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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 with 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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Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. Well stated and fact based. I have to wonder how many came here from Mexico in the first place.

  2. how many firearms did the not get siezed before they reached Mexico?

  3. Turns out some of the guns in Mexico did originate from the US…. FROM THE ATF ITSELF. If there is one Government agency that deserves its budget cut big time it’s the ATF. Corrupt, abusive and NOT how I want my tax dollars used.

    “(CBS News) WASHINGTON – Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief.
    He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico?
    “Yes ma’am,” Dodson told CBS News. “The agency was.”
    An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson’s job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen.
    Investigators call the tactic letting guns “walk.” In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States.”


  4. Darren – keep sticking your head in the sand. I guess its ok that that we are supplying the drug cartels in Mexico with guns as long as it is not that many. Unless you are killed by one of those guns?

  5. afret – what do you mean “we” kemo sabe?

    We the people are not supplying those guns. It is in fact a small band of the criminal element that has made a choice to break existing law and attempt to move guns from here to Mexico.

    KGE1911 has also introduced a current evolving account that our own government has knowingly allow the purchase and subsequent transport of guns from the US to Mexico. They lost track of them and it appears that one of them was used in the murder of a US Agent.

    We, are not the problem Mr. afret, it is a small band of people who have made the choice to break existing law.

  6. If the problem was to really be solved, why hasn’t some brainiac inserted a GPS ticker into the stocks of all firearms that are given to the “revolving door” Mexican Federale Policia by our benevolently idiotic Homeland (in)Security Dept.?

    Easy : The idea of :”solving” the situation is a mirage.

    This is Rahm Emannuel 101…never let a good crisis go to waste…

  7. rr98411 – if those guns are coming from our county then it is our problem to stop them, so yes it is we!
    But the larger issue is what is fueling the problem – drugs. This is also our problem since it’s our addictions that fuel the problem “kemo sabe”

  8. afret – so as not to go off on a tangent, I guess I need more from you. You say it is we that need to stop the guns from moving here, the USA to Mexico… what does that mean to you? What does that look like to you?

    I say again, it is a small band of the criminal element that has broken existing law. A super duper majority of We, the people follow the law. So do you mean the citizen? What do you expect me… us to do? Any further restrictions that we can agree to here in Washington state that will help with preventing guns from moving to Mexico.

    Or do you mean We, the government? Specifically the ATF. If so, then I again refer you to link provided by KGE1911 as a starting point for review. Warning, it may affect you believe in the competency of government.

  9. rr98411 – When I say we I mean the the goverment and since the goverment is us – you know we the people. So if the goverment is not doing the job then it is up to us to ak for changes not stick our heads in the sand and say we its just someone else’s problem.

  10. afret – what you ask for is then indeed happening…

    The government via an agency – the BATF – whose mission is to monitor and enforce regulations related to the possession, transport, use, etc… of firearms. They have a program that is in fact attempting to interdict in the purchase and flow of guns from the USA to Mexico. There is a little problem with that program… hmmm…

    OK, so now, We, the people through our elected representatives – the Senate – have requested via a letter to the DoJ, a hearing for an explanation of what is happening with the BATF Gun Runner program. The sound you hear is of a foot being dragged through the proverbial ground…

    You wanna help? Email Patty Murray and the sneaker gal, let them know that you support Sen. Grassley’s attempts to get to the bottom of this matter.

    Again, not for the meek. It appears to be tragic, ugly and can potentially shake your faith in government.

  11. Mr. McDonald is typical of all the gun nuts. If information comes out that makes guns,gun dealers or gun problems look bad the gun nuts will divert the argument or just kiss off the data as useless.
    Then, some will criticize US tactics in the gun intervention scheme with no knowledge of just how difficult and huge the problem is. We are talking about thousands of vehicles a day crossing the border. We are talking about a major increase in personnel at the border and guess what? That costs money that must come from tight budgets. Budgets are tight because the gun nuts don’t want tax rates to be fair. Round and round it goes with the gun nuts making excuses and hiding from reality.
    I’m to the point where I am not surprised at the gun nut stance. I just send my monthly contribution to the Brady Campaign with the hope that the combined effect of all our contributions can someday make a difference to the madness perpetrated by the gun nuts.

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