“Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws in the hemisphere,” the LA Times editorial board tells us, accurately enough. “Citizens are permitted to buy low-caliber firearms for self-protection or hunting, but only after a background check and approval by the defense ministry [and a whacking great bribe]; they must also purchase the guns directly from the ministry. The goal of this parsimonious approach to allotting firearms is a society free from gun violence.” If only they’d stopped there. Or simply paused a moment to fully and fairly assess the causes and effects of Mexico’s gun control conundrum. Nope. “Unfortunately for Mexico, however, its weapons management strategy is sabotaged by an accident of location — its residence next door to the gun capital of the world.” Here we go . . .
The United States is awash in guns. Americans own an estimated 283 million guns, and 4.5 million new ones, including 2 million handguns, are sold each year, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Nor are these weapons confined to U.S. borders and households. Officials say that they are pouring south into Mexico, into the hands of violent drug cartels.
From whence did the Times grab those stats? As far as I know, the ATF is not in the business of estimating how many guns are in the U.S. Or are they? Anyway, it’s nice to know that a newspaper is so quick to believe “officials” when they have an axe to grind. I mean both the paper AND the ATF. Of course, it’s the same axe (if you ask me): gun control baby! Bring it on!
President Obama should not hesitate to move forward with this regulation, no matter how loudly the gun lobby objects. Those who truly support securing the border understand that the greatest danger comes not from poor people seeking work but from heavily armed drug cartels and ruthless human traffickers. The only question is whether tracing the weapons would be an effective crime-fighting tool, and history says it would. When Congress passed a handgun reporting requirement in 1975 and the ATF stepped up enforcement in 1984, thousands of weapons were — and still are — traced to illegal activity and crime rings that were brought to prosecution.
As the hunter in Jurassic Park said just before meeting his maker, clever girl. Not only are they sliding down the slippery slope without the slightest bit of authentication, but they’ve made it seem like resisting long gun registration is like supporting open borders. As I said in an earlier take on the subject, there is no proof that the ATF’s handgun registration rules have increased the ATF’s woeful efficiency.
Nor should the administration tremble at pro-gun saber-rattling about an infringement of 2nd Amendment rights. The regulation would not prohibit sales, purchases or ownership. Also, tracing is conducted only after a crime has been committed, not before.
Saber-rattling? Shouldn’t that be “firing blanks” or some such ballistic metaphor? I guess I shouldn’t expect that much effort from a writer who doesn’t even bother to find out how the new regulation works.
Note to the LAT: the ATF wants to data mine the new long gun purchase forms regardless of whether or not any crime has been committed. In other words, they want the sale of two or more rifle to the same purchaser within a five-day period to constitute a prima facie case of illegal purchase, transfer or use. Guilty until proven innocent.
The LAT does agree with TTAG on one point: this new reg is a PITA. But, as gun control advocates argue time and time again, the ends justify the means.
One objection that cannot be dismissed is that the new rule would create more paperwork for some border-adjacent gun retailers. No business likes new red tape from Washington, but with the national security of two countries involved, the trade-off is worth the inconvenience.