In the wake of Katrina, the Blogosphere is descending on government pork at the behest of El Instapundito. As someone who views public schools and the USPS as flagrant wastes of stolen money, I'm uniquely unqualified to contribute to this noble effort. I can, however, point out a particularly inane bit of government waste that impinges on my everyday life. This is the semi-infamous (and hilariously pointless) BATF form 3310.4.
In what is, I'd assume, a blundering and inefficient attempt to combat gun-running and non-licensee sales, the BATF provides me free of charge (ie: on your dime) with stacks of triplicate forms innocently numbered 3310.4, for the ostensible purpose of recording multiple handgun purchases. Should you purchase more than one handgun from me in a five day period, I have to fill out this form, mail one copy to the local law enforcement agency, who is expected to take notice of it and file it (unfunded mandate); then I fax one copy to the BATF (to a phone line you pay for) where, one assumes, a fed.gov desk jockey (whose salary comes out of your pocket) will do with it whatever it is that the fed.gov does with reams of meaningless forms (uses them as mulch in public parks, I'd guess); the last copy of the form I'm supposed to keep filed myself. For many years. (I'll fund the new filing cabinets for the shop by raising gun prices 10 cents across the board.)
Aside from the philosophical implications of this witless regulation (like it's any of the government's damned business how often you decide to buy a pistol,) let's look at it from a purely pragmatic standpoint:
1) You buy 20 pistols in one day, each from a different firearms retailer or pawn shop, and ship them via UPS to a "Mr. Albert Kayda" in Flint, MI: No form gets filed.
2) You buy a handgun from me every sixth day, for shipment to the Black Gangsta Disciples in da' 'hood: No form gets filed.
3) You buy one hundred shotguns and semiautomatic AR/AK clones to send off to the White Aryan Resistance in Two Mules, Idaho: No form gets filed.
4) You purchase two pre-World War One Smith & Wesson revolvers in Very Fine/Near Mint condition, complete with box and tools, from an estate consignment: Ahhh, now the Special Gunrunning Form gets filled out on your purchase and faxed to the BATFE for some taxpayer-funded minion to ponder and get all sweaty-palmed over while wondering what nefarious scheme you have in mind.
Your tax dollars hard at work, my friends...