Lately we’ve been hearing this ridiculous lie about 90% of guns used in crimes by Mexican drug cartels being smuggled over the border from US gun shops. Hillary Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, and dozens of articles and news reports have repeated the claim. Here’s a good article debunking the claim over at Fox News.
It turns out the 90% was just the percentage of guns submitted to the ATF for tracing, and the figure is so high because they can usually tell from the guns’ markings whether they came from the US–apparently they can tell by the markings 90% of the time, and that’s all the figure means. So where do the guns usually come from? Here’s what the article tell us:
There are a variety of sources:
- The Black Market. Mexico is a virtual arms bazaar, with fragmentation grenades from South Korea, AK-47s from China, and shoulder-fired rocket launchers from Spain, Israel and former Soviet bloc manufacturers.
- Russian crime organizations. Interpol says Russian Mafia groups such as Poldolskaya and Moscow-based Solntsevskaya are actively trafficking drugs and arms in Mexico.
- South America. During the late 1990s, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) established a clandestine arms smuggling and drug trafficking partnership with the Tijuana cartel, according to the Federal Research Division report from the Library of Congress.
- Asia. According to a 2006 Amnesty International Report, China has provided arms to countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Chinese assault weapons and Korean explosives have been recovered in Mexico.
- The Mexican Army. More than 150,000 soldiers deserted in the last six years, according to Mexican Congressman Robert Badillo. Many took their weapons with them, including the standard issue M-16 assault rifle made in Belgium.
- Guatemala. U.S. intelligence agencies say traffickers move immigrants, stolen cars, guns and drugs, including most of America’s cocaine, along the porous Mexican-Guatemalan border. On March 27, La Hora, a Guatemalan newspaper, reported that police seized 500 grenades and a load of AK-47s on the border. Police say the cache was transported by a Mexican drug cartel operating out of Ixcan, a border town.
Considering that we still hear the “43 times” lie bandied about, I’m sure this one will be repeated in letters to the editor, blog posts, Law & Order episodes, and the like for years to come.