Writing at The Market Ticker Karl Denniger recaps the Project Gunwalker Scandal and then concludes:
More importantly, in my view BATFE no longer serves a legitimate purpose in our government. It turned into a mechanism to provide murderous drug gangs in Mexico with over two thousand firearms that they allowed to be knowingly purchased and transported in an unlawful manner in the United States.
And as a consequence, in whole or part, a US Citizen and Border Patrol Agent is dead, and God knows how many Mexicans have been murdered on top of it.
The arguments about "drug gangs getting American guns" are true but irrelevant. Our government is supplying them. Of course the Mexican Drug Goons have them - they got them with permission of our own government.
It is time to dissolve this agency as it has gone from a law enforcement organ to a government organ that now appears to have intentionally participated in over 2,500 felonies, at least one murder of a US Federal Officer, and who knows how many murders of Mexican citizens.
Your government at work folks.
Truly there is reason for outrage. Truly the guilty of Project Gunwalker and the other ATF scandals must be exposed and punished -- imprisoned if possible. But to dissolve the ATF as an agency now and parcel out the agents and the mission to other agencies would be a disaster far greater than the many dead of Gunwalker. It would, I'm convinced, lead to even greater tyranny by the Feds and thence, in not very much time, to civil war.
This may seem strange coming from a guy who has opposed ATF for almost all of his adult life. It may seem strange that someone who doesn't believe that the ATF (or the federal firearms code that it enforces) has a Constitutional leg to stand on would state the case now, in the wake of this ghastly scandal, for that agency's continued existence. But it isn't.
Begin with this fact:
Regardless of whether or not ATF survives this scandal and the hearings that will flesh it out and make it even more outrageous and even more repugnant to the American people, the federal firearms laws on the books will not be repealed -- either immediately or even the short run. Someone will be tasked to enforce them.
The question is, who?
You can bet the farm that this woman has some very detailed ideas about that:
Sieg Heil! Meet Big Sis, Janet Napolitano.
Now I have my doubts that Janet will survive this scandal. But let's say she does. She would be more than happy -- as would her likely successor -- to take over the "gun control mission" and those tens of thousands of ATF street agents. Only as DHS agents hiding behind Dubya's PATRIOT Act, they would end up even less accountable than they are now.
Imagine giving Janet the Second her first sizable corps of American political secret police bully boys pounding the streets that lead to your door.
Just ... imagine that ... for a moment.
I tell you now, I far prefer the devil I know in rehab than the devil I don't running free with even greater power operating behind a cloak of invisibility, immunity and impunity.
Down that path is madness.
Down that path is certain civil war.
And I have always done what I could to warn about that, to avoid it, to postpone it -- within principle -- not simply because civil war is the sum of all evils (save the worse alternative of slavery to the Federal Leviathan), not simply because every man and woman has the moral duty not to initiate force except in extremis of righteous self defense of life, property and liberty, but for the very practical reason that we the armed citizenry are not yet ready. If we were ready, as the Founders envisioned the "well-regulated militia," it wouldn't be an issue. But we aren't ready, the domestic enemies of the Constitution see that we aren't ready and they mistake our lack of readiness for lack of resolve. And the constitutional criminal, like his common petty thief little brother, is nothing if not an opportunist.
We Three Percenters are few, as measured in the grand scheme of things. We lack almost every resource by which political movements are commonly judged, yet like all determined minorities we use what we have with unbending will and as much intelligence as we can muster to defend ourselves against those who would further circumscribe our liberties. And the truth is, at the point of probable decision, we considerably outnumber the grasping bastards who are really driving this creeping collectivism to the point of open conflict with the people that they swore an oath to defend and the Constitution that they swore to uphold.
Chief among the tools of the tyrant is the claim of legitimacy. The Project Gunwalker Scandal not only shines a bright light on the seamy underbelly of the Federal Leviathan but strips it of all that legitimacy. Mr. Friendly Fireman who we were paying to protect our homes has just been demonstrated to be an evil, murdering arsonist. And that threatens everyone, regardless of political affiliation, who has a house and a family.
The banally evil men in the hierarchy of the Department of Justice and the ATF have just done us a huge favor. They were venal, they were arrogant, they were stupid, they were grasping for more power and money to drive a citizen disarmament agenda and, thanks to some brave whistleblowing street agents, they got caught.
THEY HAVE DEMONSTRATED THEIR ILLEGITIMACY IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE WORLD.
And yet. And yet, the architects of this evil have not gone away, they have not been called to account, and the chance is small that all of the guilty will, leaving the highest-ranking of them to continue with their liberty-stealing agenda. In a way, the dissolution of the ATF actually works for those people.
So, no, I don't want the ATF dissolved immediately. What I want at the moment is far more achievable: I want for some group of adults to see the wisdom of taking today's oath-keeping whistleblowers and making them the bosses of this agency -- with transparent rules, common sense rule-making, testing procedures, management accountability and strict and constant oversight by Congress -- stripped of all the criminals in the Chief Counsel's Office and stripped of any hint of their anti-firearm rights agenda. If the ATF is to be a regulatory agency, then let it regulate, not agitate and be agents provocateur for citizen disarmament.
I never thought that I would say this, but until we can get the unconstitutional firearms laws of the federal government repealed peaceably, God willing, abolishing the ATF would lead -- by the immutable Law of Unintended Consequences -- to something far, far worse. And if, God forbid, we are finally pushed into righteous self defense of our liberty, our property and our lives, such an unconstitutional structure that the Founders themselves would have considered an abomination will be swept into the dustbin of history anyway.
The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters.