Gunwalker: What? Who? and Why?

The “What?” of the Gunwalker scandal is pretty clear. The Obama Administration allowed thousands of firearms to reach Mexican drug cartels. The “Who?” is becoming increasingly clear. Orders to local ATF agents came from the highest levels of the Obama White House. The “Why?” is, for many, a little more puzzling. The Investors’ Business Daily staff points out…

After getting caught doing the unbelievable — arming Mexico’s cartels — word is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms boss is out, and the gun-controller the White House wanted all along is in. How far up does this go?

Acting ATF director Kenneth Melson is apparently ready to take the fall for what may be the most morally repulsive scandal to befall the Obama administration so far.

Our neighbor Mexico lies bleeding from a long, vicious war to fight seven major drug cartels at once. Some 38,000 have been left dead since 2006.

Amid all this, U.S. ATF agents had orders from on high to supply U.S. weapons to cartel middlemen buying them on U.S. soil for the odd purpose of “tracing” them.

The news that Melson is resigning seems to be a bid by the Obama administration to paint this as simply an example of Keystone Kop-style bungling being corrected.

But many things suggest the operation may have been done for political purposes, and not merely stupidity.


Usually, if stupidity or malevolence can explain an organization’s actions, the safe bet is stupidity. But this assumes that no one in the organization noticed the stupidity. In the case of the Gunwalker scandal and cover-up, it cannot be argued that “no one noticed”. Not only did ATF agents notice, they were threatened if they spoke out. No, stupidity isn’t to blame here. Gunwalker was a deliberate act.

The “Why?”

IBD argues that the aim of the Gunwalker fiasco was to provide a reason to confirm anti-gun extremist Andrew Traver as the new head of the ATF. But this would require us to believe that the Administration wanted to get caught so that the acting director could resign. No, the aim of the Gunwalker scheme was to generate a problem that didn’t exist. Members of the Obama Administration, both collectively and individually (I’m lookin’ at you, Hillary), have pushed the “90% Myth”; the claim that the American retail firearms market provides guns to Mexican drug cartels. This myth simply isn’t true. So what’s a community organizer to do? Make it true. By sending thousands of guns into Mexico, the Obama Administration hoped to gin up a reason for new laws restricting the rights of American citizens. The “Gun show loophole”, they say, is responsible for arming Mexican gangs. The ability to purchase more than one firearm at a time, they say, is responsible for arming Mexican gangs. The expiration of the “Assault Weapon” ban, they say, is responsible for arming Mexican gangs. But none of these claims hold up if, in fact, American guns don’t find their way into Mexico.

And there’s the “why” we were looking for.