Misinformation won't prevent gun violence

info@islandpacket.comFebruary 16, 2013 

This is in response to a recent "blindly uninformed," more likely intentionally misleading, letter writer regurgitating old political issues.

The GOP "Fast and Furious" gun-running witch hunt ultimately concluded "that the flaws in this operation and in previous ones had their origins in the Arizona (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) field office and occurred in part due to weak oversight by ATF leadership." (FOX News.com) Leadership and authority were severely weakened by Republicans.

In June 2012, Katherine Eban of Fortune magazine threw a major stumbling block into the GOP's much-ballyhooed "Fast and Furious" scandal by exposing that the ATF is hobbled in its effort to stop "straw gun purchasers." No federal statute outlaws firearms trafficking within the U.S., so agents must build cases using a patchwork of often-toothless laws.

For six years, due to 2006 Republican and National Rifle Association legislation sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., the ATF has gone without permanent leadership. The NRA continues to successfully oppose a comprehensive electronic database of gun sales because the ATF's congressional appropriation explicitly prohibits establishing one (an amendment from former Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan.).

Voters wanting to solve America's gun violence must petition their senators to quickly confirm B. Todd Jones as ATF director and urge them to vote "yes" on the "Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2013," establishing gun trafficking as a federal crime. The campaign to criticize President Barack Obama for everything fuels bottom feeders, but offers no real solution to stopping school massacres.

Sherry McKnight


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