“The flow of high-powered weaponry from the United States to Latin America and the Caribbean exacerbates soaring rates of gun-related violence in the region and undermines U.S. influence in the Western Hemisphere,” the Council for Foreign Relations (CFR) opines. Which is kinda funny if you think about it. ‘Cause Latin America is awash in “high-powered” weaponry that we, the United States, sent southwards. You know, officially. Yes, well, that inconvenient truth has been swept under the rug for some time now. The ATF’s Mexico-related “recovered gun” stats—which form the basis for the whole “iron river” meme—somehow manage to ignore the tens of thousands of recovered AR-15s stamped with the words “Property of the Mexican Army.” Since the Fast and Furious scandal broke, the feds stopped beating that drum. Which hasn’t stopped the CFR . . .
As this article makes clear, the CFR is undaunted by the defeat of gun control on the federal level. Just like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership, the CFR reckons the Obama administration should end-run Congress and pull the strings of power to git ‘er done.
In the absence of major legislative action, the Obama administration should pursue the following executive and diplomatic actions—consistent with the Second Amendment—to reduce the trafficking of firearms that contribute to crime and violence across the Americas:
Just a quick interruption here. Don’t you just love it when gun control advocates pay lip service to Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms? Neither do I. OK. Here’s the CFR’s strategy to stop the “gun violence” in Mexico:
Expand nationwide the state-level multiple-sale reporting requirement for assault weapons. In 2011, the Obama administration adopted a federal rule that requires gun dealers in California, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico to report sales of more than two semiautomatic rifles to the same person within a five-day period. Unintentionally, the rule shifted gun sales to states not covered by the requirement, prompting the need for improved oversight of all suspicious semiautomatic firearm sales.
Incorporate strategies to reduce existing stocks of illegal firearms into U.S.-Brazil dialogue on defense and security. As home to the two largest firearms industries in the hemisphere, the United States and Brazil have a mutual interest in incorporating this topic into their ongoing bilateral policy dialogues. For example, sharing best practices regarding gun buyback programs in border regions on the U.S.-Mexican and Brazilian-Bolivian borders will build mutual confidence between the two largest Hemispheric powers.
Exclude firearms and ammunition products from the Export Control Reform Initiative. As currently crafted, President Barack Obama’s reform initiative may make it easier for U.S. manufacturers to export military-style weapons to allies. Liberalizing export restrictions on firearms poses a serious security risk to the Americas; potential reexport of firearms without U.S. oversight could jeopardize local law enforcement efforts to keep weapons from criminal groups and rogue security forces in the region.
Apply the “sporting test” standards of the 1968 Gun Control Act. This provision prohibits the import of weapons not “suitable or readily adaptable for sporting purposes,” including but not limited to military-style firearms. Throughout the 1990s, under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, the ATF adhered to the sporting test guidelines, preventing thousands of assault weapons from entering the U.S. firearms market. Enforcement of the test lapsed under President George W. Bush and has not been reestablished under President Obama.
Continue to support federal, state, and local initiatives to improve regulation of the U.S. civilian firearms market. As grassroots organizations prepare their long-term legislative strategies, the White House should back state and local legislation, based on reforms in Maryland and Connecticut, which bans the sale of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, broadens existing background check requirements for firearm purchases, and modernizes gun-owner registries by requiring, among others, that buyers submit their fingerprints when applying for a gun license. While piecemeal regulation of the U.S. civilian firearms market does not represent a comprehensive solution, passage of state and local measures, including gun buyback programs, will reduce the number of weapons in circulation and available for smuggling and generate momentum for a broader federal approach over the long run.
Are these guys naive or what? One one hand, the conclusion admits “Strengthening U.S. gun laws will not eliminate gun violence in Latin America, where weak judiciaries and police forces, the proliferation of gangs and black markets, and deep inequality exacerbate violent conflict.” On the other hand, “Nonetheless . . .” Who cares what follows from that qualifier? More people than should.