timely quote

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.

Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The 90% myth debunked

From Fox News:

For a while now we've heard that 90% of the guns confiscated at crime scenes in Mexico came from the US, which is a major argument in the fight to ban "assault weapons." We've heard it from the assistant director for field operations at the BATFE, Secretary of State Clinton, various news anchors like Bob Schieffer, and Senetor Feinstein (not a big surprise...she'll repeat anything she hears anyway).

The reality is that the Mexican authorities will trace guns to the countries of manufacture, and that includes the US. The 90% is the percentage of guns that the authorities thought were from the US being actually from the US. But only a small percentage of guns are actually traced in the US. That percentage is actually 17%.

What's true, an ATF spokeswoman told FOXNews.com, in a clarification of the statistic used by her own agency's assistant director, "is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S."

But a large percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico do not get sent back to the U.S. for tracing, because it is obvious from their markings that they do not come from the U.S.

"Not every weapon seized in Mexico has a serial number on it that would make it traceable, and the U.S. effort to trace weapons really only extends to weapons that have been in the U.S. market," Matt Allen, special agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told FOX News.

In 2007-2008, according to ATF Special Agent William Newell, Mexico submitted 11,000 guns to the ATF for tracing. Close to 6,000 were successfully traced -- and of those, 90 percent -- 5,114 to be exact, according to testimony in Congress by William Hoover -- were found to have come from the U.S.

But in those same two years, according to the Mexican government, 29,000 guns were recovered at crime scenes.

In other words, 68 percent of the guns that were recovered were never submitted for tracing. And when you weed out the roughly 6,000 guns that could not be traced from the remaining 32 percent, it means 83 percent of the guns found at crime scenes in Mexico could not be traced to the U.S.

Remember that it requires a special license to purchase or own automatic weapons, so why would Mexican drug lords take all the time and effort to go through background checks to purchase single shot versions of the guns they can get from other national sources? Answer: they don't.

So if they're not getting all of these guns here, where are they coming from?

-- The Black Market. Mexico is a virtual arms bazaar, with fragmentation grenades from South Korea, AK-47s from China, and shoulder-fired rocket launchers from Spain, Israel and former Soviet bloc manufacturers.

-- Russian crime organizations. Interpol says Russian Mafia groups such as Poldolskaya and Moscow-based Solntsevskaya are actively trafficking drugs and arms in Mexico.

- South America. During the late 1990s, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) established a clandestine arms smuggling and drug trafficking partnership with the Tijuana cartel, according to the Federal Research Division report from the Library of Congress.

-- Asia. According to a 2006 Amnesty International Report, China has provided arms to countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Chinese assault weapons and Korean explosives have been recovered in Mexico.

-- The Mexican Army. More than 150,000 soldiers deserted in the last six years, according to Mexican Congressman Robert Badillo. Many took their weapons with them, including the standard issue M-16 assault rifle made in Belgium.

-- Guatemala. U.S. intelligence agencies say traffickers move immigrants, stolen cars, guns and drugs, including most of America's cocaine, along the porous Mexican-Guatemalan border. On March 27, La Hora, a Guatemalan newspaper, reported that police seized 500 grenades and a load of AK-47s on the border. Police say the cache was transported by a Mexican drug cartel operating out of Ixcan, a border town.

So why would the statistic be intentionally misrepresented? The NRA thinks it is to strengthen restrictive gun laws and I happen to agree with them. The left has consistently misused information, falsified reports and lied straight to our faces about the proliferation of those nasty cop-killing guns, and this is just the next soundbite designed to scare people into allowing the left to take away their right to keep and bear arms.

So what makes me think that?

But Tom Diaz, senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Center, called the "90 percent" issue a red herring and said that it should not detract from the effort to stop gun trafficking into Mexico.

"Let's do what we can with what we know," he said. "We know that one hell of a lot of firearms come from the United States because our gun market is wide open."

So Tom thinks that the fact that the Secretary of State is intentionally lying about a statistic to make the case for more gun (citizen) control is a red herring? A made up issue to distract from the problem? Out of the millions of firearms in the US, 5114 of them ended up in Mexico, and that is a "hell of a lot?"

This is SOP for the left.

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