Dems to spin Fast & Furious probe into gun-control rally

posted at 1:25 pm on June 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

After yesterday’s news of the deal between Senators Pat Leahy and Charles Grassley to get documents and testimony from ATF chief Kenneth Melson on Operation Fast and Furious, it seemed as though Democrats might finally take the scandal of the gunrunning fiasco seriously.  Alas, Elijah Cummings and House Democrats appear uninterested in abuses of government power, incompetence, and potential cover-ups at AFT and the Department of Justice.  In fact, they want to turn the probe into an argument for expanding government control of firearms:

The top Democrat on a House investigative committee is broadening an inquiry into a botched gun-tracing operation, called Operation Fast and Furious, to include a look at American gun laws.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the leading Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, released a report early Thursday titled “Outgunned,” that details how Bureau for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents say gun laws need to be tightened for them to fight organized crime along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Why, yes!  The right response for Congress to a fiasco where the ATF and DoJ refused to stop guns from flowing over the border is to give them more power to stop American citizens from buying guns in the first place!  Certainly, the federal law-enforcement agencies have proven their worth in Operation Fast and Furious and should be given even more opportunities to intervene in the exercise of Second Amendment rights!

That’s the World According To Elijah Cummings, anyway.

The tactic here is transparent — Cummings and his fellow Democrats want to stage a distraction from the stupidity and incompetence that Fast and Furious revealed at the ATF and DoJ.  They don’t want the public to focus on how high up the approvals went on this gunrunning operation conducted by the Obama administration, nor whether the stupidity and incompetence led to obstruction and perjury before Congress on the part of Obama appointees in the DoJ.  They would much rather pretend that the real reason at least two American agents are dead from weapons the ATF allowed to cross into Mexico is that Americans can buy and use guns in a lawful manner in the US.

If they’re that desperate for a distraction, then Darrell Issa must be close to exposing something rather significant in the DoJ.

Update: I totally forgot to link Bob Owens at PJM on this topic, who notes that Cummings’ first strategy flopped:

The primary reason Cummings is calling this forum was clearly indicated in his actions earlier this year, when he refused to sign a letter to President Obama asking the White House to direct the Department of Justice to cooperate with the Gunwalker investigation. At the time the Oversight Committee had authored the letter asking the president to compel DOJ officials to provide documents relating to the scandal to the committee. Cummings refused to sign the letter asking for the evidence, which all other Democrats on the committee did. …

Instead of seeking answers from those Obama administration officials who are culpable for a rogue government program that has left cops, soldiers, and civilians dead, the congressman from Baltimore will use his position in order to provide airtime to those who would place blame at the feet of American citizens.

There may be a more disreputable role for a congressman to play during such a scandal, but I’m finding it hard to think of one.

The term political hack comes to mind, but it might not be strong enough.

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Want to annoy an ATF agent?

Refer to his agency as the ‘BATFE.’

It galls them that they don’t have just three letters.

Really, it does.

fossten on June 30, 2011 at 1:27 PM

That was the whole point of the operation in the first place. Never mind that the cover was blown. Damn the torpedoes, gun grab ahead!

Red Cloud on June 30, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Whose brilliant idea was it to make a “deal” with the bald snake oil salesman from Bernie Sanders-land?

Del Dolemonte on June 30, 2011 at 1:28 PM

I think Rush predicted this last week. I thought he was reaching at the time, but I guess that’s why he says to not doubt him.

Doughboy on June 30, 2011 at 1:29 PM


Why, yes! The right response for Congress to a fiasco where the ATF and DoJ refused to stop guns from flowing over the border is to give them more power to stop American citizens from buying guns in the first place!

Maybe we oughta go all Switzerland and ISSUE everybody an assault rifle? We need to be more like Europe, right?

Tony737 on June 30, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Democrats are so disconnected from the average person.

Anti-gun legislation is the fastest way to make Republicans out of democrats.

Go ahead.

darwin on June 30, 2011 at 1:29 PM

This was the eventual goal of Fast and Furious anyway. The donks are just sticking to the game plan because they have nothing else.

darclon on June 30, 2011 at 1:30 PM

The tactic here is transparent

Yeah, it’s the typical liberal tactic: if dumb government program works, use the results to curb Americans rights; if it doesn’t work, use the result to curb Americans rights.

LastRick on June 30, 2011 at 1:30 PM

That was the whole point of the operation in the first place.

Red Cloud on June 30, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Correct.

aquaviva on June 30, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Crap like this is why I hate Dems so much.

Every situation is always an excuse to do the same stock thing they want, be it raising taxes, banning guns, or something else that bring in more money to the central government and/or takes more rights away from the people and the states.

teke184 on June 30, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Maybe we oughta go all Switzerland and ISSUE everybody an assault rifle? We need to be more like Europe, right?

Tony737 on June 30, 2011 at 1:29 PM

The BATFE is trying to make Mexico like Switzerland.

fossten on June 30, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Why does “burning of the Reichstag” pop into mind?

rbj on June 30, 2011 at 1:32 PM

This Just goes to show you that in addition to the National Socialist Democrats being shameless, they are willing to use anything as a “Serious Crisis” to further their oppressive agenda.

Chip on June 30, 2011 at 1:32 PM

But Eric Holder knew nothing…

d1carter on June 30, 2011 at 1:33 PM

can’t issa refuse to bring this in?

cmsinaz on June 30, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Why does “burning of the Reichstag” pop into mind?

rbj on June 30, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Just a coincidence. Go to sleep. Your government is taking care of things. Trust them.

darwin on June 30, 2011 at 1:34 PM

The BATFE is trying to make Mexico like Switzerland.

fossten on June 30, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Just remember that Mexico has strict gun control and it works for them just about as expected.

Chip on June 30, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Rattle the chains of the James Byrd Truck commercial again and get these approval #’s in the African-American community back up to 99% where they belong.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Byrd,_Jr.

When…….if ever……….will the Minorities that have seen their communities destroyed by Entitlements (slavery to the Feds) wake up and see they are being lied too?

http://www.mrc.org/BozellColumns/newscolumn/2000/col20001031.asp

PappyD61 on June 30, 2011 at 1:34 PM

If they’re that desperate for a distraction, then Darrell Issa must be close to exposing something rather significant in the DoJ.

I hope.

darwin on June 30, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Of course, -the democratics used the corrupt Washington Post to prepare the battlefield earlier this week: Pravda on the Potomac: Washington Post Again Covers for Gov’t on Gunwalker

FTA: “Lawmakers should give the ATF the tools it needs to fight illegal gun trafficking. They should enact stronger penalties for straw purchases and craft a federal gun-smuggling statute; close the gun-show loophole, which allows buyers under certain circumstances to purchase weapons without a background check; resuscitate the ban on assault weapons; and give the ATF the authority to collect data on multiple sales of long guns in border states. The Senate should move quickly to confirm a director for the long-leaderless bureau.”

The arrogance of this attack is breathtaking. Conservatives outside the old media have been saying for months that this was all about new gun regulations, and been pooh-poohed in the old media. Here’s your sign!

slickwillie2001 on June 30, 2011 at 1:36 PM

The Department of Justice’s Operation Fast and Furious:
Accounts of ATF Agents
JOINT STAFF REPORT
********************
*********************

Prepared for

Rep. Darrell E. Issa, Chairman
United States House of Representatives
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

&
Senator Charles E. Grassley, Ranking Member
United States Senate
Committee on the Judiciary

112th Congress
June 14 2011
========================

http://oversight.house.gov/images/stories/Reports/ATF_Report.pdf

canopfor on June 30, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Outside certain urban constituencies that are Dem voters anyway, this is a losing issue for them.

JEM on June 30, 2011 at 1:37 PM

They don’t want the public to focus on how high up the approvals went on this gunrunning operation conducted by the Obama administration, nor whether the stupidity and incompetence led to obstruction and perjury before Congress on the part of Obama appointees in the DoJ.

Here’s hoping Issa has good security service. Thugs don’t like to be exposed.

petefrt on June 30, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Is this any different from the fact that we had government intervention in the marketplace with the CRA, Freddie and Fannie…..

And all the Left could bleat on and on about was the need for even more governmental intervention in the marketplace?

Chip on June 30, 2011 at 1:39 PM

If they’re that desperate for a distraction, then Darrell Issa must be close to exposing something rather significant in the DoJ.

I hope.

darwin on June 30, 2011 at 1:35 PM

+ 1000

Chip on June 30, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Rep. Darrell Issa on the ATF Fast and Furious Scandal
Video(11:25 Minutes)
******************************************************

Uploaded by NRAVideos on Jun 16, 2011

Ginny Simone talks to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) about his hearings on the ATF Fast and Furious scandal – NRA News – June 16, 2011 – http://www.NRANews.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJ6RFUHXBDs

canopfor on June 30, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Never let a good crisis crime go to waste.

The Mega Independent on June 30, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Well, wasn’t this the whole purpose behind Gunwalker to begin with?

jjrakman on June 30, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Never let a good crisis crime go to waste.

The Mega Independent on June 30, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Never let a Serious Crime go to waste.

Chip on June 30, 2011 at 1:48 PM

I am convinced a top person close to Clinton signed off on this at the State Department, and that is what they are really trying to protect.

rob verdi on June 30, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Why don’t we just enforce the laws we have now. Murder of a Federal official in the line of duty is a felony punishable by death. Accessory is punishable by life imprisonment. We can start by charging Holder and the ATF officials who are gun running.

pat on June 30, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Bring it on. In fact, they should propose legislation to ban all guns right around the presidential debates.

MeatHeadinCA on June 30, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Just FYI for you d’s in dc that want to take our 2nd away, we will NEVER let you do this, period! As Heston said ‘from my cold dead hands’.

O/T new ad by Herman Cain, best I have seen so far by anyone.

http://nation.foxnews.com/herman-cain/2011/06/30/herman-cain-unveils-epic-obama-attack-ad
L

letget on June 30, 2011 at 1:50 PM

If Holder didn’t know about this he should be fired.
If he did know about this he must be jailed.

countrybumpkin on June 30, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Let them run with that…it won’t work and it will shine light on the whold fiasco. It is a win win.

tomas on June 30, 2011 at 1:50 PM

I think it’s time to take guns out of the hands of the government. They have proved to be far too irresponsible too and should not be allowed to handle them. Time to return guns to the people, who are more responsible and know better how to use them.

Tommy_G on June 30, 2011 at 1:52 PM

That was the whole point of the operation in the first place.

Red Cloud on June 30, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Ding, ding, ding!

April 17, 2009

MEXICO CITY | Meeting face-to-face with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, President Obama on Thursday said the U.S. is to blame for much of Mexico’s drug violence, and he set up a major congressional gun-control battle by calling on the Senate to ratify a treaty designed to track and cut the flow of guns to other countries.

Fallon on June 30, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Par for the course, Felony stupid does as Felony stupid is.

NMRN123 on June 30, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Bring it on. In fact, they should propose legislation to ban all guns right around the presidential debates.

MeatHeadinCA on June 30, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Yep. Then watch both chambers tilt to the right a bit more after the elections.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Any means to an end, means just that -”any” and the end is the total destruction of America. What else did we expect from a man who wishes for a civilian army and loathes the constitution because it doesn’t give the government enough power over the people?

I won’t get into his defiance of every legal and moral structure designed to prevent a runaway presidency. They are all in it together and out of the Marxist closet now – and they will not relinquish power. Why should they with practically no opposition from their friends in the GOP and Krauthammerish gate-keeper class?

Don L on June 30, 2011 at 1:57 PM

I think it’s time to take guns out of the hands of the government. They have proved to be far too irresponsible too and should not be allowed to handle them. Time to return guns to the people, who are more responsible and know better how to use them.

Tommy_G on June 30, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Hey, the second amendment clearly states:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

That’s the right of the people to keep and bear arms, it doesn’t say anything about the government having that right.

Chip on June 30, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Want to annoy an ATF agent?

Refer to his agency as the ‘BATFE.’

It galls them that they don’t have just three letters.

Really, it does.

fossten on June 30, 2011 at 1:27 PM

I’d be annoyed too if I worked for something with “Bureau” as the first word of it’s name.

Scrappy on June 30, 2011 at 2:00 PM

I’d be annoyed too if I worked for something with “Bureau” as the first word of it’s name.

Scrappy on June 30, 2011 at 2:00 PM
***********************
As in the Bureau of Moonshine, Cigarettes and Firesticks?

NMRN123 on June 30, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) isn’t a political hack, he’s a damned liberal fool. Hey Elijah! Can you say COVERUP?

GarandFan on June 30, 2011 at 2:05 PM

I think he’s got a point. We need to stem the flow of weapons and reduce the number of guns in our society. If we don’t, the federal government will sell them to drug cartels.

strictnein on June 30, 2011 at 2:05 PM

They should have gotten Ollie North to run the operation.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 30, 2011 at 2:07 PM

The term political hack comes to mind, but it might not be strong enough.

How about: Politburo flunkie?

One of his friends should take Congressman Cummings aside and let him know that his actions are lending credence to the conspiracy theorists who think Fast and Furious was a Reichstag Fire plot.

Socratease on June 30, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Isn’t it rather ironic that the Dems are now starting to get “serious” about gun control when there is no chance in Hell such laws will pass in this congress? Where was this outrage when they had large majorities in both chambers?

NotCoach on June 30, 2011 at 2:13 PM

If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Yeah, that’ll work.
/s Liberal Democrats

Khun Joe on June 30, 2011 at 2:14 PM

We are working on gun control behind the scenes. – Obama

lorien1973 on June 30, 2011 at 2:16 PM

God Bless Darrell Issa

pseudonominus on June 30, 2011 at 2:20 PM

The dems need some help from the AGW crowd. When the facts don’t support your preconceived notions, change the facts.

Vashta.Nerada on June 30, 2011 at 2:21 PM

The only organized crime on the border is the BATF, Napolitano, and Holder. Obama would be in this group but there are no golf courses near the border.

MJZZZ on June 30, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Please, please, please make this part of the next national election cycle, DNC, WH, et al. It’s too much to hope that they will – but if they did, other things being equal (that is, terrible, as things now stand for the donks), it could actually help undermine some “safe” Dem House seats. A perfect can of gasoline to throw on the already raging fires of discontent and outrage among many voters. Talk about a get-out-the-vote operation …..

IceCold on June 30, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Yeah, let’s start a new gun grab going into an election year.

catmman on June 30, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Democratic playbook:

1) Mandate that every citizen pay into massive Ponzi schemes like Social Security, then when the public debt balloons into tens of trillions of dollars, blame Republicans for not raising taxes enough.

2) Enact Community Reinvestment Act, then years later when it crashes the housing market, blame Republicans, bankers and evil, greedy rich people.

3) Launch the doomed-to-failure BATFE Operation Gunwalker, then when people die as a result, blame law-abiding American gun owners.

And on and on……….

See how it works?

UltimateBob on June 30, 2011 at 2:27 PM

If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

Khun Joe on June 30, 2011 at 2:14 PM

What? Huh? That makes no sense. Outlaws won’t have guns because it’ll be against the law!

- Brain dead touchy feel New York liberal drone.

darwin on June 30, 2011 at 2:27 PM

These are the same people who love to yell “Iran-Contra” at every opportunity, too.

PJ Emeritus on June 30, 2011 at 2:37 PM

*facepalm*

Benaiah on June 30, 2011 at 2:42 PM

“Fire the Sub-Director for Mixers, Matches, Bullets and Fuses!”

mojo on June 30, 2011 at 2:58 PM

This was the entire reason for the fast & furious operation in the first place. It is no surprise to many here that said it when the news first broke.

Also, the drug cartels can be stopped, stopped in the next minute if only we would end this retarded “war on drugs”. Prohibition breeds this kind of thing and the troubling thing is we know it does from the first attempt in the 1920′s.
Yet we have people that do not trust the American citizens and think if they don’t control their behavior they cannot survive on their own. The definition of insanity and all that.

Government is the cause of all this and yet people seem to run to them to cure it.

Sammy316 on June 30, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Government is the cause of all this and yet people seem to run to them to cure it.

Sammy316 on June 30, 2011 at 2:59 PM

I agree. Decriminalize drug use with the caveat that no drug user is eligible for any government program.

darwin on June 30, 2011 at 3:06 PM

If I whispered in Cummings ear, would I hear an echo?

Extrafishy on June 30, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Unexpectedly.

pambi on June 30, 2011 at 3:11 PM

The Jack @$$ dems have absolutly no credibility on this matter. Next time I buy a gun I’ll claim status as a Mexican Drug Lord and pick up 60 or 70 AK’s and walk out the door.

Kuffar on June 30, 2011 at 3:12 PM

That’s what this really was all about to begin with – Sell illegal firearms to Mexican drug gangs so that they would be sooner or later be caught using them in the commission of drug-related offenses. With that accomplished, the administration, through it’s DOJ lapdog, would then announce to the public that they had incontrovertible proof that guns purchased from evil American gun dealers were the root cause of all drug-related crime and evil in Mexico, and that the only way to put an end the bloodshed spilling across the border would be the imposition of draconian Federal gun control laws.

Of course, as with all such hare-brained schemes, things didn’t quite go according to plan, but at the very least you do have to give them credit for trying.

JFS61 on June 30, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Elijah Cummings is a dick.

SukieTawdry on June 30, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Hey, since Congress won’t act on it, let’s have a little gun control from the executive branch. Or maybe from the UN.

Why am I getting this urge to buy more ammo?

petefrt on June 30, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Somebody really needs to start putting these Democrats in jail for talking like this in Congress.

After all… if they don’t think other people are entitled to Cosntitutional rights, why should they be afforded the same?

malclave on June 30, 2011 at 3:34 PM

I disagree with you all. Fast and Furious demonstrates the urgent need for additional Federal Gun Control Laws.

Any Employee, Agent, Appointee or Elected Official that organizes a plan that allows guns to be sold illegally, shall be guilty of a first degree Felony, punishable by a minimum of 25 years in prison. That person shall be immediately suspended or terminated. Where applicable, it is immediately required that the person be subject to an impeachment proceeding.

Further, however high up the chain of command it goes, the next person up shall also be deemed involved for failing to properly supervise.

barnone on June 30, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Looks like it is
Cannon time.

Caststeel on June 30, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Remember the sticky notes?
“How’s that Hope & Change working for ya?
No Bama 2012″

Local state gun association just produced a sheet of 32 pre printed stickers.

“Society is safer when criminals don’t know who is armed.”

Now if we can just get mouth control laws. Yesterday’s presser ought to be worth one year without parole.

Caststeel on June 30, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Who won the last election? I thought the republicans were in charge.

gbear on June 30, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Rep. Cummings’ Gunwalker Report Neglects To Mention … Gunwalker
Despicable: The report doesn’t mention the estimated 150 dead in Mexico, plus two U.S. agents. Just gun control. And long-debunked statistics.

But the substantial body count that resulted from this operation is something that Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings and his colleagues avoid mentioning. The report simply does not include the two American federal law enforcement officers killed in ambushes with Gunwalker firearms, and does not mention the Mexican casualties of this Obama administration-created fiasco.

The report recommends three gun control initiatives. First: Congress Should Increase the Criminal Penalties for Illegal Straw Purchases

The report’s second recommended gun control initiative: Congress Should Enact a Dedicated Firearms Trafficking Statute

The report’s third recommended gun control initiative: ATF Should Implement a Multiple Long Gun Sales Reporting Requirement

NMRN123 on June 30, 2011 at 4:48 PM

It must be reassuring to those who have lost loved ones due to US/Mexico boarder related deaths to know that this was all done in the name of restricting their own right to protect themselves against the cartels. /sarcasm

I’d be furious.

shick on June 30, 2011 at 4:49 PM

House Dems Set to Demonize Gun Owners with Gunwalker Forum
Can demagoguery stymie the growing Republican investigation?

But the committee forum today isn’t about what Obama administration officials in the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security knew, or when they knew it, or about bringing those responsible for the dangerous plot to light to face accountability or possible criminal charges.

Instead, the minority forum by Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings will be a forum for gun control activists such as Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke.

Helmke instead seeks to shift the blame for the government’s deadly decisions onto the National Rifle Association (NRA), American gun owners, and the Republican and Democratic lawmakers who will not pass the laundry list of anti-gun legislation that has long been on the Brady Foundation’s list of legislative priorities.

In all practical respects, Helmke’s appearance has nothing to do with Gunwalker, and everything to do with demagoguery. It is safe to assume that the other anti-gun organizations that will attend the forum are likewise interested more in proselytizing than fact-finding or demanding accountability.

NMRN123 on June 30, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Obama talks “Fast and Furious” ATF scandal

WASHINGTON – Today at his news conference, President Obama was asked about the unfolding gunwalker scandal, and whether ATF leadership will be replaced.

Mr. Obama answered, “My attorney general has made clear that he certainly would not have ordered gun running to be able to pass through into Mexico. … I’m not going to comment on — a on a current investigation. I’ve made very clear my views that that would not be an appropriate step by the ATF, and we’ve got to find out how that happened.”

NMRN123 on June 30, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Why does “burning of the Reichstag” pop into mind?

rbj on June 30, 2011 at 1:32 PM

THREAD WINNNNNAAARRRRRR!!!!!

44Magnum on June 30, 2011 at 5:38 PM

letget on June 30, 2011 at 1:50 PM

You have to remember, you , I and millions of gun owners are those 25million that Ayers says needs to GO. They WILL pry them from our dead lifeless hands. At least they think they will. That the issue is in question is the dangerous part, if they knew they could not win, we would not be having these arguments…they think they can win.

These Pols have no idea just how dangerous a game they are playing.

orbitalair on June 30, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Do I detect politics at its worst?

Someone should get on the horn with Priorities USA Action PAC, stat!

Ryan Anthony on June 30, 2011 at 7:02 PM

Democrats + Power = Abuse

Merovign on June 30, 2011 at 7:42 PM

These fools didnt just hear the Heller case where it they RULED that theres a right to bear arms?

Oh, thats right, they want us to bear MUSKETS.

Morons.

tx2654 on July 1, 2011 at 3:18 AM