Fast and Furious

Sometimes I wonder whether to post about things that so many other bloggers are covering. But I would be remiss if I didn’t air my thoughts on the Fast and Furious scandal.

What if the Canadian national drug enforcement agency told pharmacists there to ignore Canadian law, and sell drugs to people they knew were going to smuggle those drugs into the United States? What if hundreds of Americans were killed by people high on this drug, and no one did anything until a Canadian investigator was killed? We would be calling for heads to roll.

For those who don’t know, this happened, only it was guns instead of drugs, and it was the United States instead of Canada. The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (the ATF) decided at some point and at some level in its management that it would be okay to allow gun dealers in Arizona to sell guns to people who would have otherwise be prohibited, despite the legitimate protests of the gun dealers involved. The ATF then watched those guns, and tracked them with GPS chips, as they were smuggled into Mexico and used by the drug cartels there.

One of these guns was used to kill a US Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry. After that, some ATF agents decided to break ranks and come clean. After some persistent reporting by a few gun bloggers, the story finally got picked up by the main stream media.

Of course, there is much speculation as to the ATF’s motives. Whatever they were, since they led to the deaths of innocent victims, they are irrelevant. But, those motives are not my point today.

My point today is this: this scandal is a test of the American system. Forgive me if this sounds melodramatic, but if we fail this, my feelings are we are in a decline from which this country may not be able to recover.

Our System – law enforcement, Congress, the media, and the people – must see this through to the end. We have to make sure that those involved are discovered, flushed out, and dealt with. Those who lived through Watergate as I did (or who have studied it) know that this is likely to be a long and painful process. I’m not afraid of the long process, only that we will give up, or give in.

There are those who try to blame this all on lax US gun laws, or gun shows, or any of a dozen reasons. The truth is that Fast and Furious is about an out of control US government agency. My hope is that those who insist otherwise sound as lame and pathetic to the other parts of the System as they do to me, and they won’t be believed.

Granted, it’s sad that those diversionary excuses are brought up, because it exposes those who bring them up for who they are, people who would see the Second Amendment dashed at all costs. And that is the central point of all this.

To me, the Second Amendment is the linchpin of the Constitution, and if it goes, there is really nothing stopping anyone who wants to trample the rest. So, if the System fails, or refuses to work, by one or more parts of the System becoming convinced that the ATF’s reasons were legitimate, or by us accepting a scapegoat, rather than dig for the ultimate culprit – then I mourn for us. In my mind, decline is inevitable.

Time will tell. Meanwhile, I pray for the family of Brian Terry, for Congressman Darrel Issa, Senator Chuck Grassley, and the others involved, as much as I pray for our military and political leaders. They must stand strong, and we, the rest of the System, must stand with them.