Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Mexican Gun Canard Rises Again

We thought it had died, as it should. But like a zombie, it's lifeless corpse keeps rising from the grave. Yet another example at the Roanoke Times:

Legal gun sales in this country facilitate this illicit trade.

According to federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives data collected over the past three years, more than 90 percent of firearms traced after being seized in Mexico are from the United States.

It's hardly a mystery where many of them come from. The ATF agent in charge of its Houston division noted in a New York Times story in April there are about 1,500 licensed gun dealers in that area alone.

No mention of the fact that 90 percent of firearms traced is not 90 percent of firearms seized. That little fact is not mentioned, and left for the observant reader to figure out on his own - probably in the hope that the majority of readers won't notice it.

No mention of the fact that it doesn't make economical sense for the Mexican drug gangs to find someone who can pass the background check who would be willing to do a straw purchase, and front the approximately $800-$1000 the average "assault weapon" costs at a legitimate dealer, when they can send someone to their south and buy the same weapon for only a couple of hundred dollars on the black market there.

No mention of how many of the weapons traced to the US were sold to the Mexican government, or another South American government first. (How many governments or revolutionary movements did we prop up during the Cold War, anyway?)

This was an editorial, so there's not the obligation to present an unbiased summary, but this smacks of a deliberate twisting of the facts. Even in an editorial, this is irresponsible and unethical behavior for a newspaper that wants to claim journalistic integrity.

1 comment: said...

Journalistic integrity? That's an oxymoron, especially in this day and age. I just finished up a conversation with a co-worker of mine about the fact that everyone has an agenda. Everyone who writes for a newspaper is out to say what they want exactly the way they want it. The spin factor is what makes journalism downright unreliable. These are the reasons that Jefferson was quoted as saying the following over 200 years ago:

Quote: "Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper."