Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee has another case of agenda-driven media coverage. This time, it's ABC's Brian Ross and a story they did about Mexican drug gangs getting a hold of American firearms at gun shows and other venues that are perfectly legal but that Ross and ABC see fit to "prove" what a bad thing the Second Amendment is:
U.S. gun stores and gun shows are the source of more than 90 percent of the weapons being used by Mexico's ruthless drug cartels, according to U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials. Owens takes aim at some of the falsehoods in the story and hits the bullseye:
"It's a war going on in Mexico, and these types of firearms are the weapons of war for them," said Bill Newell, the special agent in charge of the Phoenix field division of the ATF, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which has primary law enforcement jurisdiction for investigating gun trafficking to Mexico.
ABC News falsified the following information:
ABC News grossly exaggerated the story by displaying misleading photos, including the following:
- that "Assault weapons made in China and Eastern Europe, resembling the AK-47, have become widely and cheaply available" as a result of the expiration of the 1994 Crime Bill. These firearms were available before 1994, were legally imported, legally sold, and legally owned (with only cosmetic changes and ready availability) during the ten-year life of the bill.
- that "the Bush administration refused to extend a ban on such weapons in 2004." There was never a functioning "ban" on such weapons (see bullet point above), and President Bush had clearly indicated that he wold have sign such a bill if it had come to his desk.
- that a Belgian-made pistol, the FN Five-seveN (their punctuation, not mine) is "cop-killer" that "can fire a high-powered round used in a rifle." The pistol uses a personal defense pistol-class cartridge designed for submachine guns, PDWs, and pistols, NOT a rifle cartridge bu any stretch. The cartridge, the 5.7x28mm, is no more armor piercing than many common pistol cartridges, and is only truly armor piercing when using specific bullets restricted by the ATF to police and military sales. NOTE: The ATF agent is to blame for at least part of this point, but Ross and ABC News apparently made no attempt to verify the erroneous information they'd been told.
- In a story presumably about civilian firearms being used by Mexican drug cartels, the opening photo showed a military machine gun (M60) unavailable for civilian purchase.
- In another photo accompanying the story, they displayed machine guns, grenade launchers, and approximately 20 40mm grenades, weaponry than cannot be owned by U.S. civilians. I'd speculate that like the M60, these weapons were likely sold by the Mexican military to the cartels.
This is embarrassing. So many errors are either a sign of laziness or stupidity. In ABC's case, there is also, as Bob points out, the question of their anti-Second Amendment agenda driving the story.
We all breathlessly await ABC's corrections to the story that I'm sure will be forthcoming - not.