Commentary

An agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is pictured on the scene of a shooting at a Chicago funeral home in 2020.

An agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is pictured on the scene of a shooting at a Chicago funeral home in 2020. On Monday, the ATF published a Twitter post soliciting tips from those who might have a romantic score to settle. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

 By Joe Saunders  February 14, 2022 at 1:08pm

This idea backfired pretty badly.

A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms plan to turn use Valentine’s Day as a hook to get jilted lovers to snitch on ex-significant others took a turn for the worse on Monday after the agency posted a public plea for information about “illegal gun activity.”

The response could not have been what the feds were looking for.

Valentine’s Day can still be fun even if you broke up. Do you have information about a former (or current) partner involved in illegal gun activity? Let us know, and we will make sure it’s a Valentine’s Day to remember! Call 1-888-ATF-TIPS or email [email protected] pic.twitter.com/OdDIPdIzkr

— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) February 14, 2022

“Valentine’s Day can still be fun even if you broke up. Do you have information about a former (or current) partner involved in illegal gun activity?” the post asked.

“Let us know, and we will make sure it’s a Valentine’s Day to remember!”

Someone at the ATF probably thought it was pretty clever, as did someone at the Biden Justice Department, who retweeted it. (It might also have been cribbed from a similar Facebook post published Friday by the Nash County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Office that wasn’t geared specifically toward firearms.)

Do you trust the Biden ATF?

But a large part of the audience on social media used the opportunity to point out that the ATF hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory in recent years — along with other federal law enforcement agencies that sometimes appear a good deal more interested in casting a cloud of suspicion over law-abiding Americans than making a case against the politically connected.

Like, say, President Joe Biden’s notoriously wayward son, Hunter Biden. According to a report last March in Politico — not exactly a hotbed of conservative journalism — Biden lied on a 2018 form when he was buying a gun to hide his history of drug abuse.

He’s not a former or current partner, but here’s a tip regarding an illegal gun purchase.

Name: Robert Hunter Biden: pic.twitter.com/CCNuhw9qxE

— Deb Heine, Dissident (@NiceDeb) February 14, 2022

You mean like this guy? pic.twitter.com/eBpRs9MwBT

— Honkmaster Poso 🎺 (@JackPosobiec) February 14, 2022

Here ya go https://t.co/LeiNAMs2t6

— James Rhine (@jamesrhine) February 14, 2022

And more than a few noted that the ATF and the Justice Department don’t exactly have clean hands when it comes to illegal weapons itself. The infamous “Fast and Furious” operation run during the Obama administration by then-Attorney General Eric Holder hasn’t been as forgotten as many liberals would like. (And the memory of the late Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.)

What if it’s your own government for a gun-running op called Fast and Furious? Weren’t you guys involved in that? https://t.co/elw4iq9JR0

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) February 14, 2022

I have information on some guys who trafficked guns to Mexican drug cartels@EricHolder masterminded the whole scheme, and then had his best friend @BarackObama assert executive privilege to protect him from having to testify

their co-conspirator was an agency called @ATFHQ

These Google search terms will get you started:

Fast and Furious

Eric Holder

Border Patrol Officer Brian Terry (deceased)

Maria Susan Flores Gamez “Miss Sinaloa” (deceased)

ATF gun-running operation

— MarkHyman (@MarkHyman) February 14, 2022

— Michael A. Wolff (@WolffintheWild) February 14, 2022

And, political hypocrisy aside, it’s important to note that what the ATF is looking for here is supposed evidence of illegal activity deliberately solicited from a segment of the population that would have a reason to lie about it.

Would any responsible government agency solicit — en masse — information to bring the might, and firepower, of the federal government down on any individual unfortunate enough to have a past paramour who wasn’t too picky about how to get revenge?

The answer is obvious, and it’s “no.”

Americans who care about the Second Amendment already have plenty of reasons not to trust the ATF.

Bonehead moves like this Twitter post give them one more.

As one Twitter user put it:

Bad idea, guys. I went through an acrimonious divorce many years ago. Had my now ex-wife thought about setting me up for an armed SWAT-like ATF raid with a bogus gun sale tip, I’m fairly sure she would’ve done it.

— Troy Riser (@TroyRiser) February 14, 2022

“Bad idea, guys. I went through an acrimonious divorce many years ago,” the user wrote. “Had my now ex-wife thought about setting me up for an armed SWAT-like ATF raid with a bogus gun sale tip, I’m fairly sure she would’ve done it.”

The geniuses at the ATF who came up with this idea better hope not too many take them up on it — and turn armed federal agents into tools of romantic revenge.

Bad as it’s backfired now, it could get a lot worse.

Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He’s been with Liftable Media since 2015.

Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He’s been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn’t need a printing press to do it.

Birthplace

Philadelphia

Nationality

American

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