Last Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to answer questions about his role in the deadly “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal. However, instead of answers, Congress got more defiance, more arrogance, and more wasted time with an attorney general who clearly feels no sense of obligation to the American people or our rule of law.
But for all the stonewalling, there was at least one telling moment at this hearing, and it should concern law-abiding gun owners and all Americans who expect accountability from our government.
In a rash attempt to deflect attention away from himself and his own irresponsibility, Holder let Congress know that the Obama administration is still working toward the day when it can reinstate former President Bill Clinton’s so-called “assault weapons” ban. According to Holder:
This administration has consistently favored the reinstitution of the assault weapons ban. It is something that we think was useful in the past with regard to the reduction that we’ve seen in crime, and certainly would have a positive impact on our relationship and the crime situation in Mexico.
It’s difficult to follow Holder’s logic here, but it goes something like this …
The Obama administration — particularly Eric Holder’s Justice Department — oversaw an epic scandal whereby our own federal government illegally funneled thousands of firearms into the hands of Mexican drug lords. This contributed to the death of one U.S. Border Patrol agent and hundreds of Mexicans.
Despite being head of the Justice Department and our nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Eric Holder claims he doesn’t know how or why this scandal occurred, or even who under his charge may have authorized it. He also refuses to turn over critical documents to congressional investigators that could help prevent something this tragic and corrupt from ever happening again.
Therefore, Obama and Holder are confident that if they can ban a large number of the legal firearms that law-abiding Americans use every day for self-defense, hunting, and recreational and competitive target shooting, it will help solve Mexico’s crime problem.
What’s particularly galling about Holder’s shallow and illogical attempt to use “Fast and Furious” to further the Obama administration’s gun-ban agenda is that during the same hearing, he lectured Congress for playing political “gotcha” games in an election year.
Amazingly, Holder seems incapable of understanding that this isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue, it’s an American issue, and all Americans deserve to know how and why their government purposefully allowed thousands of guns to flow into the hands of murderous Mexican drug cartels. The family of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry deserves to know why two of these guns were found at the scene of Terry’s murder.
Eric Holder’s Justice Department oversaw this illegal operation, but all Holder is willing to do is call for gun bans on law-abiding Americans, withhold critical information from Congress, and pat himself on the back for a job well done. As Holder told Congress on Thursday: “I’m proud of the work that I’ve done as attorney general of the United States, and looked at fairly, I think I’ve done a pretty good job.”
Eric Holder has long since proved himself inept and incapable of holding the trust that Americans place in our nation’s chief law enforcement officer. The longer Holder refuses to step down as attorney general, the more lasting his damage to this sacred institution will be.
Chris W. Cox is the executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) and serves as the organization’s chief lobbyist.