Gun Dean: Obama, DOJ Play Musical Chairs at BATFE

The Gun Dean

The Gun Dean John M. Snyder

The Gun Dean decried the Aug. 30 personnel changes in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s office in the wake of the Fast and Furious scandal.

“The Obama administration has been reduced to playing musical chairs at the Justice Department,” said John M. Snyder, who as the senior gun rights expert and advocate in Washington earned the moniker: The Gun Dean. Snyder is a former journalist for National Rifle Association publication and is a founding member of the Citizen’s Committee to Protect the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

He is also the author of The Gun Saint, the story of how St. Gabriel Possenti, in an incident not related to his cause for sainthood, used a pistol to protect peasants from robbers. Snyder is working to convince the Vatican to name the saint the official patron saint of handguns.

“This musical chairs charade is the Obama administration’s response to the government’s gun scandal, and it isn’t going to wash,” he said.

“In that scandal, conducted by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. government allowed and even participated in the illegal transfer of thousands of firearms from the United States to Mexico,” Snyder said. “Many of the guns were used in the commission of crimes in both countries, including in the murder of American law enforcement agents.

“The government called this Operation Fast and Furious under Project Gunrunner. Now Attorney General Eric Holder is shifting people around the department and even around the country in order to stamp out the bad publicity and the congressional investigation coming as a result of the scandal. However, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, apparently is not going to bite on this bone. He says he’s going ahead with the investigation and will continue to hold public hearings on the government’s gun mess.”

Snyder said the keys players in the game of musical chairs is the reassigning of Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson  to the position of senior adviser on forensic science in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Programs.

Despite pressure not to cooperate with Issa, Melson testified in a closed-door hearing before Issa on July 4—significant not only because it was a Sunday and the nation’s birthday, but also because Melson brought his own lawyers, not DOJ lawyers.

Snyder said he is pleased that Issa has announced that he will hold more Fast and Furious hearings in September. “It’s good news indeed.”

“It would be a good idea to scrap ATF and perhaps launch a full scale investigation of the Justice Department. It also would be a good idea to deep-six some of the nonsensical federal firearm laws now on the books, and reassert the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms without undue interference from nosy federal bureaucrats,” he said.

“In November of 2012, just a little over a year from now, American voters will have a chance to deep-six gun grabbing politicians in the White House and in Congress. It’s not too early to get ready for a sea-change in American politics.”