Letters to the Editor

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GUNS: ATF seizures hardly a ‘river’ of firearms

Letter by Darren K. McDonald, Puyallup on March 7, 2011 at 10:42 am | 11 Comments »
March 7, 2011 1:16 pm

Re: “U.S. guns flowing to Mexico” (TNT, 3-6).

I pulled the latest numbers available from the ATF for firearms manufactured in the U.S. in 2009. Excluding exports, the total was 5,230,697. The 2,633 firearms seized by the ATF in the Southwest border states is only .050 percent of that number.

The NRA states there was 250 million privately owned firearms in the U.S. in 2009. Add that to the number manufactured and we get 255,230,697. That knocks the 2,633 seized firearms down to an imperceptible .001031 percent of the total firearms in circulation that year.

I would hardly call that a “river of American guns flowing into Mexico.”

The 2,000-a-day gun estimate sure sounds impressive, but it is only an estimate. I could estimate the guns are actually being smuggled into Mexico by unemployed Wisconsin Democrats, but that doesn’t make it true.

I believe it was Mark Twain who said there are “lies, damn lies and statistics” – a very astute observation.

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