By Seth Richardson
You would have thought that the Democrats would have learned their lesson about the politically toxic subject of gun control after the election disasters of 1994, when Democrats lost control of the Congress, and Al Gore’s loss in 2000. But gun-banning leftist ideology never rests, and the desire to disarm Americans is unabated.
President Obama solemnly promised us that our guns were safe during the campaign, V.P. Joe Biden downplayed his culpability in the gun control debacle of 2000, and even Hillary Clinton tried to make herself out as a shotgun-loving defender of the 2nd Amendment. But they are all unapologetic, bald-faced liars. Like most politicians, and all gun-ban advocates, the only time they aren’t lying is when they are dead and buried, and even then their shades haunt us.
Of course any rational, freedom-loving American knows this, and gun owners know it best of all, which explains why last weekend’s Tanner Gun Show in Denver was so packed to the gills that they had to turn people away for fire safety reasons. Patriotic, law-abiding Americans know what’s coming, and they are stockpiling firearms and ammunition at a record pace. And you should join them.
Secretary of State Clinton just finished up appeasing Mexico on her trip south of the border, saying that Americans are responsible for Mexico’s violence problem on the border because of our “insatiable demand” for drugs and our lax gun control laws that allow cartels to be armed with guns smuggled from the U.S. This will soon become the justification for new “assault weapon” bans and other gun control efforts by the Obama administration, which is composed of a rogue’s gallery of notorious anti-gun zealots who have been pushing this agenda for more than 20 years now.
In her remarks with the Mexican Foreign Secretary in Mexico City on March 25th, Clinton said that “[the drug cartels] are armed by the transport of weapons from the United States to Mexico.” “Obviously,” Clinton said, “I am someone who supported the assault weapons ban which was passed in 1994, but it was passed with an expiration date and it expired ten years later. I, as a senator, supported measures to try to reinstate it. Politically, that is a very big hurdle in our Congress. But there may be some approaches that could be acceptable, and we are exploring those. Certainly, the export of assault weapons and illegal weapons is something that has grave consequences for Mexico. And we’re going to look at whatever is possible that we can do ourselves within the Administration, and we will explore with Congress other steps to take.”
Interviewed by Greta Van Susteren on Fox News’ “On the Record” on Thursday, March 27th, Clinton said, “The guns that are sold in the United States, which are illegal in Mexico, get smuggled and shipped across our border and arm these terrible drug-dealing criminals so that they can outgun these poor police officers along the border and elsewhere in Mexico. If we want to have them in our country, fine. That’s-you know, that’s for us to decide. But the Mexican police and people have decided they don’t want them in their country, and we’re facilitating by our inability to stop the illegal sale and smuggling of these guns. I remember 15 years ago, the reason the assault weapons ban was passed is because police chiefs in America begged for it. They said, I’m sending my guys out onto the street, they’re being outgunned. The criminals, the gang members, they have automatic weapons, military assault rifles. Get them off the street. Give our guys a fighting chance.”
The only problem is that Clinton was lying in 1994, and she continues to perpetrate the lie today. The truth is that most of the “automatic weapons, military assault rifles” Clinton complained about in 1994 simply didn’t exist, and the ones used by the drug cartels are smuggled into Mexico from places like Cuba, China and Russia through Central America. Many are Mexican military arms stolen from the Mexican government by highly trained Mexican anti-narcotics soldiers who have defected to the cartels and now call themselves “Los Zetas.”
The guns being used by the cartels are primarily fully automatic military assault rifles, RPG rocket launchers, hand grenades and other strictly military arms that are simply not available on the civilian U.S. market. Cartel hit men do use pistols, and many of those are obtained in the U.S. through straw-man purchases, but it’s nearly impossible for a gun dealer to detect a sophisticated straw-man purchasing effort by dedicated cartel members, although gun dealers and the BATFE are working to find ways to do so.
While it is true that some 90 percent of firearms seized in Mexico and submitted for tracing to the BATFE have been traced back to domestic sources, the anti-gun left, including the liberal mainstream media, have been hysterically mischaracterizing exactly what the BATFE information really means. On March 25th, Newsweek online reporters Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball ignorantly repeated the lie by saying, “As much as 90 percent of the assault weapons and other guns used by Mexican drug cartels are coming from the United States…” The list of liberal media outlets trumpeting the lie is literally endless.
But why is it a lie? First, it’s important to recognize that the vast majority of confiscated guns that the BATFE has access to for tracing are handguns, shotguns and ordinary rifles, including some semi-automatic civilian look-alike versions of fully-automatic military rifles like the M-16 and M-4, all of which are perfectly legal to own here (for now). And most of the arms traced by the BATFE are of the type used by petty Mexican criminals, not cartel drug lords. The cartel drug lords want, have and use actual military equipment, not civilian counterparts. They are fighting a real war against real military personnel, and the drug cartels have plenty of money to obtain the best military armaments they can find. They don’t need U.S. lookalikes.
But the most egregious lie perpetrated by Clinton and the anti-gun left is the conflation of the BATFE trace results with the overall presence of guns in Mexico. The “90 percent come from the U.S.” statistic is deliberately used in a deceptive manner to try to inflate the actual number of guns flowing from the U.S. to Mexico. The truth of the matter is that BATFE has only traced a relatively small number of recovered guns, of which some 90 percent have their origin in the U.S. The BATFE declines to release the current actual number of guns they have traced. But in testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in February 2007, BATFE Assistant Director William Hoover testified that in 2007 only about 1,547 guns were submitted by Mexico for tracing by the BATFE. That’s a drop in the bucket, particularly when compared to the tens of thousands of tons of drugs smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico each year. How is securing Mexico’s border against gun smuggling more of a problem for us than securing our border against drug smuggling and terrorists? It’s not, but for Clinton and Obama and the gun banners, it’s a prime opportunity to forward the anti-gun agenda without as much risk of a Democrat backlash in the upcoming congressional elections.
Mexico and the U.S. have signed an agreement to give Mexico access to the BATFE’s eTrace system, which will allow Mexican border Governors to easily submit serial numbers for tracing. This initiative, signed in August of 2008 under the Bush administration, along with Mexico’s cooperation in BATFE’s “Operation Gunrunner” should help reduce the number of guns smuggled into Mexico. But Mexico still refuses to submit the serial numbers of ALL crime guns recovered, and even the eTrace system cannot track a gun not submitted because it would embarrass Mexico, or which didn’t originate in the U.S., so we still have no way of knowing how many guns in the hands of cartel members are actually from the U.S. and how many are from other sources, because we don’t know how many guns the cartels have. Mexico is refusing to cooperate with BATFE requests to supply serial numbers on all confiscated firearms, most likely because Mexico has vested interests in perpetrating the fraud. The first reason is to save face and conceal the vulnerability of Mexico’s border controls to military munitions from Central America. Another reason is money from the U.S.
Because of the violence on the border, the U.S. has promised 80 million dollars in aid to Mexico to acquire and operate Blackhawk helicopters, and the Merida Initiative, a joint agreement with Mexico and other Latin American countries approved by Congress in 2008, has been funded to the tune of $1.5 billion. It is not in Mexico’s economic or security interests to allow the U.S. or the world to find out that many of the arms being used against its own military came from its own military and are being wielded by former members of its own military. It is also not in Mexico’s best interests to be forced to admit that the smuggling of military arms and equipment from Central America and Cuba, among other sources, is rampant and uncontrolled on Mexico’s southern, eastern and western borders.
The import of the lie perpetrated by Clinton is that she, and others, are attempting to deliberately inflate the alleged number of guns use by the drug cartels and then imply that the vast majority of them come from the U.S. Leaving aside for the moment the fact that southbound border security is Mexico’s problem, not ours, this is quite simply a patent and inexcusable lie that will be used by the lying, gun-banning Obama administration to justify restricting American’s gun rights.
UPDATE: Fox News reports that BATFE spokesperson confirms that only 17 percent of all guns seized by Mexican authorities originate in the U.S. See the report here.
© 2009 Altnews