Recent news stories publicize a number of problems emanating from local law enforcement, some of which are indicative of a decreased understanding of constitutional rights while others which reveal perhaps law enforcement officers’ heightened sense of authority. Some incidents reveal both, like a recent disturbing exchange between a police officer in Canton, Ohio and a legal gun owner.
The Blaze reports:
A police officer’s dash cam in Canton, OH caught a disturbing exchange last month between a cop and a driver during a traffic stop. In it, the cop can be heard (and seen) berating a man for not telling the officer immediately that he had a concealed carry permit and thus a concealed weapon, even saying at one point he should have killed the gun owner. But there’s just one problem:
Just when you think government can’t get any more bizarre, along comes a story that makes you wonder if Larry, Moe, and Curly can be far behind. The following above-the-fold headline appeared in Thursday’s Washington Times print version: “D.C.’s fix: Set up a gun shop with cops.” Somebody must have caught the Freudian slip, as the paper’s online version dispensed with the opening pun, “D.C.’s fix,” and left it at “D.C. police sets up gun dealer in its headquarters.”
Whether one is for or against so-called gun control, the situation in high-crime District of Columbia is emblematic of the duplicity that surrounds modern-day law enforcement and our constitutional rights.
Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department has come up with a brainstorm to ensure that the Nation’s Capitol does not wind up violating the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2008 decision (District of Columbia v. Heller) invalidating D.C.’s gun ban, illegally imposed in 1976 — open the District's only gun shop in a police station.
The United Nations is preparing to finalize its Arms Trade Treaty in 2012, better known in the United States as the Small Arms Treaty, after a series of talks in the Third Preparatory Committee took place last week. The final talks on the treaty have been scheduled for four weeks next summer, and new rules indicate that a majority vote is not necessary in order for the treaty to be passed. The Heritage Foundation contends that though the stated purpose of the treaty is to “address the absence of commonly agreed international standards for the transfer of conventional arms, which, it is argued, contribute to war, crime, and terrorism,” the treaty poses a threat to American liberties and interests.
Throughout the talks on the treaty, members of the UN Security Council — which includes China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States — voiced concerns over the establishment of a supranational authority. Security Council members and the European Union have now managed to eliminate the presence of that supranational authority originally designated by the treaty, replacing it with a more general statement of obligations related to arms trade which are to be fulfilled nationally, not globally.
The United Nations is planning on its Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) being finalized in 2012.
The new scandal centering on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) makes it clear that “Operation Fast and Furious” was not the agency’s only program for putting firearms into the hands of foreign criminals. It is becoming clear that a second misguided effort to track arms sales to the Third World — “Operation Castaway” — ended up supplying weapons to criminals in Honduras and Puerto Rico which were used in violent crimes.
Operation Castaway — like its sibling, Operation Fast and Furious — began with the purported mission of decreasing the illegal sale of firearms. In the latter operation, the ATF’s Phoenix office used gun stores in the Southwest to track so-called “straw purchases” that placed firearms in the hands of foreign criminals. (In a “straw purchase,” a person, usually an American citizen, buys firearms with the intention of reselling them to individuals who cannot legally own them.) “Operation Castaway” allegedly operated in Florida with a similar mission, and ended in the same way: Rather than the "sting" operation being contained in a way that would have prevented the weapons from getting into the hands of foreign criminals, the firearms purchased in Florida flowed freely into Central America.
As the scandal surrounding the Obama administration’s operation to put high-powered guns in the hands of Mexican drug cartels continues to grow, new revelations suggest that American taxpayers might have actually paid for the weapons through the stimulus bill and multiple agencies. On top of that, Attorney General Eric Holder apparently lied about his knowledge of the scheme.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF) is facing growing pressure after whistleblowers exposed “Project Gunrunner” and “Operation Fast and Furious” to public and congressional scrutiny. It turns out many of the guns shipped to Mexican crime syndicates with ATF permission have ended up at crime scenes on both sides of the border. And at least three of the weapons were involved in the slaying of U.S. federal agents.
Last week, the Obama administration announced that it was in the process of preparing new gun safety measures. The announcement, which coincided with the six-month anniversary of the Tucson, Arizona, shooting, provoked criticism from pro-gun groups as yet another way for the government to infringe upon Second Amendment rights. The administration appears unmoved, and today is putting its words into effect, by way of executive order.
The executive order will implement newer restrictions on the sale of weapons in states near the border, and will impose greater penalties on those who violate certain gun laws.
A new law in Wisconsin may allow applicants for a concealed carry permit to take safety classes online.
The concealed carry bill was signed into law by Governor Scott Walker on Friday and due to a bit of legislative vagary, it may be possible for those seeking a permit to satisfy the safety course by enrolling in an online class. A provision in the new law mandates a firearms safety course be taken by all those seeking a permit allowing them to carry a concealed weapon. The law makes no mention of whether an online class would satisfy the coursework requirement.
There are other a number of such web-based instructional videos that comply with the education requirements of other states with similarly vague statutes.
The Obama administration is in the process of preparing gun safety measures, just six months after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot. The proposal is expected to anger both gun advocates and gun opponents, the latter of whom will likely assert that the measures are not bold enough.
The White House has been unspecific about the details, but according to White House spokesman Jay Carney, the new safety rules will be made public “in the near future.”
The Blaze explains, “What is proposed is not expected to involve legislation or take on major issues, like banning assault weapons, but could include executive action to strengthen the background check system or other steps.
As the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF) is contending with the findings of a House Oversight Report regarding the failure of its Project Gunrunner, new evidence indicates even more negative consequences of the government operation. It is now known that ATF weapons — which U.S. officials involved in the project allowed to be purchased by suspicious individuals in the United States and then “walked” to and distributed in Mexico — have been turning up in Arizona drug crimes.
As reported by Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, Project Gunrunner: