U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Valentine’s Day can still be fun even if you broke up,” the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives declares in identical Facebook and Twitter social media posts that appear to be backfiring. “Do you have information about a former (or current) partner involved in illegal gun activity? Let us know, and we will make sure it’s a Valentine’s Day to remember!”
The “ratioing,” that is, the negative response, is strong.
“Why? If Hallie had called you on Hunter Biden you’d have just buried it,” I replied, linking to my latest AmmoLand piece about ATF asking the federal judge to dismiss my Freedom of Information Act complaint because they say admitting to an investigation is not in the public interest and would violate his privacy rights.
I’m hardly alone, with Zero Hedge presenting a collection of similar reactions:
“Hunter Biden Mocked Over ‘Dumpster Gun’ After ATF Asks People To Snitch On Ex-Lovers”
That’s hardly the only objection, with other responses observing what some snotty ATF functionary describes as “fun” can be highly dangerous, and result in false reporting for revenge, and “swatting.” And that’s hardly hyperbole.
First, it doesn’t need to be a “report” coming in from a jilted, scorned, bipolar ex-squeeze, although that happens, too. There are anti-gunners with wide reach who have openly encouraged the swatting of gun owners and rights advocates.
Take the absurdly self-designated Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, which told its hundreds of thousands of followers to call 911 on any gun carriers they see in public, without any evidence of crimes being committed. These people have been primed to snitch, and based on who they choose to follow, we’re not exactly talking stable, restrained, and rights-respecting citizens here.
Valentine’s Day can still be fun even if you broke up. Do you have information about a former (or current) partner involved in illegal gun activity? Let us know, and we will make sure it’s a Valentine’s Day to remember! Call 1-888-ATF-TIPS or email [email protected] pic.twitter.com/OdDIPdIzkr
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) February 14, 2022
We’re also not exactly talking about hate hoaxes being a rare phenomenon in this country. People lying to advance a “cause” is the stuff of headlines, in spite of the usual gang of “progressive” liars trying to gaslight the public that it’s “rare.” As an analysis in The Wall Street Journal noted:
“Hate Crime Hoaxes Are More Common Than You Think A political scientist found that fewer than 1 in 3 of 346 such allegations was genuine.”
Then there are revenge complaints. You don’t have to look too hard to find reports like:
“A California woman surrendered to the FBI Wednesday on charges that she called an airline to report a fake terrorist threat hours before her ex-lover was to board an international flight, authorities said.”
Finding out you have been seeing the wrong person and then finding out your instincts to break up were right based on the way they handled badly is something many reading this have experienced firsthand.
Then there’s the whole “swatting” phenomenon. Enter the term on Google and you’ll see over 7M results. But to get more authoritative and specific here’s just one recent example from the Michigan State Police:
“In the last couple of weeks law enforcement agencies have seen an increase in false reports of terrorism to schools,” MSP Lt. Brian Oleksyk said. “These types of false reports will be investigated thoroughly by law enforcement agencies and sent to a prosecutor for review of charges.”
Let’s not forget snitching could give rival gangs a means to let “law enforcement” do their dirty work for them, or could give fast-and-loose cops a workaround for those pesky warrants. And let’s also not forget that snitching can get a person killed, and the greatest danger appears to be to those who live in communities disproportionately victimized by violence.
In other words, ATF’s assumptions here are privileged and racist.
This is beyond tone-deaf. These are ruthless, small-minded bureaucrats too arrogant and unjustifiably sure of themselves to realize they may not be as “in charge” of us as they think they are.
This is what ATF and its Department of Justice masters want to expend resources on, particularly at a time when Chuck Schumer is out there crying crocodile tears about how the bureau is underfunded and needs more money (so it can continue to compile an illegal database and pass new rules, reverse old ones, and reclassify/ban more guns and devices)?
The arrogance of whoever is behind creating and approving this offensive Valentine’s Day message deserves more than being ratioed and ridiculed. But realistically, don’t look for Congress to call responsible parties on the carpet even if the midterms change majorities, at least with Swamp Republicans at the helm.
Still, there is a “make lemonade out of lemons” opportunity here, again one that others are observing in their social media replies, but which I first saw as a comment under my The War on Guns post:
“The ATF just handed us excellent source material to use in the fight against red flag laws all over the country.”
Let’s hope our “gun rights leaders” agree and make the most of it.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.