Saturday, March 05, 2011
Our Government at Work
I have always enjoyed a bit of chaos. The self inflicted chaos I have created for myself over the years is testimony to that. Rigid order is fine for British gardens and smoked filled men's clubs, but out here where us loose dogs exist, random acts and erratic behaviour keep the ruts from getting too deep.
There is more than one kind of chaos. Relatively harmless chaos like spontaneously stripping your clothes off and running across the infield at Fenway, and the ugly kind of chaos that apparently has Mexico by the short hairs right now. The drug cartels, border hopping, and the efforts of both governments to stop it. I hear and read Mexico is now a very dangerous place. Monthly death tolls are not counted in double digits, they are counted by the hundreds.
As much as I believe we should be able to move about and do what we want without lawmen interfering, I do understand that when there are no rules, or rules that are not enforced, some people will take advantage and the results are usually ugly. So, I begrudgingly acknowledge that we do need some order, a few rules, and some punitive measures just to keep the few idiots from completely overrunning the rest of us.
The ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Agency) is one arm of our government's many arms that attempt to contain chaos of the ugly type. The ATF is tasked specifically with curtailing chaos created by guns. Illegal arms sales, illegally upgraded weapons, trafficking of guns, pretty much anything to do with guns that fall outside the multitude of US laws on the books pertaining to guns. I am supposed to feel safer with the ATF on the job.
I pretty much stopped feeling safer a long time ago. My safety is up to me. The government can only give the appearance of providing safety. It is really up to us to provide our own safety on a day to day basis. Besides, controlling guns inside the US is an exercise in futility. There are just too many guns out there.
My loss of confidence in the US justice system was reinforced this morning when I read an article about an ATF agent who blew the whistle on a gun running operation the Feds were involved in. My less than enthusiastic confidence that US Law is morally superior and rooted on some ethical high ground was reinforced at the same time. Seems the Feds were allowing huge numbers of weapons to pass across the border from the US to Mexico so they could build an airtight case. In the meantime while they dragged their feet "gathering evidence", 958 people died violently in March, 2010 inside Mexico. Everything was fine and good as long as only Mexicans were dying. But once a US agent died, well, now it was a problem.
Entrapment has always rubbed me the wrong way. From John DeLorean to a situation regarding Anti War protests involving myself, I have never liked it when lawmen actively encourage illegal behaviour as a means to ending said illegal behaviour. Of course I understand the logic, but the ethics are lost to me.
This situation is a perfect example. The ATF allowed thousands of guns to cross the border to be used by losers to kill other losers. Of course the losers involved also shot more than the occasional tourist, innocent stand byer, and yes, even some of the cops trying to stop them. The problem the ATF were tasked to prevent, they made worse.
The ATF should hang their head in shame. But they won't. They will roll a few heads, shake off the bad publicity, and come up with another brilliant plan to put us or someone else in danger.