Breitbart.com posted a C-SPAN2 video from 1995 of then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder discussing a public campaign to ”really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”
In his remarks, to the Woman’s National Democratic Club, he explained he wanted to mimic anti-smoking campaigns to “change the hearts and minds of people in Washington, DC” about guns.
(:26)“What we need to do is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that’s not cool, that it’s not acceptable, it’s not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we changed our attitudes about cigarettes.”
Mr. Holder then goes on to say that schools must must engage in daily anti-gun messaging “at every level,” saying:
(2:46)”I’ve also asked the school board to make a part of everyday some kind of anti-violence, anti-gun message. Everyday, every school at every level. One thing that I think is clear with young people and with adults as well is that we just have to be repetitive about this. It’s not enough to simply have a catchy ad on a Monday and only do it on a Monday. We need to do this everyday of the week and just really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”
Congressman Darrel Issa, California Republican and Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, responded to the 1995 video of Mr. Holder. “It’s no surprise. Lanny Breuer and Eric Holder come from a wing…certainly Lanny Breuer led the charge of he Assault Weapons Ban as did U.S. Attorney Berg,” said Rep. Issa.
“Many of the people in the chain of Fast and Furious have a disregard for second amendment rights and a real belief that they have to limit beyond what the courts have upheld people’s rights to keep and bear arms, so it’s no surprise that insensitive statements like that were made by now Attorney General Holder,” Mr. Issa added.
Before Holder spoke to the C-SPAN cameras in this video, on September 13, 1994, the Democratic Congress passed the Assault Weapons Ban (AWB), which President Clinton signed into law. The ban was a measure that was part of an anti-crime bill. However, the legislation wiped out a number of Democrats in Congress during the midterm elections. House Republicans used the AWB passage and the Clinton White House’s failed healthcare bill to rally the GOP base and capture the majority on the House side after 40 years of being the in the minority.
Dealing with a new Republican House, the Clinton administration knew very well that it would have to rely more on a better public relations campaign to bring the American people to their side on gun issues, which is where the Eric Holder video above comes in. Eventually, the 1994 ban expired under a Republican Congress and President George W. Bush.
Democrats argue that the 1994 AWB brought down crime significantly over the decade; however, the weapons that were banned under the guise of bringing down crime were barely used in violent crimes before the ban went into place. In 1999, the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice later analyzed the impact of the 1994 ban:
“On September 13, 1994, Title XI of the Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994—known as the Crime Control Act of 1994—took effect. Subtitle A (the Public Safety and Recre- ational Firearms Use Protection Act) of the act banned the manufacture, transfer, and possession of certain semiautomatic firearms designated as assault weapons and “large capacity” ammunition magazines.”
“The legislation required the Attorney General to deliver to Congress within 30 months an evaluation of the effects of the ban. To meet this requirement, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded research from October 1995 to December 1996 to evaluate the impact of Subtitle A. This Research in Brief summarizes the results of that evaluation.A number of factors—including the fact that the banned weapons and magazines were rarely used to commit murders in this country…”
Here are the key findings from NIJ:
● The research shows that the ban triggered speculative price in- creases and ramped-up production of the banned firearms prior to the law’s implementation, followed by a substantial postban drop in prices to levels of previous years.
● Criminal use of the banned guns declined, at least temporarily, after the law went into effect, which suggests that the legal stock of preban assault weapons was, at least for the short term, largely in the hands of collectors and dealers.
● Evidence suggests that the ban may have contributed to a reduc- tion in the gun murder rate and murders of police officers by criminals armed with assault weapons.
● The ban has failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun murder incident or multiple gunshot wound victims.
Although the DOJ’s research arm came out with these findings during the Clinton era, nevertheless, this has not stopped the Obama administration from wanting to bring back the Assault Weapons Ban. On February 25, 2009, Eric Holder told reporters (ABC NEWS):
“As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,” Holder told reporters.
Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.
“I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.” Holder said at a news conference on the arrest of more than 700 people in a drug enforcement crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S.
In the latest Fast and Furious scandal that A.G. Holder has found himself wrapped up in, CBS showed that ATF documents revealed how the DOJ would use the gunwalking operation as a case for more gun control regulations:
On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:
“Bill - can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”
On Jan. 4, 2011, as ATF prepared a press conference to announce arrests in Fast and Furious, Newell saw it as “(A)nother time to address Multiple Sale on Long Guns issue.” And a day after the press conference, Chait emailed Newell: “Bill—well done yesterday… (I)n light of our request for Demand letter 3, this case could be a strong supporting factor if we can determine how many multiple sales of long guns occurred during the course of this case.”
While A.G. Holder’s 1995 “brainwashing” remark is disturbing; however, the fact that he is acting as a political operative, while in charge of the Justice Department and is willing to evade responsibility on a number of controversies since the Clinton administration is more disturbing.