Fast, Furious and Futuristic

Nov 7, 2014
OK, this week has been what an old navy veteran friend once described as "a helluva time at sea, sir". Tuesday's elections provided ups (for most of the country) and downs (Washington state in particular as the collective cash of billionaires trumped the votes of regular people). As if that weren't enough, a "precipitous drop" in gun sales has led some companies to sell product at reduced prices that many angry retailers say are "dumping prices" that have damaged a very essential bit of business collateral- trust- between the two. Now, Dave Workman, gun rights guru for (a/k/a the hardest-working man in the outdoor news industry) reports that the Department of Justice's "document dump" only hours in advance of a court-ordered deadline -and during the heat of the election coverage- reveals plenty about the key question: "who knew what about Operation Fast and Furious and when ? House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has gone on the record as saying those documents suggest that Attorney General Eric Holder was copied on many of the e-mails about the operation. If that's the case, it's going to be pretty hard for Holder to dodge that proverbial bullet much longer, even with his having announced his resignation right after the federal order to surrender 64,000 documents both he and President Obama had claimed were exempt under executive privilege. According to Workman the documents cited by Fox News in the Issa interview included one scathing email written by Holder. It said "Issa and his idiot cronies never gave a damn about this when all that was happening was that thousands of Mexicans were being killed with guns from our country. All they want to do -- in reality-- is cripple ATF and suck up to the gun lobby. Politics at its worst- maybe the media will get it." Interesting position. Especially when you consider that the Fast and Furious fiasco was used as a springboard for tighter regulations being imposed on licensed firearms dealers in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. And the pro-gun community characterized that action as the anti-gun groups capitalizing on an opportunity. There's one point -unfortunately- where AG Holder and I find ourselves in total agreement: the media decidedly didn't "get it". If they had, Mr. Holder might find himself on the opposite end of the American justice system like another former AG -John Mitchell. Instead, the media treated the entire disaster as a non-event until embarrassed into at least acknowledging that Fast and Furious, along with Wide Receiver and other massive screw-ups, actually happened. Instead, it was left up to a few reporters like National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea, "citizen journalist" Mike Vanderboegh, former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Atkisson and Fox News' William La Jeunesse - and Dave Workman to keep the story in front of the American people. Had it not been for their work, the extent of the BATFE's transgressions against both U.S. laws and Mexican citizens might never have come to light. To date, no one has been dismissed, disciplined or prosecuted for the idiocy that allowed thousands of guns to be smuggled into Mexico by the drug cartels -and then lost. Today, even the sitting AG admits there's no way of knowing how many innocents have been killed with them. With the fog of the elections finally clearing, it may be that some fact-finding can resume in Washington. If that's the case, there's a good chance major changes might be in store for the Justice Department. Their scales are in serious need of re-balancing. --Jim Shepherd
Editor's Note: Next week, we'll start looking at new innovations in the gun business. From high-tech stores and computer driven ranges to portable targeting systems, there are plenty of new ideas emerging. We'll begin our series of reports in Davey, Florida where a doctor who enjoyed shooting but was concerned about the health effects of lead dust on indoor shooting ranges has built what may be one of the most engaging new facilities in the country. A facility he hopes will be duplicated around the country.