Behind Chuck Norris' beard, there is only another fist. Behind his latest column are a variety of National Rifle Association (NRA) myths about gun trafficking between the United States and Mexico and the Obama administration's latest attempt to curb that problem.
Norris is a fervent supporter of the (NRA), cutting ads and serving as honorary chairman of their voter registration efforts in 2010. So it's no surprise that he devotes much of his column to echoing claims recently offered by his friend and the executive vice president of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre.
Norris' piece is filled with absurd hyperbole. He declares that President Obama is "trying to eliminate our Second Amendment rights" and "restricting the right to bear arms, "which he says "primarily ties the hands of good guys." Norris also accuses Obama of trying to "demonize good, law-abiding American gun dealers."
Norris' argument makes no sense at all, unless the goal is to enrage gun owners rather than inform them; the rule Norris is attacking will not prevent a single American from purchasing a gun. All it does is require gun dealers in the Southwest border states to inform the ATF when the same person purchases two or more certain types of rifles - including AK-variant assault weapons - in a five-day span. They can still buy as many of the guns as they want as quickly as existing law allows; gun dealers will just have to inform law enforcement, helping them establish patterns that can help detect trafficking.
Norris goes on to push LaPierre's claim that the Obama administration is disingenuous in trying to "disarm cartels with a form." But according to ATF agent and Fast and Furious whistleblower Peter Forcelli, whom the NRA has previously cited as an expert on tactics, these reports would be a "huge tool" for the ATF, providing them with an investigative tool that could help them crack down on gun traffickers who buy these weapons in large numbers and then turn around and sell them to Mexican drug cartels.
Norris goes on to claim:
The facts are, as Wayne LaPierre points out, that cartels get their machine guns, grenades, missile launchers and tanks from Central and South America, Russia, China, international black markets and defections from the Mexican army. State Department cables, released by WikiLeaks, support those facts.
But the same cables show that while the cartels get their heavy arms (arms not generally available to U.S. civilians) from other countries, their handguns and many assault rifles come to Mexico through the U.S.
The former Walker, Texas Ranger even takes time to promote the NRA's lawsuit seeking to bar the enforcement of the rule, calling its implementation "just one more example of the feds exceeding their powers and averting congressional permission." In fact, such "congressional permission" exists, through the Gun Control Act of 1968, which requires licensed firearms dealers to submit such records as the Attorney General "may specify." According to the ATF, "courts had upheld similar regulations in the past -- including the rule requiring reports about bulk handgun sales."
Perhaps Norris should spend more time pushing the Earth down, and less time spouting NRA talking points.