Column: Another Fast and Furious conspiracy
A few months back, the Miner gave a whole lot of space to an Associated Press story about Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms gunrunning sting operation. The AP detailed how the ATF allowed up to 2,000 weapons to be bought by intermediaries for drug cartels, with the idea federal agents would track those guns all the way to the top and do serious damage to the hierarchy of the cartels.
The plan worked perfectly as far as allowing the guns to be sold - many of them in Arizona - and then moved across the border into Mexico. Tracking the weapons from that point never seemed to be much of a priority, which led many to question the real purpose of the exercise.
ATF didn't really care about tracking down cartel kingpins, one theory goes, but it was interested in proving guns sold in the U.S. were responsible for much bloodshed in Mexico, setting the public sentiment stage for stricter laws on purchasing weapons.
Basically, it was a back door assault on the 2nd Amendment choreographed by liberal Democrats now in power in Washington, the kind of Democrats who believe only government employees should have guns.
It all got really messy when whistle-blowers with stories to tell and a dead Border Patrol agent - killed with a weapon sold through Fast and Furious - became public knowledge. Regardless of the real reason why Fast and Furious was carried out, one result is the death of at least one U.S. citizen and perhaps a couple hundred Mexicans.
In other words, heads should roll, people should be fired, people should be prosecuted. And it might reach all the way up to Attorney General Eric Holder, and maybe to the White House.
This is so big the Associated Press ran a four-paragraph story about Holder being subpoenaed by Congressman Darrell Issa last week.
If the whole idea was to rile up the public against guns sold in the U.S. and shipped to Mexico so bad people could do bad things, and with Fast and Furious a bloody fiasco, it's clear ATF had to come up with Plan B if efforts to gut the 2nd Amendment were to be successful.
And ATF did. It was on Page 5 of the Tuesday Miner, under the headline "Smugglers getting ammo in border states, ATF says."
The AP story details how the ATF believes ammunition that can be bought for $15 in Arizona might possibly be sold for $45 in Mexico, and that almost 100,000 rounds of ammo was seized at the border in the most recent fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.
Am I overreacting? Am I paranoid? Am I desperately reaching for a column idea?
All three are possible, though it is a fact that some gun control advocates losing the battle against the 2nd Amendment over gun possession have now turned their attention to outlawing bullets. Or, barring that, making it really hard and really expensive to buy them.
Anyway, if you start hearing about how big of a problem ammo sneaked into Mexico is (and not the 2,000 guns ATF helped smuggle into Mexico), remember I'm the guy who put two and two together and came up with a government conspiracy, or at least something the government could use to deflect attention from Fast and Furious.
And if you don't hear anything else, I still managed to write a 2nd Amendment column out of it. With this gang in charge in Washington, it doesn't hurt to pay attention when gun (and ammo) rights are involved.
The Miner will be tackling a local history project in the near future, focusing on the wartime development of the airport and its life as a military outpost, along with the work that brought Interstate 40 through Kingman and how it has impacted the community.
If you've got some personal history with either, we'd like to hear from you. If you served at the base or worked there, we'd like to talk. If you have some inside information about why I-40 intersected Kingman, or were part of the city's northern expansion because of it, drop us a line.
Outline your story in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call at 753-6397, ext. 222.