Lately I've been thinking about it and I've decided that the problem is that we need to get the F out of BATFE.
The problem (well, the main problem) with every gunnie's favorite alphabet agency is that one letter. A strict reading of the Second Amendment means that there can't legally be a Federal agency that licenses, regulates, or in any other way 'infringes' on a citizen's right to keep and bear arms.
There doesn't seem to be any such prohibition over regulating Alcohol or Tobacco, however, unless you're going to try to get them through under "the pursuit of happiness." One problem with that is that the phrase is from the Declaration of Independence but hey, it's worth a try.
Explosives are a bit tricky. On the one hand, they're an essential component of 'arms' and can be considered arms in and of themselves. On the other hand, they are also in the realm of 'public nuisance' and general hazard. I'm sure that the many fine legal minds out there can figure out the proper dividing line on this subject.
I know that a lot of people are really wishing for the total abolition of BATFE but that's not likely to ever happen. Let's face it, there's little with a better chance at immortality than a Government agency. The best you can hope for is to redirect them into a more constructive (or at least less destructive) channel. You can get one agency to 'eat' another but in those cases the 'temporary' increase in size tends to outlive most of the observers. There are also long-standing rumors that no other agency will take the staff of BATFE.
So I don't think we're going to get rid of them, nor are they going to become the convenience store their name suggests. But we can at least dream of them becoming an agency that's at least in accord with most of the United States Constitution, if they'd only get the 'F' out.
Copyright © 2009 Steven L. Van Dyke, all rights reserved
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