If you want an example of The Deep StateTM, look no further than the ATF, which has played fast and loose with the law — both its explicit text and the obvious intent of Congress — pretty much since its creation as an independent agency (thank you Gun Control Act of 1968!).
Congress has mandated many times that a federal registry is banned. Yet the ATF in its infinite bureaucratic wisdom has ignored the wishes of its creators and has retained data that is exactly that. The insulting argument that gun purchase records are kept for tracing guns used in crime is an amazing obfuscation, since they rarely are successful.
The obvious goal is a huge database of gun owners, not guns.
The Biden administration is in possession of nearly one billion records detailing American citizens’ firearm purchases, far more than Congress and the public has been aware of, according to new information from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
So, what would our benevolent masters in Washington do with a list of most gun owners in America? Send them ammo deals from the CMP? Make sure that they get recall notices from manufacturers? Send the jack-booted thugs of the Leviathan to their homes to confiscate their weapons, and very possibly shoot a couple thousand gun owners while they are at it…pour encourager les autres!
When was the last time a government entity didn’t overreact? When was the last time a bureaucrat with life-and-death power over Americans decided that exercising his authority in the most aggressive and heavy-handed way was not in keeping with the intent of Congress and the clear text of the Constitution?
Chevron vs. NRDC is the proximate cause of this disgusting deference to the unelected apparatchiks of the deep state, but obviously it has been going on for far longer. But it is the size of government that makes the Deep State so dangerous. Imagine an ATF without the resources to collect and keep that data, and without the resources to create a mini army to force its regulations on American citizens.
That is the genius of our founders, and the bureaucratic state has been fighting it since Marbury vs. Madison. It is also one of the bedrocks of conservative political philosophy, and one that has sadly fallen by the wayside.