Barger for US Senate

Official campaign website of Al Barger, 2004 Indiana Libertarian Party candidate for US Senate

"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows that the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?" - James Madison, Federalist #62

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Hey, there are guns in my alphabet soup

I've had at least one criticism in this early part of my campaign that has some merit. In my essay on John Ashcroft, I faulted him as Attorney General for the IRS seizure of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple. A fellow Blogcritic countered that this was just wrong, because the IRS is the Treasury Department, not Justice.

Now in this particular case, I'm minimally covered in that the IRS was specifically backed up in their seizure by the FBI. They surely ARE under John Ashcroft's purview. Still, that's primarily the Treasury Department.

The thumbnail version of civics is that the Attorney General is the head federal law enforcement officer. The natural tendency then is to consider him responsible for acts of federal law enforcement.

Thing is, minions of the Justice Department are not the only federal agents who have guns and the authority to use them. Thinking it out, half the agencies of the federal government get to make up their own rules, then enforce them at gunpoint.

We've got a whole vat of alphabet soup, the FEC, FCC, BATF, IRS, SEC and who even KNOWS how many others? How many of them get to carry firearms, and enforce unilaterally whatever edicts they like? Who is even to be held responsible?

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