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Guns, Mexico and the 90 Percent Myth

By now we've all heard the statement, "90 percent of guns used to commit
crimes in Mexico come from the United States," but a investigative
released yesterday has punched a hole in that myth, concluding, "It's
just not true."

Even when the statement was "clarified" by ATF to say 90 percent of "traced"
firearms came from the United States, reporters found otherwise,
saying only 17 percent of guns recovered at crime scenes in Mexico have been
traced to the U.S.

All firearms made in the United States are stamped with a make, model and
serial number, and a large number of guns recovered in Mexico do not have such
markings, indicating they did not come from this country.

According to the article, there is a big discrepancy between the number of
guns Mexico submitted to ATF for tracing and the total number of guns found at
crime scenes. That means many guns are coming from somewhere else, possibly the
Mexican Army since a large number of soldiers have deserted--some to work for
the drug cartels--and may have taken their guns with them. The black market and
Central and South America are among other sources the story mentions.

Among the weapons recovered at Mexican crime scenes are fully automatic
firearms, grenades and rocket launchers. These are most certainly not coming
from federally licensed firearms retailers in the United States.

With politicians and reporters continuing to promote the "90 percent" myth,
it would be nice if the media reported on the findings by to set the
record straight.


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