Is "reform" of BATFE possible, would "reform" prove adequate?


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alan
October 22, 2006, 06:27 PM
Those who can might look at the 10 Oct. issue of Gun Week, in particular the lower half of page 15, for an interesting/disturbing article.

If what was printed is correct, it appears to me from reading the piece, that agents of the U.S. Government (BATFE) are guilty of tampering with physical evidence, in a criminal case, there is a large problem at hand, with this case. Albert Kwan is the accused, the charge is possession of an illegal machinegun.

I'm not an attorney, nor did I ever play one on television, not on radio either, but my understanding of things, perhaps incorrect, is that tampering with evidence, like tampering with jurors is a NO-NO, in the case of evidence, sufficient to, at the very least, cause the evidence to be surpressed. Given such activity by what is sometimes described as a law enforcement agency, is mere reform of the agency remotely possible, or anywhere adequate? I doubt it, but I've been wrong before.

BTW, re this article, it has not, so far as I can tell, appeared in the on-line version of Gun Week, which can be found at www.gunweek.com.

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Alex45ACP
October 22, 2006, 06:46 PM
If by "reform" you mean "abolishment", yes, that would be an excellent idea.

Deanimator
October 22, 2006, 06:49 PM
They didn't try to reform the Gestapo.

They didn't try to reform the Kempeitai.

They fired the rank and file and hanged the top level of management.

txgho1911
October 22, 2006, 07:14 PM
For this fed agency reform would only be possible by replacing the top 3 or 4 levels of management by real patriotic humans who will think for themselves. Only then would that agency see any possible reform. Everyone displaced would have ready field positions waiting for them from Brownsville to the Pacific.
There are lotts of Alcoholl and Tobaco to regulate.

Euclidean
October 22, 2006, 07:18 PM
Nowhere in the Constituition does it say "The Congress shall regulate alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives."

You can't reform that which is fundamentally Unconstituitional. It'd be like reforming a bureau established to insure everyone's a member of a certain religion.

I'm sure they probably do have a function or two that may be Constituitional, but making them compliant with the law would essentially gut the agency to the point of nonrecognition.

River Wraith
October 22, 2006, 07:18 PM
Reformed? No. Abolished? Yes. It's very existence is a travesty.

ConstitutionCowboy
October 22, 2006, 07:30 PM
If what was printed is correct, it appears to me from reading the piece, that agents of the U.S. Government (BATFE) are guilty of tampering with physical evidence, in a criminal case, there is a large problem at hand, with this case. Albert Kwan is the accused, the charge is possession of an illegal machinegun. Replace "illegal machine gun" with this more accurate description of the weapon - "machine gun possessed in defiance of unconstitutional law", then it will become clear.

...Albert Kwan is the accused, the charge is possession of a machine gun in defiance of unconstitutional law.

Bottom line? The BATFE exists only because of unconstitutional law - the 1934 NFA. Ergo, the BATFEcees shouldn't exist. If they want to keep it, they'll have to drop the "F" and recreate it under other law - constitutional law. Even then it would be totally unnecessary. The FDA can handle alcohol and tobacco.

Woody

The underlying problem concerning the law that "allows" or "requires" us to get a permit is law that makes carrying a gun "unlawful" to begin with. It starts there, then laws are passed that create exceptions to the original law, to allow carry under certain conditions after you jump through a few hoops and pay a fee. It is that original law that is unconstitutional. Eliminate that original law, then there is no opportunity to require permits. B.E.Wood

Zedicus
October 22, 2006, 07:53 PM
Reform the BATFE? ROFL

Won't work, the Agency needs to be Forcefully "Removed" from our Legal System.

In 1979 a Congressional Committee found the BATFE to have become a "Rogue Agency" and ordered it's Disbandment, did that happen?

Reform will only at best force them to find new ways to Twist the meaning of their own rules etc & make things even worse for Gunowners than before.

The only solution to the BATFE problem is their total removal from our System.:cuss:

txgho1911
October 22, 2006, 08:09 PM
Remove firearms from the BATFE and roll that group into and under the DEA.
Consolidate all the prohibitionist targets together.

DMF
October 22, 2006, 10:04 PM
In 1979 a Congressional Committee found the BATFE to have become a "Rogue Agency" and ordered it's Disbandment, did that happen?Really? 1979? Care to provide any proof of that?

Now if you're referring to the February 1982 Report of the Subcommittee on the Constituion, of the Committe on the Judiciary, US Senate, 97th Congress, then your assertions are laughable.

I really like that report. I like it for what's NOT in it, not what is in it. There are some things very conspicuously absent from that report.

Anyone seriously presenting that document as proof of ATF abuses, either hasn't examined it very carefully, or is more concerned about pushing a particular agenda, than presenting the truth.

You should really examine it closely. That document is heavily footnoted in the beginning, with lots of references to court cases, unfortunately all the court cases referenced have NOTHING to do with abuse by the ATF. Then when it gets to allegations of abuse by ATF, the claims of abuse by the ATF are conspicously LACKING ANY REFERENCE to anything that could be used to substantiate the claims.

Also, that subcommittee was composed of FIVE members of of the Senate. A subcommittee of 5 members can hardly be considered to speak for the whole Legislature, and can't "order" anything. Also, it was published at a time when the NRA, and a few friendly members of Congress, were aggressively trying to shut down the ATF completely, as part of the wrangling over the bill that would eventually become the FOPA.

Do you know what happened to that plan? Well, it began to look like the NRA was going to get it's wish, and Congress was seriously considering abolishing the ATF. However, the plan being proposed was to dismantle the ATF, and give jurisdiction over the federal gun laws to the US Secret Service. The NRA realized the USSS was a much harder political target, and actually began lobbying to KEEP the ATF going.

Regardless, that document was published by FIVE (that's only 5% of the whole Senate) Senators, and the allegations of abuse do not contain any way of verifying their veracity. A document with dozens of references to specific cases, has NONE when it comes to claims of abuse. As I said I like that document for what is conspicuously absent from it.

alan
October 22, 2006, 10:54 PM
woodcdi and Euclidean, in their posts, described the 1934 act as Unconstitutional" or questioned it's constitutionality.

While I'm no supporter of this legislation, The USSC ruled differently in Miller v. U.S., 1939. Of course, Miller was not represented before The Court, nor it seems was the court told of the historical context of U.S. Military issue and use of short barreled shotguns. Had things gone differently, who knows how the court might have ruled.

Otherwise, please consider the following. The 1934 Act came into being during FDR's first term as President. I suspect that, had he chosen to so do, he could have blocked it's passage, he certainly could have vetoed it. He did neither. Also, re the 1934 Act, in John Ross's Unintended Consequences, this legislation is described as "welfare for Treasury Agents", who with the repeal of Prohibition, might have faced the possibility of layoffs. Could have been the case, who knows. Can't have government employees being laid off, can we?

Additionally, and here I rely on what I've read elsewhere, FDR, during the time he was Governor of N.Y. the Sullivan Law was repealed. He could have gone along with the legislature, and the Sullivan Law would have gone away. He vetoed repeal. His veto was not over turned, and Sullivan has not, so far as I know, been seriously threatened since.

In any event, the foregoing, while perhaps interesting to some, are historical references and or reflections of opinion. Re the article I referenced, if I had a scanner, I would have posted the article in it's entirety. Either way, if the article is correct, re it's reference to "an ATF document", the ATF's firearms technician's report of what he did, and what results were obtained, all to clearly illustrates TAMPERING WITH EVIDENCE. As I mentioned, I thought that such action was a NO-NO, as is "jury tampering". Perhaps I'm wrong though, at least respecting a situation where the feds are doing the tampering.

cropcirclewalker
October 22, 2006, 11:18 PM
With more than 40% of the American workforce employed by some form of .gov it is pretty unlikely that we will ever see the corruption cleaned out.

We get rid of ATF? Next people would want to shut down the HEW. Helium Board? IRS? Who knows, maybe the domino theory.

Not gonna happen.

The country is it it's last throes. Enjoy.

DMF
October 22, 2006, 11:24 PM
With more than 40% of the American workforce employed by some form of .gov . . . Got any proof of that?

cropcirclewalker
October 22, 2006, 11:35 PM
Yo, Mr. DMF,

How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work?

They have 3 shifts.

You work for .gov. I do not. By my reckonning, that's 50 percent. :p

DMF
October 22, 2006, 11:38 PM
Just the type of irrational comment I'd expect from you, and as expected you have NO proof to post. :rolleyes: If I'm wrong feel free to post your proof of the 40% claim. You will forgive me if I don't hold my breath while I wait.

xd9fan
October 23, 2006, 01:17 AM
If by "reform" you mean "abolishment", yes, that would be an excellent idea.
hear hear!!

The fear of ALL Govt employees is to have "the people" realize the jobs they do dont really need to either be done at all or that can be done better and cheaper in the free market.

Car Knocker
October 23, 2006, 01:55 AM
State and local government workers=16 million
http://www.newcoalition.org/Article.cfm?artId=18746

Federal government workers (including military & postal workers)=14 million
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/05/AR2006100501782.html

U.S. Population=300 million

All govt workers, excluding military, are less than 10% of the population.

Zedicus
October 23, 2006, 02:08 AM
DMF: Really? 1979? Care to provide any proof of that?

Transcript: http://www.atfabuse.com/senate1979.html (Warning, VERY Long)

& much more here http://www.atfabuse.com/enter.html

WeedWhacker
October 23, 2006, 04:47 AM
Zedicus, I do not share DMF's point of view, as I also believe the BATFE is a travesty and a sham and should be abolished post haste.

That said, I read the transcript you referred to, but did not see any mention of a conclusion relating to the fate of the BATF. (Curiously enough, the BATF's rebuttal wasn't listed in the transcript, either.) I would *love* to have documentation of such things you mentioned for my own BATFE dossier.

Car Knocker, I think you neglected to count all those contractors which work for a company which works for one of the many facets of government. On top of that, the "300 million" figure includes people who are not adults or otherwise fit for employment. That said, the 40% figure still seems far too high.

DMF
October 23, 2006, 05:40 AM
Transcript: http://www.atfabuse.com/senate1979.html (Warning, VERY Long)Well as far as I can tell the only person calling the ATF a "rogue agency" was Neal Knox, a representative of the NRA, not a US Congressman. So please point to where in that incomplete transcript of the hearings from a Congressional Subcommittee any US Congressman determined the ATF was a "rogue agency." Having searched the document the only use of the word "rogue" was by Neal Knox of the NRA. Please also point to where a majority of the Senate and US House of Representatives "ordered" the "disbandment" of the ATF. Since most of us know any subcommittee is a small number of Congressmen, and incapable of "ordering" such a thing, I will be very curious to see your answer.

Just like those who make false claims about the 1982 report, it would appear you are making false claims about the 1979 hearings.

Erinyes
October 23, 2006, 05:40 AM
I came to 22.5% of the population employed by the government.

144.9 million people employed according to the BLS. Using Car Knockers numbers, plus the 2.6 million in the military gives you 32.6 million government workers.

hammer4nc
October 23, 2006, 08:57 AM
DNF posted:
Well as far as I can tell the only person calling the ATF a "rogue agency" was Neal Knox, a representative of the NRA, not a US Congressman.
Apparently you missed this quote from Senator McClure?
(Sen. McClure)
Given the responsibility of enforcing the Federal laws governing these three items, overwhelming information has been brought to my attention over the past several months which indicates that, rather than concentrating on finding and stopping the lawbreakers that pose a real threat to our society, the BATF has lately taken to utilizing self-made regulations, vague statutes, and a little old-fashioned entrapment in converting law- abiding citizens into criminals.

This information includes reports of innocent citizens being threatened, abused, arrested, and even wrongfully beaten by BATF agents. It includes reports of valuable gun collections being seized, purposefully damaged or destroyed, and never returned to the rightful owner, even though convictions-or even initial prosecutions-were never obtained. I might add that the information in my possession includes everything from citizen's testimony sworn under oath to BATF's own documents retrieved through the Freedom of Information Act.

and:
(Sen. McClure)
which leads me to wonder if the BATF, rather than rid the Nation of dangerous criminals, has a pressing need to fabricate cases in order to expand its own size. I might add that the BATF, like so many other governmental agencies, seems like a living organism-it will likely never consciously permit itself to be reduced or killed off, but will seek to grow and expand its jurisdiction.
and:
(Sen. McClure)
The thing that has concerned me in what I see emerging in the area of enforcement of the 1968 Gun Control Act by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is something I am, very frankly, not proud of.

Forum members are encouraged to spend the time to read the linked report; for several examples of atf abuse. "Rogue agency" is not an innacurate conclusion.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As per his usual M.O., DNF has chosen to nitpick irrelevent sidelights to the thread, without addressing the question posed by the thread starter. (Stay tuned...his other standard tactic is to post scores of links from the ATF propaganda website, praising ATF's activities, while diverting from the topic at hand.) One gets the impression that DNF's intent is to get these type threads locked?

Back to the topic under discussion: In this case, it appears ATF is victimizing Mr. Kwan, much as they victimized Mr. Moorhead, Mr. Earl, and others in the 1970's.

In answer to the central question posed: "Is reform of ATF possible; or would reform be adequate"...reasonable and unbiased observers could conclude that reform is not possible, and would be inadequate in any event, based on ATF's own track record.

One supposes that DNF would conclude that the question is moot...i.e., reform of ATF is unnecessary because its such a stellar agency.:eek: I won't put words in his mouth, but it would be quite amusing to see if he could address this question in detail wrt the Kwan case at hand, without nitpicking irrelevent issues or dragging in other topics.:)

dfaugh
October 23, 2006, 09:19 AM
Well, OK--since the article in question isn't available to some of us (online or otherwise)...Can someone at least give a brief description of the "evidence tampering" involved?

hammer4nc
October 23, 2006, 09:34 AM
dfaugh, I'm not a subscriber to gun week, either, (maybe a member/subscriber could cut&paste), but I've been following the Kwan case in WA state, here's a recent news article that hits the high points:

http://www.komotv.com/news/story_m.asp?ID=46072
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gun collector once held in prosecutor's death to help grand jury

October 19, 2006

By Associated Press

SEATTLE - A gun collector once jailed as a material witness in the assassination of a federal prosecutor has agreed to take a lie-detector test and will fully cooperate with a grand jury investigating the case, his lawyers said in a court filing Thursday.

Albert K. Kwan, of suburban Bellevue, was held for three weeks in January 2005 as part of the investigation into the killing of Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Wales. Last month, Kwan was jailed on an unrelated charge of machine-gun possession.

In a motion challenging his detention Thursday, his lawyers, Joseph Conte and Eric Stahlfeld, wrote that Kwan signed an agreement with an assistant U.S. attorney on Monday, agreeing to take at least one polygraph examination and "to fully cooperate with the grand jury." In several previous appearances before the grand jury, Kwan has invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Wales, an 18-year veteran of the U.S. attorney's office in Seattle and the president of the gun-control group Washington CeaseFire, was shot as he worked in the basement of his home in Seattle's Queen Anne Hill neighborhood on Oct. 11, 2001. According to ballistics tests, the murder weapon was a Makarov pistol outfitted with a replacement barrel.

The FBI launched a nationwide search for the 3,500 replacement Makarov barrels imported into the United States prior to the killing.

Kwan was first contacted by the FBI in August 2003, when an agent met with him and asked if the FBI could test-fire his Makarov pistols. Kwan initially refused because his guns were collector's items that had never been fired; once investigators obtained a subpoena for them, he turned them over, his lawyers wrote.

His lawyers also insisted that agents were less than diligent in trying to serve Kwan with a subpoena to appear before the grand jury in December 2004 and January 2005. The agents made just one attempt: According to an FBI affidavit supporting a search warrant, when Kwan didn't answer his door, agents asked a neighbor where he was. Kwan called the neighbor and said he couldn't come to the door because he was washing his hair - a message the neighbor relayed. A section of the affidavit was cited in the motion.

After that, the FBI kept him under surveillance and eventually arrested him as a material witness, the lawyers wrote. According to the motion, agents insist that sales records from a Minnesota company, Federal Arms Corp., show Kwan purchased two Makarov replacement barrels in the mid-1990s, but Kwan only turned over one barrel and insists he never purchased a second one.

Kwan legally owns more than 100 pristine and historical machine guns. But during a search of Kwan's home in January 2005, agents found one - an M-14 - that they said was illegal.

Kwan's attorneys argue that the M-14 in question required substantial modification by federal agents - including use of a rotary tool with a cutting wheel and the installation of new parts - before it could be fired automatically. Therefore it didn't meet the legal definition of a machine gun, they argued.

Nevertheless, last month - long after the January 2005 search - Kwan was indicted on one count of machine gun possession. His attorneys suggested that the reason for the charge might be to improve his memory about the supposed second Makarov barrel; asked Thursday night whether he believed the federal government was trying to squeeze his client, Conte said, "Absolutely."

Through spokeswoman Emily Langlie, the U.S. attorney's office declined to respond. Previously, the prosecutor handling the case said the indictment was brought as soon as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms provided information about the crime.

"All of Mr. Kwan's problems with the grand jury and this indictment stem from his refusal to let the government take his pistols without a subpoena and his assertion of his legal rights from that time forward," the lawyers wrote. "... At a minimum the United States somehow believes that Mr. Kwan either killed AUSA Thomas Wales or provided the gun, or the barrel to the gun, to the person who did kill Mr. Wales."

Conte said his client was not involved in Wales' death.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Monica Benton refused to release Kwan pending trial. She said that given his history of legal scuffles with federal authorities, including the revocation of his federal firearms licenses, which he has appealed; his weapons collection; and his frequent travel to China to study the language, he posed a flight risk and a danger to the community. She also said it was "difficult to ignore" his behavior regarding the Wales investigation.

In asking U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly to review the detention order, Conte and Stahlfeld argued that Kwan's exercise of his constitutional rights did not constitute grounds for detention. They said he is a native of Hong Kong who has lived in the Seattle area for 20 years, has no previous convictions and is a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve.

"He is a person who scrupulously guards his privacy and his constitutional rights," Stahlfeld and Conte wrote. "None of these makes him a risk of flight or a danger to the community."

Only one person has been identified publicly as a suspect in the Wales case: an airline pilot who recently moved from Bellevue to Snohomish, and who was once prosecuted by Wales in a fraud case. That man's lawyer has insisted he is innocent.

cropcirclewalker
October 23, 2006, 11:30 AM
[thread drift]

Back in '92 I was watching as Perot did his flip chart thing. At that time he claimed that 45 percent of workers worked for some form of .gov.

Before some brain dead republican apologist wanders off on the "That's how we got Clinton" harrangue, it doesn't matter.

I am remembering his concern in '92. That's 14 years ago.

That was before DHS and TSA (God Forbid)

The largest employer in my county is the school system. (.gov workers)

The NSA claims that they (the NSA) don't even exist.

Blackburn or Blackthorn or Blackstar or Death Star or whoever it is that is the .gov contractor over in Iraq doing the work that is too expensive for our military works for .gov.

The Chaney division of Halliburton and their no-bid contracts?

CIA with their black ops and front companies that tinker with overthrowing foreign govts are not required to give out that information.

There is no way that we will ever know how much of our money (or the imaginary printed money) that is getting spent to employ our servants, those who work for .gov.

Until you can include all those workers..........don't quote me no statistics.

We are looking at the tip of the iceberg.

[/thread drift]

ilbob
October 23, 2006, 12:58 PM
It would not surprise me if close to 40% of the work force was government employees, and employees of contractors who work directly on government projects.

Car Knocker
October 23, 2006, 01:34 PM
Car Knocker, I think you neglected to count all those contractors which work for a company which works for one of the many facets of government.

I included only workers who get government paychecks and are considered employees. To include everyone who provides services or products to the government would be stretching the definition of "government workers" beyond recognition. For example, are the workers who build cars that the government buys to be considered "government workers"? The people who cut down the trees that go into making paper that the government buys? The refinery workers who make the fuel the government buys? The people who mined the limestone that built the dam that makes the electricity that the government buys?

cropcirclewalker
October 23, 2006, 01:57 PM
If the logger is cutting down a tree so that a paper manufacterer can make a spiral notebook that is for sale at Dollar General? No.

If a miner is digging up limestone to put into a dam that .gov is building? Yes.

If the toilet seat is for sale at Home Depot? No.

If it is one of those "Special" $600.00 toilet seats? Yes.

If a guy is driving a road grader on a project building a section of Interstate 84 (A system of National Defense highways)? Yes.

If a scientist is doing mind control research at a .gov funded university? Yes.

The .gov tentacles reach into so many industries that it is inconceivable.

A good way to look at it is........

If the worker gets more money from .gov than he sends back in taxes.......He is feeding outa the .gov trough.

Please don't pounce on me.....I yam only the messenger.

Jack Straw from Wichita
October 23, 2006, 02:38 PM
Kwan legally owns more than 100 pristine and historical machine guns. But during a search of Kwan's home in January 2005, agents found one - an M-14 - that they said was illegal.

This may be a dumb question, but I thought Washington state had a ban on full-auto firearms, yet Mr. Kwan lived in Bellevue, WA. Could someone explain this? Were his machine guns stored in another state?

-Jack

cropcirclewalker
October 23, 2006, 03:18 PM
Sorry, Mr. Hammer,

I got drug into this string by the clever distractions of some, who, at best are misguided and at worst are employed to be a distraction.

I read the link you posted.

Seems pretty obvious to me that ATF has done it again. The rotary tool with cutting wheel and adding new parts. Yup, it's a machine gun alright.

The ATF needs to be euthanized, buried and never mentioned again, well except for their prosecutions.

No_Brakes23
October 23, 2006, 04:06 PM
Ditch the BATFE and DEA, and maybe the FCC. Reform is for the FDA, CIA, FBI and IRS, IMNSHO.

xd9fan
October 23, 2006, 07:28 PM
All govt workers, excluding military, are less than 10% of the population.

But look at the power they have and how expensive they are.....and then look at their results.

One fact remains......Govt jobs(and everything that comes with them) are paid for on the backs of private workers. period.

ConstitutionCowboy
October 23, 2006, 09:03 PM
woodcdi and Euclidean, in their posts, described the 1934 act as Unconstitutional" or questioned it's constitutionality.

While I'm no supporter of this legislation, The USSC ruled differently in Miller v. U.S., 1939. Of course, Miller was not represented before The Court, nor it seems was the court told of the historical context of U.S. Military issue and use of short barreled shotguns. Had things gone differently, who knows how the court might have ruled.If you take a closer look at US v. Miller, you'll see the the SCOTUS made no ruling at all. It was remanded to the lower court where it died as a result of one of the defendant's untimely murder and the other defendant copped a plea. The Court didn't find the NFA unconstitutional nor did it find it to be constitutional.

Court-wise, the fate of the NFA is still undecided. In reality, it is a blatant infringement upon the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and therefore, in violation of the Second Add Article to the Constitution, AKA the Second Amendment.

I think the problem we have today is getting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights BACK into Congress. It's a good thing it was written before Congress came into being, because it would never make it out of Congress were Congress to take up writing a new one!

The Constitution both specifies and limits what powers Congress may employ and a congress without these limited specific powers would soon become dictatorial...........My, that sounds eerily like the Supreme Court of today, doesn't it!

You must remember, this Constitution and the Bill of Rights(the first ten amendments to the Constitution) were not composed and ratified by this or any federal government. It was all written by representatives of the several states and ratified by those same several states for a means of common defense and guidelines of how the states should "get along" with each other, deliver the mail, make roads, and to preserve our rights. The Constitution allowed for the creation of the Union with three governing bodies: Congress, the Executive, and the Judiciary. The states could and should reign these federal level governing bodies back into the Constitution's original purpose.


"OK, Woody, that's fine. How do we do it?" you ask. Easy. A Constitutional Convention can be called for by two thirds of the states. What ever changes or "rectifications" necessary can be decided upon in that convention, ratified by three fourths of the states, and our will can thus be reimposed upon the governing bodies of the Union. There are other ways as well.

You can elect people who will honor their oath to abide by the Constitution. You can impeach errant justices. You can revolt. I like the election and impeachment processes the best, but I would not relinquish any options. This is the order I would recommend: Elect, Impeach, Constitutional Convention, Revolution. All of these options are within our rights and all are protected by the Constitution. Our poor choices at the election process have brought us to where we are today. It can still be corrected at that process. Make better choices.


Woody

"Knowing the past, I'll not surrender any arms and march less prepared into the future." B.E.Wood

alan
October 24, 2006, 01:10 AM
hammer4nc:

Re the Gun Week article, it also makes mention, from an "ATF document", their firearms technician's report describing various modifications underetaken to create full automatic fire by a semi-automatic rifle. This included use of a "rotary cutting tool" mentioned in the Washington story plus installation of AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT TRIGGER GROUP, one containing selective fire parts. Eventually, the ALTERED rifle did fire 3 shots with a single actuation of the trigger then in the rifle. Does this surprise anyone? If one messes with any semi-automatic rifle long enough, it eventually is likely to fire multiple shots with a single actuation of the trigger. It might do this just once, but likely it will do it eventually. What the hell, a simply case of warn parts can cause a mal-function. How many of you have seen a 1911 pistol go full automatic, after a "trigger job" of questionable quality. It happened to me once. I also once saw a Garand go full automatic. This was in a match at Camp Perry.

I could try to retype the entire article, however the quality of my typing is such that I would not like to try. Even then, you would still not be seeing the actual article. By the way, respecting mention of people, in the past, victimized by the ATF, based on more recent antics, add the name Glover to the list. The JPFO web site cas be viewed for details of this ATF fiasco.

woodcdi:

Looking at the post where you quoted my comment, are you sure that the court did not rule? I thought that they had, though I could be wrong. Interestingly, re Miller, accepting that the court didn't actually rule, what they did write has been waved around in such a manner as to support the constitutionallity of the 1934 act, creating an unfortunate perception.

Diamondback6
October 24, 2006, 01:21 AM
OT, but in response to Mr. Straw from Wichita: There was a brief ('91-'94) window of opportunity to own and register 'em in WA, and with the '94 NFA-ban already-possessed instruments were grandfathered. So, if my parents had one, they could keep it, but they couldn't have transferred it to me even as their son once I became legal or through inheritance.

Personally, re "reform", were I the deciding vote in Congress, I'd give sharp reform a try, then go for elimination if that failed--making it known to BATF&E that bureaucratic oblivion awaited if they fail to pass and keep passing a long, rigorous and sustained oversight screening to be performed at random intervals to be selected by a committee drawn from the membership of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus and chaired by Larry Craig...

At least, that would be the premise of my draft of the "BATFE Reform Act," were I in Congress...

LAK
October 24, 2006, 04:56 AM
This renegade tax collection agency needs abolishing, with everything connected to it canned along with it.

--------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

ConstitutionCowboy
October 24, 2006, 10:04 AM
I'll lay it out for you tonight. It's all about word smithing, pretension, misdirection, and amending the Constitution by rote by the Court.

Woody

"If we don't elect honorable people to office, it will be beyond the bloodless will of man to set things back on the path to constitutionalism. We are duty bound morally and in the name of common sense to get it done. To wait is to condemn patriots to death." B.E.Wood

Michael Courtney
October 24, 2006, 08:51 PM
As director of a forensic science program at a state university, I'm generally pretty friendly toward law enforcement.

However, as a conservative, I'm also generally in favor of reducing the size and cost of government bureaucracies.

The BATFE is one government agency I think we'd be better off without. The few legitimate functions of the agency would be better performed by other agencies without the constant trampling of civil rights for which the BATFE is known.

We need the death penalty for evidence tampering by federal agents. There is too much power in their hands for this kind of abuse of power. Seriously, we need a penalty sufficiently stiff that once the first scoundrel is convicted and punished, no other agent ever considers doing the same thing.

Michael Courtney

Art Eatman
October 24, 2006, 10:09 PM
M.C., you're bringing up the ancient problem of "accountability" for people who exercise police power. Local cops, other cops, welfare workers, EPA or whatever. Many decisions are made and many actions are taken with no regard for rational interpretations of existing law--as i've personally seen through the decades--yet there is no recourse for Joe Sixpack.

(Okay: On paper, maybe, but not out in the real world.)

Art

LAR-15
October 24, 2006, 10:19 PM
The liquor interests kept the BATFE from being abolished under Reagan.

The BATFE should be disbanded.

We never had it until 1972 and did fine.

ConstitutionCowboy
October 25, 2006, 09:45 AM
Here is the main line of reasoning that shows what the Court actually said in U.S. v. Miller(1939)... and how it doesn't mean diddly.

Misdirection

Look at what the Court said here: "IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY EVIDENCE TENDING TO SHOW THAT POSSESSION OR USE OF A "SHOTGUN HAVING A BARREL OF LESS THAN EIGHTEEN INCHES IN LENGTH" AT THIS TIME HAS SOME REASONABLE RELATIONSHIP TO THE PRESERVATION OR EFFICIENCY OF A WELL REGULATED MILITIA, WE CANNOT SAY THAT THE SECOND AMENDMENT GUARANTEES THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR SUCH AN INSTRUMENT." Referring to the text I put in bold, the Court said that they could not come to a conclusion without any evidence. The Court did not say that the "SHOTGUN HAVING A BARREL OF LESS THAN EIGHTEEN INCHES IN LENGTH" did not have "...SOME REASONABLE RELATIONSHIP TO THE PRESERVATION OR EFFICIENCY OF A WELL REGULATED MILITIA,..." If the Court had come to the conclusion that the sawed-off shotgun WASN'T a viable weapon for use in the militia, it would have said so. It didn't say so. It would have needed the same evidence to show it was as it would have needed to show it wasn't!

Further in that same paragraph the Court said, "CERTAINLY IT IS NOT WITHIN JUDICIAL NOTICE THAT THIS WEAPON IS ANY PART OF THE ORDINARY MILITARY EQUIPMENT OR THAT ITS USE COULD CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMON DEFENSE." Judicial notice is "n. the authority of a judge to accept as facts certain matters which are of common knowledge from sources which guarantee accuracy or are a matter of official record, without the need for evidence establishing the fact. Examples of matters given judicial notice are public and court records, tides, times of sunset and sunrise, government rainfall and temperature records, known historic events or the fact that ice melts in the sun." Here again, the Court is saying they don't know as a matter of record, don't have reference to any common knowledge, don't have a guaranteed source to refer to the fact in question, and can't say off the top of their head whether or not the sawed-off shotgun fit in the militia and, therefore, would require evidence to make the call.


Pretense and Amending the Constitution by Rote

The Court, without proper amendment, amended the the Constitution on its own by interjecting a requirement not present in the Constitution, nor has power been granted to Congress to legislate any such requirement - "CERTAINLY IT IS NOT WITHIN JUDICIAL NOTICE THAT THIS WEAPON IS ANY PART OF THE ORDINARY MILITARY EQUIPMENT OR THAT ITS USE COULD CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMON DEFENSE." - and any such infringement is expressly forbidden by Second Amendment that a weapon must be shown to have a viable place in the militia. The Court simply wrote their decision as if such a requirement existed. The Court even admitted to interpreting the Constitution. The Court cited Article I, Section 8, Clause (16): THE CONSTITUTION AS ORIGINALLY ADOPTED GRANTED TO THE CONGRESS POWER "TO PROVIDE FOR CALLING FORTH THE MILITIA TO EXECUTE THE LAWS OF THE UNION, SUPPRESS INSURRECTIONS AND REPEL INVASIONS; TO PROVIDE FOR ORGANIZING, ARMING, AND DISCIPLINING, THE MILITIA, AND FOR GOVERNING SUCH PART OF THEM AS MAY BE EMPLOYED IN THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES, RESERVING TO THE STATES RESPECTIVELY, THE APPOINTMENT OF THE OFFICERS, AND THE AUTHORITY OF TRAINING THE MILITIA ACCORDING TO THE DISCIPLINE PRESCRIBED BY CONGRESS." Then the Court said: "WITH OBVIOUS PURPOSE TO ASSURE THE CONTINUATION AND RENDER POSSIBLE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SUCH FORCES THE DECLARATION AND GUARANTEE OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT WERE MADE. IT MUST BE INTERPRETED AND APPLIED WITH THAT END IN VIEW." How they pulled any arms qualification requirements out of that, I cannot fathom. Even if that requirement was in Article I, Section 8, Clause (16), it would have been vacated by the later dated(and therefore superseded by) the Second Amendment!!

Wordsmithing

The Court was quite sneaky and devious in its wording with this non-ruling. Look at this: The Court said, "WE ARE UNABLE TO ACCEPT THE CONCLUSION OF THE COURT BELOW AND THE CHALLENGED JUDGMENT MUST BE REVERSED. THE CAUSE WILL BE REMANDED FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS." So, let's look at "WE ARE UNABLE TO ACCEPT THE CONCLUSION OF THE COURT BELOW ..." What does that tell you? It tells you that the Court didn't say that the conclusion of the court below was wrong, the Court said because there was no evidence presented, it cannot accept the conclusion. They said in the beginning that "In the absence of any evidence....we cannot say...". Then the Court continued with, "..AND THE CHALLENGED JUDGMENT MUST BE REVERSED. When ever the Court reverses a lower court ruling, it does not include anything like "...must be...". The Court did not reverse or vacate the judgment of the lower court. The Court didn't say the judgement IS reversed of vacated. "THE CAUSE WILL BE REMANDED FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS." The Court instructed the lower court to proceed further on the case, presumably, to have the needed evidence presented to support the lower court's conclusion that the NFA is unconstitutional by showing that the sawed-off shotgun is a viable weapon for the militia. Sadly, Miller had been murdered before the case even hit the Supreme Court, and Layton(Miller's co-defendant) accepted a plea. There was no one left to continue the case. Don't forget, however, that this, for all intents and purposes, is moot in the light of the Second Amendment.



Misdirection

The Court's ducking of one aspect of "judicial notice" is also despicable. That "judicial notice" is the obvious capability of a sawed-off shotgun to deliver a lethal dose of shot. I would equate what a member of the militia can do with a sawed-off shotgun to a similar level of common knowledge with the common knowledge that if you place a chunk of ice in the sun, it will melt. Again, this is moot in the light of the prohibition placed upon all government to infringe upon the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the Second Amendment.

More "misdirection"

It is not within the purview of the Court to up and say, "HEY! You are misinterpreting/misunderstanding what was said in this case!" Not until some other case is brought back up to the Court on appeal can the Court address this again. The Court did not uphold the NFA, but it didn't shoot it down, either. This case, US v. Miller is undecided to this very day. All the citing of US v. Miller as sealing the notion that Congress may infringe the RKBA if it has to do with interstate commerce is just as bogus. As I pointed out for the "militia" clause, the Second Amendment was ratified after the Commerce Clause, and the prohibition on Congress to infringe upon the RKBA in the Second Amendment would supersede any supposed power of Congress to infringe the right that might be misconstrued from the Commerce Clause.

This from the Court in US v Miller TAKES THE CAKE! "MOST IF NOT ALL OF THE STATES HAVE ADOPTED PROVISIONS TOUCHING THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. DIFFERENCES IN THE LANGUAGE EMPLOYED IN THESE HAVE NATURALLY LED TO SOMEWHAT VARIANT CONCLUSIONS CONCERNING THE SCOPE OF THE RIGHT GUARANTEED. BUT NONE OF THEM SEEM TO AFFORD ANY MATERIAL SUPPORT FOR THE CHALLENGED RULING OF THE COURT BELOW." Seems they conveniently "forgot" that the Second Amendment is a part of the Constitution and that the Second Amendment is, therefore, part of the Supreme Law of the Land, and "...anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary (is) notwithstanding." It doesn't matter WHAT any state law or constitution has to say about the RKBA. THE COURT HAD(HAS) ALL IT NEEDED IN THE SECOND AMENDMENT! What the Court said here is no different than what some are doing now - looking to foreign law to make their rulings!

Hope this helps.

Woody

If you want security, buy a gun. If you want longevity, learn how to use it. If you want freedom, carry it. There is nothing worth more than freedom you win for yourself. There is nothing more valuable than the tools of the right that make it possible. B.E.Wood

Rev. DeadCorpse
October 25, 2006, 09:52 AM
If by "reform" you mean "abolishment", yes, that would be an excellent idea.

Right there with you Alex.

There is NOTHING in the Constitution that even comes close to allowing the FedGov to set up an organisation such as the BATFE. Absent explicit authority via Amendment, shut 'em down.

And to hell with what the Courts think. For too long they have completely ignored Art 6 Para 2. Reign them in. With fire if necessary.

cropcirclewalker
October 25, 2006, 09:57 AM
Mr. Woodcdi,

Damn!

When you put it that way, I guess we do have a right to keep and bear arms.

+1

ConstitutionCowboy
October 25, 2006, 10:04 AM
M.C., you're bringing up the ancient problem of "accountability" for people who exercise police power. Local cops, other cops, welfare workers, EPA or whatever. Many decisions are made and many actions are taken with no regard for rational interpretations of existing law--as i've personally seen through the decades--yet there is no recourse for Joe Sixpack.

(Okay: On paper, maybe, but not out in the real world.)

YUP! Out here in the real world, all of us need to be rams in that flock of sheep, looking back at the shepherd and his sheepdogs, letting them know they may not screw with the ewes nor take our horns without a fight.

Woody

"I swear to protect the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, but I am not trigger-happy. I am merely prepared and determined in its defense. It's a comfortable place to be. I don't suffer doubt." B.E.Wood

hammer4nc
October 25, 2006, 10:49 AM
woody,

What practical elements of this "fight" are you referring to? Any ideas that you can share?

Exposing corrupt practices on internet forums is one thing...I think the Richmond gun show fiasco (and subsequent internet chatter) led to the hearings that culminated in HR 5092/5005. However, these bills are a long way from becoming law (anyone know of Senate activity :confused: ). Even if passed, the extent of real "reform" associated with these bills is minimal. So, the internet factor wasn't available in the past. Maybe it will play a larger role in the future.

I'm in agreement that the fight against this corrupt agency is a noble one. However, practically speaking, we have little to show for our efforts. So, at the present time, the "no recourse for joe sixpack" analysis is on target.

Discussion of other alternatives may be contrary to forum guidelines.

As much as I hate to say it, BATF is probably laughing there asses off, from behind their plush and heavily fortified new bunker. :mad: :barf:

http://thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=46896&d=1161787558

ConstitutionCowboy
October 25, 2006, 11:57 AM
As much as I hate to say it, BATF is probably laughing there asses off, from behind their plush and heavily fortified new bunker.

Let them laugh. The only action we can constitutionally take is when the confiscators ring the door bell and try to forcefully take our arms in any manner contrary to the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Fourteenth, and quite possibly the First, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments as well. I doubt they would be jolly at that juncture. The danger is that any violations of those amendments could lead to an unfettered disregard for the Thirteenth Amendment.

We must be cautious and vigilant.

Woody

"I pledge allegiance to the rights that made and keep me free. I will preserve and defend those rights for all who live in this Union; founded on the belief and principles that those rights are inalienable and essential to the pursuit and preservation of life, liberty, and happiness." B.E.Wood

alan
October 25, 2006, 04:14 PM
Woodcdi:

Thanks for your comment on The Court. As for you describing the Court as despicable, strikes me that that is something of an understatement.

With respect to specifics, at the moment just one, the following caught my eye. Reference to "IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY EVIDENCE TENDING TO SHOW THAT...". What of the evidence of history? Looking at the above quote, is one expected to accept that USSC was ignorant of MILITARY HISTORY, that is the historical record of the issue and use of shotguns by and in the U.S. Military, some of this use having been not far removed from 1939? Such acceptance would, in my jaundiced view, amount to one hellish leap of faith.

alan
October 25, 2006, 11:35 PM
All:

In my original post, I referenced an article from 10 Oct. Gun Week, page 15, under the by-line of Dave Workman. For the convenience of those not previously able to read this article, please see below.

Bellevue, WA, Man Arrested On Weapons Charge by ATF

by Dave Workman Senior Editor

A Bellevue, WA, man has been arrested by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on weapons charges, and it did not take long for Seattle's two daily newspapers to revive his tenuous link with the slaying of an anti-gun federal prosecutor in Seattle five years ago.

The suspect, Albert Kwan, had once been held as a material witness in the assassination of Thomas Wales, a federal prosecutor who was also the president of Washington CeaseFire, the Northwest's most active anti-gun orga*nization. For months after Wales was murdered, anti-gunners tried to link his death to his gun control activities.

But Kwan's arrest, according to The Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer (P-I), is not related to his connection to the Wales case. Instead, this case alleges that Kwan, a former licensed firearms dealer who is now a collector, had an M-14 rifle that the government claims is an illegal machinegun. However, defense attorney Joseph Conte read an ATF document to the court during a preliminary hearing that the gun had to be modified by government firearms technicians before it would fire as a full auto, the P-I reported.

Gun Week obtained a copy of that document, in which the technician stated, "I examined (the firearm) and determined that it was originally manufactured as a machinegun by the Winchester Company in New Haven, Connecticut. (The rifle) can accept machinegun components and has machinegun components installed, but the engagement surface of the sear release has been removed, and the sear release has been welded to the selector shaft. In this condition, (the rifle) is functional as a semi-automatic firearm, but the machinegun parts have been locked in place by the welded sear release/selector shaft.

"To determine if (the rifle) could be readily restored to shoot in an automatic manner, I used a multipurpose rotary tool with a cutting wheel to cut through the sear release. I then removed the sear release, selector shaft, and selector-shaft lock from (the rifle) and installed a sear release, selector shaft, selector spring, and selector from an M-14 machinegun."

The technician did not modify the receiver during all of reassembly, and then fired the gun to see if it would fire full auto. At that point, he wrote, "I discovered that the sear ... did not have an engagement surface for the sear release." So, he replaced the trigger group of the rifle with another trigger group which contained the sear with an engagement surface and eventually got the rifle to fire three rounds with a single press of the trigger.

Kwan's arrest came after a federal grand jury handed down an indictment, and more than 18 months after federal agents had confiscated 16 firearms from his home in January 2005, The Times reported.

Koran's connection to the Wales murder investigation appears circumstan tial at best. As Gun Week first reported almost three years ago, the FBI has been conducting a nationwide search for a Makarov pistol with a replacement barrel sold by a firm in Minneapolis, MN. Kwan allegedly had purchased two such replacement barrels, one of which was traced to him. He was arrested as a material witness in January of last year.

Koran is not a suspect in the Wales murder. The authorities have actually focused more attention on a former commercial pilot, also living in Bellevue, who had once been prosecuted by Wales. That pilot also happened to be a gun enthusiast, but there is no indication that had anything to do with Wales' prosecution of the man and his business partners.

The pilot had unsuccessfully tried to sue the government. He has not been charged, or even labeled publicly as a suspect.

Immediately after Koran's arrest was publicized by both Seattle newspapers, and The Tacoma News Tribune, gun rights activists in Washington complained that the papers were trying to show him guilty by association with firearms.

Meanwhile, the FBI is continuing its search for the Makarov and its replacement barrel. Complicating matters, Gun Week learned when it originally broke the story of that search, is that the killer used the wrong caliber ammunition. The result is that bullets recovered at the scene have unusual rifling marks that, said two ballistics experts at the time, might be impossible to duplicate, even if the right barrel is ever found. The New GUN WEEK, October 10, 2006
------------------------

As to that grand jury indicting Kwan, did you ever hear the old saying about how any competent prosecutor could get a grand jury to indite a ham sandwich?

fourays2
October 26, 2006, 10:06 AM
wow! the grand jury system needs to be seriously overhauled if the above article is true. I'd also like to know if the M14 reciever in question is one of the re-welded de-mills that were sold in the past. this guy needs to sue everyone involved in this travesty of justice after a real jury laughs this case out of court.

ilbob
October 26, 2006, 10:46 AM
There is NOTHING in the Constitution that even comes close to allowing the FedGov to set up an organization such as the BATFE. Absent explicit authority via Amendment, shut 'em down.

I am not entirely sure that is true. The constitution certainly grants some powers to the federal government. Along with those powers there has to be an enforcement mechanism. While I am a big fan of abolishing as many federal government agencies as possible (BATFE is a good candidate) I am not convinced the very existence of the agency is the problem. The laws they are in place to enforce are the problem. Maybe the focus should be there.

Like almost all situations where LE has gone rogue, the underlying problem started with the legislature, and that is where it needs to be fixed.

ConstitutionCowboy
October 26, 2006, 11:21 AM
Like almost all situations where LE has gone rogue, the underlying problem started with the legislature, and that is where it needs to be fixed.

Amen, ilbob!

cuervo
October 26, 2006, 07:18 PM
...is that the killer used the wrong caliber ammunition

Not meaning to take the thread away from its main topic, but does anyone know what this is talking about?

I don't know much about Maks, but I do recall that there are a few that were converted to .380. Is this saying that the bullets recovered were the original 9x18 out of a .380 bbl or something like that?

In line with the original topic, my opinion is to disband. They do not provide any service that the FBI cannot handle. Or, turn them back into the tax collectors they were supposed to be and let the FBI handle the law enforcement. I do agree also the the 1934 is unconstitutional.

Dan from MI
October 26, 2006, 07:23 PM
I support reform of the F-troop.

As in abolished. Eliminate. Repeal. End. Send them home.

alan
October 27, 2006, 12:20 AM
cuervo:

Re "converting a Makerov pistol from 9 x 18mm Mak to .380 or 9mm Kurtz, (German for short), an appropriate barrel is all the parts needed. Having an arbor press to change barrels helps, but I suspect is not necessary.

ilbob:

Re your comments on BATFE and the laws under which they operate, where firearms are concerned that is, much if not all of the existing federal legislation is in fact, a poor thing. It is however, made much worse be the BATFE (ATF, those JBT's or "F" Troop) as the outfit is variously known, as they have, among other things, shown themselves, in several instances, all to ready to prostitute themselves to the passing winds of "political fashion".

Undoubetedly, there are, at "street level" some plain old fashioned "rotten apples" in the agency, with badges and guns no less, however I submit that the real problem lies in two places.

One is at the top levels of agency management. The other is in and with The Congress, which has, by virtue of failing to check the egregious antics of this agency, essentially placed it's stamp of approval on their reprehensible tactics.

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