I have held it in as long as I can. I am concerned about the current nature of information dispersal in our country. I read the news accounts and the editorials, but I avoid "all" of the national television media. Just use your thinking caps. Ask yourself some questions when you read something that on the surface seems absurd. This exercise could apply to lots of things, but I'm going to touch on the Second Amendment fervor in this missive. As most of you know, I spent twenty five years working for ATF. We enforced some of the most unpopular laws ever passed by the United States Congress. But, the operative thought here is that they were passed by "OUR" elected representatives and they were the law of the land. Most of the original 1968 Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (also known as the Gun Control Act) was a rehash of laws, related to firearms, that had been on the books since the early 1930's. Some stronger penalties were added, but most of the legal infrastructure was already on the books. When started work in the early 1970's, ATF was a step-child of the IRS. They hated us because we spent some of our allocated funds on guns and bullets. I think it was in the summer of 1972 when we became a separate agency. We also enforced laws related to the manufacture, sale, and transportation of un-taxed distilled spirits, and possession and sale of un-taxed tobacco products. We were a very small investigative agency at the time and had a very small budget when stacked up against others in federal law enforcement. Because many of our violations related to the non-payment of federal taxes, we were under the United States Treasury Department. The other nexus areas of the Gun Control Act were related to National Security, and Interstate Commerce. We had our share of boobs, alcoholics, and unqualified special category hires, just as all other agencies did, but overall, the folks I worked with were very conservative and right thinking. I know a lot has changed since I left in 2002, and some questionable changes have been made outside the regular process for making laws, but a lot of good guys are still on the job and doing what they swore they would do and that is uphold and defend the laws of our land. We joked a lot with those who were vocal about the gun laws and how they were affecting gun owners, but a lot of their angst was from disinformation from people who made lots of money keeping their base stirred up. When they were close to a stroke, I would tell them that we were just issued pry bars. When they asked why, I would say, "so that we can pry your cold dead fingers off the barrel of your gun." We would all laugh knowing that option was an impossibility given the Second Amendment of our U. S. Constitution. I hope it still is an impossibility. However, it has become very popular for some entrenched career politicians and their wealthy overseers to ignore those portions of our Constitution that get in the way of their greedy grabs for more power. I intend to use this introductory piece as a base for some further commentary on the gun situation in coming posts. You might want to read it again before you read the other posts, or remember that what you hear and read from even well respected sources isn't always the truth. No one can claim to know everything, but everyone can use logic and history to predict the reliability of what they are reading, hearing, and thinking.