Gun rights advocates following the “Project Gunwalker” story have received replies from their United States Senators, Richard Lugar (R- Ind) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn), who say they are aware of allegations about gun monitoring operations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) gone awry, and claim they are conducting staff investigations of the accusations.
Senator Lugar responded to a query from an Indiana constituent, presented in the slide show accompanying this report (with name and address obscured for privacy). Lugar characterizes the reports as “troubling” and further states:
I have contacted the ATF to request information about how firearms could have been allowed to enter criminal hands. I will promptly share with you a copy of the ATF response. In the meantime, I will closely follow investigation of this matter in the Senate Judiciary Committee with our mutual concerns in mind.
Senator Lieberman replied to his Connecticut constituent via email, also included in the slide show, again with the recipient’s name and address removed. Per Lieberman:
Your correspondence raised concern over recent allegations that the ATF allowed firearms to cross the border into Mexico. These are very serious allegations that merit further examination. Please be assured that I am aware of the allegations; and, as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I have directed my staff to follow up with the relevant federal agencies and continue to monitor the situation as it develops.
Two powerful senators have now acknowledged they too are looking into the allegations being investigated by Sen. Charles Grassley. This admission was brought about solely through grassroots action by gun rights activists taking the initiative to do that which has been urged throughout the unfolding of this developing story: demanding an investigation from their representatives.
Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars, the blog which first reported on CleanUpATF.org forum allegations that resulted in the revelations Sen. Grassley is investigating, stressed the importance of supporters following the lead the Lieberman and Lugar constituents have provided, and urged all interested people to follow suit.
“Put simply,” Vanderboegh stated, the institutional forces that go to work when there’s any scandal, regardless of administration, are so difficult to overcome without the active participation of the people.
“They will only investigate that which, if they don’t investigate, will threaten their reelection,” Vanderboegh continued, conceding that Lieberman is retiring, but that the truism applies to all others. “The other thing that is absolutely vital is that we somehow prevent the deportation of the three witnesses to the murder of [Border Patrol Agent] Brian Terry.
“For those reasons, to get to the bottom of the murder of Brian Terry—if nothing else—we have to mobilize the senators,” he concluded.
- A journalists’ guide to ‘Project Gunwalker’
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