An Old Idea Catches on with the Left

It used to be gun rights advocates were the ones calling for the abolition of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Now progressives are catching on to what a dandy idea it really would be to roll the ATF into the FBI. Why? Because this would be a disaster for gun rights, and they are starting to figure that out.

The FBI has a long, sorry history of unspeakable abuses against the civil liberties of Americans, and along with that is a history of getting away with it. Not only do they get away with it, but they get away with it while making the public and politicians adore them. The FBI is much more competent at manipulating lawmakers, policymakers, judges, and juries to get what they want, and if they take on ATF’s functions, what they will want are more gun control laws.

I think it was a mistake to put even part of ATF under DoJ dominion, and you can thank Republicans for that one. ATF’s role should be that of a regulatory and tax collecting agency. It should have the culture of a regulator rather than an enforcer. Sure, in the days when even the Department of Education has SWAT teams, there will always be “the enforcers” in any regulatory agency, but the FBI have no regulatory role, they are only enforcers and domestic spies. The FBI is very good at railroading people if they decide to target you. Remember, this is an agency started by one of the most dangerous men in the history of this country.

4 Responses to “An Old Idea Catches on with the Left”

  1. Alpheus says:

    As much as I disagree with the “innovations” J. Edgar Hoover introduced, it somewhat boggles the mind that he was pretty much the only person in FDR’s administration that opposed the internment of Japanese Americans.

    I suspect that, while the President and Congress critters feared him, many also approved of his methods. (And, sadly, that’s probably true of many of the Americans alive at the time…heck, it’s troubling that many people *today* wouldn’t have problems with his methods!)

  2. Rob says:

    Ya know, I think the FBI gets away with it because their targets are generally people who don’t garner much public sympathy: would-be terrorists, child pornographers, kidnappers, and the like. I think things would change if they started trampling all over the rights of a large, politically-connected segment of society.

    In the end, I don’t think the FBI would be better than the ATF for gun rights, but I don’t think they would be much worse, either.

  3. SPQR says:

    The FBI is the ultimate teflon agency. They have a long list of abuses and incompetence but they continue to possess a reputation that they never deserved. Google for stories on their crime lab for example.

    But there would be a small silver lining I believe, folded into the FBI, the regulatory abuses of the ATF would be mitigated I believe as the FBI would not prioritize GCA enforcement. Not sexy enough.