President Joe Biden may have been nicknamed the Godfather of Gaffe by Liberty Nation’s own Jeff Charles, but whoever runs the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Twitter account must have been inspired by the commander-in-chief on this year’s romantic holiday. “Valentine’s Day can still be fun even if you broke up,” the agency posted. “Do you have information about a former (or current) partner involved in illegal gun activity? Let us know, and we will make sure it’s a Valentine’s Day to remember!”
The tweet was both underhanded and cringeworthy, but the replies were pure gold. The nation’s anti-gun police asked, and America delivered, reporting some of the worst offenders still roaming free: Hunter Biden, President Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and – of course – the ATF itself.
A Valentine’s Day to Remember
The replies – and arguments sparked by them – span the spectrum, from bringing up the 1993 Waco massacre to “reporting” Barack Obama and his attorney general Eric Holder for their role in the Fast and Furious debacle which sold guns to Mexican cartels in order to track them, and then promptly lost them. Every notable firearm scandal was raised as something the ATF should investigate.
A good number of folks “turned in” Hunter Biden for lying on the ATF form 4473 in order to obtain a firearm. Others expressed a range of emotions from simple disappointment to utter disgust – and many of the tweets aren’t fit to be published. Some, however, pointed out that the agency’s tweet is more than just distasteful. “Bad idea, guys. I went through an acrimonious divorce many years ago. Had my now ex-wife thought about setting me up for an armed SWAT-like ATF raid with a bogus gun sale tip, I’m fairly sure she would’ve done it,” cautioned one user.
It May Be Cringeworthy – But It Ain’t Funny
About 7% of U.S. adults polled by YouGov in 2020 said they have broken up with someone on Valentine’s Day, with another 6% each saying they have done so either shortly before or after the romantic holiday. Falsifying a police report is a crime in and of itself – sometimes misdemeanor, sometimes felony – but it still happens, just like any other illegal activity. People get mad and make a call in a fit of rage. Generally speaking, though, local police agencies don’t go about running holiday specials inviting scorned lovers to seek revenge for a broken heart.
Since few states in the Union have banned no-knock warrants, the following scenario is actually possible in most of the country:
Scorned ex sees the tweet and calls the ATF to report a former lover for illegally buying or selling guns – whether the crime occurred or not. The ATF and local law enforcement investigate, finding all sorts of gun-loving content on the now-suspect’s social media accounts – perhaps even a “Let’s go, Brandon!” tweet or two. This person is determined to own multiple firearms, which may or may not include homemade weapons or those bought legally from another individual. Since the ATF has no way of verifying there are no illegal guns without taking a look – and since telling a “dangerous criminal” of the plan to raid his or her weapons vault is risky at best – a no-knock warrant is approved. Law enforcement bursts into someone’s house without announcing who they are, giving the resident no reason to assume they’re anyone other than dangerous criminals, and the person who may well be a law-abiding gun owner tries to defend self and home.
Regardless of who gets shot, there’s no positive outcome here. To make matters worse, even without the ATF, that no-knock raid could be to execute an “extreme risk protection order” in any of the 17 states that both allow police to enter without first announcing themselves and have “red flag” laws in place.
But surely the government would never act in such an irresponsible way, a rational person may think.
Operation Fast and Furious, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, all the times the U.S. dabbled in regime change, only for the side we supported to later fight us – sometimes with our own weapons. These are just a few examples of the ineptitude and/or malfeasance of our own government. Between 2002 and 2018, “the United States sold more than $197 billion worth of major conventional weapons and related military support to 167 countries,” according to the CATO Institute. That’s 85% of all the countries in the world – even if you count the Holy See and the State of Palestine as actual nations. How many of those dealings may come back to bite us?
But one example stands out amongst all others – especially in relevance to the government acting on false reports. As Liberty Nation Legal Affairs Editor Scott D. Cosenza, Esq. wrote on the 25th anniversary of the Waco massacre:
“On February 28, 1993, almost 80 agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms conducted a dynamic entry, assault-style raid on the Davidians property at Waco. This was the location of their church, and where many of them lived as well. After a UPS driver saw some inert grenades from an open package, he complained to the county sheriff, who informed the ATF.”
As Cosenza explained, “inert grenades are perfectly legal and used for paperweights and such. They are as explosive as any piece of metal, which is to say, not at all, but they may look scary to the uninformed.” A UPS driver is understandable – but what of the sheriff or the ATF? Shouldn’t the federal police specialized in firearms and explosives have inspected the grenades to see if they were real? If nothing else, one could have been tested at a safe location – that is, if nobody thought to flip one over and look for the hole drilled in the bottom.
Instead, 76 civilians were killed, including 27 children – because of an investigation opened by the ATF after non-explosive novelty items were reported to be explosives, and either no one thought to check them – or no one cared.
Never underestimate the incompetence of the government, or the willingness of statist activists in power to abuse the rights of the people when they’re sure they can get away with it.
~ Read more from James Fite.