Magazine July 18, 2011, Issue

What’s Step 2?

(Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)
The illogic of Operation Fast and Furious

Conservatives know that gun control is a futile endeavor. But even we gun nuts typically support some basic measures to keep weapons out of the wrong hands — for example, laws that forbid felons to own guns, laws that require firearms dealers to perform instant background checks on buyers, and laws against “straw purchasing,” that is, buying a gun legally and then selling it to someone who’s not allowed to have it.

Someone such as, say, a trafficker who supplies a Mexican drug cartel.

And yet the Obama administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) intentionally allowed straw purchases at

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Books, Arts & Manners


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The Week

Rep. Michele Bachmann regularly gives GOP leaders heartburn, rapping them for cutting spending deals with the White House.


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