By David Codrea
“The fight to protect our communities is not just up to law enforcement. It’s a partnership between communities and law enforcement.
“We look to you who live in these communities we protect to provide us with information about gun violence,” the alert continues.”In an effort to make your communities safer, ATF is launching a new way to collect your tips involving firearms or to provide leads to help us prevent violent crimes from happening.”
What “new way”?
“Using your phone, tablet or computer, you will have the option to submit tips and remain anonymous or provide your personal information,” the alert explains. “We hope to make a significant impact in keeping your communities safe.”
And how will anonymity be guaranteed, especially with widely-publicized “Stop Snitchin’” campaigns delivering messages to the most severely affected communities that include consequences like “stitches” and “ditches” for “b…..s”? After all, some people defying the gangs have suffered monstrous consequences.
“ATF values your privacy and is offering this service through reportit®, a mobile app that allows you to remain anonymous,” we’re assured. “With reportit® concerned citizens can report suspicious or unusual activities in real time while having the confidence that your identity will remain anonymous and confidential.”
Even they can’t track who we are, ATF pledges, and therein lies another danger (feature?) of anonymous snitch programs.
Aside from an agency (they are one, right?) with no Constitutionally-delegated functions encouraging a snitch culture to suppress what is supposed to be a Constitutionally-recognized right.
Here are some other consequences, unintended or not:
If I'm a drug dealer and I want to eliminate the competition, why not let the feds do the job for me? Chances are, my rivals will be packing, so I'll not only get them busted, but if I'm really lucky, maybe one or more of them will “go for their waistbands” and I can get “law enforcement” to take them out for me.
Or what if I'm just mad at somebody? What if some bum stole my girl or I think a guy ripped me off or I'm just a creep who wants to victimize someone for the twisted hell of it? This would be a pretty sweet way of doing that, wouldn't you say? Sic ATF on them, maybe get them killed, and remember: no one will know who I am.
Alternatively, what if I'm a LEO hampered by pesky laws keeping me from scoring busts? What if I have no probable cause for a search warrant, but I don't want to let the Fourth Amendment get in my way any more than the Second does? Why not just activate that reportit® mobile app, and enjoy a cutting edge bypass around the Constitution?
Yeah, I know. All of these examples are “unlawful.” I’m sure an anonymous bad guy would never abuse the system. Right?
So what am I suggesting, to let violent criminals rule? It could be argued they already do, and that the freelancers flourish as a result of failed (or intentional) government policies. It could also be argued that government usurpers and oath-breakers are the biggest obstacle to the one thing the Founders deemed “being necessary to the security of a free State” that would really make communities safe.
Still, I have evidence of a conspiracy (going up to the highest levels) to cover up evidence of another criminal conspiracy: to arrange for guns to be “walked” to Mexico. There’s pretty compelling evidence to suggest a minimum of hundreds of human lives have already been taken in that evil plot.
The thing is, if I contact ATF with a tip, I’d better protect myself and use reportit®, because I understand those behind that criminal enterprise are big on retaliation.
You can watch a video on how reportit® works on ATF's Facebook page.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.