Right on cue, Democratic lawmakers have begun to say the DOJ’s lethal and irresponsible Fast and Furious program underscores the need for stricter gun control laws:
“This hunt for blame doesn’t really speak about the problem,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein at a recent Senate Judiciary hearing while discussing Fast and Furious.
“And the problem is, anybody can walk in and buy anything, .50-caliber weapons, sniper weapons, buy them in large amounts, and send them down to Mexico. So, the question really becomes, what do we do about this?”
The ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) have introduced a dedicated firearms trafficking statute, but it has stalled in the House Judiciary Committee.
Republicans rightly have pushed back against this narrative. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) put it best when he said simply, “I get it, I’d want to change the subject too if I were them. I’m happy to have a conversation about broader gun laws, but we’re going to do it after Fast and Furious.”
What’s most troubling about Democrats’ predictable call for tightening of regulations is that it does nothing to dispel the theory that Fast and Furious was orchestrated precisely to “prove” the need to clamp down on gun sellers and purchasers. Rather, it lends credence to the idea.
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) recently explained:
This not only raises serious questions about your ability to serve as the head of the Justice Department, but also begs the question of why an anti-gun Administration would knowingly force licensed firearms dealers to sell guns to violent criminals. I raise this because Operation Fast and Furious — if the facts of this case had not come to light — would have been used by this Administration as another false argument to attack law-abiding American gun owners.
The American people deserve to know if your Department had any intent to link the legal purchase of firearms here in the U.S. to crimes committed near our southern border. Operation Fast and Furious funneled firearms legally purchased at gun shops in the U.S. to known criminal syndicates to prove these syndicates have access to legal purchased weapons. This is a deliberate attempt to vilify and attack the millions of gun owners in America who value our Second Amendment and have never broken the law.
Walsh made the assumption that the administration would not be able to use OF&F as a support for greater gun control because “the facts of this case [have] come to light.” But, unfortunately, the facts have reached only those who’ve consciously followed the case. Fast and Furious has still largely been ignored by the mainstream media — and, when news outlets like CNN do cover it, it’s frequently with an administration-friendly spin.
Reminder: This operation resulted in the deaths of at least 200 Mexicans and at least 11 violent crimes in the U.S. The program intentionally funneled firearms into the hands of straw purchasers, and the operation’s architects made no apparent attempt to track the weapons. Officials still can’t account for more than 1,000 weapons. We don’t need new gun control laws: We need responsible Justice officials who would never allow ideology and political purposes to tempt them to implement a dangerous and disastrous program.