ATF Plans Gun Registration in Border States

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As the Obama
administration is poised to enact a sweeping infringement of the
right of Americans to keep and bear arms in the states bordering
Mexico, the only thing which may stand in the way is not the Republican-dominated
House of Representatives, but the Federal Paperwork Reduction Act.

The scale of
the revision in U.S. law which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives (still known as ATF) is contemplating is breathtaking;
noted in a recent Reuters article
: “The measure would require
around 8,500 gun dealers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and
Texas to report sales of two or more high-powered semi-automatic
rifles with detachable magazines to the same person within a five-day
period.” The supposed rationale for this action is to reduce
the flow of arms to Mexico, which
is rapidly devolving into a civil war
between the central government
and drug cartels. The sketchy connection between interfering with
the second amendment rights of American citizens and the failed
state south of our border is a GAO study which attempts to link
American firearms to the conflict, and the Reuters article dutifully
repeats the Obama administration “line” on this point:

The move
to boost ATF’s ability to target gun traffickers comes as Mexican
authorities are struggling to contain raging drug violence south
of the border, where shootouts, beheadings and torture killings
are a daily occurrence.

About 90
percent of the crime guns seized and traced in Mexico last year
were initially sold in the United States, according to ATF. Investigators
say around three-quarters of traces lead back to sales in the
four states flanking the U.S. border.

This "iron
river" of firearms flowing south to the drug cartels includes
high powered Kalashnikov and AR-15 rifles toted by cartel hitmen
across Mexico, and decorative .38 caliber pistols popular with
drug kingpins.

The highly
misleading GAO statistic cited by the ATF has been refuted. Consider
the following analysis from
the July 2009 issue
of Second Amendment Foundation’s Gottlieb-Tartaro

The GAO obediently
came up with some sensational numbers: “about 87 percent
of firearms seized by Mexican authorities and traced in the last
5 years originated in the United States.” If true, it would
be a huge failure of our border patrol. [Emphasis in original.]

Not only
that, the report emphasized, “Many of these firearms come
from gun shops and gun shows in Southwest border states.”
It’s as if these law-abiding Americans were deliberately
supplying Mexican gun smugglers.
[Emphasis in original.]

report is just to get more gun control laws. In fact, that
“87 percent” number for U.S. guns “seized and traced”
in Mexico is a flat lie.

The real
number is closer to 22 percent, but you can’t tell until
21 pages into the GAO report. The discrepancy is in what the GAO
counted: only guns traced, not guns seized. A lot
of guns (30,000) were seized, but few traced (7,200).

Page 21 of
the report says, “In 2008, of the almost 30,000 firearms
that the Mexican Attorney General’s office said were seized,
only around 7,200, or approximately a quarter, were submitted
to ATF for tracing.”

It was 87
percent of those 7,200 that were traced to the U.S., but that’s
only about 25 percent of the 30,000 seized. That’s a prime
example of How
to Lie With Statistics
, as author Darrell Huff titled
his 1993 book.

Far from an
“iron river," the flow of arms from the United States
is more like an arroyo, which is a channel of bare earth until a
storm comes along.

the rest of the article

10, 2011

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