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The U.S. gun lobby holds Mexico hostage The Washington Post proclaims. Yada yada yada; money shot:

The numbers about weapons flows to Mexico are genuinely scary. From December 2006 through this past April, the Mexican government seized 31,946 handguns and 41,093 assault rifles. Of the weapons that could be traced, roughly 80 percent came from the United States, according to Mexican ambassador Arturo Sarukhan.

See the problem there?

“Of the weapons that could be traced.” Most could not. Does that change the stat? I think so. But what’s better than one misleading statistic? Two!

There are roughly 7,000 U.S. gun dealers within 100 miles of the Mexican border.

Roughly? And not to get too picky about it, how many of these are supplying Mexican drug lords with guns? And while we’re getting particular, how many of the weapons mentioned in the next paragraph came from one of these border gun shops?

A recent weapons seizure in Nuevo Leon, just across the border from Texas, illustrates the drug traffickers’ arsenals. On May 11, after an armed confrontation, the Mexican army seized 124 assault rifles, 15 handguns, three anti-tank rockets, more than 5,000 rounds of ammunition and 1,375 ammo magazines.

But as far as David Ignatius is concerned, even when he’s wrong, he’s right.

[AZ AG Terry] Goddard’s complaint alleged that X-Caliber had sold more than 700 AK-47s and other deadly weapons to straw buyers who planned to ship them to Mexican syndicates. “The important part of this case is the number of weapons that ended up at crime scenes in Mexico,” Goddard said when the trial opened.

But as it turned out, the X-Caliber case showed that with Arizona’s weak gun laws, prosecution was almost impossible — even when there appeared to be strong facts. X-Caliber’s owner had sold guns to ATF undercover agents after they told him they planned to resell the guns in Mexico.

An Arizona judge threw out the case days after it opened, ruling that the owner of X-Caliber and the other defendants hadn’t done anything criminal. “There is no proof whatsoever that any prohibited possessor ended up with the firearms,” the judge said.

So now that he’s failed to prove a connection between the U.S. and Mexican drug lords’ arms supply, Ignatius blames the gun lobby for the feds’ reluctance to do something about it.

The prevailing political wisdom in America, to which the Obama administration evidently subscribes, is that it’s folly to challenge the gun lobby. When Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón addressed a joint session of Congress in May, he all but pleaded with lawmakers to help stop the flow of assault weapons. His call to action produced little more than a shrug of the shoulders in Washington. That ought to make us embarrassed. But the worst of it is that inaction on these issues has come to seem normal.

Inaction? Tell that to all the brave, hard-working state and federal agents doing everything they can to stop illegal weapon sales and keep the violence south of the border. Or you might want to mention it the Mexican government, whose corruption enables the drug lords and their wave of gun crime. Or, dare I say it, members of the liberal media who turn a blind eye to “recreational” drug use.

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