the New York Times gave full investigative treatment to defend an intrusive government agency, the poor and oppressed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which enforces U.S. gun laws. The investigation made headlines on Monday: “How guns put pressure on ATF“
The Second Amendment was not mentioned in the lengthy gun rights survey, typical of the press at a time when the mainstream media and the left hypocritically embraced law enforcement agencies. like the FBI in the fight against Donald Trump.
The report by Glenn Thrush, Danny Hakim and Mike McIntire almost ignored a huge reason for conservative hostility to the agency: the 1993 ATF / FBI joint siege of the David Koresh religious complex in Waco, TX, whose latest raid irresponsible after a 51- The one-day standoff caused a fire in which more than 50 people died, including 20 children.
First, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has been held responsible for falling floors at the ATF.
If there was a moment that summed up the current state of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, it was when the prosecution of the Firearms Tracing Center of the agency collapsed a few years ago under the weight of paper.
The accident was not entirely accidental.
The gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association, has systematically blocked for years plans to modernize the agency’s paper-based gun tracing system with a searchable database. As a result, records of gun sales dating back decades are stored in boxes stacked seven high, waiting to be processed, against each wall.
Now, the long-suffering ATF (sort of “explosives” was never part of the abbreviation) is at the center of President Biden’s plans to fend off what he called “international embarrassment” of gun violence in America.
the TimeThe front-page insistence that a government law enforcement agency have its power strengthened comes from the same newspaper that ignored calls from the left to “defeat the police” in the name of racial justice.
To say that the ATF is outdated is an understatement. Numbers have remained essentially stable for two decades, with the number of inspectors overseeing firearms dealers having actually declined by about 20% since 2001. The number of firearms sold in the same period has actually declined by around 20% since 2001. period has skyrocketed: over 23 million guns in 2020, shattering the previous record of 15.7 million in 2016.
The deadly Clinton-era fire in Waco was dealt with in one paragraph, with no sympathy for the innocent people who died in the raid on David Koresh’s religious complex in Waco, Texas, in April 1993:
The office only grew as an object of loathing among many gun owners. In 1993, its agents attacked the Davidian branch compound in Waco, Texas, in a poorly prepared operation against a religious sect that was stockpiling weapons. Four agents and six cult members died, and a long siege followed, ending in an FBI-led assault weeks later that left more than 70 dead. ATF’s image never fully recovered.
Much more sympathy has recently been shown in the Time for a similar failure from 1985, when the city of Philadelphia tried to oust the radical black movement, which had made terrorist threats against local leaders. A April 24 Time An article brimming with sympathy while whitewashing the radicalism of MOVE:
In the early evening of May 13, 1985, police flew a helicopter over a crowded West Philadelphia neighborhood and dropped a bomb on the row house where members of the anti-government community group MOVE lived …. The bombing was presented for decades as an example of the ill-treatment inflicted on blacks by the city … no responsibility for those who dropped the bomb, ”said Linn Washington, a professor of journalism at Temple University who covered the bombing as a reporter.
Wasn’t there a need for “accountability” for the ATF after Waco?