The Real Scandal of Fast and Furious – The Atlantic

Andrew Cohen – The Real Scandal of Fast and Furious – The Atlantic.

Really good article on the real problem of guns making their way into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels and one line of it speaks volumes:

House Republicans have resorted to partisan finger-pointing over 3 percent of the guns crossing the border — and ignored the other 97 percent.

Let’s face reality here.  If so many weapons were not being smuggled out of the United States so easily because of our nearly non-existent gun laws, Fast and Furious would have never existed as a program in the first place.  There would have been no reason to even think of ways to reduce the power of the drug cartels if we did not arm them so heavily through lack of regulation and proper checking of suspicious sales.

And if you watch the Colbert clip included in the article and here, you’ll see an almost laughable claim by the right.  Some pundits allege Fast and Furious is just an excuse by the left to regulate guns.  Colbert debunks that in his own hilarious way while also mentioning the little recognized fact the program actually started under a previous administration just under a different name.  But let’s add two important points to address the ridiculousness of this claim.

One is the simple fact of cause and effect I already mentioned.  If there wasn’t a problem to begin with, extremely awful policy solutions like Fast and Furious would not have been conjured, much less implemented.  But I do have to admit trying to spin this into some type of conspiracy theory is a great way to avoid the real problem.

The second point is the obvious scale of the problem.  Let’s look at what we know.  Fast and Furious allowed roughly 2,000 weapons to cross the border.  However, the Mexican authorities have seized nearly 70,000 weapons traced back to the United States around the same time period.  How many they haven’t seized and are still in circulation is probably anyone’s guess but it’s safe to assume it’s larger than the number captured.  Focusing only on Fast and Furious is the equivalent of a watching a pack of hungry lions running at you in the wild and being more concerned about a mosquito that just landed on your arm.

But then again it’s an election year and we do have our priorities.

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