Ever since the Mexico drug wars became front page news the anti-gun bigots have been clamoring for traction on how they can capitalize on the lax US gun laws that are contributing to the violence.
The answer to their prayers, the ever helpful ATF steps forward with statistics that claim that 90% of the illegal guns used by the Mexican drug cartels are smuggled into Mexico from the US. Presumably purchased at gun stores and gun shows by "straw purchasers". ATF claims these so-called "assault weapons" and hand grenades total in the tens of thousands.
Excuse me! There are tens of thousands of hand grenades and full auto military weapons being sold at the gun shows and the ATF doesn't know about it until after the fact? Right!
The ATF and the other anti-gunners make no claims regarding the source of the knives and machetes used in the numerous beheadings in Mexico.
After a check on the Internet search engines I didn't find one case of a hand grenade used in a crime in the US. One would assume if hand grenades were so easily available in the US there would be some crime data available. This is simply ATF hyperbole trying to scare us into more gun control.
Whenever gun control rears its ugly head the ATF, in its gluttony for more taxpayer funding, is never far behind. These goons claim that the guns recovered in Mexico can be traced back to the US. Really? It is common knowledge that Mexico has never given a list of firearms and serial numbers for any of the guns recovered in Mexico. I, for one, would like to see this list.
Ok then, where do these weapons come from? I would guess a fair amount come directly from the Mexican military, either stolen, or provided by their compromised troops with access; The federal police would account for some from their corrupt ranks.
On March 19, 2009 theives broke into a gun shop in San Jose, CA and stole more than 100 firearms. It is a good bet these weapons will end up in the hands of our own home grown drug gangs rather than heading for Mexico.
In 1995, at the border crossing station in Otay Mesa, CA near San Diego, a rail car that had been sitting for a while was opened by customs agents who become suspicious. Inside the agents found full auto AK-47's, other weapons and parts to assemble firearms. The shipping forms claimed the shipment was "machine parts". Not too far off when you think about it.
The real outrage is the shipment came from the China Ocean Shipping Co, the same company that owns the Port of Long Beach. Maybe these firearms were destined for drug cartels. Maybe China is selling these guns to the cartels and moving them through the US to Mexico. Who knows. The incident was never properly investigated.
In Phoenix, AZ last year the owner of X-Caliber Guns was arrested for selling more than 700 firearms that the ATF and local prosecutor claim were funneled to the drug cartels in Mexico. The straw purchasers were caught and made to sign forms that they purchased these guns as straw purchasers. The prosecutor could not make the case that the gun store owner knew these were straw purchases and the judge threw out the case based on the fact that the gun owner complied with all state and federal laws when he sold the guns and he had no idea that the guns would be smuggled into Mexico. Brilliant prosecuting!
The drug cartels are not cash poor. They have the money to purchase any type of weaponry they want. In recent years the drug cartels have developed the finances, technology and manpower to build semi-submersibles to smuggle drugs over hundreds of miles of ocean undetected.
Why would they take the risk of locating hundreds of straw purchasers to buy these weapons, pay someone to convert them to full auto and then smuggle them into Mexico? The sheer number of these transactions has to invoke the law of probablity and someone would have to be caught. Especially when you are talking about hand grenades!
In the poor third world countries you can find full-auto AK 47's for less than $50 each. In Sudan an AK 47 can be purchased for the cost of 2 chickens. With more than 70,000,000 AK 47's in the world the supply is strong and the drug cartels can buy these by the boat load and can easily smuggle them into Mexico by paying off a few corrupt officials.
Recently, Venzuela received license to manufacture the AK 47 and its ammunition and will certainly tap into the drug market in Mexico.
If guns are smuggled into Mexico from the US that's Mexico's problem. Mexico does little to stop the flow of drugs and crime into the US from Mexico.
In the meantime, the Mexico drug wars and killings will go on as long as there is still a demand for drugs. The American gun owner will surely endure Draconian gun laws and confiscations, the ATF will get more funding and the anti-gun bigots will continue to dance in the blood of gun control victims.
Sorry, we're not buying the story that US gun shows are a tupperware party for the drug cartels.