Something Feral

Digging up the flower-beds.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Senate Judiciary Committee, 3/17/09:
SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD: ... So the hearing today is important to move this forward. Mr. Kibble and Mr. Hoover, I was deeply troubled to learn that the vast majority of weapons used by drug cartels in Mexico come from the United States and that the Mexican cartels are increasingly smuggling military equipment that cannot be legally sold to civilians in either country. Could you please describe the primary source of such weapons and what efforts are under-way to enhance the ability to present these weapons from entering the civilian sector? Mr. Hoover?

WILLIAM HOOVER (BATFE): As far as military firearms, Sir, we have had fewer than, I believe, a dozen traces that go back to military firearms. Now, we have had some military United States-originated military instruments, such as grenades, that have ended up with the cartels, and I would like to speak with you in another hearing or another matter, but I can't go further into that as we are in this session.

KUMAR KIBBLE (ICE): Sir, and this is more anecdotal, but we do have some investigations that have indicated that those weapons may be diverted from other regions and not necessarily coming directly from the U.S., and that's something that we could discuss in greater detail.
Contrast this with recent commentary from the State Department regarding the escalating violence to the south:
Clinton late Wednesday called letting a previous US ban on the sale of assault weapons expire "a mistake."

"I think these assault weapons, these military style weapons, don't belong on anyone's street," said Clinton who pushed for the ban as a New York senator.

"During the time period from 1994 to 2004, when the ban was in effect, our police in America were able to drive crime down because they didn't have to worry about these assault weapons getting into the hands of criminals and gang members," the chief US diplomat said.

"So we will make the case that we need to put more teeth in the law, try to prohibit the sale outside of our borders of these guns," Clinton said.
Lies, lies, and damned lies.

According to Christopher S. Koper in a report to the USDOJ at the end of the original 1994 "Assault Weapons" Ban, Hillary is blowing smoke:
Should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement. [Assault weapons] were rarely used in gun crimes even before the ban.
Folks, I don't want to beat a dead horse here (even if it would raise Ingrid Newkirk's dander), but the facts are there: semi-automatic military-style weapons are simply not the weapons of choice for domestic criminals. Or, to really push the equine floggings, there simply is no terrorist with a fully-automatic AK-47 (that he bought at the pawn-shop down the street) hiding behind the azaleas in the front yard. TIME Magazine (horror of horrors) corroborates this claim:
The top 10 guns used in crimes in the U.S. in 2000, according to an unpublished study by U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and obtained exclusively by TIME:

1. Smith and Wesson .38 revolver
2. Ruger 9 mm semiautomatic
3. Lorcin Engineering .380 semiautomatic
4. Raven Arms .25 semiautomatic
5. Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun
6. Smith and Wesson 9mm semiautomatic
7. Smith and Wesson .357 revolver
8. Bryco Arms 9mm semiautomatic
9. Bryco Arms .380 semiautomatic
10. Davis Industries .380 semiautomatic

The list is derived from the center's investigations of 88,570 guns recovered from crime scenes in 46 cities in 2000, is being analyzed for ATF's youth gun crime interdiction initiative, which helps local police forces understand and counter gun trafficking to youth in their jurisdictions.
Frankly, the whole notion that the United States is supplying the drug-cartels with weaponry is idiotic, to put it in polite terms. Let's pause for a reality-check: in world where the cartels can afford to use submarines to smuggle drugs, why would they bother to do the red-tape waltz in the United States to acquire semi-automatic weapons at market price?

Answer: Crime isn't the issue, drugs aren't the issue, but you and I, the tax-payers, with semi-automatic military-grade firearms is an issue.

Take a few minutes to mull that over. I'll be here.


SellCivilizationShort said...

"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"
-- George Washington

SellCivilizationShort said...

Whoops, my first quote may actually be an incorrect attribution to Washington -- here are some that are better documented:

"It has been a spectacle displaying to the highest advantage of republican government to behold the most and the least wealthy of our citizens standing in the same ranks as private soldiers, preeminently distinguished by being the army of the Constitution..." President George Washington, Sixth Annual Message to Congress, November 19, 1794.

"A free people ought not only to be armed…" George Washington, speech of January 8, 1790 in the Boston Independent Chronicle, January 14, 1790. Complete text of the First Annual Message to Congress.

"It has demonstrated that our prosperity rests on solid foundations, by furnishing an additional that my fellow citizens understand the true principles of government and liberty; that they feel their inseparable union; that notwithstanding all the devices which have been used to sway them from their interest and duty, they are not as ready to maintain the authority of the laws against licentious invasions as they were to defend their rights against usurpation." President George Washington, Sixth Annual Message to Congress, November 19, 1794.

MikeT said...

How could law enforcement behave like jack-booted thugs if people lived as Washington recommended?...

The reason that crime went down during that time was simple: opportunity. I don't subscribe to the rouseauean view that people are born good and poverty makes them evil, but there is truth to the argument that poverty does bring out the worst, and opportunity can change that. Mainly it's because once people have some wealth, they don't want to piss off the government who will bust them over the head, send them to jail and seize their loot.