Clearly, the ATF is going on a public relations offensive after the epic and deadly screw-up known as Fast and Furious (a.k.a., Guns for Goons). And man is it offensive. Yesterday, we learned that the Bureau is using their newfound extra-legal regulatory powers to investigate 123 potential cases of gun smuggling, wherein gun purchasers in Texas MAY have done something wrong, based on the fact that they bought two or more larger-than-.22 caliber rifles in a five-day period. Today, the nets are buzzing with the same old crapaganda that justified Fast and Furious. ATF: 70 percent of guns found in Mexico come from US thehill.com proclaims. Like the dozens such headlines circulating through the blogosphere, The Hill is accepting the ATF’s stats at face value. AGAIN. So AGAIN we’re going to shoot them down . . .
Click here for ATF RELEASES GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO FIREARMS TRACE DATA, or, as the CIA likes to call it, counterintelligence. In fact, the only way to see this “new” info as the ATF wants you to see it—evidence of an “iron river” of illegal guns flowing from U.S. gun stores to Mexican drug cartels—is to check your intelligence at the door. To wit:
WASHINGTON – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) today announced the release of trace information for firearms recovered in Mexico and submitted to ATF for tracing. Trace information shows that between calendar years 2007 and 2011 the Government of Mexico recovered and submitted more than 99,000 firearms to ATF for tracing. Of those firearms more than 68,000 were U.S.-sourced.
Why 2007 to 2011? Strange that; the ATF used to submit these Mexican gun confiscation stats to the public on a yearly basis. Perhaps four years of numbers combined sounds more impressive than one year’s worth.
The ATF also used to provide a list of the weapons involved identifying each weapon’s age, type and origin. Last time that happened, we discovered that the average “time to crime” (purchase to recovery) was seven years. Yes, the average U.S. gun recovered in a crime scene south of the border was seven years old.
It’s clear the ATF HAS the list. But once again they’re saying “I am the great and powerful Oz” (i.e. pay no attention to the stats behind the curtain):
U.S.-sourced firearms are guns determined by ATF to be manufactured in the United States or legally imported into the United States by a federal firearms licensee. Since 2007, trace data shows a trend in recovered and submitted crime guns from Mexico shifting from pistols and revolvers to rifles. Law enforcement in Mexico now report that certain types of rifles, such as the AK and AR variants with detachable magazines, are used more frequently to commit violent crime by drug trafficking organizations.
But the main point, the bit that makes this stat misleading, false and full of fail, is this: these are weapons that “the Government of Mexico recovered and submitted.” The Mexican government does not submit all recovered weapons to the ATF’s eTrace system. Claiming that “70 percent of guns found in Mexico come from the U.S.” is just plain wrong.
Who gets it? Which mainstream media outlet used Google to check the veracity and context of the data in light of the ATF’s Fast and Furious program and long history of anti-Second Amendment activity (e.g., Waco)? Here’s today’s Google email for “guns”. Read ‘em and weep [note: links inactive]:
I repeat: the overall sample—99k guns submitted for trace—is statistically invalid. Just as it was last time. (Fun fact: 31,000 guns submitted for eTrace included in this survey didn’t come from the U.S.) And that’s because . . .
Mexican law enforcement agencies regularly destroy confiscated guns. In the picture above, abc.net.au reports that “The Mexican army destroys thousands of guns in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua State, on February 17, 2012. At least 6,000 rifles and pistols seized from drugs cartels were destroyed.” One city, one month, 6,000 rifles.
It’s also worth noting that Mexican soldiers and police have been known to personally confiscate weapons for themselves. And/or resell better examples to the cartels. Oh, and the most marketable firearms are modern fully automatic weapons. Machine guns. Not for sale at any U.S. gun store.
Did I mention the curious fact that the previous confiscation stats attempting to demonize U.S. gun stores included thousands of guns that were counted twice? In other words, even the bad data is bad.
Bottom line: those 68k U.S. sourced weapons are a drop in the bucket compared to the total population of crime scene weapons captured by the Mexicans. AND the weapons NOT confiscated by the Mexicans. AND the ones DESTROYED by the Mexicans. AND we don’t know the age, source or condition of the weapons.
If you’re inclined to believe that 68k guns is 68k thousand guns and something must be done, check this out:
At the most, the total number of Mexican guns submitted for eTrace tied to U.S. retailers in one year is 6,733. In 2010, that number was 3,112. That would be the same year that the ATF helped gun smugglers shift over 2000 guns from U.S. gun stores to Mexican cartel members. (The same year drug thugs wielding ATF-enabled rifles murdered U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.) Assuming the Fast and Furious guns are included, that’s over 2/3 of the total for the year.
So it’s not 68k guns traced to U.S. gun stores. It’s 27,825 out of a non-representative sample of 99k guns. I make that 5,565 per year on average. Spread out over 8500 border-dwelling gun stores. Who most probably did not know where the guns were going, nor have been charged with conducting a so-called “straw purchase.” Well except for Badger Guns but that was dismissed when it was revealed that the ATF put them up to it.
One word for all that: GTFO.
As the ATF launches its long gun registry, as Congress continues to expose the illegal homicidal gun smuggling activities of a Bureau beyond the law, the ATF wants the public to believe that there’s a huge problem of guns flowing from U.S. gun stores to Mexican drug thugs (necessitating all the ATF’s jackbooted behavior). To quote the B52′s . . .
WELL THERE ISN’T!
At best it’s a trickle. The single largest source of firearms to Mexican drug cartels is the seepage of military firearms into the cartels ranks. At least 100k Mexican soldiers have defected to the cartels, taking at least 100k machine guns with them.
And who authorizes the bulk sale of America-made military rifles to the Mexican military and police? Uncle Sam. And how many weapons have the Mexicans submitted to the U.S. for eTrace that have “property of the Mexican military” stamped on them? Or attributed to U.S. military sales? None. Or maybe just the ones categorized “unable to determine a purchaser.”
The ATF’s PR campaign is a sham. Even worse, it’s the exact same sham that the Bureau used to justify and promote Operation Fast and Furious, Operation Castaway (guns to Honduras), grenadewalker (releasing a known grenade maker) and, most recently, the long gun registry.
The ATF is a cancer on the body politic. If we accept its lies we authorize it to subvert the rule of law. America deserves better. As do Mexicans. Or anyone else who knows that the government is the single greatest threat to our liberty.