By chris Bunch
Editor at FMM, YAF campus leader at TWU and former King County libertarian party social media administrator.
We need to regulate weapons. There I admitted it. Yes me, A libertarian who stands by the principle of deregulation so much so that I would die defending it. However you cannot buy these weapons at a gun store or on the street. These weapons are locked and loaded within the confines of Washington D.C. and they want your blood.
The U.S. government has a long history of creating unnecessary programs or spending recklessly. Such as the $25 billion spent annually on maintaining vacant federal properties or the $84,000 spent on popcorn machines and Televisions to furnish the offices of congressmen. Although sounding trivial and wasteful the greatest waste comes in the $30 billion the government spends annually on three dangerous unregulated weapons. The ATF, IRS and NSA. You've heard of these three agencies before and dealt with at least one (or if you're John McAfee all three) in your lifetime. Each of these agencies have been used as a weapon at some point in their existence for purposes that not only are unconstitutional but also nefariously have attacked the very moral fiber that the U.S.A is founded upon. Here's what they are and how we can regulate them.
The IRS was founded in 1862 and ever since then has served as a beacon of hope for authoritarians everywhere. Although supposedly only existing to ensure fair collection of taxes it has been proven time and time again to be used as a weapon for evil;
- FDR used the IRS to harass newspapers who spoke out against the new deal. He also used the IRS against his political adversaries. Harassment included audits, unrelenting tax evasion warnings and threats of legal action all for political gain.
-Richard Nixon used the IRS to audit political opponents and obtain tax returns illegally.
-The FBI released private tax returns of the "United Klans of America" in an attempt to silence free speech (FMM condemns white supremacy or nazism but believes in the right to free speech)
On top of these blatant abuses of power the IRS has also brought armed agents to attain 25 cents from a gas station owner as well as many other similar incidents regarding small businesses who owed anywhere from $100 to 10 cents. The harassment also was directed by people like Lois Lerner (former IRS employee) who targeted conservatives in audits. As you can see the IRS is a weapon waiting to have it's unregulated power wielded by the next authoritarian pushing their personal agenda.
I really shouldn't be talking so negatively about the government considering our next weapon might be listening. The NSA is listed as a "data collection" agency which supposedly is meant to protect the United States from cyber attacks , terrorist attacks and other threats to national security. Like our last weapon this one is also subject to the abusive and powerful hand of the government. Clocking in at $10 billion dollars a year the NSA has been in the news quite a bit the past few years. From patriot leaker Edward Snowden showing abuses in power to rising debate of constitutional limitations here are some facts to set the record straight.
-3 billion phone calls are made in the U.S. every day, the NSA collects metadata from ALL of them. Call patterns, Phone numbers and certain conversations are all part of that collection.
-Former employee Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA could tap into online conversations, phone conversations, internet activity, transactions and more all without a warrant and were doing so daily.
-The NSA at one point were in possession of 40 million individuals photos and personal information without even being on a "watch-list."
Enabled by the patriot act the NSA violated the 4th amendment for millions of Americans and despite many promises by Obama to overhaul the system there is no significant evidence that anything has changed. This weapon unregulated can violate each and every American at a click. Nobody is safe from it.
That last paragraph might make you want to start drinking, thankfully our next weapon is here to help. The ATF stands for Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and primarily is supposed to help protect communities from violent drug trafficking and illegal weapons distribution. Instead the ATF has been proven to manufacture crime instead of prevent it.
-During the Obama administration, ATF agents went undercover to sell weapons to Mexican cartel members and then track where they went in an attempt to find criminals , however, the guns were lost and the infamous operation "Fast and Furious" ended up being responsible for the death of an American border agent. All of this was accomplished on the taxpayer dime and without proper approval and review from the Justice Department.
-The ATF repeatedly has staged situations in poverty stricken neighborhoods entrapping or placing false evidence to acquire a warrant for search and seizure regardless if there is contraband present or not.
-In one situation the ATF used a mentally disabled individual to pose as a firearms and drug dealer to lure in potential criminals only to arrest them on suspicion with no crime committed.
Yet another agency determined to manipulate the American people. The ATF is an order away from planting evidence on people like you and me to obtain their false goal of protecting the people. In actuality the ATF is another unregulated government weapon used to police for profit.
So you've seen these nasty weapons, unregulated and abused. So you must be asking? Why would a libertarian want to regulate more and deregulate less, the answer is the opposite. True regulation of these government weapons comes from deregulating the object policed by these agencies. Ending the war on drugs and deregulating the Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms industries leaves the ATF powerless. Reminding the government the purpose of the 4th amendment leaves the NSA no option but to leave your personal information alone. Last but not least, standing up to unnecessary taxation and declaring "taxation is theft" is a fireproof way to make the IRS work for you again. The government is our employee, not the other way around. Never allow these weapons to run out of control "unregulated" before it's too late.