An open letter to agents of ATF (but if you are a Fed-Goon and the shoe fits, put that sumbitch on),
The whole Federal Gun Control house of cards rests on one case. It is known as U.S. v. Miller. Jack Miller was charged with possession of a fifteen-dollar shotgun on which he had not paid a two hundred dollar tax. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court, under duress from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s threat to pack to Court, said basically this:
"Show us how a sawed off shotgun is a militia-grade weapon and we will say it is protected under the second amendment... anyone? anyone? (the defense was not there to argue the case) Very well then, the National Firearms Act stands."
A parsing of words to be sure, but in effect, your fine Weatherby three thousand dollar hunting rifle MIGHT NOT be protected under the second amendment. Your M-16 damned sure is! Your Tommy Gun damned sure is! That crusty old BAR your granddaddy brought back from the war damned sure is! ATF agents, have you read the Miller case? Have you read the history behind the imposition of the National Firearms Act (NFA)? A more pointed question, do you care?
The following is a distillation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and his Attorney General Homer S. Cummings, wanted to ban guns. They both knew that pesky old “Second Amendment to the Constitution” thingy was in the way. In other words, they wanted to do something blatantly unconstitutional and wanted to figure out how they could get away with it. Does that sound like something “good guys” would do? Do you think they cared? So, how to get it done? They hit upon the bright idea of taxing the hell out of firearms. Which firearms? Why, any gun they didn’t want “people” to have. (Did you know that President Roosevelt wanted very much to have ALL handguns covered under the National Firearms Act?)
The idea was simple. Use the Government’s power to tax. Levy a transfer tax so burdensome that it would inhibit commerce in firearms. Think about Mr. Miller’s two hundred dollar tax bill, and remember that gold was valued at twenty dollars an ounce. Then make the compliance requirements so burdensome, that few people would even attempt to comply. Those who didn’t comply were instantly made paper criminals! Firearm ownership would die a death of attrition over the next decades.
Lets say you were Joseph Kennedy and wanted to comply with the new law. You had the money to pay the taxes on all your machineguns and got your registration paperwork in on time. You were good to go! Joe Average out in fly-over country found out about the requirement to register his guns late in the year. Mr. Average got his paperwork together, secured his Sheriff’s signature and sent in his check… Uh oh! Too bad! The Treasury Department only issued a couple of dozen Tax Stamps that year. “All the stamps have been issued, Mr. Average, your guns are contraband!”
Wasn’t it brilliant?
They hoped no one would notice that the plan was already unconstitutional under settled case law. In the Drexel furniture case (Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co., 1922), the U.S. Supreme court said, and I will paraphrase here, a tax law that is so burdensome that it inhibits commerce, and thereby raises no revenue, is not tax law at all but a prohibition, and therefore not valid. It was settled law in 1934 when the Right Honorable Messrs. Roosevelt and Cummings devised their plan. I ask you, has the NFA ever been a net revenue generator? Has it ever raised more revenue than it costs to administer? The NFA has been illegal/unlawful since its inception. Two unlawful mechanisms are at work here: the power to tax used deliberately as the power to destroy, and, the deliberate attack on a Constitutionally secured, natural and Common Law, right of the people to keep their own arms. Is this a good thing? Is it right? Do you care?
When the U.S. Congress was writing the Gun Control Act of 1968, judiciary committee members sent word over to the Justice Department concerned that the law could possibly violate the Second Amendment. Justice sent word back to Congress that there was no right of any individual to keep and bear arms, so congress could write any law it wanted.
Congress saw fit to include pacifying language, as a pat on the head to Elmer Fudd, saying
“The Congress hereby declares that the purpose of this title is to provide support to… law enforcement officials in their fight against crime… and it is not the purpose of this title to place any undue or unnecessary Federal restrictions or burdens on law-abiding citizens with respect to the acquisition, possession, or use of firearms appropriate to the purpose of hunting, trapshooting, target shooting, personal protection, or any other lawful activity…
Congress granted itself the authority to determine what the appropriate weapons and purposes were. They even gave the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to ban the importation of and demand the registration of any weapon he didn’t think was “sporting” as defined by him. Does this sound like the action of men who deeply care about their oath to, and original intent of, the Constitution?
Then we come to 1986. Some in congress are trying to get the Firearm Owners Protection Act passed. That act would take a small baby step toward the legitimacy of the "Right of the people..." or what was left of it. Congress passed the Hughes Amendment to that bill. The Hughes Amendment banned the further registration of new machine guns under the NFA. Machine guns which were in the registry were considered transferable, but no new ones were allowed.
The dirty trick was this. The NFA says you MUST comply with the Law in order to be allowed the "privilege" of possessing a machine gun, but the 1986 Hughes Amendment says, "We're not going to allow you to comply with the law!"
Wasn't that brilliant? If you are a control freak, a Statist, a Marxist, or a neurotic anti-self-defense zealot, you would think so. If you are at war with the American people, you would think so.
Now there is an agency of the United States Government, the very function of which is a violation of the Constitution. It is commonly known as ATF.
Men (and entities with female genitalia) work for that agency voluntarily. They do it because they WANT to. They do its work diligently. They have no problem with the obvious ethical and logical contradiction of doing the agency's work after swearing an oath not to. They swear in public that they are "good guys". Then they give us "Fast and Furious". They swear they are all about making America safe, then smuggle weapons to gangsters. They say they don't have an anti-gun-ownership agenda, and then lobby Congress for more gun control laws to enforce.
Feeling the weight of guilt after facilitating the murder of a brother Federal agent, a small handful of them came forward to tell what they knew. That is a handful, out of thousands. We cannot say that thousands knew everything, but with confidence we can surmise that hundreds knew something about it. The very information they were willing to conceal as long as only mere "civilians" were being shot, maimed and killed, they now came forward and exposed. The rest within the agency circled the wagons and hurled insults and rotten tomatoes.
Do we need a herald to announce the truth to us? This agency is chock full of men willing to do unlawful and unconstitutional things, because they can get away with it. There is a quaint expression for those who know the truth, but by their silence facilitate the crime. It is called "misprision of felony". Federal prosecutors like that one for its convenience... that is as long as it is aimed at mere "civilians", not select and anointed “only ones”.
Fast and Furious was not “misguided”. It was not a “botched operation”. It was not about fighting crime. It was about facilitating an unconstitutional political agenda. Socialists have pursued the same agenda since Franklin Roosevelt. They are as predictable as a clock. They employ a federal agency, which was set up and empowered to impose and perpetuate that agenda. Agents who work for that agency know damned good and well what the agenda is and work for it willingly and deliberately.
To quote Tin Cup, this is a defining moment. You define the moment or the moment defines you.
Those who want to BE good men (as opposed to just wearing the party dress) could quit their jobs and resign themselves never again to work against the Constitution and the American people.
They could come forward and tell publicly what they know. They could tell the Congressional committees everything they know and have proof of, everything they know but cannot confirm, and everything they suspect. They could tell the truth about every official misdeed of which they have knowledge. The chips will fall by the force of gravity.
ATF agents, I'll give you a hint: No one believes you anymore. No one trusts you. No one respects you. By your silence you are defining yourselves.
Don't fucking care? Thought so.