8 months ago
As Evan Perez reported in the WSJ last month, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been thinking about turning its unwieldy seven-word name into something a little snappier. At the time, he wrote that Violent Crime Bureau was a candidate.
Now, quietly, the name change has happened—at least a little bit. For a few days now, the bureau has featured the new name at the top of its home page (atf.gov), just below the old name. The site’s top banner reads, “Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives / The Violent Crime Bureau.”
The new name doesn’t have any legal status yet. Asked about changing names Wednesday, ATF acting director B. Todd Jones said, “That’s a concept that we batted around.” He added that the agency was focused on returning to its fundamental mission and said, “How it’s labeled is less important than what it does.”
The Violent Crime Bureau moniker reflects the agency’s ambition to take the lead in tackling violent-crime outbreaks in big cities such as Philadelphia that have seen an increase in murders and drug-related shootings. The agency’s current name is something of an anachronism because it brings fewer than a hundred alcohol and tobacco cases a year. And its reputation as a firearms regulator took a hit because of the Fast and Furious scandal …
So a name change has been “batted around” within the DOJ/ATF in order to save their battered reputation? That’s how the new head is spending his time and energy? My idea is somewhat different. Leave firearms regulation entirely to the states, and hand ATF employess their pink slips. All of them. It would save money, and my bet is that it wouldn’t cause one iota of difference in crimes.
It would more closely comport with the doctrine of federalism so important to our founders, it would help to protect our constitutional rights, it would decrease federal meddling in the lives of U.S. citizens, and it would sweep yet another bloated and wasteful federal bureaucracy out of the way as we press towards streamlining of the system. What’s not to like about it?