Day by Day

Friday, April 03, 2009

Surprise factor = 0

But it's nice to see SOMEONE finally say it.

You've heard this shocking "fact" before -- on TV and radio, in newspapers, on the Internet and from the highest politicians in the land: 90 percent of the weapons used to commit crimes in Mexico come from the United States.

-- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it to reporters on a flight to Mexico City.

-- CBS newsman Bob Schieffer referred to it while interviewing President Obama.

-- California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said at a Senate hearing: "It is unacceptable to have 90 percent of the guns that are picked up in Mexico and used to shoot judges, police officers and mayors ... come from the United States."

-- William Hoover, assistant director for field operations at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, testified in the House of Representatives that "there is more than enough evidence to indicate that over 90 percent of the firearms that have either been recovered in, or interdicted in transport to Mexico, originated from various sources within the United States."

There's just one problem with the 90 percent "statistic" and it's a big one:

It's just not true.

I had a discussion at work with someone about this. You cannot buy automatic weapons in the USA without a Class 3 license, which are heavily regulated. You can't go down to your local gun store and pick up a full-auto AK-47. You can't go buy grenades or RPG's.

The sad part is that this woman was actually shocked to learn that fact. But at least I opened her eyes just a little bit.

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