Back in the day, the Obama administration ran a black bag job called Operation Fast and Furious. As far as we know, the program was designed to establish a link between American gun stores and Mexican drug thugs, to build a case for an assault weapons ban in the U.S. To hype the issue, the feds claimed there was an “iron river” (their words) of guns flowing south. The ATF touted misleading stats to “prove” its existence. While F&F is history, the ATF is at again. Check this out from npr.org . . .
From 2009 to 2014, more than 73,000 guns that were seized in Mexico were traced to the U.S., according to a new update on the effort to fight weapons trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The figure, based on data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, represents about 70 percent of the 104,850 firearms seized by Mexican authorities that were also submitted to U.S. authorities for tracing.
The data was analyzed by the Government Accountability Office, which notes in its report that U.S. police agencies have acknowledged firearms smuggling is fueling violent crime in Mexico.
Sigh. A few things to keep in mind (again) . . .
1 Mexican law enforcement officials are not a trustworthy source of information
The GAO report agrees, highlighting both their incompetence and corruption. Less obviously (to some), the ATF fingerprints are all over this thing. The three most repeated words in the report: “according to the ATF.” Which could be replaced with “according to the Agency that ran a secret, illegal gun running operation that allowed more than 2000 U.S. gun store guns to “walk” to Mexican drug thugs, one of which was used to kill U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.”
2.The 104,850 ATF-traced guns were submitted by the Mexican government for trace
The stat doesn’t include seized firearms the Mexican authorities didn’t submit for trace. Mexican cartels are armed with thousands of full-auto firearms that somehow “seeped” from official U.S. sales to the Mexican police and military. The Mexicans aren’t going to ask the ATF to identify police and military-issue firearms, are they?
3. The report doesn’t reveal how many of these seized firearms were taken from otherwise law-abiding citizens
Mexican citizens are defending themselves from cartel extortion, rape, mutilation and murder by forming autodefensas (armed citizen militias). Given the government crackdown on autodefensas civilian firearms may account for a significant percentage of this total. The GAO doesn’t mention the possibility, although they acknowledges that their ignorance: “We were unable to obtain quantitative data from U.S. or Mexican government sources on the users of illicit firearms in Mexico.”
Needless to say, NPR doesn’t mention any of this, preferring to parrot the party line: U.S. gun stores are fueling Mexican gun violence! Like this:
“Most of the firearms seized in Mexico that were traced and found to be of U.S. origin from 2009 to 2014 came from U.S. Southwest border states,” the GAO report says. “While guns seized in Mexico of U.S. origin were traced to all of the 50 states, most came from Texas, California, and Arizona.”
Many of those guns were bought legally in the U.S. and then smuggled over the border, according to the GAO.
“About half were long guns, such as the high-caliber AR-15, preferred by cartel gunmen,” NPR’s John Burnett reports for our Newscast unit. “Mexican drug traffickers continue to rely on straw purchasers who legally buy the weapons in the U.S., then transfer them to criminal gangs.”
What’s a low-caliber AR-15? A .22? Good luck getting ammo for it. Meanwhile, did the GAO or Mr. Burnett interview/survey drug traffickers before coming to the conclusion that drug traffickers rely on U.S. gun stores for their weapons? Doubtful. Perhaps GAO pencil pushers, Mr. Burnett and Sean Penn should do a little field research . . .
NPR should know better. Basing a story solely on the 45-page
ATF GAO report is, as they say in the UK, a mug’s game. The GAO says “We corroborated this information in discussions with U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials.” Awesome! Equally, the GAO blithely accepts the ATF’s assertion that many of the gun smuggled into Mexico come from U.S. gun shows (yes, that again). Proof proffered? None.
Look around the GAO reports edges and you see serial stupidity. Check out the pics at the top of this post. And this: “Officials also noted that in recent years they have seen DTOs [Drug Trafficking Organizations] acquire military equipment such as .50 caliber machine guns, rocket launchers, and grenade launchers.” Hey! My local gun store and gun shows don’t stock any of those things!
“This type of equipment is known to often be trafficked into Mexico from leftover Central American military stockpiles from past conflicts.” I wonder if some of the millions of gun the U.S. government has poured into those “conflicts” somehow made it into the cartels’ hands. Hmmm.
Truth be told, the GAO report consists of massaged data designed to feed the assault media the anti-gun memes they need to help the ATF and its ilk degrade and destroy Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Not to mention giving the Mexican government an excuse for not being able to stop cartel violence (assuming they’d want to) and their ongoing efforts to arrest, imprison and disarm Mexico’s citizen militias. Same you-know-what, different wrapper.