Widespread Sale of Military-Style Weapons Drives Illicit Traffic to Mexico, Increases Armed Attacks on U.S. Law Enforcement Officers, and Facilitates Mass Shootings. Or so the Violence Policy Center would have you believe. Click here to read their report The Militarization of the U.S. Firearms Market. The basic premise: the U.S. gun industry is desperate for new customers. To counteract declining sales, the firearms manufacturers are “appealing to the soldier within.” It’s the usual tissue of lies, recycled and [barely] repackaged, blending fact with conjecture, without anything remotely resembling a proper definition of terms. What, for example, is an “assault rifle”? Well . . .
Because federal law has banned the sale of new machine guns to civilians since 1986, and heavily regulates sales to civilians of pre-1986 machine guns, there is virtually no civilian market for military assault weapons. The gun industry introduced semiautomatic versions of these deadly military assault weapons in order to create and exploit civilian markets.
The world’s armies developed assault weapons to meet specific combat needs. All assault weapons—military and civilian alike—incorporate specific features that were designed for laying down a high volume of fire over a wide killing zone. This is sometimes known as “hosing down” an area. Civilian assault weapons feature thespecific military design features that make spray-firing easy and distinguish assault weapons from traditional sporting firearms.
See what they’ve done there? In the same breath as they distinguish military weaponry from civilian, the VPC conflates the two. From there, we get .22 ARs as a kind of “gateway drug” (my term) to bigger, badder deadlier military-style weapons. And this is a problem because . . .
Criminals—especially drug traffickers—were drawn to assault weapons’ massive firepower, useful for fighting police and especially competing traffickers. Survivalists—who envisioned themselves fending off a horde of desperate neighbors from within their bomb shelters—loved the combat features of high ammunition capacity and anti-personnel striking power of assault weapons. Right-wing paramilitary extremists, in their ongoing battle against the “Zionist Occupational Government,” made these easily purchased firearms their gun of choice. And for gun enthusiast fans of popular entertainment—Rambo and Miami Vice—semiautomatic assault weapons offered the look and feel of the “real thing.”
Self-defense? Hunting? Fun? Nope. Semi-automatic rifles are for drug thugs, survivalist nutcases, right wing nutcases and Walter Mitty-style nutcases. Now, where did I put that misleading stat about American gun stores supplying Mexican drug cartels?
Trafficking of Military-Style Weapons from the United States. According to both United States and Mexican officials, large numbers of military-style firearms from the U.S.civilian gun market fuel criminal violence in Mexico. Congressional hearings and public policy reports have made clear that the U.S. gun industry is instrumental in making readily available to illegal gun traffickers the types and numbers of weapons that facilitate drug lords’ confrontations with the Mexican government and its people. U.S.and Mexican officials report that, based on firearms tracing data from the federal Bureau ofAlcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the cartels obtain up to 90 percent of their firearms from the United States.
Oy vey. The stat—the lie that would not die. Again, the Mexican drug cartels are getting the vast majority of their guns from military and law enforcement sales. Why the hell doesn’t the VPC call The Freedom Group onto the carpet about that? Because the VPC hearts Big Brother in general and the ATF in specific.
The gun control industry has circled its wagons ahead of the Congressional hearing on the ATF’s Gunwalker scandal. They are completely out of touch with the reality of the situation in Mexico, where unarmed civilians are oppressed by government-supported (both the U.S. and Mexico) criminals.
How out of touch is the VPC? “Electronic entertainment like Nintendo’s Super Mario series of video games threatens the gun industry’s crucial ‘youth market.’” But worse, far worse, is their belief that Americans are morons.
Most insidiously, the gun lobby’s exploitation of fear—racial, ethnic, and political—encourages resort to armed violence among the most impressionable and ill-equipped to function in a complex society.