Once again blaming his own country for Mexico’s gun violence without mentioning Fast and Furious, the gun runner in chief pledges to find and jail gun smugglers. Perhaps he should start with his own administration.
‘We recognize that most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States. … We’ll keep increasing the pressure on the gun traffickers who bring illegal guns into Mexico, and we’ll keep putting these criminals where they belong — behind bars,” President Obama told students assembled at the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City on Friday, repeating a big lie he’s said before.
Obama did not mention Fast and Furious, the administration’s gunrunning operation into Mexico, which started in the fall of 2009 and ended in December 2010 only after Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in Arizona with one of the weapons we provided to the Mexican drug cartels.
Immigration Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata was also killed by Fast and Furious weapons, as have been hundreds of Mexican nationals.
The alleged purpose of the program was to track the guns along their path into Mexico and arrest the dealers, straw buyers and drug cartel members involved.
But testimony by ATF agents that they were ordered not to interdict the flow or make arrests exposed that rationale as a fraud.
We and others have suggested the purpose was to let the guns walk, let violence caused by this weapons spiral out of control, then exploit the carnage and violence to advance the president’s gun control agenda, just as the president tried to do Friday by repeating his big lie.
Here’s what House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa told the NRA’s mid-April national convention in St. Louis in April 2012:
“Could it be that what they really were thinking of was, in fact, to use this — this walking of guns — in order to promote an assault-weapons ban? Many think so, and they haven’t come up with an explanation that would cause any of us not to agree.”
On April 16, 2009, just eight months before Terry’s murder, Obama said during a visit to Mexico:
“This (Mexican drug) war is being waged with guns purchased not here, but in the United States. More than 90% of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops that line our shared border.”
The 90% number is an old and miscalculated figure that long ago was debunked by William La Jeunesse of Fox News. Mexican authorities would only send guns to America for tracing that they had reason to believe originated here.
Weapons known to have originated in foreign countries were not sent to the U.S. for tracing.
Nor were weapons found to have originated from deserters from the Mexican army or stolen from government armories.
In 2007-08, according to the Mexican government, 29,000 guns were recovered at crime scenes.
According to ATF Special Agent William Newell, Mexico submitted 11,000 guns to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for tracing. Close to 6,000 were successfully traced, and of those, 90% — 5,114 to be exact, according to testimony in Congress by William Hoover, assistant director for field operations of the ATF — were found to have come from the U.S.
That’s the percentage that gets endlessly repeated.
In those same two years, in other words, 68% of the guns that were recovered were never submitted for tracing.
And when you weed out the roughly 6,000 guns that could not be traced from the remaining 32%, it means 83% of the guns found at crime scenes in Mexico could not be traced to America. Only 17% could.
Today, the number would be inflated by the guns walked by the Obama administration into Mexico under the disastrous Fast and Furious program.
But don’t expect Obama to tell either the Mexican or American people that. Far more convenient to recycle a false statistic that will only damage our relations with our neighbor, and mislead Americans about the sources of gun crime.