From Aaron Zelman, Executive Director Jews for
the Preservation of Firearms Ownership www.JPFO.org
Dear friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens:
Most of us remember vividly the way that an
entire church full of people, including more than
two dozen children, were burned to death in 1993,
or died in other ways, while under seige by the
Federal Bureaus of Investigation, and Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
In the wake of that and many other BATFE abuses
of the unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional,
and human rights, in essence, of every man, woman,
and responsible child in America, Congress has
rebuked this rogue agency often, and often, reforms
of various kinds have been promised. Yet somehow,
these reforms never quite seem to materialize.
For the past year, for example, a man named
Michael Sullivan has been Acting Director of the
BATFE, and has made no effort to curb its abuses.
Indeed, he has promised to "work with"
notorious anti-Second Amendment politicians like
Senator Edward M. Kennedy on "gun control"
Judges are complaining of sloppy briefs and
missed deadlines in Sullivan's office, but the
situation is vastly darker than that. U.S. District
Court Judge Mark Wolf, to name just one example,
castigated Sullivan recently for tying up the
courts with penny-ante street-crime cases.
Unimaginably worse, U.S. District Court Judge
William Young has hammered Sullivan's office for
evincing "a moral code more suited to the
alleys of Baghdad than the streets of Boston"
and for adopting a mindset that "reveals
such callous indifference to innocent human life
as would gag any fair-minded observer." One
can't help thinking about Waco.
Sullivan has often stated with typical arrogance,
that he doesn't care if he annoys judges. By his
reckoning, the more cases one has gotten to trial,
the more successful one has been, so he just keeps
on pushing more and more cases through each year,
in the process racking up some of the longest
average sentences of any U.S. attorney in the
These days, that's regarded as a good thing.
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In at least one recent case, when a licensed
firearms dealer contacted Sullivan regarding BATFE
management practices, the Acting Director responded
by sending a pair of armed inspectors to do a
"thorough inspection" of the man's records.
Even if this inspection had been a legitimate
operation, rather than the fascistic retaliatory
exercise that it apparently was, inspectors are
not supposed to be armed.
Except, of course, as a naked, brutal, authoritarian
Acting Director Sullivan has been fully aware,
since taking over at BATFE, of the bureau's use
of illegitimate evidence on a scale that surpasses
even the bullet-testing and DNA scandals of the
FBI, yet he continues to countenance these corrupt
practices. Is this what "working with Kennedy
on gun control issues" consists of? How can
a citizen conform his behavior with the law when
no objective test standards exist to see if non-conformance
with the law has actually occurred?
Sullivan has also continued a Clinton-era policy
of eliminating as many firearms dealers and manufacturers
from the rolls of federal licensees as possible.
Confronted with the number of dealers being shut
down in this manner, he stated, "There is
no correlation between the dramatic decrease of
nearly 150,000 licensees, and BATFE revocation
actions." This, despite the fact that revocations
are up nearly six-fold from the 2001 to 2006 period,
according to the March/April 2007 issue of Shooting
Sports Retailer magazine, page 19.
Meanwhile, Sullivan has ignored requests from
Congress and the Department of Justice Office
of the Inspector General to implement fines and
suspensions, rather than just revoking dealers
Why should anyone -- especially members of the
non-shooting public -- be concerned over this?
Because, as more and more individuals have armed
themselves and taken to carrying concealed weapons
over the past 30 years or so, America's violent
crime rate has plummeted. This means that those
individuals who do carry weapons -- as well as
those who provide them -- are "net social
benefactors". Shutting down firearms dealers
is exactly like machinegunning firefighters or
paramedics -- a stupid, evil, insane, and antisocial
policy, being carried out in your name.
And at your expense.
Sullivan -- who has also been criticized by
judges for "going for the jugular"
as a U.S. Attorney to establish his career, rather
than take plea bargains to avoid tying up the
courts and wasting the taxpayers' money in the
process -- now continues an old police state tradition
by disobeying court orders to return confiscated
property and ignoring recurring requests to speak
with him about that and other issues.
Here at JPFO, we're curious. Is the head of
BATFE fully aware of the Nazi origins of the principal
law he is enforcing, and under the aegis of which,
he justifies the excesses of his agency, the Gun
Control Act of 1968 -- rammed through Congress
with the help of the mass media by the corrupt
and discredited Senator Thomas Dodd? Does Sullivan
approve of that law -- and its origins -- or will
he announce an investigation into the sleazy details
and circumstances of its passage?
Three guesses and the first two don't count.
Perhaps worst of all, while Sullivan tells representatives
of groups like the National Rifle Association
one thing -- recently that he would not share
"trace request data" with other individuals
and agencies -- at the same time, he tells known
enemies of the right to keep and bear arms, like
Senator Charles Schumer, "I'm optimistic
that there will be even more information available
than provided in the past."
Even one of the man's former colleages says
about him, "If anything ever happens that
requires leadership at the BATFE, and Mike Sullivan
is at the helm, it's going to be a sad day."
A sad day, indeed.
Now, Sullivan's nomination -- by supposedly
"gun-friendly" George W. Bush -- to
a permanent appointment as the head of the BATFE,
is up for U.S. Senate consideration. We are extremely
fortunate, thus far, that it has been put on temporary
hold by one courageous Senator, but pressure is
mounting for him to relent, and to permit the
nomination to proceed. Believe it or not, Jews
of the Preservation of Firearms Ownership is forbidden
by law from suggesting what you should do about
It is more than a little ironic that while the
government claims to be protecting Americans from
terrorists and something they call "Islamofascism"
-- significantly, by increasingly curtailing our
individual rights and civil liberties -- it is
subjecting all of us, through individuals like
Michael Sullivan and through agencies like the
BATFE, to state terrorism and fascism entirely
of the homegrown variety.
When you have to ask yourself who's the greater
threat to life, liberty, and property, Al Qaeda
or your own government, things are a mess.
Aaron Zelman Executive Director Jews for the
Preservation of Firearms Ownership www.JPFO.org