Here ---- http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/01/opinion/01mon2.html?_r=1 "As a new Congress looms, we suggest lawmakers travel to Washington by way of West Virginia and an obscure federal building called the National Tracing Center. There they can see workers laboring through unmanageably high backlogs of handwritten paper records submitted by the nations gun dealers. This is Congresss handiwork at the behest of the gun lobby and to the detriment of public safety. Each year the center receives 300,000 inquiries from police officers trying to track weapons from tens of thousands of gun deaths. But it is prohibited, by law, from collecting gun ownership records through a modern computerized database. Instead, paper prevails in assorted scraps. Workers huddle over desks with tape and magnifying glass, while crime marches on. The centers plight was described in a Washington Post report detailing the insidious roadblocks and lethal damage wrought by bipartisan pandering to the gun lobby. Congresss failure is also clear in the underfinancing and short staffing at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Beleaguered enforcement agents must monitor 115,000 firearms dealers with 600 agents the same number as three decades ago. Gun dealers can go as long as eight years between visits from inspectors. Meanwhile, the criminal minority of dealers who repeatedly claim lost and stolen inventory less than 2 percent of retailers are rarely shut down since lawbreakers are allowed to sell their businesses to family members. The A.T.F. bureau has also been denied a permanent director as the Senate cowers before the gun lobby. Congresss budgetary directives for the F.B.I. and D.E.A. total less than a score each. The A.T.F. gets 87. Congresss obstructionism doesnt end there. Until seven years ago, police were able to consult the A.T.F. archives of gun traces from dealer to owner. No more. Congress has also effectively barred cities and individuals from suing the firearms industry for damages. A wad of fresh obstructions awaits the next Congress, devilishly titled A.T.F. Reform and Firearms Modernization Act. This would provide violators with bullet-proof protection requiring not just evidence, but state-of-mind proof of a crooked dealers premeditation to break the law. Lawmakers need to ask: Is this really why I was elected? Maybe they well catch on that gun control period just doesn't work. I know, I am wishful thinking. The other is here --- ATF's oversight limited in face of gun lobby "The NRA, which has about 4 million members, said its work over the years pushing legislation in Congress has been designed to protect the constitutional rights of gun owners and has not hampered law enforcement. The ATF "should focus their efforts on prosecuting bad people and not harassing gun dealers and, in a lot of cases, gun owners," said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. "The only reason to register products is either to tax 'em or to take 'em."