The New, Improved, Mexican Gun Lie. Now 5% Bigger!

Several bloggers have been pointing out how FOX News is debunking the lie that “90% of Mexican crime guns have been traced to the US.” You should go read it, it’s good. You’ll get these quotes in context, too. The truth?

What’s true, an ATF spokeswoman told FOXNews.com, in a clarification of the statistic used by her own agency’s assistant director, “is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S.”

But a large percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico do not get sent back to the U.S. for tracing, because it is obvious from their markings that they do not come from the U.S.

[…]68 percent of the guns that were recovered were never submitted for tracing. […]83 percent of the guns found at crime scenes in Mexico could not be traced to the U.S.

You would think that might be a significant fact, wouldn’t you? Apparently, the AP doesn’t think so:

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recently reported that up to 95 percent of guns seized at scenes of drug violence in Mexico can be traced to U.S. commercial sources. [Emphasis added]

So, yesterday 90% of guns seized were traced to the US, today it’s 95%? How does that work if 83% of gun seized could not be traced to the US?

Does. Not. Compute.

Something else worth noting is that they don’t tell you how many of the guns that were traced to the US came from the civilian market. Consider this:

More than 150,000 soldiers deserted in the last six years, according to Mexican Congressman Robert Badillo. Many took their weapons with them[…]

and, according to “Ed Head, a firearms instructor in Arizona who spent 24 years with the U.S. Border Patrol”:

Some guns, he said, “are legitimately shipped to the government of Mexico, by Colt, for example, in the United States. They are approved by the U.S. government for use by the Mexican military service. The guns end up in Mexico that way — the fully auto versions — they are not smuggled in across the river.”

Gee, I bet those guns “can be traced to U.S. commercial sources.” I’m sure Colt could be considered a “commercial source” – depending on how you define the term. Notice that the AP never tells you what they mean by “commercial source.”

The AP’s “Authorized Journalists” apparently think that if their lie isn’t working, they just need to make it a bigger lie. Look for them to start repeating it more often, too. That’s what liars do when they think someone’s going to put some inconvenient facts out where people can see them.

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