As we continue to report, Congress has jumped into the topic of Mexican border violence with both feet, having held 10 different Subcommittee and Full Committee hearings on the topic, with more coming. It has also become clear that anti-gun politicians and groups are intent on using this issue to advance new gun laws.
In the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Drugs and Crime, Sen. Dianne Feinstein renewed her attacks on gun owners' rights. During her remarks, she stated that there are over 2,000 guns smuggled into Mexico from the U.S. each day. But when she tried to elicit support for that number from a representative from the BATFE, he responded that the number was much lower. Senator Feinstein was clearly unhappy that he would not endorse her anti-gun sound bite.
Feinstein also repeated the claim that 90% of seized guns are from American sources (please see related story below). In fact, it is unknown where most of the arms possessed by the cartels originate. According to the BATFE 90% of the firearms traced are from American sources, but BATFE only traces 25% of the guns seized by Mexican authorities. The remaining 75% of guns seized along with all the firearms remaining in the hands of the cartels are of unknown origin. The fact that only 25% of the guns seized are traced raises a significant question: Why has the Mexican government not requested traces on the remaining 75%? Could it be because those guns are far less likely to have originated in America? Could it be that the Mexican authorities do not want it known where these guns come from? Could it be that it benefits the Mexican government to continue to blame U.S. gun laws to divert attention away from the rampant corruption of local governments and police forces? Could it be all of the above?
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also entered the debate, traveling to Mexico and taking the opportunity to blame American gun laws. She called for a renewal of the semi-auto ban, and even trumpeted the ban's illusory impact: "And there's no doubt in my mind that the 10 years we had an assault weapons ban in America was one of the tools that helped to drive down the crime rate."
Perhaps if Clinton had read the congressionally mandated study performed by the Urban Institute (http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/aw_final.pdf) she would know it showed that the ban couldn't possibly have had much impact on crime because "the banned guns were never used in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders" before the ban.
In another development that will not please the gun ban crowd, the leader of the Border Patrol Union, T.J. Bonner, said he was "underwhelmed" by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's plans to secure the border and went on to debunk the idea that Mexican violence is caused by American guns: "The U.S. has more weapons but we don't have that kind of violence in our streets," he said.
American gun owners know that that the real solution to the border violence is to actually secure the border. Shifting the focus to gun laws is nothing more than a calculated attack on our Second Amendment rights.
For more information on the hearings, please go to www.nraila.org.