What Should Happen to the ATF?

Red’s Trading Post Blog asks the question. Go tell him what you think. I would like nothing better than to see the organization rolled up into another federal agency, because I think we have too many federal law enforcement agencies in general, and I think there are cultural problems within ATF that need to be remedied.

But unless we can get rid of every federal gun law, which I don’t believe is politically feasible for the foreseeable future, a solution has to come from Congress. That’s also not likely as long as the Democrats are running things.

But we can’t blame the Democrats for all this. We still have a Republican occupying the White House. A Republican who is supposed to be friendly to lawful gun ownership. What are you doing for us now Mr. Bush? Mr. Gonzalez? We will remember this come 2008!

UPDATE: Take a look at the gem from this article:

In a phone interview, Professor Burbick says the gun-rights movement began not only in reaction to gun laws, but also as a reflection of white men’s anxiety about the civil rights movement. Right-wing politicians have deliberately exploited that anxiety, exaggerating the dangers of government power and of criminals who supposedly target every unarmed person, she says. “The gun has become a fetish — an emotional response to a changing America,” she notes, “the idea that somehow, the social problems of the U.S. will be solved through private gun ownership and a lot more guns.”

Are these people serious?  I love it when the media passes off someone else’s preconceptions and prejudices as authoritative opinion.  Professor Jean Burbick, as a pro-civil rights, otherwise socially liberal gun rights advocate, you can go to hell.

9 thoughts on “What Should Happen to the ATF?”

  1. Does that mean you’re the other vote for “fold them into the FBI”? I have absolutely no evidence for this, but I suspect the BATF is the result of some kind of turf war between Treasury and Justice by way of the fairly odd NFA ’34. Ban by taxation puts Treasury’s nose under the tent, and away we go. I just gotta wonder why not just use the Secret Service?

  2. I’m in favor of there being one federal law enforcement agency that actually has arrest powers. Since the Marshalls are the oldest, they get to stay. In my ideal federal government, the ATF would be an agency that administers tax laws for booze and tobacco. That would be about it. Need to arrest someone? Call the marshalls.

  3. Actually, no. I voted to axe it. If we’re going to start axing federal law enforcement agencies, I wouldn’t stop with the FBI :)

  4. Wasn’t gun control mostly in response to those civil rights riots of the 60s? The powers-that-be wanted to make sure “certain types” couldn’t obtain weapons for whatever reasons.

    I don’t think it ever quite worked.

  5. NFA ’34 was a response to (popular view of ) the gang wars of prohibition, at least in part. It was also considered a good first step by certain politicians.

    I’m all in favor of one agency with police powers; but it’ll mean that a lot of people will get “cross-loaned” to other agencies for enforcement, or otherwise deputized to have those powers.

    While I’m somewhat leery of recommending it, being both over-the-top right-wing paranoia and not all that well written, _State of Disobedience_ by Tom Kratman posits a near-future USA where the Prez starts “creating” police arms of executive agencies to act as brownshirts (and recruits the kind of people who would love to “exercise power” into them). Does not appear to be available in Baen’s free library. Oversight goes into the crapper if each agency has their own police powers, an dI don’t think you have to be a black-helicopter type to realize that.

  6. And the AT agency got the “F” added to its name when the repeal of prohibition took away most of its work in busting alcohol smugglers. the fedgov needed to find something for them to do or most of the agents would have been out the door on relief.

  7. Almost forgot there is an old story (it was told to me it by a fbi friend) that somebody offered the atf agency to J. Edgar back in the day. He refused to take because he didn’t want “those” people in his beloved fbi..

  8. I stole this, I don’t know from whom, so if it was someone who reads this I apologize.

    Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should be a convenience store, not a federal agency.

    I voted abolition only because the poll didn’t have the option of incarceration for all ATF personnel.

  9. I was talking about ’68 and various local gun control laws. By comparison, ’34 was benign.

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