How Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch handed Jeff Sessions a huge present
Politics, it is often said, is hardball. But sometimes even Major League Baseball pitchers lob a slow floater right over the plate, all but offering the other team for a home run for the taking. Something metaphorically like that sort of pitch has come AG Jeff Sessions’s way, thanks to a Department of Justice Inspector General’s Report.
Richard Pollock of the Daily Caller News Foundation spotted it:
More than 100,000 convicted felons or other “prohibited persons” tried to buy guns each year during President Barack Obama’s administration by lying on their applications, but the Justice Department only considered prosecuting about 30 to 40 people each year, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.
The Obama administration may have publicly aligned itself with anti-gun activists, but it consistently turned a blind eye to prosecute known criminals who tried to buy guns.
A June 2016 Justice Department Inspector General’s report revealed that between 2008 and 2015 the U.S. Attorneys office considered prosecuting “less than 32 people per year” for lying on form 4473, the federal application to buy guns. (snip)
“People could do what is called, ‘lie and buy,'” explained Lawrence Keane, a senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a nonprofit organization that represents gun manufacturers.
“But very infrequently is anyone ever prosecuted. What’s the point of making it a crime if you don’t enforce it?” he asked in an interview with TheDCNF.
There is a simple, if cynical, answer to Keane’s question:
If the law were properly enforced, there would be fewer incidents of what the gun grabbers call “gun violence.” Fewer incidents to use as propaganda for demanding even more draconian laws limiting the access of law-abiding citizens to firearms through new laws.
Here is the opportunity this enforcement fiasco has created for Sessions, and his boss, President Trump.
Start with a high-profile denunciation of the DOJ’s failure over the last 8 years to protect the public. This could be done by either President Trump or his AG. There surely are instances of people who were not prosecuted and went on to commit crimes. The victims of those crimes can be highlighted and a finger of responsibility pointed at the DOJ.
President Trump then directs, via an executive order, his DOJ to prioritize prosecution of violations of the background check documentation. A signing ceremony, accompanied by remarks criticizing the failures of AGs Holder and Lynch, and promising to reverse the harm they have caused by their negligence, would be good.
Following that, AG Sessions announces his decision to beef up prosecutions by transferring personnel from other sections of the DOJ, and maybe even put in a request for additional funding to hire new prosecutors in addition to those transferred over from prosecuting colleges for not having equal number of women as men participating in sports, for instance.
This gets the Trump administration on the side of doing something about gun violence, and discrediting his predecessors. It also directs public attention and energy away from new laws.
I call that a win/win. Except for Democrats and gun grabbers.