Now the term "has no authority" sounds so tame. What it means is that the government can not do it. But as the executive, they can do it if they are willing to ignore Congress. Neither Congress, nor the Courts have the ability to enforce their statutes or rulings. This has been the danger many of us perceived all along if Obama was elected President. My Leftist "friends" always thought I was racists for opposing this guy, or that I was merely hyper partisan. No, I perceived that Mr. Obama would be a lawless, rogue executive, and so he has proven to be.
The BATFE has no legal authority to demand these reports, and the flood of new paperwork (BATFE estimates 18,000 reports per year) will waste scarce law enforcement resources that should be spent on legitimate investigations.That last, the Rehberg Amendment was stripped out of the final bill by Senate Democrats. And it is Democrats again who are showing that they are more than willing to infringe on that which shall not be infringed.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole said in the DOJ statement that this new reporting measure “will improve the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to detect and disrupt the illegal weapons trafficking networks responsible for diverting firearms from lawful commerce to criminals and criminal organizations.”
As anyone who watches the news is aware, the BATFE has recently come under intense scrutiny due to its involvement in, and handling of, the ill-conceived and ill-fated “Fast and Furious” operation. "Fast and Furious" was a part of the five-year-old "Project Gunrunner" program and encouraged Arizona gun stores to sell thousands of guns to suspicious buyers, despite objections from dealers and BATFE field agents alike.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) called the new policy "the height of hypocrisy," and said the Obama administration is restricting the gun rights of border state citizens "when the administration knowingly and intentionally allowed guns to be trafficked into Mexico.” Smith went on to say, “Limiting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens is not going to solve the problem."
Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on and passed, by a vote of 277 to 149, an amendment to H.R. 1 offered by Reps. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and Dan Boren (D-Okla.) that prohibits the use of federal funds for the reporting scheme.
Here's the thing. When the government violates the clear meaning of its own Constitution to create new "laws," those "laws" are not legitimate, and you and I have no reason to follow them, other than the consequences getting caught. No one respects the law when the laws are made or broken at the apparent whim of Dear Leader. It may be the Chicago way, but it is not the American way. In the case of Second Amendment rights, it is interesting to me that governments that deny those rights, such as New York City, Chicago, and Mexico are always whining that governments that recognize more of those rights, such as Virginia and Florida are creating crimes by exporting guns. Except for Fast and Furious, though, guns are not the problem. Any time you deny the peoples' natural rights, you are going to be creating crimes. People are going to try to earn a living legitimately if possible, illegitimately if it is not. People are going to try to defend themselves, legitimately if they can, illegitimately if they can't.
Speaking of Fast and Furious, Katie Pavlich had a piece yesterday in Townhall.com entitled Operation Fast and Furious Designed to Promote Gun Control.
"Internal ATF emails seem to suggest that ATF agents were counseled to highlight a link between criminals and certain semi-automatic weapons in order to bolster a case for a rule like the one the DOJ announced yesterday [Monday]."The "one the DOJ announced yesterday" was the rule on multiple sales of long guns I was posting about above. Instead, it is the smoking gun proving that the entire operation Fast and Furious was nothing more than a plot designed to provide evidence supporting the Obama administration's preconceived gun control agenda. It was not about catching drug cartel heads, because they already knew who and where they were. It was not about catching straw purchasers, because if they had that in mind, they would have arrested them as soon as they walked out the door with the goods. It was about manufacturing "evidence." The government violated the laws, that you and I must obey on pain of prison. Untold Mexican nationals were killed. At least two Federal agents, and Lord knows how many U. S. civilians will eventually be killed because of it, just to manufacture evidence for a non existent problem.
The laws are supposed to apply to everybody, irrespective of station and status. If the Administration has chosen to break some laws, and they are not held to account (as in go to jail) then all bets are off. Nobody has to obey any law they choose not to. Meanwhile, if Congress wishes to regain relevancy, Democrats must put ideological considerations aside, and will join with Republicans to stop this President's lawlessness now.
Update: Appropos of about which I was talking is David Codrea's Nation Gun Rights column entitled Will Gunwalker Violations Bust Criminal Investigations Wide Open. David's column includes an e-mail from someone who sounds like he has experience, and knows whereof he speaks. Go read what he has to say.
Update 2: The American Thinker has an excellent article on the Gunwalker scandal, and the Mark Chait e-mail which provides us with a "smoking gun" at The Real Under the Radar Target of Operation Fast and Furious by Roya Johnson. A good read.