“Project Gunwalker” was brought up yesterday in a White House-hosted round table discussion with representatives of Latino media. “Open for Questions with President Obama” was moderated by Jose Siade from Yahoo Español and included Karine Medina from MSN Latino, and Gabriel Lerner from AOL Latino and Huff-Post Latino Voices.
From the exchange:
MR. SIADE: Mr. President, this question comes from Karina in Ohio: Mr. President, what is your strategy to stop the flow of weapons bought with drug money in the U.S. and then sent to Mexico, especially after what happened in Operation Fast and Furious?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, this is a great challenge, and I’ve been the first one to admit — I’ve said this publicly in bilateral meetings with President Calderón that there’s a two-way street in terms of the problems of transnational drug operations. The Mexican government I think has been very courageous in taking on these cartels, at great cost, obviously, with respect to violence in Mexico. That’s the right thing to do.
We have to be a more effective partner in both reducing demand for drugs here in the United States and for stemming the flow of weapons and cash that help to finance and facilitate these cartels. So we’re working very hard to have a much more effective interdiction effort of south to north — or north to south traffic than we have in the past, so we are checking southbound transit to try to capture illegal guns, illegal cash transfers to drug cartels. It is something that we have been building over the last couple of years; it’s not yet finished.
And there’s going to be more work to do.
Part of the issue here, obviously, is budgetary. At a time when the federal government is looking for ways to save money, we’re going to have to figure out ways to operate smarter and more effective in our investigations without a huge expansion of resources because those resources aren’t there.
What a bunch of say-nothing weaselspeak. Obviously, hard questions were not going to be asked by this group. And just as obviously, the rest of the elite U.S. media aren’t about to press the president on this issue either.
There is, however, a way for gun-owning rights advocates to bypass political and media gatekeepers and elicit a public response that will be impossible to duck without demonstrating for all to see that’s exactly what they are doing.
One week ago, the White House launched its online “We the People’ petition. Per their September 22 email announcement, here are the basics:
Create or Sign a Petition: Anyone 13 or older can create or sign a petition on WhiteHouse.gov asking the Obama Administration to take action on a range issues.
Build Support and Gather Signatures for your Petition: It’s up to you to build support for a petition. Use email, Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth to tell your friends, family and coworkers about the petitions you care about.
The White House Reviews and Responds: If a petition reaches 5,000 within 30 days, it will be reviewed by a standing group of White House officials, referred to any other relevant policymakers and an official response will be issued.
I’m thinking of something simple, like demanding Obama to call for an independent special prosecutor to investigate government gunwalking, and to advocate prosecution of officials when warranted and severe punishments when convicted, regardless of how widespread and high up lawbreaking can be demonstrated. Or perhaps it should take a different direction and ask “What did the president know and when did he know it?” Perhaps it should encompass both of these elements and more…
One thing I’ve noted in the past is that many times, insights on the best way to word such things can be gained by soliciting opinions. So step one, before creating a petition, I am asking Gun Rights Examiner readers—I’m asking you–to share what you think the petition should say. Please give your thoughts in “Comments,” below.
The second step will be to see if we must do this on our own, or if a “gun rights” group will step forward and solicit its membership to sign the petition and get us up to the required 5,000 signature threshold in the 30-day window established from petition creation.
And yes, I’ve anticipated objections/excuses, notably that even if we get the required signatures, the administration is just going to continue with the weasel-wording. If you’re thinking of not participating because of that, don’t discount that this in itself would become something that could be used to advance our agenda.
Why not just invest the five minutes to help make this happen?
Trigger Sports Recorded!
If you missed yesterday’s Trigger Sports Live! program, you can still catch it before it gets replaced by next week’s show by clicking here. Host James Towle and I talked about goings-on at last weekend’s Gun Rights Policy Conference. And Armed American Radio’s Mark Walters even had a breif video of someone we know getting an award of some kind.
Important day in Oregon
Remember this guy?
Oregon Firearms Federation has some happy news.
- A Journalist’s Guide to ‘Project Gunwalker’ Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five and Part Six for a complete list with links of independent investigative reporting and commentary done to date by Sipsey Street Irregulars and Gun Rights Examiner.
Note to newcomers to this story: “Project Gunrunner” is the name ATF assigned to its Southwest Border Initiative to interdict gun smuggling to Mexico. “Project Gunwalker” is the name I assigned to the scandal after allegations by agents that monitored guns were allowed to fall into criminal hands on both sides of the border through a surveillance process termed “walking” surfaced.
Help wanted–inquire within
Regular readers: If you agree that mainstream press coverage of the gun rights issue demands a counter-balance, please help me spread the word by sharing Gun Rights Examiner links with your friends via emails, and in online discussion boards, blogs, social media sites, etc. Then get more commentary at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance.