The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

Mexico Is Disentigrating…It Must Be American Gun Owners’ Fault

Posted by Bill Nance on April 4, 2009

Over the last month or so, we’ve all have watched with horror the events in Mexico’s struggle with narcotics traffickers. Mass shootings, commonplace kidnapping an murders and the whole country basically devolving into a Colombianesque nightmare.

There are many factors behind this; first and foremost of course, America’s continued insane policies of drug prohibition, without which, virtually all the money the cartels make (and use to arm themselves and create chaos) would go away in an instant.

Second is Mexico’s sad, long history of official corruption, which, when combined with the sheer size of the bribes the drug traffickers can offer, thanks to prohibition in the U.S., can reach into virtually every area of Mexican officialdom. This makes enforcing laws nearly impossible, because the traffickers frankly have more money to offer in hefty payola than the government has to offer in salaries. Add to this the ever present threat of Plata O Plomo (silver or lead in Spanish, meaning take the bribe or die) and you’ve got an enormous mess on your hands in a very poor country right on our southern borders.

But, none of that has really been forthcoming form the U.S. media, and certainly not from the U.S. Government. No, this time, in an effort to find a bogeyman to distract us from our insane drug prohibition policies the government, with willing assistance form a news media too lazy to even bother checking its facts, is blaming U.S. exported guns.

But the math doesn’t work out, as this excellent article details.

Money quote:

A big part of the argument being made by the U.S. and Mexican governments with respect to the source of guns in the possession of Mexican narco-trafficking groups is based on statistics related to so-called gun traces conducted by the ATF.

But if you follow the media narrative on this, as well as the U.S. government’s own proclamations, you soon discover that the math being practiced is right out of Alice in Wonderland, via the Mock Turtle: Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, and then the different branches of arithmetic — Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.

By all means read the article. It’s well researched and has plenty of solid factual links, as opposed to the piss-poor reportage the MSM has done on these frankly ludicrous claims of a steady stream of American firearms to Mexico.

But let’s take the issue on here just for an exercise in common sense.

  1. It is a major felony to export arms from the U.S. without an arms export license
  2. The ATF already audits gun shops routinely and checks their records of sales, that background checks were run on all gun-buyers and that serial numbers on guns were kept. Violation of these regulations can wind up getting a gun dealer thrown in jail on federal charges.
  3. Straw sales, that is sales to one person who intends to give the gun to another person not legally allowed to own a gun (like illegal aliens and other non citizens in most cases) is another serious federal crime.
  4. It is illegal under Mexican law to import arms into the country except under express circumstances.
  5. Mexico has some of the most stringent gun control laws in the Western Hemisphere.

Given the fact that the cartels are doing business literally in the billions of dollars, does it make the slightest bit of sense that even if the border wall were up and 100% foolproof as far as guns go, they would somehow be disarmed?  A fully automatic AK-47 (illegal in the U.S. since the 1930s under the National Firearms Act) is available on the black market in any third world country for well under $200.  That’s a great deal cheaper than $900-$1,700 a semi-auto American manufactured long gun costs here in the U.S., even a used one.

Bottom line is that the weapons found in Mexico which are from the U.S. are without a doubt stolen in the vast majority of cases. I suspect the rest, not linked to U.S. legal purchases came from the Mexican government in return for some hefty bribes and from other international sources.  The continued hoopla raised by the Obama administration clearly has two goals:

  1. Ratchet up the anti-gun rhetoric
  2. Whatever they do, DO NOT actually deal with the fact that the only reason Mexico is having this problem is because of the insane policies of drug prohibition in the United States.

After all, we wouldn’t want to spoil the narrative with facts now, would we.


5 Responses to “Mexico Is Disentigrating…It Must Be American Gun Owners’ Fault”

  1. The Center Square said

    I am somewhat perplexed by the sudden interest in where Mexico’s guns come from. But so be it.

    What does stay in my mind is this question. With Mexico already substantially destabilized, what would happen if suddenly several MILLION illegal immigrants to America were deported to Mexico? Angry, resentful, completing lacking in economic prospects. I am no expert, but that might be like throwing gasoline on an already raging fire — in our next-door-neighbor’s apartment.

  2. Bill Nance said

    Well, being as that’s not ever going to happen, I’m not to worried about it. It’s simply not possible logistically, not to mention politically and economically feasible.

  3. The Center Square said

    I know. I agree. I just put that out there because many of the same bloggers (not necessarily this one) who are giving prominence to the “US did not supply guns to Mexico” issue are the same ones who advocate deportation of all illegal aliens. I don’t think that is a well thought through proposition.

  4. Bill Nance said

    The sad fact is that gun-owners have been so harassed, marginalized and made to feel like criminals that anyone who will take up their cause gets uncritical support. This means that the most nativist and ignorant people in the country have far more influence than they have any business having, because they have been and continue to do the constituency work that garners support for their ideas, mainly catering to no more gun-control, which not only is good politics, but good policy.

    If the Democrats and other so-called “progressives” want to have a voice in this community they need to stop treating us like criminals and potential mass-murderers. Because they continue to do this, Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter and Fox News own the debate. Give up the gun-bashing and they’ll find a lot more support. As is, they’re continuing the same business as usual sort of attitudes and policies, NOT based on facts, but on irrational fear of inanimate objects, guaranteeing they will never have large support among gun owners.

    Seems only Pelosi and Reid are starting to get the clue that going out of their way to alienate millions of Americans for no demonstrable purpose isn’t a good way to keep the congress in ’10.

  5. The Center Square said

    @ Bill: Thank you for your very cogent and thought-provoking comments. I do think that the left has let the right dominate the issue.

    I am sure it feels to gun owners as if they are being harrassed, marginalized and made to feel like criminals, but I’m not sure why. Congress isn’t considering any meaningful anti-gun-rights action, is it? What gun-bashing is going on? I just haven’t heard of anything like that.

    The only noise I hear from the gun-control side is those instances where individual cities such as Washington and Chicago have instituted fairly strict gun bans. I don’t know the specific history of those bans, but surely they are motivated by a sincere desire to address crime problems. I cannot imagine some city council woke up one day and said, “Hmmm, let’s go after the Second Amendment; this urban crime problem will be the perfect cover!” And when these bans go too far, the courts throw them out as unconstitutional, as in the case of Washington DC in 2007.

    Just as your advice to Pelosi et al. makes sense, it seems that gun-rights advocates would do well for THEIR cause if they could offer constructive, Second-Amendment-friendly policy ideas to address the very real crime and violence problems that plague cities.

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