Wayne LaPierre Likens Obama and Holder To The Mob

August 17, 2011 3:33 pm ET — Chris Brown

Wayne LaPierre

Yesterday, National Rifle Association (NRA) Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre added another chapter to his history of personal attacks by likening President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to mobsters. Previously, LaPierre has called federal law enforcement officers "jack booted thugs," suggested that Bill Clinton accepted shooting deaths to advance a gun control agenda, and said government policies were killing Americans in the wake of the Tucson shootings.

On Townhall.com yesterday morning, LaPierre wrote:

You've seen this in the movies. A group of gangsters surrounds an innocent bystander. One of the thugs pulls out a bat and smashes the poor guy's windshield. "It'd be a shame if this sorta thing continued to happen," says the thug. Unable to afford any future damage to his property, the bystander-turned-victim is now forced to surrender his money to the mob so they can "protect" his belongings.

President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder are now using this same mob-style tactic on American gun owners.

Officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), an agency under the direct purview of Holder's Justice Department, forced American gun shops to illegally sell guns to people they knew would cross the border and put those guns in the hands of violent Mexican drug lords.[...]

BATFE is now requiring American firearms dealers that are located in states that border Mexico to register the sales of anyone purchasing multiple rifles. You know...to solve the gun-running problem that BATFE itself illegally created.

In the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) Fast and Furious program, ATF agents lost track of many guns, some of which ended up in the hands of the Mexican cartels. The tactics used in that program are under investigation by the Department of Justice Inspector General and the House Oversight Committee and are widely viewed as reckless. 

The facts on Fast and Furious are highly troubling, but they do nothing to support LaPierre's suggestion that the goal of the program was to arm the cartels to make a gun control push. According to a report issued by House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA), the goal of the Fast and Furious program "was to wait and watch, in the hope that law enforcement could identify other members of a trafficking network and build a large, complex conspiracy case."

LaPierre further suggests that no U.S. guns have gone to Mexico except the guns connected to Fast and Furious, writing that "those guns that did find their way from America to Mexico were being illegally pushed across the border by our own federal government." As discussed by Media Matters, there's unequivocal evidence that many U.S. guns are going to Mexico and that Fast and Furious accounts for only a fraction of them. According to the Washington Post, 227 Fast and Furious guns have been recovered in Mexico (1400 additional guns are unaccounted for). But the ATF has seized more than 10,000 firearms and more than 1.1. million rounds of ammunition headed towards the southwest border since 2006. In Mexico, 20,504, or 70 percent, of the total firearms seized and submitted for tracing in the last two years were from the United States.

The reporting rule that LaPierre complains about is hardly an infringement on the rights of gun owners. It requires gun dealers to report to the ATF if someone buys two or more rifles, including AK-47s, which are cartel favorites. It doesn't require gun owners to do anything or stop them from buying as many guns as they want.

ATF agent Peter Forcelli, whom the NRA has previously cited as an expert on tactics, told Political Correction last week that the "vast majority of ATF agents support the reporting requirement, because they know how it works." Unlike LaPierre and the NRA, Forcelli, a former Bronx cop, is aware of the difference between law enforcement gathering information and a mob shakedown.

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