Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton's recent indictment of America's guns being unwitting enabler's of the looming disaster that is Mexico very likely had gun control advocates salivating. Various media reports have put the onus on American gun dealers, citing the "fact" that some 90% of Mexico's cartel weaponry is from the US. Those reports, in leaving out one whopping detail, were completely wrong.

In fact, it's not even close. The fact is, only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.

What's true, an ATF spokeswoman told, 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.

Full story.


EB said...

Aren't we still the world's largest arms dealer?

And while 17% is far less than 90%, it does not change the fact that we have gun dealers here who not only get away with murder here in the US, but export their greed and subversion of common decency and laws to Mexico as well.

Thank you for busting this myth though. It would be interesting to see where the other 83% are coming from. Somehow I doubt Venezuela keeps all those Russian weapons they get for dirt cheap.

Jay@Soob said...

Are you conflating the military industrial complex and private enterprises here when you claim we are the largest supplier of arms?

The point in busting this myth is busting the strawman theory presented by both the media and various politicians that the elimination of cross border arms trade will have a marked effect on the armament of Mexico's cartels. It won't. The cartels receive arms through Guatemala and many of those arms are more on par with a paramilitary (grenades, rpg, land mines, etc) than the pittance crossing the border from the US.

The "if we stop the flow of guns" bullshit is little more than a diversion from much harder political solutions, both in definition and in action. Much like the pathetic, decades long gun control nonsense. A legal plague our lawmakers hide behind because they either cannot or will not delve into the causation of violent crime. It's too messy. I'm seeing the O admin. following suit here by tossing the US gun trade out as a chief benefactor of the narco-feudalists.

The Red Son said...

It reminds me of those billboards in Boston that talk about how guns are bought in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire and brought illegally into Mass/taxachusettes.

EB said...

It has been my understanding that we are the leading arms provider (complex-wise). The black market sale of weapons here in the private sector has been (to my understanding up to this point) rather massive and includes shipments abroad (given how porous most developing countries' ports are).

Personal experience informs my feeling on the arms trade, so maybe I'm just overemphasizing the problem. Living in Miami and working at the airport and at the docks in two different jobs, weapons smuggling was a huge deal to Customs and to the police (in some ways bigger than drugs), especially since shipping illegal arms bought in the US to Haiti and various other Caribbean and African locations was such a lucrative business for organized crime.

I would not call 17% a pittance, though I acknowledge it has been used as a straw man, and worse, is an agenda-supporting bludgeon to be used to craft ever-more restrictive laws.

I also agree hard political problems are at the root of many of Mexico's problems and our issues resulting from their own.

Just like I don't blame guns for nuts killing groups of people (mostly because I lived in Japan for 3 years where every 3-4 months some random wacko with a knife would stab kids or strangers for kicks) and because Japan's mental-health system, just like ours, has failed miserably for a variety of reasons.

Its a subject definitely worth learning more about, so I will do so and try to post a reasonable response in a few weeks after school.

EB said...

As if on cue, here comes the NYT to perpetuate the 90% myth and ruin an otherwise decent story about the problem.

EB said...

As if on cue, here comes the NYT to perpetuate the 90% myth and ruin an otherwise decent story about the problem.

(oops, forgetting the link)

J. said...

Well if Faux News says it's true, then it must be... They've been right on top of so many other "myths"... like WMDs in Iraq, Palin's popularity, teabaggers being the majority view of America, etc etc...

The Red Son said...

The funny thing is that Mexico has very punitive laws when it comes to bringing guns and ammo into the country. Even a single round of 9mm can land you in jail.

Obviously these harsh gun laws have succeeded in stopping guns from coming across the border... wait...

Jay@Soob said...

J. if you've got evidence to the contrary, please share it and I'l post a redaction.

Eddie at least NYTimes put the statement 90% in it's full context.

Red Son, yep gun laws are a convenient ass cover for politicians who are unwilling to address messy, core issues.