President Obama held a joint press conference in the White House Rose Garden with Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico today. During his remarks, the president reacted to comments by his Mexican counterpart regarding the flow of American guns into Mexico. Mexico’s president denounced the availability of firearms in the United States, stating that for every Wal-Mart, there are nine gun sellers in the US (aside: most Wal-Marts also sell guns). President Obama followed up, stating that the United States stands ready to help Mexico “weaken the grip” of the drug cartels in the war-torn state, and that America has a “responsibility to ensure that guns and cash are not flowing” across the border from the US to Mexico.
The president did not apologize for his own administration’s operation known as Fast and Furious, the ATF gambit which allowed thousands of guns to flow south across the US-Mexico border. When the possibility that those guns might turn up in the hands of Mexico’s murderous drug cartels, US government officials were reportedly nonchalant:
Agent Dodson explained: “I was having a conversation with Special Agent [L] about the case in which the conversation ended with me asking her are you prepared to go to a border agent’s funeral over this or a Cochise County deputy’s over this, because that’s going to happen. And the sentiment that was given back to me by both her, the group supervisor, was that…’if you are going to make an omelette, you need to scramble some eggs.’”
Guns from that operation have been implicated in the deaths of two Americans, Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and DEA agent Jaime Zapata. Hundreds of Mexicans have also died in crimes involving Fast and Furious firearms. Instead of apologizing, as the president quickly did after an accidental killing of Afghan citizens by US troops operating in that country, President Obama appeared to side with President Calderon in denouncing Americans’ second amendment right to keep and bear arms.