Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Brady Campaign just can't stop fudging the numbers regarding Mexican 'crime guns'

Days of Our Trailers notes that the Brady Campaign's Dennis Henigan is apparently mathematically challenged, judging from his latest Huff 'n' Puff Post piece (not to mention factually challenged, and we cannot forget his unfortunate Constitutionally challenged condition).

I made an observation:

Says Henigagn:
Huge numbers of guns are involved. According to a new report, U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico, by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the University of San Diego Trans-Border Institute, of 75,000 firearms seized by the Mexican government in the last three years, about 80%, or 60,000 firearms, came from the United States.
Wrong. If you read the report itself, and then check the footnoted references, you will find that the report derives its "80%" figure from this Washington Post article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/20/AR2010052002911.html

What that article says is quite different: "Calderón said his government had seized 75,000 guns in Mexico in a three-year period and found that 80 percent of those whose origin could be traced were bought in the United States."

80% "of those whose origin could be traced."

Quite a difference. The sleight of hand of ignoring the "whose origin could be traced" part has from the beginning been a key component of the strategy of those who want to use Mexican crime to justify yet more restrictive gun laws in the U.S.

One of the authors of the "report" Dennis cited challenged my assertions:
Dear 45superman,

I beg to differ. I am one of the authors of the report you refer to and know first hand. If you check the other source the author gives, from the Washington Times, it says more directly that of the 75,000 firearms seized around 80 percent of them came from the United States. In addition, I have heard from several ATF officials and other U.S. government officials that the 60,000 figure (total amount of U.S.-origin firearms seized by Mexico from 2007 to 2009) I use is fairly accurate. The reason ATF knows this is that Mexico has been providing a lot more firearm trace requests. As of May 2010, ATF had information on 69,808 firearms recovered in Mexico from 2007 to 2009, which is tens of thousands of firearms more than it had information on as of June 2009. While it's important to continue ask ATF for exact data, it's also important to fully recognize that Mexican DTOs are using U.S.-origin firearms on a massive scale and something needs to be done to stop their easy access to firearms in the United States.

Colby Goodman
Um . . . not so fast (modified to correct a bad link):
Mr. Goodman, I stand by my original contention. The Washington Times seems to have used less carefully accurate wording than the Washington Post (in that the Post included the "of those that can be traced" qualifier, and the Times did not).

I have ascertained this by going to the text of President Caldeón's address itself: http://bit.ly/coXs8m

There, we find this: "Just to give you an idea, we have seized 75,000 guns and assault weapons in Mexico in the last 3 years, and more than 80 percent of those we have been able to trace came from the United States."

As for your anecdotes about what you "have heard from several ATF officials and other U.S. government officials," come back to me about what they say under oath.

Tell a lie often (and loudly) enough . . . and we'll still hammer you for it.

Update: David Codrea has more.