Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mike Yon falls for the Mexican Gun Canard... Or is it Mexi-Canard?

Alas, the wonderful reporter Mike Yon says he trusts nobody, but prints only the very deceptive version of one side.

Including the standard party line, "Weapons sources typically include secondary markets, such as gun shows and flea markets since—depending on State law—the private sale of firearms at those venues often does not require background checks prior to the sale or record keeping."

Complete with the usual zero examples.

(Messrs. Hoover and Placido might have said exactly the same thing about the cars and airplanes used in the drug trade, too. Where's the OUTRAGE (tm) over that?

Close the car classified loophole!!!)

And the most interesting thing they left out is a simple number- how many guns were seized?

Here's how the figures they provide are silly- "submitted for tracing". In ordered to be accepted for an ATFE trace, a gun submitted from outside the US must have some indication of lawful sale or production inside the US. ALL guns imported into the US MUST have a permanently stamped import mark.

I believe the ATFE will not trace or accept a submission for tracing of a foreign made firearm that does not bear a US import stamp. (I've submitted guns for tracing, but I'm not a foreign country, so I can't say that from personal experience.) Such weapons were never lawfully in the US, they never moved lawfully in any part of the US stream of commerce, and their numbers do not appear on any ATFE record or database. Even trying to trace them is a waste of time. Even if Mexico DID submit the million for tracing, and ATFE accepted them for tracing, if they had never moved lawfully in the US stream of commerce, they would NOT be among the guns that "could be traced".

So yes, it is entirely possible for the Mexican government to have seized a million guns, out of which only 1500 "could be traced". So even in this scenario, Mexico submits a million guns, ATFE traces them all, 1500 show up in the database, a million can't be traced, 1350 have US sources, 150 have no US source. So "Of 1,501500 guns, 90% of those that could be traced come from US sources. " is actually true, and sounds terrible.

1501500 x 90% = 1350.

Talk to anyone at ATFE, or anyone who submits guns for tracing.

Find out how many actual guns were seized in fiscal 2007, not how many were submitted.

Find out how many of them were made in the US after 1968, which is when very poor records were first kept.

Find out what the ATFE trace database actually covers.

Find out how many of the traced guns were stolen from their US owners.

He's a better reporter than this.

Merci au the Armed Schoolteacher for the original term.

1 comment:

Don Gwinn said...

Good one, but I didn't invent the term. I'm not sure where it began, but I've been seeing "The Mexican Canard" around for a few days. I just added "TM" because everything is funnier with a trademark.