EDITORIAL: Obama’s bogus gun statistics

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The Obama administration is fudging when it claims that 90 percent of guns used in crimes in Mexico come from the United States. The bogus statistics are being used as an excuse to push gun control.

The Obama White House and the Mexican government are in agreement that Americans' rights to purchase firearms should be curtailed. Appearing on CBS' “Face the Nation” on Sunday, ahead of President Obama's trip this week to Mexico, Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan stated that “reinstituting the [assault weapons ban] could have a profound impact on the number and the caliber of the weapons going down to Mexico.”

The ambassador used the 90 percent number to justify new gun bans in the United States. Mr. Obama, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano all have made policy recommendations based on this claim.

The gun controllers have to use phony statistics because the truth does not support their agenda. According to William La Jeunesse and Maxim Lott of Fox News, “only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.” On Friday, National Public Radio asked the attorney general about the Fox News analysis. Mr. Holder sidestepped the facts with more misleading data. “It almost doesn't matter if it's 60 percent, 70 percent or 90 percent,” Mr. Holder claimed. “The reality is that too many guns are flowing from the United States into Mexico.”

Like all good yarns, this one has a thread of truth that is being overspun. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 90 percent of “traced” guns come from the United States. The two governments cooperate on gun-tracing, and when Mexico seizes guns from criminals, it sends home those it ascertains to be from the U.S. It is easy to identify U.S. guns because they carry serial numbers and “Made in USA” stamps.

The reality is that most guns that turn up in Mexico are not from the United States, do not have U.S. markings and therefore are not sent across the border to U.S. officials. The 90 percent figure reflects the number Mexico sends to the United State for tracing that turn out to be from the United States - not a percentage of the total number of all weapons seized in Mexico. Matt Allen, special agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told Fox News that “the U.S. effort to trace weapons really only extends to weapons that have been in the U.S. market.” The vast number of seized weapons from other places is not counted.

Numerous sources of weapons supply Mexican crime syndicates. Mexico is a virtual arms bazaar filled with AK-47s from China, shoulder-fired rockets from Soviet-bloc manufacturers and fragmentation grenades from South Korea. In the past six years, more than 150,000 Mexican soldiers have deserted from the army, with many taking their standard-issue Belgian-made M-16s with them. Drug runners, who by trade are adept at smuggling, have the ability to sneak weapons across borders from anywhere they want.

The Obama administration has proposed spending $400 million to stop U.S. guns from going to Mexico. A major part of this plan would be to clamp down on gun shops in America. As with all gun control, new laws will not stop the criminals from getting guns but will curtail the rights of law-abiding individuals and businesses.

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