The BATFE, that is.
This weekend, the crack reporting team of Mike Vanderboegh and David Codrea (the bloggers who broke the Fast & Furious scandal) revealed another scandal-to-be. Or perhaps we should say “scandal that should be” since chances are this one will get swept under the rug, its significance ignored.
They’re reporting that the NRA made a deal to save the ATF’s bacon. Mike writes:
Sipsey Street Irregulars can now confirm the broad outlines of a story first disclosed two days ago by National Gun Rights Examiner columnist David Codrea. Last week, a secret deal involving the National Rifle Association lobbying arm and brokered by politicians of both national political parties was struck in Washington DC that would save the ATF from the political and legal consequences of its own regulatory errors. In the process, this deal would broaden the language of the 1968 Gun Control Act regarding “sporting purposes” and allow ATF to extract itself from the potentially catastrophic political damage of enforcing its arbitrary ruling that makes every owner of a pistol grip 12 Gauge shotgun like the Mossberg Cruiser a felon in possession of a “destructive device” subject to the penalties of the National Firearms Act of 1934 — currently up to 10 years in federal prison and a quarter million dollar fine. …
As explained by sources here and in the nation’s capitol, the outlines of what one called “this cynical deal with the Devil” are as follows:
1. The ATF will be let off the hook by broadening the “sporting purposes” language and legislatively negating their own determination that millions of heretofore legal pistol-grip shotguns produced over the past decades by companies like Mossberg are “destructive devices.”
2. The NRA will get to claim credit for, as one source said, “riding in out of the storm on a white horse and claiming to have saved millions of firearm owners from federal prison, even though,” he added, “everybody in the room with an IQ above room temperature understands that politically and legally there is no (expletive deleted) way that ATF can enforce this ruling on anybody. They can’t and they won’t . . so” he concluded, “the NRA will claim to have saved their members from a boogeyman that never really existed.”
3. In return for allowing NRA to claim the credit, the Democrats demanded another ammunition import ban on “specialty ammunition,” to include tracers. Some sources agreed that this last “gimme” was a “throwaway,” in the words of one. “Look, their M.O. is to always demand more than they know they can get in to get the thing they really value. They’d like to get it but what they really covet is knocking a bigger hole in the Constitution by (widening the ‘sporting purposes’ language) . . . this deal will give them one big enough to drive Diane Feinstein’s limousine through.”
More at the link. It will be interesting to learn the details, including which politicians were involved in the deal. But in short, the ATF has (once again) inflicted damage on itself through its own incompetence and arbitrary rulemaking — and the National Rifle Association has stepped in to save that most despised anti-gun arm of the fedgov from itself. The deal has a price, which gun owners will pay in the long run.
Now of course news of yet another NRA sellout would hardly be news to anybody who’s been watching. (UPDATE: So far, after days of refusing to comment, the NRA’s Chris Cox denies everything, which may mean that the backroom deal has fallen apart.) That’s not my point.
I’m just here to observe that any organization that truly represented gun owners would never do anything to make the ATF look better or have a greater chance of survival. The ATF is the enemy of gun owners, always has been, and always will be. Making it “better” does us no favors.
Also, this reported backroom “fix” revolves around the obscene “sporting purposes” rule that that the ATF has used as one of its major tools against gun owners for decades and will continue to use as long as it can get away with it. And you remember where the “sporting purposes” rule came from, right?
Yeah. It came from Nazi law. It came via the Gun Control Act of 1968. Prior to 1968, no such thing as a “sporting purposes” test had appeared in U.S. federal law. “Sporting purposes” was imported along with much of the rest of the GCA by Sen. Thomas Dodd (D-CT) via a 1938 Nazi gun law that he brought with him after his experience as a prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials. Aaron Zelman and Richard Stevens proved this conclusively when they laid out the text of the two laws side-by-side in Gun Control: Gateway to Tyranny.
The original (now late, lamented) Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership revealed the Nazi origins of GCA ’68 to the world. The texts are there for anyone to see. Why do so many “pro-gun” mainstreamers choose not to see them?
Any organization that claims to be pro-gun should want GCA ’68 gone. Not “improved.” Not “interpreted in a more favorable way.” Certainly not “broadened.” Any organization that claims to be pro-gun should also want the ATF thrown into the dustbin of history. Not rescued from itself. Not made more efficient or more popular.
The old JPFO, Aaron Zelman’s JPFO, was vocal in wanting both these obscenities banished, vanished, booted, and gone forever. Our brand new Zelman Partisans continues the tradition. We advocate and agitate for the principles on which Aaron based his mission. We’re a small voice — now. But we speak for the principles of individual rights. And we always will.
Banish, vanish, boot the ATF! In the meantime, go ahead and let it shoot itself in the foot with its long history of idiotic, unfair, catastrophic regulations. Let the entire bogus “sporting purposes” rule go … well, where it belongs. Don’t merely make obscene rulings on an obscene rule a little more favorable to us peasants in exchange for dirty political favors. Freedom isn’t a sport. Nor is it something to be compromised away in backroom political deals.