I saw this tweet from the ATF this morning and the picture stuck with me.
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) April 24, 2014
What sour looking faces they have. Is it because they hate their jobs? Is it because they hate people who drink alcohol? Something else?
Whatever the reason I can’t help but wonder if the prohibitionist culture is still alive and well at the ATF. Alcohol and tobacco are still regarded by many as at least somewhat “sinful”. By lumping firearms in with them doesn’t that create some sort of “guilty by association”? The FBI and your local police force deal with people as potential problems. People commit crimes and are fined and/or sent to jail as needed to punish them.
If alcohol and tobacco are considered harmful substances and must be controlled then is any stretch to think it would better if they were banned? Certainly a ban on alcohol reached a critical mass in popularity during the early 20th Century. The “founding fathers” of the ATF were the enforcers of that ban. This Tweet could lead one to believe the some people in the current organization are proud of their “founding fathers”.
I remember discussions about potential bans on cigarettes in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. And handgun bans were certainly being discussed during the same time frame. Wouldn’t the agency charged with regulation of these “sins” attract people more inclined to them being banned?
They may have changed their name but I can’t help but wonder if culturally it still is the “Bureau of Prohibition”. Certainly their anti-gun supporters want them to be that and it would explain some of the nasty things they have done to gun sellers and owners.