Mexico and the 90% Myth

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If you've been paying any attention to the mess down on our border with Mexico in the popular media lately, you've learned two things:

1) 90% of the weapons used by the drug cartels are obtained from the United States, and

2) Certain U.S. politicians think that one of the best ways to help out our Mexican neighbors is to increase firearms control here in America.

Unfortunately, only one of those statements is true. Guess which one it is.

The 90% lie has been repeated in the press ad nauseam in the past month or so, ever since AG Eric Holder made his startling revelation to a group of Mexican reporters that the Obama administration had it's sights set on a new "assault weapons" ban...a claim later denied by the administration after prominent Congressional Democrats panned the idea, as visions of the '94 midterms danced in their heads. However, the 90% lie continued to cling to life, with only the independent blogsphere and the LA Times bothering to counter the ridiculous claims.

Now Fox News has actually looked into the 90% claims and (surprise!) they're bogus.

The Myth of 90 Percent: Only a Small Fraction of Guns in Mexico Come From U.S.

In fact, it's not even close. The fact is, only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.

What's true, an ATF spokeswoman told, in a clarification of the statistic used by her own agency's assistant director, "is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S."

But a large percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico do not get sent back to the U.S. for tracing, because it is obvious from their markings that they do not come from the U.S.

"Not every weapon seized in Mexico has a serial number on it that would make it traceable, and the U.S. effort to trace weapons really only extends to weapons that have been in the U.S. market," Matt Allen, special agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told FOX News.

Thomas Paine, in "The Age of Reason," wrote, "One step above the sublime, makes the ridiculous; and one step above the ridiculous, makes the sublime again." With American leftist politicians considering altering our Constitution to serve the internal security troubles of a neighboring nation based on cooked up numbers, that statement takes on whole new connotations.

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