ATF's 'Faces of Gun Violence' Exhibit Begging for a Response

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We should always have an issue with a law enforcement agency advocating for political issues, even if those fall into their purview in some way. The DEA should stay out of drug policy debates and the ATF should stay out of discussions of gun laws. The one exception is if they have something to say about the feasibility of enforcement.


After all, I shouldn't expect them to be silent when they know good and well that a proposed law will be impossible to actually enforce.

The problem, at least with regard to the ATF, is that they don't. 

Instead, the bureau routinely interjects itself in the gun debate and universally on the side that seeks to grant them more authority. The fact that anti-gunners can't see that as a potential red flag is beyond ridiculous.

Their latest effort is an exhibit, but it's one designed specifically to justify anti-gun restrictions on our rights.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unveiled the poignant “Faces of Gun Violence” exhibit at its Inaugural Gun Violence Survivors’ Summit on Tuesday. The event, attended by over 200 participants, including survivors, law enforcement officials, and victim advocates, featured a new exhibit designed to memorialize individuals lost to gun violence and to inspire ongoing advocacy and policy efforts.

Located at ATF headquarters in Washington, D.C., the exhibit includes a memorial wall adorned with 118 photographs and a digital kiosk that offers bios and stories of each individual. This feature will be updated annually, coinciding with future summits, to include new faces and stories.

The summit included various discussions on topics including the impact of firearms on domestic violence, law enforcement as survivors, and the effects of secondary trauma.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, addressing the gathering, highlighted the personal tragedies showcased in the new exhibit.

“We stand here today at ATF’s Faces of Gun Violence, a memorial to those who have lost their lives to this tragic epidemic,” Garland said. He detailed the lives represented behind him, including a 15-year-old boy from Washington, D.C., a mother and her daughters from Oregon, a 17-year-old student from Michigan, and more — all victims of gun violence whose stories tell of lives cut tragically short.


Of course, there are questions. Ryan Petty, the father of a victim in the Parkland massacre, asked some over on X, formerly Twitter, though he didn't seem to get any answers.

Fair questions.

Personally, I think this "exhibit" is begging for a response. In particular, I think it needs one of a couple of potentials, if not both.

First, a similar exhibit of people who lost their lives due to anti-gun policies. We know of multiple accounts of people who own guns and wanted to have them on their person the day either they or someone they loved was gunned down, but were disarmed due to policies prohibiting them from carrying them.

We could likely fill up a wall with those stories just as easily.

The second way to respond would be an exhibit framed just the same way, but with people who used their firearms defensively. We could fill up square miles with those stories, thus illustrating how guns save lives.

Maybe set it up at events like the NRA Annual Meeting or SHOT Show, as well as some other events, just to show how important our Second Amendment rights are.


Somehow, I don't think the ATF will spearhead such an effort. I wonder why?

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