When dealing with the federal government, experience doesn’t just add nuance to an understanding of the system. Often, interactions with the federal bureaucracy harden earned cynicism.
While deep in the research for a book titled Spies in Congress, I once had a U.S. Attorney smirk at me in the back of a courtroom when I asked why a defendant had just been given a sweetheart deal, even though a lot of evidence showed this man had been spying on members of Congress and had broken multiple laws. The U.S. Attorney said, “If you don’t like it, you can call our media-relations department.” That U.S. Attorney had just been brought in, and another removed, to make a very big scandal go away. It worked.
Another time, an official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) who was giving me, and a reporter from Mother Jones, a tour of the National Tracing Center (NTC) in Martinsburg, W. Va., told me gun stores were supplying criminal gangs with guns. As the reporter for Mother Jones wrote that down, I asked, “If that’s the case, please show me the records in this facility from the gun stores the ATF shut down for illegal sales.” Though the facility was buried in records from Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) that had, at some point, gone out of business (in which case, FFLs must send their records of sales over the past 20 years to the ATF), this official couldn’t point out a single file in the building that had come from a gun store busted for wrongdoing. As his fake narrative fell over like a Potemkin village in a wind storm, he winced and said, “Well, it is hard to catch them.”
Now, as this was being written, and after we filed a complaint, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) finally responded to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from America's 1st Freedom. A similar request from the anti-gun, Michael Bloomberg-funded publication The Trace had been fulfilled weeks before. I know they got the information because The Trace went public with the documents they received. As this is being written, a second request got some documents out of them, but they still didn’t give us all the records they gave The Trace.
This FOIA request had to do with Dr. John Lott’s short tenure at the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs, an offshoot of the DOJ that doles out billions of dollars in grants annually, some to academics and groups that promote gun control.
You’ll soon see more on what Lott was trying to accomplish in the DOJ and how so much of our tax money is funneled to research designed to give the mainstream media talking points to push for more restrictions on our Second Amendment rights.
This political favoritism and gaming of the system is important to bring up now, as the Biden administration is beginning to use the bureaucracy to impact our rights in many ways.
Still, though the system can be unfair and overtly political, it is nevertheless often responsive to sunlight. As so many in the mainstream media won’t do the honest reporting, or tell you the truth on topics related to our Second Amendment rights, it is especially important for us to do so.
The truth does matter. This is especially true during a time of growing censorship and political spin from an administration that doesn’t respect our individual rights.