And Explosions Too, Don't Forget the Explosions


I must confess that trying to figure out which bureaucracies go where under the new Department of Homeland Security makes my head hurt so bad I'm still foggy on the new org chart. Here's one to ponder: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is now the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. In addition, the BATF has had its functions split between two separate cabinet-level departments. Control of firearms (and presumably explosives) is now under the aegis of the Department of Justice. The Bureau's original responsibility of revenooin' from sales of alcohol and tobacco (I like to think of this arm as "ATF Classic") remains under the department of treasury.

As Brian noted in his profile of Attorney General Ashcroft last year, his stance on the second amendment is one of the handful of items in his favor. Still, he won't be AG forever, and Joe Waldron, executive director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, warns that "by creating this super law enforcement function—this consolidated function—you're opening the door to the potential for abuse."

NEXT: Joe Bob's Drive In

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  1. I don’t give Ass-crap much credit for his gun rights views. He probably assumes, with good reason, that most people who are into guns are mainstream Republican types who’ll believe anything a GOP president tells them when he wraps himself in the flag and uses the magic words “national security.” The minority on the Right who decidedly DON’T buy into Bush’s jackbootism at home and abroad can be taken care of by other means, under cover of “fighting terrorism.”

    I recall, even before 9-11, Ashcroft talking about creating interjurisdictional task forces for prosecuting illegal gun-owners (i.e., convicted felons and the like), on the pattern of the anti-drug task forces in each judicial district. That’s what the NRA’s constant “law-abiding citizens” and “enforce existing laws” rhetoric gets it.

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