Last week, agents from the Department of Justice raided a Gibson factory. The confiscated a large amount of wood and guitars in various states of completion. The issue surrounds Gibson's compliance with a century old las known as the Lacey Act, which among other things, deals with importation of woods. When you hear some of the facts about the raid, it is a little frustrating:
The Feds raided the same factory 2 years ago, confiscating materials, and have yet to file charges.
The Feds were armed, suggesting some sort of imminent conflict.
Gibson claims to be compliant in it's procurement of wood.
Gibson has suggested that the Obama administration wants them to move production overseas.
It is certainly frustrating, but for some reason Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz has decided that this is some sort of targeted bullying because he is not a supporter of the Democratic Party. He has aggressively pointed out his historical political contributions, and quoted statements by the Fed out of context. The discussion has now completely devolved into a Glenn Beck style rant across many message boards. Here is a classic comment from one supposed Gibson supporter. (or simply Obama detractor)
The Justice Department is becoming a Gestapo under this bunch of Marxist of the Obama administration. Forget about the precious woods and make guitars. Here in Arizona we are forced to leave our forest natural then lose 580,000 acres to wildfire. Go figure! --Joe Williams, comment on WSJ.com
Yes, go figure. Joe, an Arizona conservative complains about the Feds enforcing a law. Arizona conservatives also complain about the Feds failing to enforce immigration laws. Is that a contradictory position for them to defend one law, and seemingly do little to defend another? Sure. Is it hypocritical to complain about them doing it? Absolutely. (Of course, the Feds do a great deal of work enforcing the borders. The immigration issue needs to be addressed, but it is not as if they are ignoring it completely.)
I highly doubt that the DOJ is so well organized that they are dispatched to target businesses owned and operated by GOP supporters. If any branch of our government worked that well, we would live in a much more just, prosperous nation.
Going back to the facts of the case listed above;
It has been two years since the previous raid, and clearly they are collecting more evidence and confiscating more material. It is certainly burdensome. Good for Gibson for shedding light on the topic, it can only help things move more quickly.
Federal agents are always armed. They just are. Every FBI Agent, every DOJ Agent. Don't use it as a talking point when they are just following procedure.
If Gibson is compliant, I am sure it will come out. It is going to take a long time. As I noted above, the Federal Government is slow to move on anything. That is the nature of our government.
The Obama Administration has suggested that in order to be in compliance with the law, as currently written, the wood needs to be finished in India. They are not suggesting production should be moved there, simply how they can comply with the law.
If the Lacey act is unjust, illogical, or otherwise not serving the needs of our nation, by all means change it. Repeal it. But while it is a law, I am happy that the Feds aren't sitting on their hands.
I fully support Gibson, and I sincerely hope that Gibson beats this. I hope they can quickly resume making some of the world's finest instruments. But in the meantime, I hope they can work through it properly rather than sinking to the level of partisan bickering and name calling. It doesn't help resolve the issue, it just demoralizes us as a people.