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.