is claims to fight in order to fight others it claims to fight. Having the Border Patrol arm cartel assassins seems like the next logical step to that operation.

It’s sad how the United States government says people living here who have been convicted for drug use and selling drugs aren’t eligible to own firearms but people living in Mexico who have done the same thing and commit acts of murder are eligible to own firearms. In fact the latter has firearms supplied to them by the United States government.

I will also raise the following question: how can an organization that supplies guns to known murders be trusted to enforce any form of gun control? Aren’t gun control advocates also demanding that violent criminals be disarmed? Why do they trust the same organization that’s arming violent criminals with implementing laws regarding guns?

In Other News the Expected Happened

Surprising nobody the inspector general of the Department of Justice (DoJ) cleared the head of the DoJ of any wrongdoing:

The Justice Department’s inspector general cleared Attorney General Eric Holder Wednesday of knowing about the gun-walking operation known as Fast and Furious that allowed thousands of weapons to cross into Mexico.

Who would have guessed that a DoJ investigation into the DoJ would result in finding no wrongdoing on behalf of the DoJ? That’s not to say no blame has been found, the inspector general found plenty of other suckers outside of the DoJ to throw under the bus:

The inspector general found fault with the work of the senior ATF leadership, the ATF staff and U.S. attorney’s office in Phoenix and senior officials of Justice’s criminal division in Washington. He also said that poor internal information-gathering and drafting at Justice and ATF caused the department to initially misinform Congress about Fast and Furious.


While Horowitz heaped most of the blame for Fast and Furious on investigators in Phoenix, one senior official, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, is blamed for not acting to stop the tactics.

I wonder when, or if, anybody will question the wisdom of allowing the DoJ to investigate itself.