On April 2, 2009, FoxNews reported that the actual percentage of weapons found in Mexico to have origins in the United States is 17% and not the 90% that is making headlines. Those headlines are being used by the Obama administration to blame the U.S. for drug violence in Mexico. Now a Republican leader is using the number.
A recent Washington Times editorial noted:
The Obama administration is fudging when it claims that 90 percent of guns used in crimes in Mexico come from the United States. The bogus statistics are being used as an excuse to push gun control.
The Obama White House and the Mexican government are in agreement that Americans' rights to purchase firearms should be curtailed. Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, ahead of President Obama's trip this week to Mexico, Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan stated that "reinstituting the [assault weapons ban] could have a profound impact on the number and the caliber of the weapons going down to Mexico."
The ambassador used the 90 percent number to justify new gun bans in the United States. Mr. Obama, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano all have made policy recommendations based on this claim.
Obama, Holder, Clinton and Napolitano are, of course, all Democrats. Now add Republican Senator Richard Lugar to the list of politicians cited the bogus 90% number. The following comes from a March 27, 2009 statement issued by the Indiana Senator and Ranking Member on the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee:
President Calderon has laid the groundwork for the upcoming visit of President Barrack Obama, on April 16-17, articulating a message that makes clear that coordination in sensitive areas will require more compromise, mutual trust, and respect for each nation's sovereignty. One area that requires more cooperation is arms trafficking.
As much as 90 percent of the assault weapons and other guns used by Mexican drug cartels are coming from the United States, fueling drug-related violence that is believed to have killed more than 7,000 people since January 2008, according to estimates by Mexican and U.S. law enforcement officials.
In the run-up to the passage of the Merida Initiative last year, the Mexican Government officials I met with consistently relayed their concerns about the flow of guns and explosives from the United States into Mexico. American Embassy officials confirmed that the U.S. was a major source of weapons for Mexican gangs and drug runners, as well.
If we are going to effectively fight drug cartels and prevent violence from spilling into the United States, one very important element is to curb the flow of guns from the United States to Mexico.
Lugar has been in the U.S. Senate since 1976. In fact, he is the most senior Republican serving in the Senate. So what's his excuse for falling prey to this trumped up numbers game?