Posted on Friday, June 29th, 2012
Today, the House voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over his failure to turn over documents related to the ATF program dubbed “Fast and Furious.” In case you’ve missed the news, “Fast and Furious” is the term used for an ATF investigative tactic that involved allegedly refraining from seizing guns that ATF agents believed were headed to criminals in Mexico. According to Republicans in Congress, ATF agents refused to seize these guns, even though they knew they were likely to be used in crimes, because they wanted to follow the guns to the criminal ringleaders. However, an article released yesterday in Fortune magazine suggests that the real reason the ATF agents didn’t intercede was because ATF’s legal advisors – the prosecutors who would have had to justify seizing the weapons in court – pointed out that no gun laws were being broken.
No gun laws were being broken? Considering the recent bloodshed in Mexico, this may appear hard to believe. Between 2006 and 2010, more than 23,000 people were killed in drug cartel violence south of the border. When the guns that are used in these crimes are traced, it turns out that 90% of these guns originated from gun dealers in the United States. Almost all of the guns being used by the cartels had originally been purchased at gun shops in the U.S. (mainly in Texas, Arizona, and California), then passed from hand to hand until they reached criminals in Mexico. Surely, you say, this level of gun trafficking can’t be legal. READ MORE »