Third Party & Independents Archives

When ATF Gunwalking Went Wrong

Let’s be fair to Eric Holder. The absolute mess over Operation Fast & Furious which he is trying to cover up, on executive orders from Obama himself, actually started in 2006 with Operation Wide Receiver. It’s not the multiple regulations at state and federal levels on gun sales and exports of guns. It’s not the fact that straw purchases, nominee purchases where the final buyer is unable to or unwilling to directly purchase a firearm, is not illegal. It’s not the fact that the ATF already had been doing what are called gun-walking operations to trace possible illegal firearm purchases and intercept them at the final point of sale, mostly in a focused and small scale manner which ensured most earlier gun-walking operations ended successfully. It’s the fact that with Operation Wide Receiver and Operation Fast & Furious, the ATF got into bed with Mexican authorities.


There is no doubt that there are some officials in Mexico who desperately want to reduce gun running into their country and stem the violence that claims lives continually, especially when related to the drug trade. There is also no doubt that other officials in Mexico are intimately involved with gun running, and drugs trafficking as well, and any gun that passes through their jurisdiction after crossing the border illegally from the US - or even before it crosses the border - will swiftly disappear only to show up later at a violent crime scene. Both operations went large scale and both had Mexican authorities as partners. And both operations were essentially disasters that resulted in a lot of these gun-walking firearms disappearing into the hands of violent criminals with few high level suspects in custody to show for all those missing firearms. Both operations, needless to say, were criticized by the very ATF officials charged with carrying them out. So if the GOP wants to play hardball with Holder and threaten incarceration to force his hand on revealing evidence, they should be prepared for all sorts of uncomfortable evidence to emerge on ATF gun-walking practices in Operation Wide Receiver as well as Operation Fast & Furious. Will we ever get all the details on these two fiascos? It seems unlikely, but both parties need to come clean on what is a troubling fact on the already troubled border with Mexico. Arms trafficking across the border must be dealt with in a bipartisan manner and both sides of the aisle, as well as the administration, need to come to some sort of an agreement. That seems rather unlikely for now.

Posted by AllardK at October 8, 2014 3:04 PM
Comments
Comment #384062

The real problem is, thanks to the ideological excesses of the right, our systems for tracking these purchases is absurdly slow, and the penalties for straw buying absurdly small. The only person who really walked weapons was the bureaucrat who showed up on Capitol Hill to throw everybody else under the bus.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 10, 2014 7:41 AM
Comment #384063

Oh, and before you go accusing anybody of a cover-up, it would be nice to have some facts indicating that they knew about things, ordered things, or what not. People believe a lot these day without much reason to believe it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 10, 2014 7:43 AM
Comment #384225
The real problem is, thanks to the ideological excesses of the right, our systems for tracking these purchases is absurdly slow, and the penalties for straw buying absurdly small.

Ideological excesses? Which ones are these exactly? Do you mean the 2nd Amendment and the rights of individuals to be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law? Are those the ‘EXCESSES’ you are talking about here?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 13, 2014 12:00 PM
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