A common deflection by our opponents in the gun rights movement is that we Second Amendment supporters are making a big ado about nothing, considering Fast and Furious only represented a fraction of the overall number of guns trafficked into Mexico unlawfully. Let me take this analogy to another form of crime, and show why the anti-gun groups are phony baloney when they speak about their desire to reduce gun violence (rather than just wanting to reduce gun ownership).
Let’s take this to another form of crime, and to a smaller scale. Let’s talk about a neighborhood that has a problem with home break-ins. The community is small enough that people have a pretty good idea of who the bad apples are, and the local police have worked with the hardware stores in the town to ensure that they don’t crowbars or other burglary tools to the bad apples in town until they solve the rash of home break-ins. The local police catch a few burglars, all of which got in with crow bars, but the burglaries generally continue.
Let’s say that the state police then decide to sweep in, and announcing this is all part of a much bigger burglary ring, not only tell the hardware stores they should sell as many crowbars to the bad apples as they can, but actively encourage them to do so, so that they can infiltrate the ring and bring it down. So the only result is that burglaries in town shoot way up. This raises the question:
- Are the citizens of the town correct to be angry at the state police?
- Would it be paranoid and unreasonable to suggest the state police might have had selfish reasons, like boosting their own budgets, to inflate the crime problem?
- Because burglars still get a hold of crowbars, is it correct to blame the hardware store?
- Is it correct to blame the manufacturer of the crowbar?
- Would you say citizens that are concerned greatly about the police facilitating a rise in crime are just misdirected from the overall problem of burglars getting crowbars? Or the fact that hardware stores sell them?
Smuggling guns to Mexico is illegal. Buying guns from federal dealers to smuggle guns into Mexico is illegal. We expect the police to catch people who are doing it. Aside from disagreements we may have with anti-gunners about mutli-sale reporting requirements, of gun show loopholes, etc — is it not rational and healthy, when the police are found to be facilitating an illegal activity, to apparently no rational end, to be outraged and demand answers? What The Brady Folks, CSGV, and other anti-gun people are disingenuously suggesting, is that because we care about law enforcement not facilitating crime, that means we don’t care about crime. This is a ridiculous leap in logic, even for our opponents. Their reaction to Fast and Furious is further evidence the whole gun violence shtick is just that. If you have a situation where law enforcement is facilitating crime, if you’re interesting in fighting rime, the first order of business is to get the government to stop facilitating crime. Then we can talk about what to do next.