The National Rifle Association’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, is calling for an independent investigation into the federal program that allegedly allowed thousands of guns to fall into the hands of Mexico’s drug cartels.
In an interview with Newsmax.TV, Cox said: “One or two guns being allowed to walk into Mexico is an outrage; thousands of guns is borderline criminal.”
Cox was talking at the NRA’s annual conference in Pittsburgh. He said the investigation has to be taken out of the hands of both the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
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“That’s the fox guarding the henhouse,” he said. “We’ve called on Congress to go forward with full investigations. Let’s get to the bottom of this. Gun owners deserve the truth and the American people deserve to know the truth.”
The program, nicknamed “Fast and Furious,” was started by the Bush administration and expanded under President Barack Obama. Up to 1,700 guns were allegedly allowed to go to the cartels so they could be tracked. But when Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in December along the Arizona border, some of the weapons were found at the scene.
Cox called out Attorney General Eric Holder over the ATF program, and NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre has already called for Holder’s resignation.
“This does not look good. People need to be held accountable and we deserve to at least know the truth. There’s been a lot of stonewalling. There’s been a lot of lying going on.
“This isn’t a new concern that we have with Attorney General Holder. During his previous life in the Clinton administration, he was a vocal supporter of gun control, a vocal supporter of dismantling our Second Amendment freedom.”
Cox also addressed calls to outlaw assault weapons in the light of the January Tucson shooting in which six people were killed and Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was seriously injured. He called the accused gunman, Jared Loughner, “a mad man.”
“The truth is we need to have a discussion about mental health in this country,” said Cox. “You have a guy who had some kind of shrine set up in his parents’ back yard. There were red flags everywhere.
”We need to take these threats seriously. If someone’s acting like they’re a danger to themselves or others, people need to speak up.
“But the answer’s not one more gun law. You have a mad man who is willing to break dozens of laws at the state and federal level and to suggest that if we just pass one more, maybe he would become less crazy and maybe he would become a productive citizen is asinine.
“We’re willing to have a serious discussion about crime policy with anyone anywhere, but when you start talking about one more gun control law to stop a mad man it’s not a serious discussion.”
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