The administration wisely - and in this political climate, bravely - appears to have had a change of heart. "As part of the president's commitment to strengthening core law enforcement and homeland security functions - even as we make tough choices across the government - the 2012 budget includes robust support for Southwest border security, including an increase above current funding levels for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives," according to Margaret L. Reilly, a spokeswoman at the Office of Management and Budget. In plain English: The administration is promising to increase the ATF's budget beyond the $1.13 billion currently included in the 2011 continuing resolution. OMB declined to provide the exact dollar amount.Could this be the beginning? Could this be the start of the long-overdue change in direction many of us have been waiting for?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.Refusing to further gut the ATF is an important, but ultimately small, gesture. Assault weapons and related accessories, including the kind of high-capacity magazine used in the shootings just outside Tucson, should be banned; the gun show loophole for background checks should be closed. We hope the president's course correction on the ATF is but the first of many steps to combat the rash of gun violence that has for too long afflicted this country and its neighbor to the south.