Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Friday, June 22, 2012

Whatever happened to "guns don't kill people, people kill people?"

by digby

I haven't followed the Fast and Furious pseudo scandal all that closely because it seemed so unlikely to me that it could be the one to metastasize into a Village feeding frenzy. Why? Well, here's a concise description of the case:

Fast and Furious, which started in 2009, was the misbegotten gun-trafficking operation in which agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed weapons to "walk," or flow to Mexican drug cartels in the hopes of busting higher-ups in the organization. As many as 2,000 guns were lost in the botched sting and two of them turned up at the sight of a shootout that cost the life of a U.S. border agent. The operation was run out of the U.S. attorney's office in Phoenix.

It honestly never occurred to me that the right could turn this one into a cause celebre. After all, haven't we been told for decades that "guns don't kill people, people kill people?" Of all the hissy fits they might stage, freaking out over the origin of some guns just slays me. This has to be the only crime in history in which these right wing gun fetishists give a damn about the fact that guns got in the hands of criminals and someone was killed.

These are the same people who cheered this, after all:

Ashcroft ordered that all government lists — including voter registration, immigration and driver's license lists — be checked for links to terrorists. But there was one list Ashcroft did not want used - the gun purchasers background check.

Every person who buys a gun from a dealer must pass an instant criminal background check. It's called the National Instant Criminal Background check system or NICS. The records of those checks are kept by the FBI. After September 11th, the ATF wanted to review those records to see if any suspected terrorists had bought guns.

They wanted to know whether any of them had slipped through the system. The Department of Justice stepped in and stopped the FBI in their tracks. The Department of Justice said no, you can't do that. You can't use the records of approved gun purchasers in connection with a criminal investigation.

Attorney General John Ashcroft told the FBI to stop checking the NICS list...That mirrors the position of the National Rifle Association, which insists that the data collected when people buy guns is an invasion of privacy.

Even in the immediate wake of 9/11,
the thought of terrorists getting their hands on guns didn't bother them. These are not people who normally lose sleep over gun violence of any kind.

Now, they have floated a rationale for their extremely unusual exception to the "guns don't kill people, people kill people rule" but it's so stupid it's hard to imagine that even Darrell Issa would believe it:

RUSH LIMBAUGH: Now let me tell you what's going on here. You know the purpose of Fast and Furious, one of the purposes was, to get those guns across the border in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, have crimes committed, and then say we gotta do something about the Second Amendment. How do American guns get to Mexico? Well we got them there because we gave them. That was never supposed to be discovered.

Now the Second Amendment argument or rationale here goes to the motive for doing what Holder and the [Department of Justice] did. They wanted controversy around guns, they wanted American guns in Mexico. But the problem, they engaged in reckless tactics.

And the pretext for allowing the guns to walk across the border was to be able later to trace them to crime scenes and then build a case against the Mexican drug cartels. And all experienced agents who looked at this thought that it was insane, because, a) there wouldn't be crime scenes unless we walked the guns across the border, and used in crimes, so we created the crimes by making the guns available, therefore were contributing to violent criminality.

And even if you traced the guns to the crime scenes that you create you wouldn't cinch the case against these particular cartels because you wouldn't know for sure enough information to nail them. This was a disaster. And now that people are trying to get to the bottom of it, a stonewall is taking place. And this is just part of it that you heard sound bites from yesterday between Holder and Chaffetz and Darrell Issa.

That's right. Allowing drug cartels to get their hands on American weapons was an elaborate scheme to confiscate Americans' guns.

Meanwhile, in the congress you've got the nation's greatest braintrusts on the case:

Issa's close colleague, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who has been equally zealous on Fast and Furious, was blunt about his goal. "The only think I want out of this is somebody's scalp that approved this," Grassley said on Fox News earlier this month. "They should just have to get out of government and be held responsible . . . because their decisions led to the death of Terry."

I'll be looking forward to Grassley's call for the heads of those who provided the guns to the next campus or workplace mass killer.