I can see a very good argument for simply transferring the responsibilities of the ATF to the FBI particularly when they're both part of the DOJ now.
I've had ATF agents tell me that such a scenario is their
fondest wish. The internal workings are a mess, they're understaffed and overworked, and the general working atmosphere is very
hostile in some field divisions.
A scandal can be very valuable politically and we're not all that far away from the 2012 election.
I wish I shared your optimism, but memories are very short. I had a guy shouting at me the other day about how "they" were going to take his guns any day now, and that we never should have elected the current President.
When I asked him who he voted for, he said, "the other guy." OK, which "other guy?" He couldn't remember who ran on the Republican ticket less than three years ago.
As such, it would be quite a stretch for him to remember (for him) a minor political scandal that never made the evening news. Heck, he probably won't even get off the couch long enough to go vote.
trying to brush this under the rug by firing Melson. This whole situation has probably reached its apex for media exposure. Barring any sudden, drastic revelations, I really don't see it getting much traction in terms of Joe Sixpack's perception.
I hope I'm wrong.