U.S. Attorney Troy Eid sounds thrilled that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is opening a Denver office with 100 ATF agents.
The move will make it easier for agents to travel to crime scenes and to assist law enforcement in the Rocky Mountain West. It also will allow agents and personnel based in Phoenix to focus on firearms trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border, Sullivan said. ….U.S. Attorney Troy Eid says he welcomed the newly focused division because there has been an uptick in violent crimes involving weapons. An increase in shootings statewide and an increase of drug dealers arrested with firearms underscore the need for more agents who specialize in guns, Eid said.
My translation: Since Colorado isn’t on the U.S. Mexico border where the firearms trafficking is most prevalent, it seems the move is really designed to ratchet the war against drugs up a notch. I’d like to see some statistics. Eid mentions increased shootings across the state and in the next sentence, more drug dealers in possession of firearms when they are arrested. What isn’t said is that the drug dealers who have firearms are using them to shoot people. Maybe they have them for protection or are gun collectors. Maybe the increase in shootings isn’t related to drugs at all. Where are the stats showing how many of our local drug dealers shot someone? I suspect it costs a lot to open an office in a new city and to pay for 30 more agents and staffers. I’d rather see the money go to prevention programs and support services for drug offenders getting out of prison to reduce recidivism.