By David Neiwert
Watch Glenn Beck much and you're going to get whiplash.
Like his show yesterday on Fox News: Shortly after appealing to the public not to get all hysterical and overwrought about the AIG Bonus Scandal, Glenn Beck got all hysterical and overwrought with Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association about Obama's evil plot to take away our guns.
Of course, this back-and-forth tone shift comes on the heels of Beck's overtly populist appeals to torches and pitchforks that have largely characterized his first couple of months working the audiences at Fox -- alongside the apocalyptic shrieking, weeping, and teeth-gnashing.
But the gun-grabbing segment yesterday was also a big about-face for Beck: Beck and LaPierre worked themselves into a fine frenzy over President Obama's eeeeevil plans for taking away Americans' guns -- no doubt just the first steps that will eventually lead to eradicating the Second Amendment, rounding up gun owners and placing them in FEMA camps, and installing a blue-helmeted United Nations dictatorship in America.
What's inspiring the recent gun moves? Drug-gang violence on the Mexican border. Yet for much of the past month, Glenn Beck has been bugging his eyes out and flecking his camera lenses with spittle, warning Americans about the doom about to descend on them because of the violence on that border. So when the government pays attention to the problem and tries to find practical solutions, Beck attacks that.
A Fox News piece outlines the issue, as the wingnuts see it:
"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to re-institute the ban on the sale of assault weapons," Holder said. "I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum."
Holder said reinstating the ban would decrease the flow of guns from the U.S. into Mexico. He declined to offer a timeframe for any re-implementation; Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller also declined comment on Tuesday.
But Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, told FOXNews.com that Holder's "argument in general is bizarre."
"It's a delusion to say that diminishing the Second Amendment in America is somehow going to stop these ruthless drug cartels in Mexico."
LaPierre called on Holder and Justice Department officials to uphold existing laws and focus on increasing enforcement along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, rather than consider additional legislation.
"The answer is to enforce the law on both sides of the border," LaPierre said. "I reject the notion that the reenactment of that ban would have any impact on the Mexican drug cartels."Yet, in fact, what has the NRA up in arms is that the government in fact is trying to enforce the existing law -- which means cracking down on American gun dealers and gun shows:
U.S. gun stores and gun shows are the source of more than 90 percent of the weapons being used by Mexico's ruthless drug cartels, according to U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials.
"It's a war going on in Mexico, and these types of firearms are the weapons of war for them," said Bill Newell, the special agent in charge of the Phoenix field division of the ATF, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which has primary law enforcement jurisdiction for investigating gun trafficking to Mexico.
"It's virtually impossible to buy a firearm in Mexico as a private citizen, so this country is where they come," said Newell.LaPierre was adamant on Beck's show that the talk about Americans providing guns for the drug cartels was "a lie". But he offered no evidence at all to support this claim. Meanwhile, the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming:
Guns recovered in some of the largest recent weapons seizures in Mexico are being traced deep into the United States — miles from the volatile border — revealing an expanding trafficking network that feeds Mexico's violent drug cartels, according to government documents and U.S. investigators.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives records show 90% of the weapons recovered and traced originate from a growing number of sources spanning from the Northwest to New England. The trafficking routes have created what Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., described earlier this week as an "iron river of guns" flowing to the warring cartels, contributing to about 7,000 deaths in the past 14 months.
Some of the strongest recent evidence of the cartels' expanding gun pipeline:
• Four months after the largest weapons seizure in Mexican history, U.S. investigators have traced 383 of the more than 400 weapons seized from a stash house in Reynosa, Mexico, to 11 states including Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Michigan and Connecticut, according to ATF records.
• Nearly a year after a gunbattle left 13 dead in Tijuana, the seizure of 60 guns has prompted probes in Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Denver.
• The guns, many of them high-powered assault rifles, are streaming across the border at such a pace that some are being recovered in Mexico within days after their purchase in the U.S, according to ATF records.A student paper in Buffalo manages to ask the pertinent question here:
It's all well and good to talk about the sanctity of constitutional rights, but when our constitutional right to possess AK-47s ends up arming a bloodthirsty criminal organization in a neighboring country thanks to the strength of the American business ethic, doesn't that make us the bad guys?But don't ask Glenn Beck that. He's likely to spin around and hysterically call for the torch-bearing mob to come get you.