Robert VerBruggen writes in the National Review that some “Fast and Furious critics” are “concocting a conspiracy theory: specifically, that the Obama administration allowed the guns to go to Mexico deliberately in order to increase gun crime there.” What VerBruggen is missing is that emails show it’s not a conspiracy theory. It might not be the only or even the primary reason why the ATF cleared the way for untraced guns to go to Mexico’s drug gangs, but it is certainly a reason. For example, last December CBS News reported “Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation Fast and Furious to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.” The report when on to say, “On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious: Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.’”
This “demand letter” refers to the push for a policy that would require U.S. gun shops in southwestern states to report the sale of several rifles or shotguns to a single buyer. According to CBS, “Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.” This is gun control.