Alexander's Column

Obama's Assault on Weapons

By Mark Alexander · Mar. 31, 2011

Project Gunrunner Backfires on the Left

“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.” –Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

Barack Hussein Obama and his Socialist cadre, in their enthusiasm to “fundamentally transform the United States of America,” have redoubled efforts to do what all tyrannical governments must do to establish absolute state supremacy and usurp Rule of Law – disarm the people.

Leftists accomplish this through incremental implementation of gun confiscation measures, most of which are overt political machinations. These include legislation written and promoted by Leftist groups such as the American Bar Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the Violence Policy Center, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and the Brady Campaign.

Current legislation under consideration includes H.R. 308 to limit rounds in magazines, S. 35 to lock in gun show registrations, S. 436 designed to “fix gun checks,” and, most disturbing, the reauthorization of Section 215 of The Patriot Act, which permits the FBI to seize gun sale records (4473’s) pursuant to “an authorized investigation.” Regarding the latter, the Inspector General estimated that between 2003 and 2006, the FBI exceeded its authority under Section 215 in more than 6,000 instances.

The objective of most of this legislation is centralized registration, which provides the federal government with data on the owner of every gun in the U.S. Then, under the duress of, say, the collapse of our economy, Leftists will “justify” confiscation by way of such nefarious measures as an Executive Order – just as they justified weapons confiscations after Hurricane Katrina.

“Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste,” right?

The generation that witnessed the adulteration of our Constitution by Franklin Roosevelt and his Useful Idiots during the Great Depression know exactly what I mean. Fortunately, growing ranks of Patriots across our nation are awakening to this very real threat against our Second Amendment rights.

As FDR aptly demonstrated, the primary method in the Left’s playbook for advancing its agenda is to convert tragedy into political capital. That is precisely what they did with the shooting of Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson in January of this year, and that is the rallying point for current gun control legislation.

Of course, claiming “gun violence” is the problem, rather than social entropy institutionalized by FDR’s policies and those of his Socialist successors, is a better fit with the Left’s agenda.

Another case in point, and one that is now backfiring on the Obama administration, is Project Gunrunner, a government program run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). As you may recall, ATF is an agency that exposed itself as a puppet for political agendas in the botched and bloody assaults at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992 and Waco, Texas, in 1993.

The ATF implemented Project Gunrunner in 2006 as a strategy to track weapon distribution networks between the U.S. and Mexican drug cartels – a worthy goal on the surface. Problem is, once the guns crossed into Mexico, ATF lost most of its tracking capability, which is to say that efforts to follow the distribution trail and stem the tide ended at the border.

Enter the Obama administration’s gun control agenda, which breathed new life into Gunrunner and re-established the ATF leadership’s standard ops tempo: SNAFU.

While Project Gunrunner failed in charting weapons distribution channels south of the border, Democrats saw its utility as a means to implement new gun regulations north of the border by asserting that all the violence in the region is the result of gun sales in the U.S.

The Obama administration hoped to make a case that Mexican organized crime syndicates depend on illegal U.S. sales of so-called “assault weapons.” In doing so, they hoped to revitalize their political agenda to register and regulate the sale of those weapons – a major Leftist goal for the last two decades.

With its mission transformed, in 2009 and 2010 the ATF expanded Project Gunrunner offices to McAllen, Texas, El Centro, California, Las Cruces, New Mexico, Sierra Vista, Arizona, and Brownsville, Texas, and added new Gunrunner teams in Tucson and in El Paso, Texas. Project Gunrunner’s focus became exposing the illegal sale of guns in the U.S. in support of Obama’s political objectives.

But the ATF’s Gunrunner is now the subject of a political firefight.

On 28 December 2010, I was contacted by a career federal agent who, like many of his colleagues, honors his oath to “support and defend” our Constitution, whose support and defense is contingent on the Second Amendment’s prohibition against government infringement on the right of citizens to keep and bear arms.

The contacting agent, who has a good track record of identifying government agendas designed to thwart 2A rights, told me that he suspected the weapon used in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry on 14 December was among those lost by the ATF during the Gunrunner operation a few months earlier. Senior career agents in Phoenix and Tucson confirmed that some of the weapons recovered at the scene of the murder of Agent Terry were, indeed, Project Gunrunner weapons, but because the ATF took control of the weapons, it could evade the establishment of any ballistic link between Project Gunrunner and the bullet that killed Terry.

Further, the agent I spoke with confirmed that the mission of Project Gunrunner was now purely political, an effort to “implement the registration of ‘assault-type’ rifles purchased anywhere in the United States.” Obama’s political appointees at ATF rejected numerous objections from field agents, including supervisory agents. Some objections were career terminators, including that of the ATF’s attaché in Mexico City, Darren Gil, whose objections resulted in forced retirement on 31 December 2010, just two weeks after the murder of Brian Terry.

Now, in response to the ATF’s stonewalling on ballistics related to Agent Terry’s murder, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is demanding answers. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), ranking minority member of the Judiciary Committee, is leading Senate inquiries into the connection between Gunrunner and Terry’s murder.

Additionally, Grassley has also inquired about the murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata on 15 February, which may also involve weapons connected to Project Gunrunner.

For the record, a search of the ATF website, which prominently promotes Project Gunrunner, makes no mention of the murders of CBP Agent Terry or ICE Agent Zapata other than mentioning their names in off-the-shelf condolences.

For his part, Obama says of Gunrunner, “There may be a situation here which a serious mistake was made. If that’s the case, then we’ll find out and we’ll hold someone accountable.” He then asserted, “I did not authorize it; Eric Holder, the attorney general, did not authorize it. He’s been very clear that our policy is to catch gunrunners and put them into jail.”

Obama and Holder may have enough cutouts to provide political insulation from Gunrunner fallout, but their politicization of its mission has not only been responsible for countless deaths in Mexico (more citizens were murdered in the city of Juarez in 2010 than in the nation of Afghanistan), but very likely the murder of two front-line U.S. agents trying to do their job in accordance with their oaths.

The attention focused on Project Gunrunner has been motivated primarily by politics: first, Obama’s gun control agenda to politicize the operation, and now the Republicans' agenda to see how far up the chain of command knowledge of the operation went.

Upcoming testimony from Adam Price and Jeffrey Stirling, program managers for Gunrunner at ATF headquarters, may lead to appearances by Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, FBI Director Robert Mueller, DHS Director Janet Napolitano, Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

All the political shenanigans aside, the Left’s assault on the Second Amendment is a much bigger contest: Liberty versus Tyranny.

To that end, it’s worth recalling the words of James Madison: “The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition.”

James Madison’s appointee to the Supreme Court, Justice Joseph Story, wrote in his 1833 “Commentaries on the Constitution,” “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”

(Footnote: It is no small irony that as Obama endeavors to disarm the American people, he is contemplating how to arm “freedom fighters” (who are revealed, more each day, to be al-Qa'ida operatives or their useful idiots) in Libya. “I’m not ruling it out,” says Obama. “If we wanted to get weapons into Libya, we probably could.” Indeed, just call the ATF!)

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76 Comments

Neal said:

WOW, you guys are beginning to scare me. So it would seem that you woill at some time use force to make us all follow along you route towards a forceful overthrough of all "our democracy" because you thing guns rights are more important that people freedom to live as they like, without fear of a paranoid force of "faith filled" but not trustful clods?

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 11:44 AM

The Editor replied:

Yet another fine example of Albert Einstein's maxim, "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Thanks Neal!

Bruce said:

Now, isn't it just like that naked Marxist barry soetoro to start an illegal and unconstitutional war to oust Libya's head of state while at the same time working behind the scenes to destroy US citizens' freedoms and right to bear arms.Don't expect the military to stand behind their oath to implement the constitution. The military milktoast brass is all too eager to follow unlawful orders. They have displaced their loyalty to their renegade Communist-in-Chief.And don't expect congress to preserve our rights. They intend to do absolutely nothing but warm their chairs until they get re-elected. Once guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Gary Wineteer said:

During WWII there was a term called, "Polish Gardens." These were weapons covered in cosmoline or other preservatives and buried in gardens to keep them from the Nazis. Schedule 40, six inch PVC pipe, with end caps and dessicant will accomplish the same goal, if necessary. Keep old nuts, bolts, washers, and other metals to scatter around to defie metal detectors. Let them try to find 80,000,000 weapons.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Terry said:

Hey Neal - the ONLY reason you still have any freedom left at all is because the government doesn't own all the guns. But give it time. You'll get it soon enough when you're FORCED to live like the people in Iran or Venezuela. Why don't you go for visit now? A long one.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Make-A-Statement said:

Our right to keep and bear arms is not only to protect ourselves from harm but is the last line of defense when it comes to a tyranical government. The left is hell-bent on removing our guns because they don't like them. Get over yourselves! Your opinion will not be forced upon me.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Sam said:

As for me, I'm going to buy a gun every other week until I can't.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 11:55 AM

francis said:

I expect that unlike Britain, Australia, German, etc., any attempt to take weapons away from lawful owners in the United States is likely to be greeted with a much different response from simply handing them over. Time will tell.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Jeff said:

During the last two years, time and again we have seen this administration completely ignore the rule of law. I have no doubt that Obama and his ilk would love to forceably disarm Americans under some pretense to make the point that are 'the law', and that they alone can decide what rights we are entitled to have and under what conditions/restructions we are allowed to have them. If they want my rifle, they can (in the words of the Texans at the battle of Gonzales) "come and take it". The line has been drawn, and we've had enough. I would rather see my own life and that of my family end than see any us us live as subjects ruled by those who are lawless. We will not submit. It it costs us our lives, then that is the price we will pay. May the Lord guide us through the perilous times in which we live.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 11:57 AM

gary sheldon said:

It seems to hopefully be the intent of the T-PARTY to not let the crisis impuned upon this Republic by the leftist/ rino regime in power (which they relish) to go to waste as well. We shall overcome these fear mongering socio-coms and their dismantelling of the Constitution God willing. I am willing. God builds nations and He pulls them down. We have the gumMINT we deserve. My prayer is we soon are granted the one we need.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 12:03 PM

MoeLarryCurly said:

The Obama administration has set the precedent in Libya to bring the UN forces into the front of any uprising, to include the United States when patriots here are forced to re-acquire the Rule of Law and defend their oaths to the United States Constitution.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Hardnox said:

At the end of every leftists rainbow is a mass grave.History is full of such examples. This one would be no different.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 12:04 PM

The Editor replied:

But Barack Hussein Obama promised me a pot of gold....

Buzzkill said:

The greatest hurdle to saving this country from the SOB in the White House is going to be sufficient organization of feet on the ground with palladium in hand to stop the problem and remove its source.It is not the will that is lacking; it is the plan.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Bee said:

My daughter's father-in-law is from Cuba. He escaped to Spain right before Castro took control of the country. When Castro implemeted the 'take over' of gun control and left the people defenseless he knew that it was time to leave. He has also stated several times that from the first speech he heard B. Hussein Obama give, he marked him as a communist, God help us All!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Harry said:

If he has the 'nads', let Barry Hussein Soetoro come to my house by himself and try to take my gun.

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Ruth Ann Wilson said:

Neal, Does this "SCARE" you????James Madison's appointee to the Supreme Court, Justice Joseph Story, wrote in his 1833 "Commentaries on the Constitution," "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."How about this, Does this "SCARE" you???"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their DUTY, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." Declaration of Independence.I don't know where you'll hide, but you haven't been paying attention. Maybe, Canada will take you. They took the "draft-dodgers" during the Vietnam era. But Patriotic Americans answer the Call of the Country, they are not cowards and Perhaps, you need to read Patrick Henry's, "Liberty or Death Speech", you maybe, educated but you have NO Patriotism.For God & CountryThe American

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 12:22 PM