Anti-Gun Groups Silent on Fast and Furious
The Brady Campaign, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns have refused repeated requests by PJ Media for comment on the hundreds of Mexican citizens believed murdered with firearms provided by the Obama administration.
Operation Fast and Furious involved a coalition of federal agencies facilitating the sale of more than 2,000 firearms to known drug cartel straw purchasers. At times, federal agents ran interference for cartel weapon smugglers, thwarting local law enforcement. The operation collapsed when a number of agents came forward as whistleblowers following the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, dead following a shootout with a cartel group led by an FBI informant.
Mexico Attorney General Marisela Morales has stated that at least 300 murders can be attributed to weapons provided through Operation Fast and Furious, which would make it the deadliest scandal ever involving a U.S. administration.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has been at the forefront of gun-control efforts. The organization was formed after Press Secretary Jim Brady was seriously wounded in John Hinckley's assassination attempt on President Reagan. Per the opening paragraph of Brady's mission statement:
We are devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.
The organization once questioned President Obama on his perceived lack of gun-control efforts, receiving a reply from the president that some contend was a reference to Fast and Furious: “I just want you to know that we are working on it. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”
Since Operation Fast and Furious became public knowledge and the congressional investigation began, the Brady Campaign has been conspicuously quiet: they have made no public statement condemning the program and have released only two statements discussing it. One was an attempt to use the government-run smuggling operation to push for more gun-control laws; a later statement was a reiteration of the first with a reference to the government program:
We fully support efforts to determine the circumstances that led to the tragic death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The wisdom of specific law enforcement operations against gun traffickers who funnel arms to Mexican drug cartels is worthy of close examination[.]
The Brady Campaign is arguably America's most successful gun-control organization. It has helped advocate for successfully passed laws and has filed suits on behalf of victims of gun violence. Yet they have not issued a statement pressing the Obama administration for accountability in Operation Fast and Furious, and they have not stated if they support the appointment of an independent prosecutor to carry out an investigation.
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) is older and less successful than the Brady Campaign in terms of success in passing gun laws. They have participated in the controversial "cyberstalking" and "outing" of gun rights bloggers. Like Brady, CSGV has not issued any public statements castigating the Obama administration. The only related link on their site is to an October 2011 op-ed wherein CSGV Executive Director Josh Horwitz mentions the plot in an attack on the National Rifle Association.