Putting the Blame Where it Belongs

Bob Barr, who sits on the NRA Board of Directors, notes that it’s time to get some real leadership at ATF, but unlike the gun control groups, puts the blame where it really belongs:

Only after last year’s midterm elections did the president rise from his lethargy and submit a name to the Senate. It was a name certain to raise the ire of the firearms community; and not surprisingly, it did. Andrew Tarver, former head of the ATF’s Chicago Field Division, has met with serious opposition from the GOP and the National Rifle Association because of his anti-firearms bias.

Yet, rather than working with his opponents to find a candidate on which both sides might agree, Obama has simply ignored the matter and allowed ATF to drift leaderless for nearly three years.

We’ve said Traver is unacceptable, but that seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Our opponents think ATF needs a solid director. I don’t think the rest of us disagree. But that requires a bit of give and take, and so far the Administration, and its allies in the gun control movement, only want to take. This is typical of their attitude, but it’s not helping ATF get adult supervision. Why is it so hard to find another nominee, who’s more acceptable?

6 thoughts on “Putting the Blame Where it Belongs”

  1. This country has too many paramilitary police organizations. Given its repeated behavior, I think it’s fair to ask if the ATF’s problems come not from lack of leadership but from its internal culture. Disbanding it would be a good start before we take a serious hedge trimmer to DHS, DEA and a few other agencies.

  2. If you disband ATF, the FBI will take over enforcing gun laws. For a lot of reasons that would be bad news. The FBI is very well respected. When the FBI starts approaching Congress for more gun laws, they are more apt to be listened to. You don’t want the FBI to have a vested interest in more gun laws.

    We’re better off with ATF having adult supervision in Washington, and letting the field agents do their jobs, rather than the nutty shit that’s been coming out of DC for the better part of two decades.

  3. On the other hand, the FBI would not have the incentive to push for more gun laws like ATF does, because they have a much broader scope of responsibility. ATF focuses on pushing for more gun laws because it has become their primary responsibility and their biggest budget item – let’s face it, without the malum prohibitum anti-gun laws, ATF just doesn’t have much reason to be anything beyond a very minor regulatory agency, if that. Compared to almost anything else, there is very little actual criminal activity dealing with alcohol or tobacco, or even explosives – those areas are primarily regulatory, and almost entirely under bureaucratic control. The FDA could take over both of those easily, and the FBI could take over explosives at the same time as firearms. There is also very little headline potential with alcohol and tobacco, unlike with guns.

    The FBI, however, already gets to handle bank robberies, extortion, terrorism, sex crimes, and a whole bunch of other headline-grabbing areas. They don’t need to worry about adding new malum prohibitum laws, because there is already plenty on their plate to justify their existence and budget.

    I just don’t think the FBI would put much, if any, effort into pushing new gun laws. They have better and less politically controversial things to worry about.

  4. Is Ted Nugent willing to take the job?
    Ladd, Japete, Bloomy…their heads wouldn’t explode; they’d just melt.

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