Rachel Maddow railed against what she described as the government's feeble oversight of guns in the United States on her show Wednesday night.
She weighed in on the heels of President Obama's press conference about gun policy earlier that day. In the wake of the Newtown shooting, Obama put Vice President Biden in charge of a gun violence task force and set a January deadline for recommendations.
Maddow welcomed the news, but said that the regulation of guns in this country has been appallingly weak. Maddow said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is "so underresourced and understaffed" and "so atrophied" that there was no one at the agency available to comment on the president's remarks when her staff reached out.
She pointed out that the ATF only has an interim acting director, who has another job as the attorney general of Minnesota.
"In the case of the gun manufacturers lobby, they have gotten their wish," Maddow said. "They would please like that part of the government that regulates the health and safety of their products to disappear and through the magic of the conservative movement and the gun lobby and politicians not standing up... nobody runs that part of our government anymore."
She continued, "The fact that the gun lobby and Republicans will not allow anyone to be in charge of the agency that regulates firearms in this country is one of the ridiculous anomalies about this particular field of policy and governance that the president talked about at his press conference today."