… I’ve thought a lot about second chances lately. There is more involved with second chances than you might think. The first element is realizing that you’ve made a mistake and that you
want to move past the mistake and the mistake is a part of your history; never to be repeated again.
The second part about second chances is telling the authority over you, for me it was God and ultimately IA, that I had made a mistake, but I was going to do something about it to put it in the past. This is the scary part because although you know that God will forgive you, you do not know what humans will do. All you can is plead your case and hope for the best.
The last part about second chances is being happy with the second chance you are given. God guarantees us that even if we make mistakes, he does not hold it against us. This is best illustrated in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Here on earth, the choice given to you may not be as favorable. Second chances are not given out as freely. Sometimes it requires the person to be a member of a certain class of people. Sometimes it requires the person to be in a position of power. Sometimes it requires the person to have information that is damaging to a higher class individual. In these cases, the simple unassociated person receives no consideration. I could go on and say that this is contrary to how the Bible says we should treat each other, that every person is equally valuable to God, and who are we to judge, but I don’t want to turn this forum into a Sunday School Class…
I will say this. We are all anointed, or called, to perform a job in life. That job may be preaching the word of God or being an ATF agent. Whatever you are called to do, that calling becomes a primary goal to achieve in your life. That’s why we work the extra hours, wear the gun, face the dangers…because it’s part of achieving the goal.
Another part of achieving the goal is protecting the goal. I believe the persons on this website are doing just that. Protecting the goal. Speaking out against the enemies and events that affect the goal. We all care about our calling to be ATF agents and about the environment that surrounds us when we do our work. We all know that we cannot control the outside environment, the criminals, and the tragedies. BUT, we can control the agency politics. We can speak out against the wrongs and the favoritism and ask that everyone get the same second chance that others get. In a collective voice we can be heard.
If I were you, Mr. Brandon, I would be glad this site is here. As raw as some of this material may be, it shows that people care about ATF. They care about being ATF agents. They are on here for the betterment of ATF.
Mr. Brandon, this may be the last time you hear from me on this site, so please pay attention here for one moment… You have the authority over a lot of well-intentioned, hard-working agents. You can make changes for the better. You can give these agents who are in trouble second chances, just as second chances have been given to others. You can set new standards with fresh respected faces and weed out the old. You can tear down the wall between HQ and the field offices and open a line of communication. You can ultimately enable these agents to achieve their calling to be a federal law enforcement agent with ATF by removing obstacles. Don’t be indecisive. Don’t be scared. If you only knew the multitude of people that would back you on these changes, you would make them today. I know you would. There are a lot of us watching and waiting for change.
I’m nobody. I can’t make it happen. As bad as I want to help these agents get back to work and lift them out of their uncertainty, I can't.
All I can do is pray for God to bless you with courage and insight while I’m praying for these agents sitting at home, threatened to be fired, charged with the same offenses as others in the privileged class who have their gun and badge intact.
Don't let inaction and inequality be your legacy. Just think about it for a moment…
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
, The Road Not Taken