There are actually four separate but connected accusations against ATF officials: First, that they intentionally arranged to have hundreds of firearms "walked" across the U.S. border into Mexico. Second, that they instructed U.S. gun dealers to proceed with questionable and illegal sales of firearms to suspected gunrunners. Third, that they intentionally withheld information about U.S.-sanctioned gun smuggling from the Mexican government. Fourth, that one of the guns ATF allowed or helped to be smuggled into Mexico was involved in the death of Agent Terry.
As strange as it is for me to say it, I very much hope he is wrong about this being the "death knell" of ATF -- with its constituent parts being parceled out to other agencies. I very much prefer the the devil I know in rehab than the devil I don't and the prospect of giving the enforcement of America's gun laws (which aren't going away anytime soon) and ATF personnel to Janet Napolitano so she can work them as political police bully boys -- and if you want to talk about uncontrolled and unaccountable there is no worse offender than DHS (thank you George Bush, you sod)-- concerns me greatly.
Absent the abolishment of the federal interest in firearms regulation -- which is a distant prospect at best -- I would rather see hearings, firings, prosecutions and an ATF that at the end of this long day operates according to law, not an agenda, and whose rules, regs and testing procedures are both clear and transparent.
That would, at the least, buy us more time. And time -- to prepare, to train, to organize a credible deterrent to tyranny -- is precious.
In any case, the armed citizenry should continue to prepare for whatever comes.
(LATER: David's take, with links.)