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1 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 6:03:40pm

I have to wonder if these weren't some of the same straw purchases that the ATF was allowing as part of "Fast & Furious", the operation that has so far resulted in at least 11 murders.

2 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 6:04:13pm

re: #1 SDC

So, you think that gun ownership is what leads to murder?

3 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 6:07:50pm

Not at all; however, it does seem suspicious that everyone even remotely connected to the ATF's bungling of this dog and pony show is now scuttling for the shadows and trying to burn bridges. Melson has stepped down as director, many of the higher-ups that were in charge of this thing have now been "laterally transferred", and the only ones left holding the bag are the agents who said that this was exactly what was going to happen.

4 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 6:27:33pm

re: #3 SDC

Can you explain how the operation has resulted in murders, if you don't think that owning guns relates to murder?

You think the people who committed those murders, if they didn't have those particular guns, would have just said "Shoot, guess we can't murder anyone"?

5 jvic  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 6:52:43pm

1. Twenty years ago I would have accepted the government's account without question. Alas, today I am waiting to learn more before forming an impression. While IMHO commenter SDC lapses into hyperbole, I am not immune to the kinds of suspicions he expresses.

2. Helicopters and armored personnel vehicles to arrest a family of four without a previous record? Huh?

The investigation included the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, New Mexico State Police, the Las Cruces Police Department and the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office.

That's a lot of donuts.

3. If Reese is correct that most (over 90% ?!) gun shops have been forced to close in the last decade or so, I am not a happy camper. I don't own a gun and haven't pulled a trigger since my military training decades ago & hope never to do so again. Nevertheless, it is a strong priority with me that weapons remain available for the eventuality that I wish to purchase one.

6 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 6:54:00pm

re: #2 Obdicut

So, you think that gun ownership is what leads to murder?

When you sell guns to murderers, yes.

7 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 6:55:44pm

re: #5 jvic

Why on earth would you think Reese was correct?

8 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 6:56:15pm

re: #6 shecky

Really? So if you don't sell a particular gun to that murderer, he's just going to give up on the whole murder thing?

Awesome.

9 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:06:32pm

Yup. Providing a killer with his tools, especially via illegal means such as straw purchases, as SDC speculated, enables his behavior. Do you honestly think selling a gun to a killer is a neutral thing to do?

Fortunately, most gun customers in the US are not killers, and don't get their guns through straw purchases.

Reese believing that gun shops are going extinct is a little bit of paranoia on his part.

10 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:07:37pm

re: #3 SDC

Not at all; however, it does seem suspicious that everyone even remotely connected to the ATF's bungling of this dog and pony show is now scuttling for the shadows and trying to burn bridges. Melson has stepped down as director, many of the higher-ups that were in charge of this thing have now been "laterally transferred", and the only ones left holding the bag are the agents who said that this was exactly what was going to happen.

That has nothing to do with whether or not the operation facilitated more murders than would have happened without the operation.

11 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:11:40pm

re: #6 shecky

When you sell guns to murderers, yes.

Only if they had no access to guns previously.

12 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:12:31pm

re: #9 shecky

Yup. Providing a killer with his tools, especially via illegal means such as straw purchases, as SDC speculated, enables his behavior. Do you honestly think selling a gun to a killer is a neutral thing to do?

Nope. I think a gangster who didn't get that gun, would get another gun.

So saying that the sale of guns resulted in murders is stupid, unless you actually buy into the Brady Campaign rhetoric.

The reason that this program was started was because of the weakness of the laws against straw buyers. If we're very concerned about guns going to murderers, we'll need to strengthen those laws and the enforcement of them.

13 jvic  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:13:01pm

re: #7 Obdicut

Why on earth would you think Reese was correct?

I've seen similar claims in the intertubes, but none I considered definitive. That's why I prefaced my statement with 'if'.

However, these people are on the same wavelength as Reese--except they consider it a good thing.

14 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:17:56pm

re: #4 Obdicut

ATF's OWN figures show that the guns that they let "walk" during "Fast and Furious" have been recovered at the scenes of 11 murders, including the murder of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. You can read a whole lot more about this scheme at CNN and the Christian Science Monitor. In other words, they knowingly allowed these guns to be sold to "straw purchasers", hoping that those guns would show up at crime scenes in Mexico, so they could say "See? We need more laws to prevent these guns from being sold in the US."

15 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:18:53pm

re: #10 b_sharp

When the very guns that they let "walk" are involved in those murders, they certainly ARE.

16 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:19:56pm

re: #14 SDC

ATF's OWN figures show that the guns that they let "walk" during "Fast and Furious" have been recovered at the scenes of 11 murders, including the murder of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. You can read a whole lot more about this scheme at CNN and the Christian Science Monitor. In other words, they knowingly allowed these guns to be sold to "straw purchasers", hoping that those guns would show up at crime scenes in Mexico, so they could say "See? We need more laws to prevent these guns from being sold in the US."

So you're say these weapons armed previously unarmed thugs.

17 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:20:39pm

re: #13 jvic

It looks like what happened was small-time dealers dropping out, though. Not gun stores closing.

18 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:22:44pm

re: #14 SDC

Thanks, I'm familiar with the program.

So, your allegation is that ATF engineered the entire thing to get tougher laws-- not that they were honest in that stronger laws were necessary, and this scheme was an ill-conceived way of actually building cases and making arrests?

And again: if you are saying that the presence of the weapon at the scene means that the person who sold it is culpable in that murder, then you're using the logic of the Brady Campaign.

19 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:24:00pm

re: #4 Obdicut

Secondarily, the Mexican cartels don't seem to have any problem at all obtaining any and all weapons that they might desire from Central American and Mexican armouries, including Soviet-supplied AKs and RPGs, and even US-supplied M16s. The drug dealers are hardly picky about where they get their weapons, but for ATF to try to ADD to those numbers just so they can try to justify their own existence is insane.

20 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:25:13pm
Nope. I think a gangster who didn't get that gun, would get another gun.

IOW, selling a killer a gun is a formula for killing.

Or are you claiming the ATF doing a wise thing with the Fast and Furious scheme?

I think you're misapplying the old "guns don't kill people, people kill people" saw, by using that sentiment to justify illegal gun trade. Not even the NRA would jump on that ship.

21 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:25:47pm

re: #19 SDC

Ah, so you really are one of the conspiracy theorists. Thanks for confirming.

Did you notice you just disproved your own logic about the culpability of the murders? It was nifty.

22 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:26:16pm

re: #16 b_sharp

No, I'm saying that the very guns that the ATF knowingly and willingly allowed to be sold illegally were used in multiple murders, despite front-line agents telling their higher-ups that that was EXACTLT what was going to happen beforehand. Incompetence is bad, but lethal incompetence is worse.

23 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:26:22pm

re: #15 SDC

When the very guns that they let "walk" are involved in those murders, they certainly ARE.

Your post was about scurrying rats, not about guns. You were using the fact the rats were scurrying about as evidence the guns facilitated murders. The two points are independent of one another.

Now, my point, one that you did not address, is that the guns, although used in murders could only facilitate murders if the murderers had no guns before the screw-up.

Both points are straight forward logic.

24 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:27:13pm

re: #20 shecky

Claiming I'm justifying the illegal gun trade? What a stupid accusation to make.

I'm pointing out that the murders would not have gone uncommitted if those particular guns hadn't arrived there.

Do I think a sting like this was wise? Sure doesn't look so. But I'm not a law enforcement professional, and all stings look dumb to me.

25 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:28:13pm

re: #22 SDC

Can you provide support that the division at ATF was between field agents and higher-ups? Everything I've read said that there were deep divisions throughout the department, not divided by rank.

26 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:28:20pm
So you're say these weapons armed previously unarmed thugs.

Nope. Don't try to be coy. The ATF is complicit in the violence as a result of their scheme.

27 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:29:09pm

re: #19 SDC

Secondarily, the Mexican cartels don't seem to have any problem at all obtaining any and all weapons that they might desire from Central American and Mexican armouries, including Soviet-supplied AKs and RPGs, and even US-supplied M16s. The drug dealers are hardly picky about where they get their weapons, but for ATF to try to ADD to those numbers just so they can try to justify their own existence is insane.

They intended to track the guns to find out where they ended up so they could recover not only those guns but others and possibly arrest/wound/kill/whatever the thugs.

The tracking electronics failed.

28 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:30:46pm

re: #21 Obdicut

Ah, so you really are one of the conspiracy theorists. Thanks for confirming.

Did you notice you just disproved your own logic about the culpability of the murders? It was nifty.

I did.

29 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:30:56pm

re: #18 Obdicut

That certainly seems to be the impetus for this little bit of back-room dealing, and it is backed up by ATF's own presentation on the program; check out what the LA Times has to say on it. If the ATF hadn't have ordered the gunshops to knowingly break the law by selling to straw purchasers, they wouldn't have been involved in those murders; simple enough for you?

30 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:31:09pm
I'm pointing out that the murders would not have gone uncommitted if those particular guns hadn't arrived there.

But they were there thanks you your tax dollars.

31 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:31:26pm

re: #26 shecky

If they would have acquired guns from somewhere else and used them in the murders, then how is the ATF complicit?

32 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:33:30pm

re: #27 b_sharp

They intended to track the guns to find out where they ended up so they could recover not only those guns but others and possibly arrest/wound/kill/whatever the thugs.

The tracking electronics failed.

Intentions don't matter in the long run. The result does. In this case, the result was failure.

33 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:34:40pm

re: #31 Obdicut

If they would have acquired guns from somewhere else and used them in the murders, then how is the ATF complicit?

They wouldn't be. But the ATF did provide the guns. So the ATF is complicit.

34 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:35:01pm

re: #23 b_sharp

The rats are now scurrying because they don't want to be tarred with this obscene fuck-up, no different than in any other bureaucracy; however, in this case, this fuck-up both deliberately broke US and Mexican laws AND resulted in deaths. Can you think of any other similar scenario where you'd be willing to say "well, you have to break a few eggs sometime"?

35 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:35:32pm

re: #20 shecky

IOW, selling a killer a gun is a formula for killing.

Or are you claiming the ATF doing a wise thing with the Fast and Furious scheme?

I think you're misapplying the old "guns don't kill people, people kill people" saw, by using that sentiment to justify illegal gun trade. Not even the NRA would jump on that ship.

Where in the world did Obdi justify the illegal gun trade? Your claim is a huge logical jump, stretching to the breaking point any argument you may have had.

36 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:37:08pm

re: #22 SDC

No, I'm saying that the very guns that the ATF knowingly and willingly allowed to be sold illegally were used in multiple murders, despite front-line agents telling their higher-ups that that was EXACTLT what was going to happen beforehand. Incompetence is bad, but lethal incompetence is worse.

That's not what you've been communicating to us. I have no problem with the above statement.

37 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:37:39pm

re: #21 Obdicut

And it's hardly a "conspiracy theory" when everyone involved admits to the facts; the only question now is anyone actually going to be held responsible?

38 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:38:42pm

re: #29 SDC

You seem a little confused about what a straw buy is. A straw buy is a legal purchase by someone who then intends to resell or trade the guns to another party who would have been prohibited from buying the guns. The actual purchase of the gun isn't illegal-- it's the fraud they commit when they say they're buying it for themselves. It's a rather important point. Any sale of a gun can be a straw buy.

I've read the LA article. The ATF's presentation was that they set this up not to lobby for stronger gun laws, but because they felt the current laws that they had necessitated a deeper operation. You're basically accusing the ATF of encouraging murder in order to get laws passed. I hope you realize that's conspiracy theorist territory.

39 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:39:11pm

re: #33 shecky

So you just don't know what 'complicit' means?

40 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:40:07pm

re: #34 SDC

You know that police officers often do undercover investigations where they participate in the drug trade, right?

41 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:41:28pm

re: #25 Obdicut

Can you provide support that the division at ATF was between field agents and higher-ups? Everything I've read said that there were deep divisions throughout the department, not divided by rank.

Vince Cefalu, the ATF agent that originally broke this story says thats what wa sgoing on, and every higher-up that has spoken to this matter has done nothing but engage in typical CYA bureaucratese.

42 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:43:51pm

re: #35 b_sharp

Where in the world did Obdi justify the illegal gun trade? Your claim is a huge logical jump, stretching to the breaking point any argument you may have had.

He said: "So if you don't sell a particular gun to that murderer, he's just going to give up on the whole murder thing?"

Of course, that's a straw man. SDC said nothing of the sort. He then went on to say, they'll just get them elsewhere, to minimize the result of the sales. Sorry. You can't justify a fuck up like that by saying it's not your fault; they'll just get guns elsewhere.

43 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:45:50pm

re: #40 Obdicut

You know that police officers often do undercover investigations where they participate in the drug trade, right?

And when they end in a net increase in drug related mayhem, the scheme is a failure.

44 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:46:24pm

re: #38 Obdicut

Don't bother trying to split hairs; ATF KNEW that these guns were going to be transferred to people other than those shown as the buyers on the 4473s, as that was the ENTIRE POINT. And since the field agents knew that they had no way of knowing where those guns were going to end up, and the higher-ups STILL allowed it, that is exactly what I'm saying; they would have had no problem at all with plenty of Mexicans getting killed, but as soon as this broke into the news and it became obvious that Americans have also been killed, now they are desperate to disassociate themselves from it.

45 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:47:31pm

re: #40 Obdicut

You know that police officers often do undercover investigations where they participate in the drug trade, right?

And how many of those operations have had undercover agents become accomplices to murder?

46 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:47:57pm

re: #26 shecky

Nope. Don't try to be coy. The ATF is complicit in the violence as a result of their scheme.

The ATF is guilty of totally screwing up an operation that may have given the drug cartels extra weapons.

If a specific cell of a cartel has 50 men and 10 weapons, and the ATF screw-up gives them 40 more weapons, then the ATF is complicit in any murders. If that cell has 50 men and 100 weapons, the ATF weapons will not add any violence. The cell already has the capacity for violence.

What was taken from previous comments is that you and SDC believe the violence would not have occurred had the weapons not crossed the border. What Obdi and I have been saying is adding guns to the cartels gun cache would not significantly change their opportunity or desire for violence.

As far as I can tell, neither of us accepts what happened as a good thing, or an acceptable thing.

47 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:48:46pm

re: #30 shecky

But they were there thanks you your tax dollars.

You keep moving the goal posts.

48 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:49:08pm

re: #41 SDC

Oy.

First, I haven't read any quote from him that said anything about it being the field against vs. the higher ups.

Second, if you're basing that entirely on one person saying it, then why do you believe it?

49 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:49:12pm
You're basically accusing the ATF of encouraging murder in order to get laws passed.

Nope. I'm accusing the ATF of incompetence, resulting in murder. Your attacking a position I never took. Yet again.

50 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:50:38pm

re: #32 shecky

Intentions don't matter in the long run. The result does. In this case, the result was failure.

Really? The justice system sure takes into account intent.

Failure is an excellent reason to fire people.

51 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:51:19pm

re: #47 b_sharp

You keep moving the goal posts.

Nope. The ATF, funded by your taxes, provided guns to killers in a fit of incompetence. That goalpost has stayed the same.

52 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:52:06pm

re: #43 shecky

And when they end in a net increase in drug related mayhem, the scheme is a failure.

Sure. If they result in a net increase, definitely.

But, in the meantime, an agent may help to move a brick of heroin.

That heroin's sale may go to purchase a nice Mac-10. Which may then be used to shoot someone.

Is the undercover officer complicit in that murder? What if someone ODs on the heroin?

You realize we don't treat someone who sells a gun to a felon as an accessory to their crimes, right? And in this case, it was selling a gun to a legal buyer who then sold the gun illegally.

53 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:52:40pm

re: #50 b_sharp

Really? The justice system sure takes into account intent.

Failure is an excellent reason to fire people.

Intentions mean dick to those who were killed.

But I agree with your second sentence.

54 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:53:03pm

re: #49 shecky

So do you think that the murders wouldn't have occurred if this operation hadn't been run?

55 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:55:13pm

re: #52 Obdicut

Sure. If they result in a net increase, definitely.

And this is the bottom line. The ATF let killers get guns in a failed scheme that ended in violence.

56 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:55:43pm

re: #51 shecky

Nope. The ATF, funded by your taxes, provided guns to killers in a fit of incompetence. That goalpost has stayed the same.

Read #54. That was the original argument.

57 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:57:28pm

re: #54 Obdicut

So do you think that the murders wouldn't have occurred if this operation hadn't been run?

Irrelevant. Speculation is pointless since the murders did occur with ATF guns.

58 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 7:59:38pm

re: #56 b_sharp

Read #54. That was the original argument.

Ah, I see what you're getting at. That was a straw man, as I pointed out earlier. The argument isn't about whether the killers might have gotten guns elsewhere. It's about the fact that they did get guns via the ATF.

59 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:00:03pm

re: #57 shecky

Irrelevant. Speculation is pointless since the murders did occur with ATF guns.

It's not the least bit irrelevant. If the murders would have occurred regardless, then the plan didn't end in murders. Your claim is fatuous.

60 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:02:19pm

re: #58 shecky

Shecky, can you actually answer anything in my #52, or do you just want to repeat your slogans over and over?

61 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:02:34pm

re: #59 Obdicut

It's not the least bit irrelevant. If the murders would have occurred regardless, then the plan didn't end in murders. Your claim is fatuous.

Makes no sense. The plan did end in murders.

62 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:02:50pm

re: #59 Obdicut

It's not the least bit irrelevant. If the murders would have occurred regardless, then the plan didn't end in murders. Your claim is fatuous.

IOW, "who cares if we armed drug dealers who went on to kill other people with the guns we supplied, as long as we can pad our stats".

63 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:05:32pm

re: #61 shecky

Shecky, can you actually answer anything in my #52, or do you just want to repeat your slogans over and over?

64 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:06:07pm

re: #62 SDC

What 'stats' would those be?

65 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:06:20pm

Obdicut, you're also ignoring the fact that it is a felony for an FFL to knowingly make a straw sale (selling a gun to one person shown on the 4473, when he has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that that person is not going to be the actual person receiving the firearm). People are IN PRISON for doing exactly that, and that is what ATF condoned in this case.

66 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:07:23pm

re: #61 shecky

Makes no sense. The plan did end in murders.

This implies that there would have been no murders had those specific guns not been available. That conclusion is implicit in your statement.

Did the availability of those guns increase the number of deaths or the probability of deaths? Would those deaths have occurred without the ATF guns?

67 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:07:31pm

re: #64 Obdicut

Their stats on the numbers of US guns recovered in Mexico; that was the purpose of "Fast & Furious", remember?

68 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:08:00pm

re: #65 SDC

I'm not ignoring that in the least, and I have no idea why you think I am. I said this was a sting operation, I've compared it to officers working in the drug trade. Can you explain how I'm ignoring anything?

69 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:08:31pm

re: #67 SDC

Their stats on the numbers of US guns recovered in Mexico; that was the purpose of "Fast & Furious", remember?

Oh, sorry. I forgot you were a conspiracy theorist.

70 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:08:49pm

re: #68 Obdicut

I'm not ignoring that in the least, and I have no idea why you think I am. I said this was a sting operation, I've compared it to officers working in the drug trade. Can you explain how I'm ignoring anything?

Obdi, I'm getting a headache.

71 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:09:33pm

I guess the ATF must be conspiracy theorists too, since they say that that was their goal, right?

72 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:09:49pm
Shecky, can you actually answer anything in my #52, or do you just want to repeat your slogans over and over?

Repeating the fact that the ATF's scheme resulted in violence is not a slogan. It's what happened.

This implies that there would have been no murders had those specific guns not been available. That conclusion is implicit in your statement.

Nope. It's possible that the killings might have happened anyway. But we can't know for sure. What we can know is that the ATF's actions did result in violence.

73 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:09:56pm

re: #71 SDC

I guess the ATF must be conspiracy theorists too, since they say that that was their goal, right?

Please find a quote from the ATF saying that.

74 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:10:16pm

re: #72 shecky

Shecky, can you actually answer anything in my #52, or do you just want to repeat your slogans over and over?

75 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:12:04pm

re: #68 Obdicut

Because those sales wouldn't have been ALLOWED under existing laws, had not ATF told the FFLs involved to IGNORE THE EXISTING LAWS; how is that any different from telling a pharmacist to sell Oxycontin without a prescription?

76 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:12:35pm

re: #74 Obdicut

Shecky, can you actually answer anything in my #52, or do you just want to repeat your slogans over and over?

Who's sloganeering now?

77 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:12:36pm

re: #70 b_sharp

A conspiracy theorist and someone who thinks that whether or not a murder would have occurred is an irrelevant notion. Strange days.

I'm sure those nice gangsters wouldn't have murdered anyone if the bad, bad ATF hadn't let those guns through the border. Obviously, the guns provided by the ATF were a big percentage of the total guns available in Mexico.

I'm going to go watch Life on Mars now. At least that makes some sense.

78 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:13:02pm

re: #75 SDC

Because those sales wouldn't have been ALLOWED under existing laws, had not ATF told the FFLs involved to IGNORE THE EXISTING LAWS; how is that any different from telling a pharmacist to sell Oxycontin without a prescription?

Or, you might say, helping a drug dealer sell a brick of heroin.

79 b_sharp  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:15:00pm

Law enforcement organizations have the freedom to circumvent laws in order to catch the bad guys.

80 shecky  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:15:44pm

re: #79 b_sharp

Law enforcement organizations have the freedom to circumvent laws in order to catch the bad guys.

Wait. What?

81 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:23:31pm

re: #78 Obdicut

Or, you might say, helping a drug dealer sell a brick of heroin.

If that heroin had some sort of legal use and legal market on the streets, maybe; since it doesn't, you're going to have to find another red herring.

82 SDC  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 8:24:48pm

re: #80 shecky

Wait. What?

Sure, don't you remember "We had to destroy the village in order to save it"? Same thinking going on here.

83 Obdicut  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 9:03:35pm

re: #81 SDC

If that heroin had some sort of legal use and legal market on the streets, maybe; since it doesn't, you're going to have to find another red herring.

Wow. You really missed the obvious implication there.

Police officers help to move heroin when involved in undercover sting operations.

Can you answer anything in my #52, or are you busy with conspiracy theories?

84 Daniel Ballard  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 9:04:57pm

Damn. This Page got driven right off the rails.

85 Dark_Falcon  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 9:19:48pm

re: #5 jvic

1. Twenty years ago I would have accepted the government's account without question. Alas, today I am waiting to learn more before forming an impression. While IMHO commenter SDC lapses into hyperbole, I am not immune to the kinds of suspicions he expresses.

2. Helicopters and armored personnel vehicles to arrest a family of four without a previous record? Huh?

That's a lot of donuts.

3. If Reese is correct that most (over 90% ?!) gun shops have been forced to close in the last decade or so, I am not a happy camper. I don't own a gun and haven't pulled a trigger since my military training decades ago & hope never to do so again. Nevertheless, it is a strong priority with me that weapons remain available for the eventuality that I wish to purchase one.

That bolded stat is not correct.

86 Dark_Falcon  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 9:29:26pm

re: #82 SDC

Sure, don't you remember "We had to destroy the village in order to save it"? Same thinking going on here.

I don't see that here. The ATF felt that by allowing the illegal purchases, they'd be able to trace out the gun-running networks used by the cartels. That was something other than a "Ben Tre Solution" (Ben Tre being the name of the Vietnamese town where that quote you used came from). It was well-intended, but never badly thought out. The operation could only find where the guns started and where they ended up, it proved unable to document the guns in between those times. To succeed, it would have needed to document the entire journey on the weapons. The ATF hadn't really thought through what would happen prior to the guns being recovered, and people got killed because of that. But it was a well-intentioned operation, and not some cynical ploy.

87 Gretchen G.Tiger  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 10:27:30pm

So, The ATF's raid on this gun-shop was justified?

Have we determined that?

88 jvic  Wed, Aug 31, 2011 11:21:52pm

1. re: #85 Dark_Falcon

That bolded stat is not correct.

Obdicut also questioned it. To the link I provided, he responded that, rather than stores closing, small "kitchen table" dealers have dropped out of the business. I confess the distinction had escaped me while I grabbed the first halfway plausible google link I saw. Point taken from you and Obdicut.

However, I presume you are not stressing that the reduction in FFLs may be closer to 80% than 90%. It's surprising that I have not found statistics about gun store closures at all. If you or Obdicut or anyone else could point me to them, I'd appreciate it. Until that time, with respect, I concede that That bolded stat is not correct unsupported by your (jvic's) hyperlink.

2. Btw, from where I sit in rural New England, I'm not first-blush sympathetic to the closure of those kitchen table dealers.

3. re: #87 ggt

So, The ATF's raid on this gun-shop was justified?

Have we determined that?

Maybe Reese will claim he is being made a scapegoat. Maybe he will claim he was raided because he wouldn't cooperate with Fast and Furious.

Twenty years ago--before the 1970s, anyway--, I would have dismissed such claims as ridiculous. Today, I wonder.

89 Obdicut  Thu, Sep 1, 2011 2:32:42am

re: #88 jvic

I'm not sure anyone has collected the data. I don't even know if a gun store has to have a FFL license for each employee, or just one guy who does sales, or what.

Another stat I ran into while perusing stuff was that, back in 1992 when they changed the law about FFLs, 48% of the FFL 1 holders hadn't sold a gun at all during the last year.

90 SDC  Thu, Sep 1, 2011 3:39:17am

re: #83 Obdicut

Wow. You really missed the obvious implication there.

Police officers help to move heroin when involved in undercover sting operations.

Can you answer anything in my #52, or are you busy with conspiracy theories?

For your analogy to make sense, those undercover officers would have had to help plant, grow, process, smuggle, and distribute that heroin; since ATF already knew beforehand that every gun involved in this program was going to be going to someone other than that shown on the 4473, they broke not only US law, but Mexican law, and people have DIED because of that. Your "argument" (if it can be called that) is that is was OK for ATF to say "In order for us to show what a bad thing straw sales are, we're going to allow a bunch of those very same straw sales to occur, just so we can show how badly we need more laws to prevent those same straw sales that are already illegal." Why didn't I see it before? It makes perfect sense!!! (/sarc)

91 Dark_Falcon  Thu, Sep 1, 2011 7:23:44am

re: #90 SDC

For your analogy to make sense, those undercover officers would have had to help plant, grow, process, smuggle, and distribute that heroin; since ATF already knew beforehand that every gun involved in this program was going to be going to someone other than that shown on the 4473, they broke not only US law, but Mexican law, and people have DIED because of that. Your "argument" (if it can be called that) is that is was OK for ATF to say "In order for us to show what a bad thing straw sales are, we're going to allow a bunch of those very same straw sales to occur, just so we can show how badly we need more laws to prevent those same straw sales that are already illegal." Why didn't I see it before? It makes perfect sense!!! (/sarc)

You're being deliberately obtuse. No one is saying that what the ATF was doing was either a good idea or justified in order to show a need for more gun laws. Operation Fast & Furious must be regarded as a failure, given that it has not proved capable of damaging the cartels' gun-running network sufficiently to justify the deaths the guns allowed to 'walk' were involved in (as we've found out, the plan was flawed from the outset and could not have lived up to its expectations). And to treat the operation as some sort of "cook up" in order to justify more guns laws is to accuse the ATF and the Department of Justice of extreme bad faith and probable illegal conduct. There's a reason why Congressman Issa himself hasn't floated this allegation: Unless evidence directly supporting that contention is discovered (and it won't be), all it is is a conspiracy theory.

To sum it up again, the ATF launched Operation Fast & Furious with the laudable goal of disabling gun-running networks that contribute to the carnage in Mexico. However, the operation was poorly thought through and its managers kept trying to make it work even after it should have been clear it them that it couldn't work. IMO, that means that those who planned the operation and kept it going even after the negative field reports should be fired, but those same people are not criminals nor villains. They were simply fools who did not think, and others paid the bloody price.

92 SDC  Thu, Sep 1, 2011 6:25:04pm

re: #91 Dark_Falcon

You're being deliberately obtuse. No one is saying that what the ATF was doing was either a good idea or justified in order to
show a need for more gun laws.

All you need to do is look at Obdicut's statements above that support this BS, and you'll find him saying MULTIPLE times that this was both "justified" and a "good idea".

re: #91 Dark_Falcon

IMO, that means that those who planned the operation and kept it going even after the negative field reports should be fired, but those same people are not criminals nor villains. They were simply fools who did not think, and others paid the bloody price.

Which would be fine and dandy, but those responsible for this fuck-up aren't going to be fired or even CENSURED; they've already been laterally transferred, and it looks like the only one going to be fired because of this is the agent who blew the whistle on the scheme in the first place. That's not merely incompetence, that's flouting the law, and it's beyond me why people are lining up to defend it merely because it happened under an Obama administration; if this bullshit had happened under Bush, I can guarantee that the reaction here and in the press would be vastly different.

93 Obdicut  Thu, Sep 1, 2011 8:05:22pm

re: #90 SDC

For your analogy to make sense, those undercover officers would have had to help plant, grow, process, smuggle, and distribute that heroin

Um, no. ATF didn't make the guns. They didn't even sell them. They allowed the sale. That's all. Just like an undercover cop might allow the sale of heroin, or even less, since undercover cops actually literally sell drugs.

since ATF already knew beforehand that every gun involved in this program was going to be going to someone other than that shown on the 4473, they broke not only US law, but Mexican law, and people have DIED because of that

It is a deeply bad thing that the Mexican authorities weren't involved, but I think it reflects the reality that the Mexican government and police are quite corrupt. And no, people did not die because of this, unless you believe that the murders would not have occurred had these guns not been present. If you do think so, make your case for why that would be so, but it's rather obvious that the presence or absence of a particular gun is not the deciding factor for a murderer. If this gun wasn't available, he'd use a different one. Your repeated claim is false.

Your "argument" (if it can be called that) is that is was OK for ATF to say "In order for us to show what a bad thing straw sales are, we're going to allow a bunch of those very same straw sales to occur, just so we can show how badly we need more laws to prevent those same straw sales that are already illegal."

No, you're now just lying. I've repeatedly said that I do not believe that is what the ATF was doing-- they weren't trying to prove anything about gun laws, but trying to, within the paramters of the weak gun laws, trace where the straw buys were going and build up cases against the straw buyers. You are-- whether through incompetence or dishonesty-- micharacterizing what I said. It's even more confusing since I've repeatedly challenged you to show your claim about the ATF saying that advocating for stronger gun laws was the purpose of this program, and you've failed to do so. So you must know that you're mischaracterizing my position.

94 Dancing along the light of day  Thu, Sep 1, 2011 8:09:51pm

re: #69 Obdicut

Oh, sorry. I forgot you were a conspiracy theorist.

QFT. Funny, too!


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