The Vetting: Holder, Fast and Furious, and Gun Control

When Attorney General Eric Holder last testified to Congress regarding Fast and Furious, he described it as an operation that was “fundamentally flawed” in its conception and execution. In other words, the goal of stopping the flow of “guns…from the United States to Mexico” was a worthy one, although the tactics used to do so were examples of “poor law enforcement.”  These statements are indicative of the talking points he’s been using throughout the past year—talking points that he hopes will allow him to paint Fast and Furious as something planned and executed without his knowledge or approval, especially the parts of it that involved gun running.

In a nutshell, Holder wants us to believe he’s an innocent bystander who just so happened to be Attorney General when the DOJ and ATF launched and oversaw a program allowing straw purchasers to buy thousands of weapons, which were purposefully passed to men who carried them across the US/Mexican border and into the hands of Mexican cartel members. But a much more believable (and accurate) explanation for Fast and Furious is that it wasn’t a flawed operation at all, nor was it an operation aimed at stopping the flow of guns from the United States into Mexico. Instead, it was an operation aimed at causing enough chaos and crime on our southern border to incline Americans to accept more gun control as a solution. And in this scenario, Holder was not an innocent bystander. Rather, as Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has said, Holder owns Fast and Furious.

To understand why Holder and his friends in the DOJ and ATF would have gone to such pains to launch a top-down operation of this magnitude, one only needs consider the recently uncovered speech that then-U.S. Attorney Holder gave to the Woman’s National Democratic Club in 1995. In the speech, Holder talked of opening the door for more gun control by changing “the hearts and minds of people” concerning guns. And his stated tactic at that time was to enlist the help of educators and ad agencies, to “change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that's not cool, that it's not acceptable, it's not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which [they] changed our attitudes about cigarettes."

Obviously, Holder’s guns-as-cigarettes model didn’t pan out as well as planned, since Americans are still solidly aligned against more gun control. However, his goal of changing hearts and minds concerning guns to secure the passage of more gun control is one he can pursue in many ways. And one of those ways would be to allow thousands of guns to flood our southern border, and then step in and save the day with more gun control to reduce the very crime caused by the DOJ/ATF-approved straw purchases to begin with.

We can never forget the speech Holder himself gave in Mexico as Attorney General in April 2009. In it, he focused Americans’ attention on the violence already present on our border, and talked of using Project Gunrunner—a project built on the gun running tactics he claims he knew nothing about—to “break the backs” of the Mexican cartel:

Last week, our administration launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels. My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner. DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion. (emphasis mine)

Like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and so many others, I simply don’t believe that the purpose behind Gunrunner was to curb violence in Mexico. Were it so, why would Holder deny knowledge of it now? It’s far more rational to think Fast and Furious and the tactic of gunrunning were both part of a bigger effort to change “the hearts and minds of people” concerning guns by creating a sense of chaos sufficient to justify more gun control.

By the way, although no one involved in Fast and Furious has been prosecuted (to date), the straw purchases of assault rifles in Fast and Furious were used to justify passing more gun control on the American people in the summer of 2011. Since then, gun store owners in Arizona, California, Texas, and New Mexico have been required to file a report with the ATF on anyone who makes multiple long gun purchases within a 5 day period.


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