Here at The Truth About Guns we have covered the ATF’s death spiral (well, I can hope) to a fare-thee-well. But for those who haven’t been paying attention, the ATF, with the knowledge and/or connivance of the FBI, DEA and DHS (via ICE), allowed something on the order of 2,000 guns to be purchased by straw-buyers for the purpose of allowing the guns to be smuggled to Mexico in violation of state and federal laws as well as at least one international treaty. And then things only got worse . . .
One or two or possibly three of those smuggled guns were found at the site of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder. One or more of those weapons was used in the killing of ICE agent Jaime Zapata. One or more of those weapons appears to have been used by the men who kidnapped, tortured and murdered the brother of a Mexican state attorney general. Masses of those weapons have been used to kill hundreds of Mexican civilians.
Attorney General Holder says he had no knowledge of any of this until months after Agent Terry’s murder despite DoJ correspondence indicating upper management knew of the involvement of F&F weapons within hours of the shooting.
Anyone who wants more in depth information can go to TTAG’s ATF Death Watch page or, for really detailed info, National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea’s Journalists Guide to Project Gunwalker 1 thru 9 (either one will allow you to navigate to the others). The “idea” was to allow these guns to fall into the hands of the cartels so that when they were recovered from crime scenes they could lead to the “big fish” gun-runners. They never explained quite how that was supposed to work, although St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner Kurt Hoffman has a theory.
Anyway, the operation was started in the fall of 2009 with the ostensible purpose of shutting down the “iron river” of guns flowing into Mexico. No, not the “iron pipeline”; that one ran from Virginia to New York, the “iron river” flows from the Southwest border state gun shops to Mexican narco-terroristas.
Or does it?
According to an article published in the Washington Free Beacon the day after Valentine’s (’cause it was no love letter):
An ATF document obtained by the Washington Free Beacon reveals 19,600 guns were recovered from crime scenes in Mexico and traced back to the U.S. between 2006 and 2010. Of those, 15,995 had a “time-to-crime” of three or more years, with an average of 15.
“Time to crime” is a term of art used by law enforcement denoting the amount of time between a firearm’s retail sale and when it is recovered at a crime scene. The “three or more years” is significant because a time-to-crime of less than three years is generally considered a good indication that the weapon was trafficked. This means that 81% of the traced guns would be considered a low probability of having been trafficked. Add to that the fact that ATF data from 2009 shows an average time-to-crime of guns inside the U.S. was 10.77 years.
This means that while the ATF were trumpeting their 90% falsehood, their own data indicated that there was no large scale trafficking from U.S. gun shops to Mexican criminals. Aside from the 2,000 or so guns which they provided the cartels.
Now could the fathers of Fast & Furious please tell us, one more time, why it was necessary to provide some of the most ruthless criminals in the Americas with thousands of weapons? And then tell us why they thought it was a good idea to let these weapons be used in crimes in order to stop non-existent trafficking?