Interestingly, the part of this argument pertaining to guns has been adopted by many politicians and government officials in the United States in recent years. It has now become quite common to hear U.S. officials confidently assert that 90 percent of the weapons used by the Mexican drug cartels come from the United States. However, a close examination of the dynamics of the cartel wars in Mexico â€” and of how the oft-echoed 90 percent number was reached â€” clearly demonstrates that the number is more political rhetoric than empirical fact.
Read the whole thing. Hat tip to No Lawyers, Only Guns and Money.
UPDATE: Key bit of information I forgot:
In fact, the 3,480 guns positively traced to the United States equals less than 12 percent of the total arms seized in Mexico in 2008 and less than 48 percent of all those submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF for tracing. This means that almost 90 percent of the guns seized in Mexico in 2008 wereÂ not traced back to the United States.
So can we count on our opponents to stop using this now completely discredited statistic? I’ll expect that will come in the mail with my Unicorn.
UPDATE: More as I’m reading:
In fact, there is an entire cottage industry that has developed to smuggle such weapons, and not all the customers are cartel hit men. There are many Mexican citizens who own guns in calibers such as .45, 9 mm, .40 and .44 magnum for self-defense â€” even though such guns are illegal in Mexico.
I’ve said before, what if a lot of the guns being trafficked are going to ordinary Mexicans to defend themselves from the cartels? That’s not the kind of smuggling I’m interested in stopping. It might be illegal, but it’s not wrong.
3 thoughts on “Stratfor on the Mexican Gun Canard”
But it IS true! 90% of the guns used by the Mexican drug cartels comes from the ATF…
“To really understand Mexicoâ€™s gun problem, however, it is necessary to recognize that the same economic law of supply and demand that fuels drug smuggling into the United States also fuels gun smuggling into Mexico….”
BINGO! Nice to see a policy analyst who understands the inevitability of capitalism.
It would be even nicer if America could devise policies based on sound reasoning like this, e.g. end the hopeless global war on drugs that is the cause of so much misery in the world.
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