www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-guns-letter-20120704,0,6674477.story

baltimoresun.com

'Furious' probe ought to focus on lax gun laws

9:30 AM EDT, July 4, 2012

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Letter writer Larry Sturgill ("Fast & Furious probe not a partisan fishing expedition," July 2) comments that a program similar to one begun under the Bush administration and conducted by the Obama administration, Operation Fast & Furious, was "atrociously ill conceived."

What is not in doubt is that thousands of guns cross the border into Mexico every day. Lax gun laws championed by the National Rifle Association are the direct cause of this flood. Authorities are hamstrung in their efforts to stem the tide by laws that favor the purchasers of large numbers of guns over the interests of law enforcement.

Predictably, Rep. Darrell Issa's crusade to pillory Attorney General Eric Holder has assumed the character of a typical election year circus.

Sadly though, the river of weapons into Mexico continues unchecked, resulting in the horrendous carnage by the drug cartels whose profits are fueled by our insatiable appetite for drugs. A poorly conceived operation by ATF to stem the tide would be a futile effort, given the protected status of gun sellers to profit from this carnage. Consider the Phoenix area, with its 853 federally licensed firearms dealers and billboards advertising discounts for volume purchases. Consider the fact that Jaime Avila, a transient, admitted methamphetamine user, bought three WASR-10 rifles at the Lone Wolf Trading Company in Glendale, Ariz.

Two of those rifles were found at the scene of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's murder.

This is a master stroke by the NRA to get us to look the other way as their policies continue to cause such terrible carnage.

After the election, we will be better able to look into allegations, but we will continue to allow the flood of weapons with elected officials cowering before the NRA and its merchants of death.

Tim Eastman, Baltimore