PJ Media

Intent to Deceive: Bloomberg's Gun Control Group Repeats the 'Mexican Gun Canard'

Gun bans in Chicago and Washington, D.C., have been mercilessly struck down by the courts. Concealed carry laws are being adopted and expanded in states across the nation. Shooting sports are increasing in popularity, and gun and ammunition sales remain near record highs. It’s all enough to give the shrinking number of gun control advocates in the United States apoplexy.


It’s also enough to force them into acts of desperation to prop up a failing ideology.

They’ll lie about the demise of one of America’s most widespread rifles, as it soars in popularity. They’ will fabricate research, and fudge facts to do so — including matters of who lived and died. They’ll even go so far as to suggest limiting rights to minorities in a desperate bid to halt the collapse of their cause.

So it should come as little surprise that a new report by Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun organization — Mayors Against Illegal Guns — relies completely upon deception to promote the billionaire mayor’s anti-firearm jihad.

The report, titled “The Movement of Illegal Guns Across the U.S.-Mexico Border,” relies entirely upon statistical dishonesty to support infringing upon U.S. gun rights, starting in the second sentence of the report:

In recent years, the escalating drug cartel violence in Mexico has claimed tens of thousands of lives, fueled in part by thousands of guns illegally trafficked from the United States. In fact, 90% of guns recovered and traced from Mexican crime scenes originated from gun dealers in the United States.

The first sentence of the report is factually correct. Thousands of guns have been smuggled into Mexico by cartels, and theses smuggled firearms have been one source of munitions for the drug gangs.


The second sentence, however, is masterfully deceptive … and purposefully so. You’ll note that it says “90% of guns recovered and traced from Mexican crime scenes originated from gun dealers in the United States.”

Recovered and traced is the hinge for their entire argument. It does not mean that 9 out of 10 guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, though Bloomberg and others clinging to this fallacy would have you believe this.

What it means is that when Mexican authorities recover firearms from a cartel, they try to discern their origins. The vast majority of firearms recovered by Mexican authorities have no ties to the United States in any way, shape, or form. Roughly 80% of guns recovered from the cartels come from other nations, often former Soviet block nations where AK-47s and other automatic weapons can be obtained on the black market for next to nothing, in bulk.

The only firearms handed over to the ATF by the Mexican government are those firearms they have reason to believe came from the United States. These include weapons manufactured in the United States, as well as weapons that bear a U.S. importer’s marks.

The Mexican government provides less than 20% of the weapons they capture for tracing. Of nearly 100,000 weapons recovered from the cartels, only 20 percent had been turned over to the U.S. for identification. Of those, 18,000 were determined to have been manufactured, sold, or imported from the United States. Less than half of that fractional amount could be traced to U.S. gun dealers. The rest were stolen or acquired through other means.


Of 100,000 weapons recovered from the cartels, just 7,900 — less than 8 percent — were traced to purchases from American gun dealers.

Data is still being analyzed, but preliminary reports indicate that in the majority of those sales, it was the customers acting criminally — completing “strawman” purchases where people who pass the FBI’s NCIS background check turn around and provide weapons to the cartels in exchange for pay.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns went out of its way to carefully craft sentences that would create the illusion that American gun dealers were the primary force behind the arming of the Mexican drug cartels.

In doing so, they smeared thousands of federal firearms licensees who must comply with rigorous guidelines, and who could face the closure of their businesses for demerits as minor as misfiled paperwork. This is a dishonest attack by anti-gun politicians on law-abiding small businessmen during the peak of a recession, orchestrated to push an anti-American agenda.

And it isn’t even original.

President Barack Obama was called out for this fraud over a year ago, when he tried to pass what became known as the “Mexican Gun Canard.” Mexican President Felipe Calderon echoed the lie several months ago, and was also taken to task. That lesser politicians thought they could spread the same dishonesty unchallenged is absurd.


Unsurprisingly, these politicians have allies in the media more than willing to further their propaganda efforts. Richard Esposito of ABC News is just the latest purveyor of the lie, in his report “Mexican Crime, American Guns.”

ABC News makes no effort at all to fact check the report of the anti-gun group, which would easily have been refuted by congressional testimony provided by ATF officials earlier this year. Instead, ABC News provided an illusion of credibility to what is nothing more than carefully crafted propaganda.

One can only assume that this shoddy journalism is just one result of David Westin’s shameful destruction of ABC News. When standards aren’t upheld and agenda-driven “news” is allowed to thrive, credibility and ratings suffer.

Not that any of us should be surprised. Anti-gun organizations such as the Brady Campaign, the Violence Policy Center, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns rely upon deception and emotionalism for both funding and to spread their message. Bloomberg himself tried to profit from the massacre of U.S. troops by an enraged Muslim solider at Fort Hood. That ABC news would be their beard is hardly surprising, either. In particular, Brian Ross’ investigative team at The Blotter blog — where Esposito published this propaganda — have a long track record of inaccurate, smear-based journalism.


Much of the American public is long past trusting politicians or the mainstream media, precisely because of this sort of collaborative deception. That these groups still bitterly cling to such transparent propaganda efforts is perhaps a sign of how desperate they’ve become attempting to defend an indefensible worldview.

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