Michael's Dispatches

American Guns and Mexicans

06 April 2009

It would appear that the Mexico situation carries enough emotional potential – in North America – to dwarf anything we saw on Iraq.  Afghanistan is more like a martial metronome, or a software program that’s running in the background; we only notice when it crashes.

Mexico, however…

It looks like anyone who steps into the Mexico fray might as well jump onto the back of an angry bull.  I published a few documents/articles lately, mostly without comment, which caused a small uproar.  In fact, it appears that FOX responded to the uproar with its own story.  Many people, who reflexively expurgated words that did not suit their trained palettes, immediately embraced, uncritically, the FOX report which apparently tasted better.  Some people even demanded apologies from me for – I’m not exactly sure for what.  I am very good at apologizing when I do something wrong, but there has been zero cause for apology lately.  When it comes to the issue of guns to Mexico, the jury has not convened, and so it can hardly be out.  I will treat Mexico the same way I treated Iraq:  Listen to everyone; trust nothing; draw independent conclusions.

In any case, I re-published this story from FOX, which many people swallowed without chewing.  Two journalists contacted me from the San Antonio Express-News; Sig Christenson and Todd Bensman.  I’ve known Sig since 2006, and know him to be a respected and experienced war correspondent.  Sig introduced Mr. Bensman, saying Mr. Bensman had conducted research on the guns to Mexico issue.  Mr. Bensman took sharp issue with the FOX rebuttal.

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

 

Mr. Todd Bensman’s rebuttal to the FOX rebuttal:

The notion that 90 percent of the guns recovered from Mexican cartels can be traced to US retailers derives from hard ATF trace statistics. The majority of the recovered guns that are traced - not all are - have been traced to American retailers, unless the ATF is just making it all up, and no one has even alleged such a thing.

Those stats, combined with interviews with top law enforcement officials and field agents, and backed by court records and interviews with former cartel gunmen who knew how procurement worked, provide what seems to be a very strong, if not insurmountable, indication of where most of all the other UNtraced guns also come from. There are lots of good reasons why not all seized guns in Mexico are traced. I won't get into that here. But what this Fox news reporter did was to definitively conclude, with no good indicators at the ready, that the untraced guns were NOT from the U.S. He reached this conclusion by doing some simple math, not extensive interviewing of every conceivable human resource involved in the trade, as we at the Express-News did for many months.

You could say no one really knows for certain where the UNtraceable portion of the seized guns are coming from, although the Fox reporter chose to leap much farther. But when I do my reporting and the ATF speaks before congress, the message is only about the traced guns, which, together with everything else that is known about the trade from court records, investigators, gun store owners and cartel insiders who know how they get their weapons, are an indicator about a bunch of the rest of them.

The Fox news reporter didn't do that. He said the untraced guns were NOT from the U.S. Then offered as proof one of the most minuscule slivers of the total seizure take: some military weapons that came from Guatemala. It's the height of intellectual dishonesty- and terrible analytical thinking - to lump this tiny fraction of military weapons in with the much larger UNtraced group of firearms and call them the same, that they came from Israel and China. That's what this Fox reporter did and to someone knowledgeable like me shows how horribly he was manipulated.

With regard to the untraced weapons, it is more fair than not for Mexican and American law enforcement, based on the tracing results we do have, to reach a reasonable presumption that the UNtraced guns also would be traced to the U.S. and not anywhere else. The military stuff did come from somewhere else but these two groups are not the same, as the Fox reporter and gun advocates are trying to say.

There's one last rather immovable fact that presents a big problem for gun advocates who wish to cast doubt on where the traces lead, and my newspaper put it on our front page this week: It is that 100 percent of the 383 of guns that were able to be traced from the largest seizure in Mexican history, the one last November in Reynosa, were traced to American licensed dealers in eight U.S. states. Pretty tough to get around that one if you're trying to argue that Mexican cartel guns aren't coming from the US. Although the other 150 or so firearms from that stash were not traced - we don't know why - I would wager a week's salary that most of the remainder, if they ever were to be traced, also would come back to US retailers.

This is the story that ran Tuesday where I scooped that all of the traced weapons from the massive - and notorious- Reynosa seizure came from eight US states.

And here is the series.


Comments   

 
# bryan 2009-04-06 12:37
I find it odd that your reporter friend uses such convoluted logic to try and get his readers to believe what he wants us to believe. As a law enforcement officer I have to raise the BS flag on your friends here Mr. Yon. If there is a serial number on the gun (post 1968) and it originated in the U.S. it will be traced. I didn't hear anything coming from the reporters about the cartels bothering to remove serial numbers and I didn't read about any reporting on why the other guns were not traced. It is a safe bet that any gun with a serial number that was not traced to the U.S. didn't come from the U.S. It is also a safe bet that any gun without a serial number at all did not originate in the U.S. unless the cartel has started using very old guns. I really don't care if all the gun originated in the U.S. as I have no respect for the Mexican government or their future (the guns from the U.S. will not change the outcome one way or the other.) You should be honest in the reporting and not allow respected reporters to play statistical games with their reporting. Shame on you. I believe it is you who is being dishonest Mr. Yon. You are turning into what you claim not to be. The above report is tantamount to, "who you gonna believe me or your lying eyes." You just don't get it! You are reporting what others have researched (or failed to research) and are angry when we call you on it. I don't care what you think about the reporters, their rebuttal does not hold water except in what the mainstream media calls journalism. For that type of journalism I can just turn on the TV. If this is how you have researched your stories in Iraq I must wonder if I need to question your opinions there. I am sad to say that I will have to search for my news and reporting elsewhere. Good day Sir.
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# Josh 2009-04-06 13:44
It sounds like the only fact that should be reported at this time is that 90% of the TRACED guns are from the US, period. Mr. Bensman is no better than Fox when is he states there is a "very strong, if not insurmountable, indication of where most of all the other UNtraced guns also come from."

Some actually facts would help.
(1) What percentage of all guns recovered is the US able to trace? - If it's only 15%-20% it seems far less likely that it's justifiable to presume that the source of the majority of guns comes from the US.

(2) From first hand knowledge and actually quoted interviews, what types of guns make up the untraced guns.
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# Scott Dudley 2009-04-06 13:49
When faced with facts, they scurry away.
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# David 2009-04-06 15:24
I'll have to second bryan's opinion, but not quite so forcefully. I hit this site to hear what Mr. Yon has to say, not to see links to other news sites. It's not to say that these are neccesarily bad in and of themselves, but they should remain secondary to original content. Your best reporting was from Iraq because it wasn't second hand information. It was your experiences and your thoughts. It was, above all, entirely believable because you were there and other media outlets weren't.

Endless rebuttals back and forth belong on the talk shows. Once Mr. Bensman got past the huff-and-puff he only managed to produce one piece of data: 383 American guns were siezed (about 70% this time). Then he jumps straight to conjecture, saying that the other 150 (or so) weren't. He uses one incident to define the entire situation - exactly what he complains other are doing. You want me to believe it? Produce all the siezures for the past year, or two, or something more than one raid!

NONE of the stories that hit the home pages of any of the MSM sites are well written or researched, and all are slanted one way or another. Please don't let your site head down that same path!
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# 13times 2009-04-06 15:44
***Afghanistan is more like a martial metronome, or a software program thatƒ??s running in the background; we only notice when it crashes.***

If it bleeds it leads. Consumers have no control over information dissemination from print and broadcast/cable media. Well, we do have a choice, switch off the TV and stop buying newspapers.

Thoughtful, independent writing drives people to this site - not link farming wire stories from mainstream news outlets.
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# Byron 2009-04-06 16:43
The guns that are recovered are probably from the dead guys.
The ones who lost the gun battles.
The winners still have theirs. These are probably the automatics.
I would guess that I would fare better with an automatic than a 38 revolver that could be traced back to the states.

The only things that we really know is that we don't know the magnitude or the detail of the weapons recovery.
The percentages presented are just statistics.

I am not defending anyone or condemning anybodies opinion, but to really understand this we need to have the raw data and details of recovery.

Keep at it Michael.
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# Bruce 2009-04-06 16:44
To my mind - Mr. Bensman's "rebuttal" is not a rebuttal at all, but a restatement of the initial theory expressed by ATFE and the State Department. As a 35 year veteran of law enforcement, I have learned that the LAST people to attribute credibility to are "high ranking police officials" and administrators - who are invariably politically motivated "YES" men where it comes to the Second Amendment. As one who served on the NYPD - known to be anti-gun - for 25 of those years I know whereof I speak. (want proof, Mike? I'll send you a copy of my retired ID card) These police administrators will dance to any tune Washington politicians play. Largely appointees - their careers demand it, and they are so far removed from the street and street cops (who invariably SUPPORT the 2nd Amendment) they can't be trusted to be impartial.

But all that actually means nothing in the debate - which is ... should the Constitutional rights of Americans depend in ANY way on the misdeeds of a few. THAT is the crux of the situation.

Some people drive drunk - so do we forbid everyone from driving? (yes - I know driving is not a "right"). Some people (and the media) abuse the 1st Amendment - so do we abolish THAT right?
Do we aboloish any right someone abuses? If so - we have NO rights at all.

These rights are not given to us by the current inhabitants of Washington - they are granted by our Founders and by God.
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# Bruce 2009-04-06 16:46
To my mind - Mr. Bensman's "rebuttal" is not a rebuttal at all, but a restatement of the initial theory expressed by ATFE and the State Department. As a 35 year veteran of law enforcement, I have learned that the LAST people to attribute credibility to are "high ranking police officials" and administrators - who are invariably politically motivated "YES" men where it comes to the Second Amendment. As one who served on the NYPD - known to be anti-gun - for 25 of those years I know whereof I speak. (want proof, Mike? I'll send you a copy of my retired ID card) These police administrators will dance to any tune Washington politicians play. Largely appointees - their careers demand it, and they are so far removed from the street and street cops (who invariably SUPPORT the 2nd Amendment) they can't be trusted to be impartial.

But all that actually means nothing in the debate - which is ... should the Constitutional rights of Americans depend in ANY way on the misdeeds of a few. THAT is the crux of the situation.

Some people drive drunk - so do we forbid everyone from driving? (yes - I know driving is not a "right"). Some people (and the media) abuse the 1st Amendment - so do we abolish THAT right?
Do we aboloish any right someone abuses? If so - we have NO rights at all.

These rights are not given to us by the current inhabitants of Washington - they are granted by our Founders and by God.
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# Octavio 2009-04-06 16:49
As a Mexican (currently residing in the US) who used to read Mexican newspapers every day, I can offer some anecdotal evidence here: AK-47 rifles are the weapon of choice of drug dealers and their hit men. These are known in Mexico as "cuerno de chivo" (goat's horn), and they appear in every news report. There is no Spanish nicknmae for M-16s or other kind of guns, but there is one for the AK-47. Where are these AK-47 coming from? I don't know.
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# bdhale 2009-04-06 16:53
Like I stated in an earlier post, if YOU get there, investigate, and find information FIRST HAND, and report it, I will believe it. That will hold true even if it is not what I want to hear... I feel most of the others that follow your blog will, as well.
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# brityank 2009-04-06 16:54
"You are entitled to your own opinion; you are not entitled to your own facts!" - Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-NY

I see too many from both camps wielding their opinion as fact, and getting well-paid for it too. Why, using government bureaucracies figures may even lead one to believe the sun has little import to global warming, or ethanol production does not impact food pricing.

Thank you Michael, and keep digging.
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# Dave Meyer 2009-04-06 16:55
I guess I'm just having a hard time trying figure out why the drug cartels would buy guns in the US, civilian versions of assault weapons, hunting rifles, shotguns etc etc when they can pick up military hardware from a number of sources in central and south america, here in Iraq you can pick up an AK-47 for a couple hundred bucks and I imagine the same can be found in and around Mexico. So my question is if they are procuring large amounts of firearms from the US..... Why??
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# J.H. 2009-04-06 16:56
Bryan the traffic cop, the reason why you have not made detective yet and are still working at the jail is because you missed the fact that Mr. Yon knew Mr. Sig Christenson and was only just introduce to the writer of the Fox Rebuttal Mr. Todd Bensman. I see how you just twist that up in your opening statement ƒ??I find it odd that your reporter friendƒ?. One of two things here either you did not read and understand the story or you are setting the tone for your own personal comments draped in the BS Flag of yours.

Now Bryan whoever you really are with whatever you are trying to do here let me just show you and everyone else here who reads this just what kind of great law enforcement officer you are with your BS Flag. Below are your words, everyone please read and I will comment afterwards.

Bryanƒ??s words:
ƒ??I really don't care if all the gun originated in the U.S. as I have no respect for the Mexican government or their future (the guns from the U.S. will not change the outcome one way or the other.)ƒ?

I really don't care if all the gun originated in the U.S. You are worthless as a Law Enforcement Officer and I hope you donƒ??t work near the U.S. Mexico border.

(the guns from the U.S. will not change the outcome one way or the other.)ƒ?
The fact that you would even say this and claim to be a law enforcement officer OMFG,
If there is a chance to save lives you should careƒ??.I would like to cuss you out for your running off at the mouth here.

If you donƒ??t work at the jail yet once your boss knows you donƒ??t care about doing your job and saving lives you should be.

Mike Yon has shown every side of this story never claimed to be on anyones side.

Can we please have an investigation on this matter with the government, NRA, and some media so we can get a fair report on this problem? Mexico needs their feet held to the fire for some answer that are clear in nature.

J.H.
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# Kristi 2009-04-06 17:11
I did not read the article from Fox, but for Mrs. Clinton and others to say that it is our fault what is going on in Mexico is pure
crap. They say we are supplying guns to Mexico? Last I checked I couldn't buy a rocket launcher or RPG. The weapons that
the drug cartels use us law abiding citizens can not get so they are full of...you know what. I am so tired of the so called politicians
blaming us for everything!
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# neverquit 2009-04-06 17:15
As far as I am concerned, I think everyone is throwing around dishonest numbers, including the ATF and especially the Mexican Police and Military. If the ATF is basing any of their information from sources within the Mexican Police or Mexican Military, and if the ATF is basing their numbers on weapons obtained from the Mexican Police or Mexican Military, then I find that information UNRELIABLE.

I also find it unreasonable to believe that the Mexican Drug Cartels are buying their weapons from our traditional low end department stores like those ending in "Mart".......If you believe that, send me an email, I have some Swamp Land to sell you in Cuidad Acuna......
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# Fred 2009-04-06 17:19
5,114/29,000 has never equalled 90% unless you alter the numbers to fit your agenda. In general, I support your reporting well above what I would here from FOX News, but in this case, you have missed the mark and are falling prey to creative statistics.
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# D. Swanson 2009-04-06 17:24
The fact is, that with all of the money that the cartels raise from selling drugs to Americans, they can afford to buy guns from anywhere. If they can't get them from the U.S., they will get them from other sources. This has only become an issue, due to the fact that the present administration is looking for a reason to enact stricter gun control. In order to end or at least reduce the misery in Mexico...and the U.S. for that matter. The drug problem has to be addressed. The violence in Mexico will not abate until that is done.

The cartels have used the money earned from the drug trade to hire elite- American trained Mexican army units and have the money and means to continue to do so. The U.S. drug trade is the problem. Not our guns.
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# DJuen 2009-04-06 17:55
Does it matter if the guns are traceable to the US? It is already highly illegal to export firearms without a license. The ATF has severe penalties for anyone caught buying a firearm here in the states and taking it to Mexico. Mexican law also provides for a long stint in Mexican jail for the same.

The actual point of the story is this: Drugs are illegal in both countries, guns are regulated much more in Mexico than they are here. Mexican gun control is effective in the sense that law-abiding Mexicans have very limited access to guns. The criminals in Mexico have the same respect for weapon laws that they have for drug laws... None. That is the underlying problem here -- Laws only affect those who will obey them, mainly folks like us and our friends south of the border. The drug runners in Mexico and the gun runners here will never obey the laws regarding either. Further gun control in our country will only affect the law-abiding folks like us, and that is why people are so upset at this "story" about 90% of guns in Mexico etc.

The US Constitution that many of us have sworn to defend mentions nothing about a citizens duty to relinquish our rights to prevent crime in another country, so as far as I can tell this entire argument is moot.

The solution here is simple - Mexico needs to enforce it's own laws and we need to enforce ours. The fact that Mexico makes no attempt at all to secure its borders leads me to believe they need to step it up on their side. Been across lately? You can drive right on through, but there is a 2 hour wait to drive back while our CBP and Border Patrol agents do their best to inspect what is coming in to the US. An effective Mexican border security campaign seems to be the place to start here, and until we see that come about, nobody I know is going to support any changes in our laws here.
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# Patriot 2009-04-06 18:18
Mi compadres... it's basically like this. Anti-gun types will hype the 90% stat for their own selfish reasons. Pro-gun types (that would be me) will dispute that number for their (my) own selfish reasons. Somewhere in the middle one might find the truth.

Yet the truth here is irrelevant. IF we were able to cut the supply of ANY weapons from the U.S. in to Mexico (not reality) or even diminish the supply significantly (almost as unlikely) there is an endless supply of weapons to be had from just about anywhere else in the world. South America, the Middle East, etc... International Arms dealers are everywhere and can have container loads of guns sitting in port in less than 30 days just about anywhere in the world.

Our border is merely the most convenient.

So, does it really matter who shoots who with what? I no more want to be shot with an M4 than an AK.
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# Alaska Paul 2009-04-06 18:22
First, Michael: I appreciate your bringing this US southern border issue to the forefront for some attempt at rational discussion. As usual, the MSM, the Administration, the SoS, and all the ships at sea tout their own agenda on this subject.

Mexico is the perfect storm a-building. I will admit that SoS Hillary Clinton is right when she mentions our huge appetite for illegal drugs as a factor in this problem. The thing that I object to is her taking this and presenting it to the Mexican government as a mea culpa. The HUGE amount of money in the illegal drug trade in the US is the tipping point for a corrupt govt in Mexico. The drug cartel people can buy off anyone that gets in their way. There is a battle now for the soul of of our southern neighbor.

As far as weapons go, there are easier ways to get any weapon that they want than get them from the US. Why go through all the hassles when there easy to get arms from many dealers all over the world.

The real problem is that successive US administrations are UNWILLING to properly secure our southern border against movements of illegals and drugs into the US. On the surface, it is frustrating, and seems stupid. Follow the money, and the answer seems obvious. An open border allows illegals into the country. The dems want the votes. The repubs want cheap labor. It is an unholy alliance at the expense of the American citizen and taxpayer for individual gain and agenda.

If you want to stop this illegal movement, you secure your borders with troops, walls, and whatever means necessary to do the job. You are not insulting the President of Mexico by doing this. You are stopping criminals from using your borders for illegal activities that the Mexican government is unwilling or unable to stop on their side of the border.

As far as all the gun bruhaha goes, it is just a smokescreen for putting the burden on the honest citizen bearing arms.
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# woodNfish 2009-04-06 18:25
Is that the same ATF that was responsible, along with the FBI, for murdering an entire compound of men, women and children in Waco, Texas and then bull dozing the evidence of their crime the next day? Oh yeah, they're trustworthy.
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# Jeff Levinger 2009-04-06 18:30
Bensman fails to confront or account for significant facts in the Fox article, which says in 2007-2008 Mexico submitted 11,000 guns to the ATF for tracing, of which 6000 were successfully traced and 5,114 were found to have come from the U.S. ---- out of the 29,000 guns recovered at Mexican crime scenes. So 68 percent of the guns Mexico recovered were never submitted for tracing.

Since 46% of those submitted were successfully traced, the most rational "best guess" COULD be that 46% of ALL Mexican guns come from the U.S. ---- but we know that's false because many of those Mexican guns come from elsewhere. So we know that LESS than 46% come from the U.S. ----- yet Bensman wants us to believe, on the basis of his claims alone, that it's 90%.

Talk about "height of intellectual dishonesty- and terrible analytical thinking" ---- Bensman seems to be it.
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# Skar 2009-04-06 18:31
Sure, the FOX reporter made some assumptions about where the rest of the guns come from. Essentially, the FOX reporter assumed that the guns that were untraceable probably didn't come out of our system. Seems reasonable, still an assumption.

Then Bensman vehemently assumes the opposite, that the untraceable guns most likely DID come out of our system. Seems reasonable, still an assumption. Which one you favor and tout depends on what political axe you have to grind.

If you'd like to increase governmental control over who can own guns you act like you know for a fact that 90% of the guns going into Mexico come from the US, facts and assumptions aside. And vice-versa. Both extreme positions are entirely unsupported by the facts.

The salient point from my POV is that the Obama administration is running with the 90% number as though it were fact and it just ain't so, no matter what Mr. Bensman would like to assume about the unknowns.
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# ticticboom 2009-04-06 18:36
This article is pure spin. It does nothing to refute the facts in the Fox article. Only 17% of the weapons can be traced to America, and how many of those were sold to the Mexican Army?

The Mexican government does nothing about the drugs being smuggled into their country from Asia and South and Central America, so what would make anyone think they're checking cargo ships and trucks heading north for weapons?

I'd like to see the markings on ALL the guns taken in these raids. I doubt the cartels care enough to file away the markings, and I strongly suspect most of them, especially the assault rifles and machine guns, don't come from the civilian market in the US.

Many of the pistols and shotguns might be from America, but you won't last long in a firefight with heavily armed soldiers and federales with those.

As in much of the world, the preferred weapon is the selective fire AK-47, which is both very hard to legally buy in the US and very expensive compared to third world arms bazaars, where it cost hundreds, not thousands of dollars. And forget about RPKs, RPGs, and hand grenades. At least until the Libertarians take over....

Actually, I'd be okay with that. Other than nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, I believe the crime should be in weapon to commit a crime, not owning it. Hell, if you can afford the gas, you can buy a Abrams for all I care.
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# John 2009-04-06 18:37
Mike,
I love your coverage of Iraq/Afghanista n..your first hand reporting of the reality on the ground was very very insightful. Your reports from the field flew in the face of the "official" government or main stream media reports and were proven correct. I'm in law enforcement and weeks ago when the story first broke from the AG's lips about 90% of the guns in Mexico coming from the US an ATF agent here immediately called BS on the statement. He no longer works in the SW US but he said the Mexican government refused to turn over weapons serial numbers almost all the time. The weapons being used for the vast majority of the cartel related violence are factory made full auto AK's from Central and South American, China..all the typical sources for Sov Bloc weapons. He was told that tens of thousands of M16's were stolen from the Mexican Military by deserters who went over to work PSD for Cartel types. A lot of the high profile incidents involved military weapons..mortar s, RPG's and other man portable rockets, fragmentation grenades, all considered "destructive devices" by the ATF..none that he was aware of were sources from the US except those bought from US companies by the Mexican government an stolen/sold to the cartels.

Your reporters statement that its more than reasonable for the Mexican Govt. and US Law Enforcement to use a sample of 1500 cherry picked serial number traces as representative of the entire picture is grossly irresponsible given the known issues the Mexican government (and unfortunately the highest appointed levels of our government (AG, Dir. of ATF) has tried to hide. Would you have ever reported as gospel a 2nd hand report from a news source who never left the Green Zone?? Why would you do that in this case? Your track record proves you are far better than that.
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# Leonard Henry 2009-04-06 18:45
I'd dearly love to know what Texas and other guns shops-- by name and address-- are selling hand grenades, rocket launchers and fully automatic weapons to the Cartels. Here in Georgia where it is legal to own an automatic weapon with the appropriate and very hard to obtain class III license, I know of only one store that even stocks these things for the general public.

If a proxy buyer turns up at a legitimate gun shop and proffers to buy out the store, in cash... WOULDN'T THE REQUIRED FEDERAL BACKGROUND CHECK RAISE A FLAG? If a proxy buyer went gun shop to gun shop buying weapons, WOULDN'T THE FEDERAL BACKGROUND CHECK RAISE A FLAG? You know, there ARE pattern recognition software programs which virtually every bank in the country uses for credit card fraud. If someone on the Affluent side of Atlanta makes a $20 ATM withdrawal in Buckhead and then 15 minutes later someone on the Effluent side of Atlanta makes a $200 withdrawal, the bank blocks the account immediately. We can do this with ATM cards but the ATF can't do this with weapons purchases with a required background check? I'm very sorry Mr. Yon, but soemthing doesn't add up here.
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# Gene Strohman 2009-04-06 18:45
You really want to cut through the BS Just go out and buy a full auto AR16 or Ak. Then you will know the truth & you will cut the BS. Let me know how long it takes you and what it cost. Then try it south of the border. I don't know where guns are coming from but after you purchace a full auto weapon in U.S. you will learn something. You are talking about 50 + at a time arn't you? Good luck I'll bring you some cigaretts.
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# Jack Feldman 2009-04-06 18:49
OK, let's suppose the story is true. What does that say? Either or both of the statements below may be true:
1. There are some gun dealers who will violate the law for sufficient payment.
2. There are people who, again for sufficient payment, willingly defraud honest gun dealers.
Billions of dollars buys a lot of corruption, and governments are generally helpless to stop it. We should have learned this lesson during Prohibition, but apparently not. The only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn anything from history.
What the gun people are responding to is what we've seen over and over, the rationalization of yet another attack on a fundamental right. The statists won't be satisfied until the population is reduced to the economic, moral and intellectual status of livestock. Want to call me a fanatic? Go ahead, but get it right. I'm a Bill of Rights fanatic, and as far as I'm concerned it's all or nothing.
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# DL Cline 2009-04-06 19:01
The democrats and liberals base their gun opinion on cosmetics, not reality. Fox News got it right, the real world (street level) is the truth, not politicians looking for votes or mainstream media idealistic views. I wish there were more Michael Yon's out there to bring us the truth.


I appreciate what you do Mr. Yon, thank you for keeping us informed with the truth.
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# Jim Burke 2009-04-06 19:08
Obviously you know nothing about Mexico. The heavy stuff is coming in via Central and South America. You can't buy full auto anything in the US and certainly not RPG's. There may be weapons coming from the US they are semi auto, pump, or bolt action. The problem lies in the Mexican government. The Mexicans are so totally corrupt they allow the gun, drug, and any other kind of smuggling to flourish and prosper.
Also if you are relying on the ATF for accurate and unbiased information then your should smoke some more dope and have water fights with little girls rather than do accurate and unbiased reporting.
Beginning to believe you're just another knee jerk liberal, oh, excuse me progressive.
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# John 2009-04-06 19:18
"60 percent of the time it works every time!"

383 of 533 were from the united states! Thats 100%! Um, no. Thats 71%. If even 1 gun was traced to the US you could turn that statistic into 100% if you throw out the outliers you don't like. You're just throwing out some number of guns and then saying "oh, but we don't know why we're excluding them".

Yes, we get it, and we all know it: SOME number of guns from here are going to Mexico. But stating that its 100% is an outright lie. There are guns in mexico that did not come from the US. So the number cannot be 100%.

The only reason for saying it is 100% is to make this OUR problem, and ONLY our problem. If 100% of the guns come from the US, the US must be the problem! But we all know that isn't the case.
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# Roger Mundinger 2009-04-06 19:19
All I hear is guns,guns and more guns! I have never heard of a gun jumping up by itself and shooting anyone. People is the problem. If all guns were to magically dissapear off the face of the earth today, we would still have the same evil people killing and taking away from the weaker ones. There has been some massacres in Africa without guns.
I haven't heard anyone talking about banning Machetes . The Mexican outlaws are going to get their weapons from wherever they can. Restricting american citizens gun rights will not solve Mexico's problem and will only make our problems worse.
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# CJ 2009-04-06 19:41
Michael - the writer of this article chides FOX for jumping to conclusions about the origins of guns in Mexico, and then does the same thing himself by assuming that even UNtraced weapons came from the US, because many of the traced weapons did as well.

Po-tay-to, Puh-tah-to
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# Stevend 2009-04-06 19:52
I agree with earlier poster Jack Friedman. What is the 'so what' of the artical and this debate?

Let's assume, for a moment, that all of the guns in Mexico are coming from the USA.

First, realize that any of these weapons that are going to Mexico are going their illegally. So, if the point is that we should step up enforcement to help Mexico, then I can support that. If the message is that we need new laws, then I don't see the point. If we can't enforce the current laws, what makes anyone think we can support more laws?

Second, if we stopped that arms flow tomorrow, the violence would not end. The drug kings would simply find a differenent source for their weapons. The weapons that are used by the bad guys in Afghanastan and Iraq are Russian (and others) made. So, the bad guys are not dependent on any one brand of gun. Regardless of how they are armed, we (and the Mexican govt.) need the right tactics and strategies to defeat them.

Or let's assume, conversely, that none of the guns in Mexico are coming from the USA. Does it mean we should let our guard down? Does it mean that everything is great? No, it does not! If there is a sensical way to reduce the weapon flows to the bad guys, we need to do it!
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# Seth Spearman 2009-04-06 20:05
Micheal, I support your war efforts and I support your involvement in this Mexico story. And I absolutely am not afraid of hearing all sides of an argument from you on this...presenti ng the sides is not the same as taking sides.

Also, if it is finally determined that guns are making their way from the US to Mexico then it needs to be stopped and some people need to go to jail.

But with all of that said...I find it difficult to believe that ANY guns that were manufactured in the US have NO trace informaiton. That would imply an astonishing complicity with our US industry that I find to be dubious. Perhaps it IS possible that guns made elsewhere are being sold to the cartels through our own gun dealers...I find that difficult to believe but it is possible...in which case some people need to go to jail.

The response to this reporting is understandable. Enemies of liberty will go to great length to color our gun industry with the darkest of hues if it will help them with their agenda...which ultimately involves denying the law-abiding citizen the right to keep and bear arms.

I think you would dispel some of the heat it you would just acknowledge that you fully support the 2nd amendment and your concern is ONLY that our gun industry not be complicit in arming our enemies. And that it needs to be explored to the bottom til we find out.

Keep up your good work.

Seth
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# Gunrmac 2009-04-06 20:14
As already stated, because the U.S. Congress has chosen not to control the border between the U.S. and Mexico, now they jump on their anti-gun bandwagon again with the Billary idiot saying its our problem. Tighten up the border in both directions and you stop the flow from the U.S. and the flow of drugs from Mexico. Tighten the penalties on drug possession and dealing and you kill the market for drugs to a greater extent than we do today with slaps on the wrist. Considering that drug dealers are often involved in violent incidents resulting in the loss of life, the maybe the penalty for dealing should be life in prison because of the lives destroyed. Might get more than a few out of the business. Because a higher percentage of crimes are committed by two ethnic groups then Congress thinks we should all forfeit rights to stop it. All politicians who think this way remain the IDIOTS they have been. Tighten the borders and the crime from one group drops dramatically - who woulda thunk.
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# CM Gilbert 2009-04-06 20:23
All this did was call into question who's side who is on. The FOX News story, if read in its entirety, accounts for ALL of the weapons that the government in question have seized. Out of that total number of seized weapons the amount of guns that were traced to US gun dealers was far less than 90% that our government is telling us. Mr. Yon, I am most definitely in law enforcement here in Fort Worth, Texas. I assure you that my testimony in court is not only sound but thought out and presented in a manner that is not convoluted or skewed either way. It is fact of what was observed. What I have observed here is that no one seems to be completely observant either way. I agree that there are too many guns from our country going over the border; even if that is only one. The issue with Mr. Bensman is he is advocating for factual reporting without either understanding or reading the full report that Fox News put out. That I would venture is the lack of understanding, reading and writing the English language thanks to our worthless public school system.

Maybe you should make good on your idea of coming to report on this in the field with our Border Patrol, ICE and DEA. Maybe you will see what I already know is actually happening. Our borders are unsecured sieves that pour illegals, dope and oh my gosh....guns into OUR country. I guess my main issue is that the traitors in Congress and in the White House don't care about the United States as much as they care about the United Nations.
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# Mike Jefferson 2009-04-06 20:27
Mike,

When you witness something and don't get involved your report is good, however when you get involved in something or you feel your opinion is ƒ??god likeƒ? you seem stumble. In fact, I've seen you interview live and you just don't do very well. There is a word that the communists have coined called "useful idiot" and for the last couple of months you're starting to sound like one.

Mike, didnƒ??t you kill a person in a bar fight and werenƒ??t you asked to leave the military? Werenƒ??t you almost kicked out of Iraq because you almost killed a soldier? Is it true that you sold photos of a dead Iraqi baby to raise money for your traveling adventures? That photo that you sold on the internet is a pretty sick way to raise money and it tells me what kind of person you really are, Mike. One question, how much money did you make off of you photos of the dead Iraqi baby? How much?

BTW: I don't know about Bryan, but I am a law enforcement officer and by judging from the e-mails Iƒ??ve received from you lately, youƒ??re starting to sound VERY unstable so please remove me from you e-mail list.

From your e-mail:

And then called me dishonest based on his own misquote. This is fascinating, because "Bryan," the commenter, claims to be in law enforcement, yet he misquoted something that is plainly in writing only inches away on the screen. If "Bryan" truly is in law enforcement, one can only imagine the misstatements he has made in court.

We can only pray that Bryan is not actually in law enforcement.
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# Harry Foster 2009-04-06 20:29
Guns from straw purchasers, corrupt gun dealers, whatever! If statistics are to be quoted they should be set forth with the full context of the subject, not put out by themselves. In Mr. Bensmanƒ??s article, the stat quoted is 80 percent. But 80% out of 100 traced out of 1000 seized (examples for demonstration of course, not actual amounts) is only 8%. He also uses only one raid, which I don't believe was the context of the FOX story. In the statistics he also says there are 165 hand grenades, TnT and other "munitions". These obviously are not attainable by a "straw buyer" in the US from gun dealers. So this destroys the statistics of total arms. This in turn is to be used to support stronger gun restrictions, which as we all know, is the agenda here. Then in his rebuttal above he goes on to "SPECULATE" that the rest would probably be from the US if they could be traced. That is ludicrous to assume and a ridiculous statement to be made! He is using the same method of thinking that he claims the FOX reporter was using. Making up statistics or thoughts to be past on as fact.
So here are the only statistics that matter:
1. "100% of CRIMINALS are 100% CRIMINAL!" It does not matter if they can get a gun or a knife or car or candlestick! They will find a way to be a criminal. If you put a gun in a persons hand, that act doesn't make them commit a crime, their brain is already set to be a criminal.
2. The people who use guns for lawful purposes are by far a greater majority than the criminals who procure them illegally, the "straw buyers" who have not been caught for committing a crime but obviously are criminals because of their actions, and the people who smuggle them across!
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# Harry Foster 2009-04-06 20:31
Guns from straw purchasers, corrupt gun dealers, whatever! If statistics are to be quoted they should be set forth with the full context of the subject, not put out by themselves. In Mr. Bensmanƒ??s article, the stat quoted is 80 percent. But 80% out of 100 traced out of 1000 seized (examples for demonstration of course, not actual amounts) is only 8%. He also uses only one raid, which I don't believe was the context of the FOX story. In the statistics he also says there are 165 hand grenades, TnT and other "munitions". These obviously are not attainable by a "straw buyer" in the US from gun dealers. So this destroys the statistics of total arms. This in turn is to be used to support stronger gun restrictions, which as we all know, is the agenda here. Then in his rebuttal above he goes on to "SPECULATE" that the rest would probably be from the US if they could be traced. That is ludicrous to assume and a ridiculous statement to be made! He is using the same method of thinking that he claims the FOX reporter was using. Making up statistics or thoughts to be past on as fact.
So here are the only statistics that matter:
1. "100% of CRIMINALS are 100% CRIMINAL!" It does not matter if they can get a gun or a knife or car or candlestick! They will find a way to be a criminal. If you put a gun in a persons hand, that act doesn't make them commit a crime, their brain is already set to be a criminal.
2. The people who use guns for lawful purposes are by far a greater majority than the criminals who procure them illegally, the "straw buyers" who have not been caught for committing a crime but obviously are criminals because of their actions, and the people who smuggle them across!
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# Bill 2009-04-06 20:43
Maybe this is addressed and I'm late to the party, but what about Mr. Chavez and his deal to open an AK factory... I really don't see him as much of a stabilizing force in the south. I'll freely admit I'm biased towards the US and ownership of guns and would really like to see this debate work out in "my side's" favor. But if the facts state otherwise, then so be it. Thanks for being a part of it. We need honest people like you.

Thanks, Micheal, for all your incredible work.
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# Gilbert 2009-04-06 21:35
I am a retired law man and your rantings here do not do our brothers in blue/green any credit. So from one LE to another keep it to yourself, all your doing is solidifying the stereotype that we talk more that we think. If you want to comment on the article do so, I'm sure everyone would love to get back into a raging debate over this topic and facts that will probably never actually surface.

I would like to chime in on some of your comments:

"When you witness something and don't get involved your report is good, however when you get involved in something or you feel your opinion is ƒ??god likeƒ? you seem stumble."

(What is all this about? I served for several years as a homicide detective. During that time, the largest complaint I received from prosecutors was that patrol officer's field reports were littered with spelling and grammatical errors which directly impacted the jury's impression of the officer's ability, education, and competence. The above sentence is not making a statement and shows your personal disdain for Mr. Yon as a person, not his work.)

"In fact, I've seen you interview live and you just don't do very well."

(Based on this statement, I would say you might actually be in Law Enforcement as most of us have an over inflated ego.)

"There is a word that the communists have coined called "useful idiot" and for the last couple of months you're starting to sound like one."

(curious you have an intimate knowledge of "Communist coined sayings" -- this is uncharacteristi c vernacular for a law enforcement officer, and makes me doubt your status as a LEO.)

"Mike, didnƒ??t you kill a person in a bar fight and werenƒ??t you asked to leave the military? Werenƒ??t you almost kicked out of Iraq because you almost killed a soldier? Is it true that you sold photos of a dead Iraqi baby to raise money for your traveling adventures? That photo that you sold on the internet is a pretty sick way to raise money and it tells me what kind of person you really are, Mike. One question, how much money did you make off of you photos of the dead Iraqi baby? How much?"

(As a Homicide detective I would flag you as a potential threat to Mr. Yon as your statements are directed at him personally, not his work or the article in question. Mr. Yon was cleared of the charges against him in the bar incident. As far as the incident in Iraq as a "law Enforcement" officer I can't even believe you would question that incident given the nature of it. As far as your last rambling about the Marc and Farah Photo -- shame on you. If you really are a law enforcement officer you must be a school resource officer or something. "Cop Joke" When I viewed that image I saw the love and compassion of an American Soldier for a child he didn't even know. You somehow are trying to demonize Mr. Yon for showing us what true heros our soldiers are and what evil we are fighting. This is no different than an officer trying to save the live of a small child shot by one of the local "chicken heads" during a shoot out with police.)

"BTW: I don't know about Bryan, but I am a law enforcement officer and by judging from the e-mails Iƒ??ve received from you lately, youƒ??re starting to sound VERY unstable so please remove me from you e-mail list."

(Sorry, if you are in law enforcement you obviously don't solve many cases. The emails I get from the mailing list have an "Unsubscribe Button" at the bottom -- do us real law enforcement officers a favor and push it.)

Remember there are two kinds of LEOs:

The kind that love America, the Constitution, and the Community they serve. Putting their life on the line everyday to protect people who misunderstand, misquote, and often despise them with no expectation of a thank you. Who quietly sit in the background keeping their personal opinions to themselves in public venues.

And then there are the kind that look at the community they serve as beneath them.

Or as one of my first instructors used to say: "Good officers enforce the law, great officers do not enforce it at the expense of the people they serve."

Mr. Yon if you are reading this I would log this guys' email and ip and at least make a report. His email is obvious littered with a hateful over tone. I doubt he is in law enforcement and if he is i'm sure his superiors would not approve of the tone of his public posting here. If he is not LE then he obviously personally dislikes you at a deeper level than just because of your writings.

Gil
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# Eric 2009-04-06 21:49
Oh statistics, anything can be made true with some good old fashioned statistics. I fail to see a response from a statastician about these numbers. Anyways if one was to visit a gun show especially one here in Houston where there is one every other weekend and there was one held this weekend April 4th and 5th , one would see a strange number of vehicles from Mexico parked out in the parking lot. Hmmm I guess I could have counted all the vehicles with Mexico tags and then quoted such a number and then said that umpteen % of guns bought at the show were going to end up in Mexico. Both sides of the story have flawed logic in the interpretation of the DATA. But then again there is DATA their to support certain facts. Fact there are guns available for sale in the US that can be bought easily at big gun shows. Hey and guess what isn't there a thing out there called Identity theft? Hmmm so why would criminals from Mexico come all the way up here to buy guns when there are obviously all kinds of free guns from China, Korea, guatemala ect. Well maybe these fine upstanding people stopped at the local fake U.S. documents retailer and got an new identity that might just match the name on a credit card account that was stolen just hours ago by some other criminal. Low and behold FREE GUNS! or mostly free minus gas, beer money, and the fake documents. No doesn't that beat paying cold hard cash for a weapon of questionable quality from some gun runner in Gautemala? I would say so and there are a lot more strip clubs and fine dining establishments here in Houston and Elsewhere to run out the last of that credit card account at. So Statistics BEWARE we are all on to you. I used to be in the Army and I had quasi law enforcement duties during that time. Does this add merit to my argument. Hell no it is just something I used to do. I submit that everyone should rush to a judgement as quickly as possible based on statistics in all their endeavors. I wrote 100% of these words.
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# The Clinger 2009-04-06 22:12
The left is emphasizing the deliberate Mexican gun source misinformation cloaked as a moral argument to initiate and support their strategy on banning guns. They know well that a lie will be halfway around the world before the truth can get its socks on. This deliberate misinformation will be referred to time and time again in support of their continuing assault on concealed weapon permits and banning guns. Rarely will you find the media challenge such information. So thanks for objective reporting that challenges such a sophistry, Yon... There is a battle in the US too... And with the lawless Tri-Border region in South America the source of the arms in Mexico should give any prudent individual some insight into what countries will benefit from such turmoil in Mexico. In 2003 some Intel station agents called this region ƒ??The Muslim Triangle Meeting Zone.ƒ?
FROM JOSEPH FARAH'S G2 BULLETIN
Terrorist base south of border
Paraguay sees major influx of Arabic-speaking 'Europeans'
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35881
That this administration is more interesting in banning guns using false date rather than determining if there is a real potential US Continental threat says legions about the Obama administrationƒ ??s priorities that are further defined as a socialist central planning philosophy by their effort to refuse permitting banks to return TARP funds they received and could not refuse. The bankers now know their intent but the public remains mostly in the dark about their real intent and how deliberate and how many initiatives are being pursued.
ƒ??To the Community Organizer compromise, is a key and beautiful word. It is always present in the pragmatics of operation. It is making the deal, getting that vital breather, usually the victory. If you start with nothing, demand 100 percent, then compromise for 30 percent, youƒ??re 30 per cent ahead.ƒ? Saul Alinsky ƒ??Rules for Radicalsƒ?
"The tenth rule of the ethics of ƒ??means and endsƒ? is that you do what you can with what you have and cloth it with moral arguments. Saul Alinsky Community Organizer ƒ??Rules for Radicalsƒ?
"The eleventh rule of the ethics of means and ends is that goals must be phased in general terms like ƒ??Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,ƒ? ƒ?? Of the common Welfare,ƒ? ƒ??Pursuit of Happiness,ƒ? or ƒ??Bread and Peace.ƒ? Whitman put it: ƒ?? The goal once named cannot be countermanded.ƒ ? Saul Alinsky Community Organizer ƒ??Rules for Radicalsƒ?
"Rule 11 On tactics ƒ?? If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside. In a fight anything goes. It almost reaches the point where you stop to apologize if a chance blow lands above the belt." Saul Alinsky Community Organizer ƒ??Rules for Radicalsƒ?
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# stevo 2009-04-06 22:49
The whole debate is based on a misunderstandin g of the facts. First thereare four types of weapons being used in Mexico.
1. firearms that can be bought by any one who is qualified under the general laws of the US and various states. handguns, long guns and semi auto versions of military type firearms that are not full auto and can't be converted to full auto as approved by the federal government.and All not larger than 50 caliber. [Some exceptions for rifles used in big game hunting. As approved by the Feds.

2. Restricted firearms, full auto, and modified firearms equipped with sound reducing devices, barrels shorter than required length for firearms in catagory 1.

3. Military firearms, full auto, over 50 caliber, sound suppressed firearms, and other firearms that require gov't approval to purchase not matter who the seller is.


2. firearms that can be bou
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# argonaut 2009-04-06 23:20
According to Mr. Bensman we are supposed to take facts, i.e. simple math and replace this with ancedotal evidence to draw the same conclusion he does. Ancedotal evidence is weak by it's nature. Ancedotal evidence based on human opinion is the weakest.

He contradicts himself in his own posting. First he insults the Fox News article "Then offered as proof one of the most minuscule slivers of the total seizure take: some military weapons that came from Guatemala."

But, yet when he does the same thing it is an "immovable fact". As this statement shows "It is that 100 percent of the 383 of guns that were able to be traced from the largest seizure in Mexican history, the one last November in Reynosa, were traced to American licensed dealers in eight U.S. states."

So let's see Foxnews reports "reported that police seized 500 grenades and a load of AK-47s on the border. " So, according to Mr. Bensmen 500 grenades is minuscule, but 383 out of 29,000 guns is unrefutable proof. I'm sorry but this is tripe on it's face. A "load of AK-47's" as reported by Fox is also annoying. How many is a "load"? Complete and utter garbage in the sentence in which it was used. Just like "100% of the 383" is. Wow, what a surprise. The only guns the ATF can trace are the ones that came from the US. So, basically he is saying is that 100% of the guns that came from the US came from the US. But, that sounds better then 70% were traced to the US.

The second contradiction is if you use simple math(which apparently you should not do). The STORY he presents about the "largest" raid contradicts his own claims. According to his claim 383 of 540 guns from ONE raid came from the US. That is only 70%. He covers this by guessing the origin of the remaining guns. He can wager all he wants but until he has facts, he is just spouting opinion. He does not even attempt to mention where the 183 hand grenades and TNT came from. So where do the grenades come from?

I love his first line "The notion that 90 percent of the guns recovered". That is exactly what it is a "notion". As has been pointed out in mulitiple posts this is not what the ATF has said. I have read the ATF statement to Congress. He sets up a pretty strawman about how if you don't believe him the ATF is making it all up. If Mr. Bensman would please quote the statistic in which the ATF says that 90% of all firearms sold in Mexico came from the US, I would believe him but, he does not. Instead he says they "derive" from ATF hard statistics. Which definition is he using meaning deduced,inferre d, or coming from. Foxnews quoted it's sources for it's facts. Mr. Bensman does not. Where are these ATF hard statistics located that I may make my own deductions.

Mr. Bensman I will take your bet. Put up or shut up!
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# argonaut 2009-04-06 23:27
If you want to know what happens to someone who gets into the guns debate in the US. Read the chapter in John Lott's book "More Guns Less Crime" that deals with the media. He was naive and thought that as an economics professor he could do a statistical analysis on gun usage in the US specifically concealed carry weapons and the effect on crime. He did not even own a gun. This chapter is priceless to understanding the media and the gun debate in the US.
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# Tim OReilly 2009-04-06 23:46
You wrote in part:
"Mike, didnƒ??t you kill a person in a bar fight and werenƒ??t you asked to leave the military? Werenƒ??t you almost kicked out of Iraq because you almost killed a soldier? Is it true that you sold photos of a dead Iraqi baby to raise money for your traveling adventures? That photo that you sold on the internet is a pretty sick way to raise money and it tells me what kind of person you really are, Mike. One question, how much money did you make off of you photos of the dead Iraqi baby? How much?"
And I will also answer you on Mr. Yon's behalf, he's to busy to deal with scum like you anyway...
1. Mr Yon was cleared of all charges in the bar fight.

2. Mr. Yon got out, big deal still had, and continues to have the respect from combat soldiers in the field - in fact they asked him to come over and report the truth - something you should learn to do - speak/write the truth that is.

3. No Mr Yon did not almost kill a soldier in Iraq - during the course of the firefight when LTC Kurilla was shot Mr. Yon grabbed a rifle and fired several rounds to suppress the enemy. He was warned not to do so again, at the risk of being kicked out of the country. His reason for doing so was that 2 new solders had frozen, unsure of what to do or to make themselves take the necessary action, LTC Kurilla was down, and Mr. Yon and the accompanying translator were unarmed. The CSM arrived on the scene and dealt with the enemy. Read the series Battle for Mosul for further details.

4. I have a picture of Farah and Marc, I got it shortly after my return from Kuwait where I was doing my part to support the effort over in Iraq. What role did you do to support the soldiers? Mr. Yon reported the truth at risk to his own life, I helped with military communications, others did their parts. What part did you do to help the soldiers?

5. You express much accusatory interest in the picture of Farah, one of the very few Mr. Yon has released of anyone being injured, so this brings up another question. Because the last time I saw vitriol of your type was during the Vietnam war and afterwards. Many of those who threw little bags of crap and blood at our returning soldiers and shouted that they were "baby killers" proved that the words were more appropriately aimed at themselves by their approval of Roe v Wade. So only, slightly off topic what do you think of abortions Mr Jefferson? and I use "Mr" rather loosely in your case. Inquiring minds want to know
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# Wesley 2009-04-06 23:46
Hi Michael
I would never presume to ask for an apology from you for what you do. I have fallowed your work for years, and as far as I can see whatever the story is you tell it like it is.

The issue of American guns in Mexico is irritating to me because the media and many of the people in our government spout their talking points as if American guns are the problem. Well guns are just guns, just as facts are just facts. I have heard similar spouting in the past and it has led directly to infringement of my 2nd amendment rights. This is the source of much of the acrimony regarding this topic. Many of us that own guns are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. With our attorney general who is a proponent of more gun control on record with statements like ƒ??never waste a crisisƒ? some of us are very apprehensive about all the coverage this topic is getting.

Criminals are the problem. Violence in Mexico is a result of drug/crime cartels fighting for power/turf amongst themselves and lately against the Mexican government. These criminals have shown themselves to be as ruthless as the worst terrorists in their pursuit of profits and power. I have no doubt they have resources to get their guns from anywhere in the world. After all their main source of income involves smuggling, close one route or source and another will be opened. If we could put an end to guns moving from America to Mexico other sources would be used. Not that we could, if the war on drugs has taught us anything it is where there is a demand a supplier will fill it. Placing the focus on where they get their guns detracts from the need to do what the Mexican government is doing which is attacking them head on. We need to assist the Mexican government. With that being said the Mexican government needs to root out the corruption that has infested it from top to bottom. In a place where bribery is a common way to deal with government it is no surprise that these drug/crime cartels hold the power they do. With recent attempts by the Mexican government to get a handle on corruption that infests it we see drug/crime cartels doing anything to hold on to their power. When bribes no longer work violent acts of terror are used. Criminals are the problem not our guns.
Wes
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# Steve Saaf 2009-04-07 00:27
FROM THE MICHELLE MALKIN SITE:
"Thereƒ??s just one problem with the 90 percent ƒ??statisticƒ? and itƒ??s a big one:

Itƒ??s just not true.

In fact, itƒ??s not even close. By all accounts, itƒ??s probably around 17 percent.

Whatƒ??s true, an ATF spokeswoman told FOXNews.com, in a clarification of the statistic used by her own agencyƒ??s assistant director, ƒ??is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S.ƒ?

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."
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# Bill R. 2009-04-07 00:36
I tend to believe the Fox story more than the other guy. He seems to have an agenda. That said, it really doesn't matter if 100% of the guns are coming from America. A new law here will only serve to infringe on our 2nd Amendment rights and do nothing to solve the problem. If even one gun a day is going to Mexico, then we need to have the political guts to enforce the laws that are already on the books. Seal the border and stop traffic from both directions except through entry and exit points. That way ID's, visas, and baggage can be checked. That will stop the flow of illegals, drugs, and guns. End of problem. Now someone will call me a racist for that. My wife is Korean and she had to come here legally, why not everyone else?
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# Roger Kooi 2009-04-07 01:05
The cartels have more money than we can imagine. Semi autos from gun shows in the USA are not what the MD ordered. Full autos from SA and Europe are the order of the day. The media has no clue and will continue to report false info as per usual. Please don't blame the arming of the mexican drug trade on the gun show loophole.
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# Ja 2009-04-07 01:07
With all this talk, statistics and counter statistics, it feels as if people (including you Yon) want to continue in the distortion of truth - even I'm not sure now whether left is right, or right is wrong. While a lot of people here can get blamed for taking the Fox article wholeheartedly, you Yon also have problems in that you all of a sudden threw out links and statements as if you all of a sudden found yourself agreeing with what essentially, the vast majority of readers know to be understandable truth. What you did was essentially bait your readership, as if they were a commodity.

Theres really only one option Michael, and thats to goto Mexico yourself, and to report whats going on. We'll back you up every step of the way, as we have.
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# Ariztophanes 2009-04-07 01:31
When Mexico allows their citizens to LEGALLY own firearms, then the violence problem will die down. About the time these gangs are confronted by an armed and peaceful populace the madness will stop.

Mexico makes a killing selling medications to Americans that are "by prescription only" in the US -- and I say good for them. I don't demand that they stop selling those medications to Americans to comply with OUR crappy ideas.
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# Greg 2009-04-07 01:52
Liberal drug law enforcement allows the drug trade to the US. Having had close ties to drug dealers through the 70's and 80's and watching the destruction of families and individuals because of serious drug addictions I have always been amazed how certain groups in this country rail against aggressive drug law enforcement, yet the same groups usually want new gun laws and tougher enforcement of any law abiding gun owner. Now they have another leverage point, American guns falling into the hands of drug dealers that are probably more honorable and certainly more competent in their business than 50% or more of our elected officials.

Americans can't visit their own national forest in California because the drug cartels have decided they make good pot farms and meth labs. When Pelosi and company want to get serious about drug enforcement and clean up the streets then we can take any politician seriously. The gangs run the prisons, the gangs run neighborhoods, tax paying citizens have to avoid many areas in this country yet the politicians won't touch them. Leave the drugs for their supporters because they have many friends who like to get "high" and they are "nice people".

Drugs destroy families. Any of you that support liberal drug use, don't want police to take on the street and prison gangs but want to take guns from law abiding citizens appear to have serious mental deficiencies in my opinion. I have known both gun owner and drug users. I will choose the gun owners first, the drug dealers next, then journalist, and last politicians to want to be around. Usually gun owners are honest and stand up people as compared to politicians and journalists.
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# Jack Driscoll 2009-04-07 02:08
The real issue is the border is a sieve and no one wants to do anything for their own agenda (personal agenda ie money, votes, drugs, cheap labor).

If the real violence spills over from Mexico into the US ( read any Mexican paper ) there will be a real (?) and dramatic cry to close the border.

If Israel can close it's borders to terroists why can not the US do it? Answer: Those with something to gain ie politicians don't want to.

Just wait for the first major bomb to go off.
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# Matthew 2009-04-07 02:37
I dont drink. But it seems that when prohibition was in effect, guns were a problem then as well...after alcohol was made legal...guns were not a problem anymore....I'm just sayin'.
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# Tim Roesch 2009-04-07 02:57
The real problem here is ignorance.
Too many Americans are ignorant of the real problems and the real causes. Wherever the 'guns' are coming from (and you really see MEGO when you tell someone that a 'gun' is a smooth barrel and a 'rifle' has rifling - what's that?) the point here is that banning them or flooding Mexico with them will not solve the problem.
As a school teacher I can tell you that too many students (who are not students) can't think their way out of a wet paper bag and they certainly can't do the math with 68%, 90% or even understand what a % is. They are taught to listen and follow directions. They are perfect sponges for media drivel provided as god's own truth.
I was once told that my job as a teacher wasn't to teach kids to think but to teach them to pass the MCAS (MA Comprehensive (yeah, right) Assessment of Skills).
Wake up, people. We have a real fight on our hands and whether it can be done in the political arena or it has to be done in the street, it's coming.
Are we ready or do we roll over and play dead?
Damn the 'Mexico' numbers and full steam ahead before there ain't no point arguing anymore.
The real questions is, what third are you? Are you the Blissfully Ignorant third, the Let's Take everyone's Freedom third (people need the govt to help them) or are you the Constitutional Third?
I say the sign of the revolution should be
?/3
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# Timothy Paul Roesch 2009-04-07 02:57
The real problem here is ignorance.
Too many Americans are ignorant of the real problems and the real causes. Wherever the 'guns' are coming from (and you really see MEGO when you tell someone that a 'gun' is a smooth barrel and a 'rifle' has rifling - what's that?) the point here is that banning them or flooding Mexico with them will not solve the problem.
As a school teacher I can tell you that too many students (who are not students) can't think their way out of a wet paper bag and they certainly can't do the math with 68%, 90% or even understand what a % is. They are taught to listen and follow directions. They are perfect sponges for media drivel provided as god's own truth.
I was once told that my job as a teacher wasn't to teach kids to think but to teach them to pass the MCAS (MA Comprehensive (yeah, right) Assessment of Skills).
Wake up, people. We have a real fight on our hands and whether it can be done in the political arena or it has to be done in the street, it's coming.
Are we ready or do we roll over and play dead?
Damn the 'Mexico' numbers and full steam ahead before there ain't no point arguing anymore.
The real questions is, what third are you? Are you the Blissfully Ignorant third, the Let's Take everyone's Freedom third (people need the govt to help them) or are you the Constitutional Third?
I say the sign of the revolution should be
?/3
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# Mark Carlton 2009-04-07 03:42
I have enjoyed reading your dispatches for several years. The path that you have taken
toward American guns fueling the Mexican drug war is troubling, to say the least.

Are you aware when an American buys a gun at a gun store he/she must undergo
a FBI background check that verifies that the person is not a criminal? Each gun has
a serial number that the Feds keep. This means that each gun has a history that is
routinely traced by law enforcement when a crime is committed.

The Feds should use this information to procecute any American providing guns to
Mexican criminals. Why do we not hear about this?

You cannot walk into a a gun store and purchase 50 firearms at one time without the Feds knowing about it. The BATFE would on this guy in an instant!

I also find it troubling that the same people, Gen. Wes Clark, Gen McCaffery, Hillary Clinton..etc
talking about American guns in the same sentence as grenades, RPG's, fully automatic
AK-47's.. McCaffery, a strong Democrat and former Clinton Administration official stated:

AK-47 assault rifles are literally bought a hundred at a time and illegally brought into Mexico. Mexican authorities routinely seize BOXES of unopened automatic military weapons. The confiscation rates by Mexican law enforcement of hand grenades, RPGƒ??s, and AK-47ƒ??s are at the level of wartime battlefield seizures. It is hard to understand the seeming indifference and incompetence of US authorities at state and Federal level to such callous disregard for a national security threat to a neighboring democratic state.

There are existing laws that prevent this activity! If these weapons are being
purchased in the United States, the sellers are committing enough crimes to being sentenced
to life in prison. Why don't we hear about this? The reason is that these weapons are
being purchased illegally, not at your local gun store.

General McCaffery also states the following:

The outgunned Mexican law enforcement authorities face armed criminal attacks from platoon-sized units employing night vision goggles, electronic intercept collection, encrypted communications, fairly sophisticated information operations, sea-going submersibles, helicopters and modern transport aviation, automatic weapons, RPGƒ??s, Anti-Tank 66 mm rockets, mines and booby traps, heavy machine guns, 50 cal sniper rifles, massive use of military hand grenades, and the most modern models of 40mm grenade machine guns.

I want to know where I can purchase this equipment? Use you head, this equipment is
not being purchased through legal channels! Gen. McCaffery knows this too, like any
person with a brain, he and the others just want to legislate more gun control.

If you persist with this disinformation, you will lose my support promptly!
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# Chris 2009-04-07 04:01
In reading the majority of the comments on this issue in your blogsƒ?? I think I can summarize the "problem" (actually there are 2) that most people have who are taking the pro-gun on this. And #1 is from the article referenced by Mr. Bensman:

1) In the Reynosa raidƒ?? " 540 rifles, 165 hand grenades", Well, clearly hand grenades are not purchased in Texas. So, obviously, they could easily receive the guns through whatever channels they receive the grenades, if not through the USA. The media/administr ation (let's use the term "left") conveniently ignores this. Therefore, although the USA may be a convenient scapegoat, it is perceived by your bloggers that the real argument the administration is making is for the purpose of banning reinstituting the assault weapon ban.
2) The ATF apparently refuses to state whether the "traced" guns are full auto or semi-auto. All "official" pictures only show the non-selector side. More of the same issue as in #1

And, finally, I will state that Mr. Bensman does not grasp the meaning of the Fox statement. Without attacking him personally, I think he needs to open up his mind the possibility that people use statistics in whatever way the need to meet their goals.

Fox says:

"While 90 percent of the guns traced to the U.S. actually originated in the United States, the percent traced to the U.S. is only about 17 percent of the total number of guns reaching Mexico."

What this says is, 80% of the guns captured in Mexico guns are NOT traced to the United States. Could this be because they are all full-auto and there is no point in tracing them?
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# The Clinger 2009-04-07 04:52
Tim O'Riley and Yon
Thanks for serving. Thanks for challenging sophistries. I believe that but for the internet code pink and their like minded minions would be successfully back at their old Vietnam era game labeling the GI a baby killer.
For the Mike Jeffersons of the world, bag is half of a word.
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# The Clinger 2009-04-07 04:54
Check your math Yon...
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# kat - soldiers angel 2009-04-07 06:25
i just wanted you to know that i am honored to have someone like you out there to tell the truth about what is actually happening in this world. i never realized how difficult it was to find the truth until i went looking for it because the media such as the newspaper, news on tv and yes our officials can't seem to tell it the way it really is. thank you michael for all that you do to bring us the truth. i can only pray that you will keep up the awesome work.
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# Sean 2009-04-07 08:23
The Fox story/report was to clarify the grossly-misquot ed 90% number that the Democrats, ATF, FBI, law enforcement and Mexican government were using.

The number is clearly not 90%. Fox clarified that, in fact, only about 15% could be traced back to the US.

Fox News provided a great service by presenting the raw, unfiltered information that Mr. Yon, Mr. Christenson, Mr. Bensman, the Democrats/Mexic an Government/Gun- control manipulators were trying to hide.

I can guarantee you that that the reported numbers that they could trace back to the US were the absolute best they could get. Disappointed, they decided to spin their results in the way they did. Fox News cleared the air, which is something no other network or news organization seemed capable of doing.

Personally, I'd like to see the data on the types of guns from the US that were seized, vs. the other 85% that couldn't be traced back to the US. Dollars to donuts says the US ones were probably pretty low-powered handguns, shotguns, etc. that were seized from low-level dealers or users. I'd bet the untraceable ones will be assault rifles and other high-powered weapons seized from the big fish.
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# Charles 2009-04-07 11:10
I read the series that you linked to and I have to tell you that I wasn't impressed.
First, you should Google for the deadly Walther G22 "assault-style rifle" - it's a .22 carbine for plinking tin cans.
Second, your reporter repeatedly refers to ammunition as "bullets" in the last of the series. Anyone who knows firearms knows what an error this is. The series is rife with terms that only a novice would use.
Third, you know that the language you select is key to the story. The emotional verbiage they employ is hardly objective. It's meant to evoke emotions, not to report facts. This is not journalism, this is pandering.
The Fox reporter spent some time doing some research, rather than accepting at face value what was heard in the past. Some of the people they spoke with had extensive experience in law enforcement. Those people aren't fools. They know guns, know the situation down there, & I know some of them. They care about the truth so they aided the Fox people in their work.
The reporters and the man who wrote this rebuttal did nothing but quote the BATFE party line. The series is riddled with appeals to emotions. It's significantly lacking in independent corroboration of the BATFE's contentions.
The fact is that buying fully automatic weapons in the US is hard to do. It'd be easier for the cartels to get them from foreign sources, or from corrupt Mexican army troops. The guns that they get in the US are not easily converted to full auto fire. It's written into federal law that they must NOT be easily converted. Is the BATFE confessing that they're not enforcing the laws which in their area of jurisdiction?
You can defend the persons who wrote this series all you like, but as I know from the decades that I've been involved in the politics of guns and gun laws in this country that the BATFE has an agenda and will stoop to any low tactic to further it. These reporters have bought the BATFE party line. What little truth might be in the stories is lost in the regurgitation of what was spoon-fed to them.
I know men in law enforcement who tell a far different story from what was in the series. Fox did an good job of rebutting the bogus statistics that the government has put out. There is another story yet to be told, about corruption in Mexico. You'd do well to dig into this yourself.
More than that, why is it necessary to make so much noise about guns when if we simply sealed our borders and enforced the laws we already have we could bring this crime to a screeching halt? Why is the US government suddenly so concerned about an epidemic of crime that they've known about for decades? Could it be that they want to use this as a pretext for new anti-gun laws? Is it possible that the reporters who wrote this series that you wish to defend are nothing but dupes?
You're a better journalist than this, Mr. Yon. Don't fall for this crap. You want some names of folks to talk to? Get in touch with me and we'll talk.
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# Brian 2009-04-07 12:37
OK Yon what are you going to do? Lots of statistics flying around and questions raised. Are you going to take the words of other journalists or are you going to find out for yourself? If firearms are purchased here then who bought them? Where's the prosecution? It is illegal to buy a firearm for someone other than yourself. Wake up they want to disarm all of us. You Sir have a reputation to maintain, And I for one feel that some very solid doubts and questions have been raised. If you are going to report on this then I would excpect you give it no less personal attention than you did Iraq. Boots on the ground. So either do it or shut the hell up
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# Larry Wood 2009-04-07 14:28
I guess the implication is that U.S. weapons are being illegally being moved to Mexico. The bent is that U.S. dealers are responsible. I doubt that seriously, having once had a federal class II tax stamp.

The focus should be on the nature of the trafficing. A porous border open to any who care to cross. Druggies, illegals, whatever.

Yet, the very state and municipality that he writes from is one of the impediments to securing the border.

I could care less how many semi-automatic ARs make it to Mexico.

The biggest supplier of M16s and M4s is the U.S. State Dept. through programs and give-a-ways to Mexican and other latin countries armed forces and police. Given the corruption, not surprising that many of these weapons end up with the cartels.

As a law abiding firearms owner, and former NG, USAR, ANG, and State Defense Force member, I am concerned about the tenor of the article and its ultimate intent. Our Sec. of State made her pronouncements on who is at fault regarding weapons getting into Mexico, and it is the U.S. dealer, not the individual illicitly purchasing a U.S. firearm for illegal transfer into Mexico.

Just more grist for the dems and their desire to eliminate, and barring that, hamstringing the 2d Amendment rights of law abiding U.S. citizens.

Instead of calling for more control on the border, this guy implies blame to U.S. dealers for weapons finding their way into Mexico.

Typical case of avoiding the obvious.

SECURE THE BORDER!
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# Unix-Jedi 2009-04-07 18:44
(part I of II)

In your case, walk up to a bull and start yanking on it's ears and tail and then exclaim in surprise "I don't know why he got so mad, I didn't do anything!"

No, Mr. Yon. You're just being blatantly dishonest rather than admit that what you said, and what you "reported" was nonsensical. Machine guns flowing freely and cheaply? LAWs? RPGs? Crates of Grenades? Not available in the US, the Mexican Cartels can get semi-auto "assault weapons" there for 8x the price (plus time and money to convert to the full-auto we can see on news reports) of black market AKs and ARs! Obviously that's where they're coming from!"

"I published a few documents/artic les lately, *mostly without comment*, which caused a small uproar."

Did you forget this gem?

"It's just fascinating to see apparent *gun-fanatics* misquote a document that is just inches away on the same computer screen. If they invest only that *minimal level of attention* to the guns they are apparently packing, it's just a matter of time before they accidentally shoot themselves or someone else. *Attention to detail* is an important component of gun safety."

We haven't. You didn't point out what was "misquoted". Your attention to detail failed. I've been called a nitpicker and too attentive to detail in your comment threads by your defenders!

That email was dishonest, deliberately so, and it was defamatory. At no point did you back up or prove any part of that.

Instead you just throw more insults. And let's not forget that you've edited at least 1 page in this saga, without note, correction, or any documentation as to why you've changed the page. Where's the attention to detail there?

"I am very good at apologizing when I do something wrong, but there has been zero cause for apology lately."

Then you are a fool as well as a liar, Mr. Yon.

"I will treat Mexico the same way I treated Iraq: Listen to everyone; trust nothing; draw independent conclusions."

It would be nice had you done that. Let's track back to your dispatch of March 30: "nor do I trust the amorphous "gun lobby" in the United States. All are filled with overt and hidden agendas. Huge money flies around. Having grown up in America, I'm not sure which to disbelieve more: the government agendas, or the private agendas. I grew up in the South, and was shooting and hunting as a young boy. "

It's the equivalent of the Jewish Blood Libel. We're "bought and paid for". Which would be nice, but I'm not. Nobody I know is a paid member of the "huge money flying around" group. What's my "hidden agenda?"

What about the "amorphous gun lobby"? Care to explain what, exactly, that means, or are you (as I suspect) making up a "Definition" such that you don't have to defend with facts.

Because you don't have them. Nor have you looked for them. Now you're looking desperately for something to salvage your reputation - without admitting to your defamation and attacks.

It won't work.
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# Unix-Jedi 2009-04-07 18:46
(part II of II)

But you know what? The single worst part of all of this?

None of that matters, Mr. Yon. *Even if* 100% of the belt-fed machine guns, automatic grenade launchers, LAW, RPG, and armored vehicles were "From the US", purchased legally in the US, it's the Mexican government's duty to stop those outlawed goods. (I'm still waiting on you to tell me where I can get crates of grenades, RPGs, and LAWs in the US. Funny thing, you're not making a lot of progress reporting those facts.)

There is no other reason to be bringing up the "US Market" unless you're going to try and infringe upon our Right to Keep and Bear Arms for criminals elsewhere. The ludicrousness of your insistence on keeping this on the front burner and refusal to apologize for your deliberate libels is understated by your disclaimer that you made no conclusions and presented "without comment."

We're used to this kind of dishonesty from anti-gunners. The Bradys claim they're not "Trying to ban guns" (but have supported every gun ban ever proposed, and attacked any lessening of restrictions.). We're not as stupid as you think we are, Mr. Yon, and our "attention to detail" is far better than you think it is.

Sadly for you, your word, and your reputation.
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# JohnG 2009-04-08 00:04
I'm not very impressed on this. The drug runner escorts down here use US issued HMMWVs and fully automatic M-16s issued to the Mexican government by the US government - kind of like the M16s that HAMAS and Hezbollah use to kill Israeli soldiers. It's not even a badly kept secret that the people we train to be Mexican and/or South American SOF defect to the cartels - they pay better. It's also good to be on the side that doesn't get killed. The videos that go around our office with the authority vs. bad guy shoot outs - and the reporter getting on the ground to try not to get killed - those M2 heavy machine guns aren't being bought at the local gun dealer store in Kansas.

The issue is go Draconian (aka - Chinese) and execute people that like to smoke pot - and our daily local news has a story every single day about how much pot the dogs alert on on the border entry - or legalize it. The Cartels will go away when your every day joe can get his joint legally. Or his coke. Or his heroin. Darwinism is actually good for some things.
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# Lady Liberty 2009-04-08 02:20
It seems this story of Mexican guns is galloping forth. Why is the focus on gun sources and guns?
Pick any war you can think of. Would the reporters have discussed ad infiinitum the types of guns and arrows warriors used to destroy or defend their homeland?
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# Lady Liberty 2009-04-08 02:22
It seems this story of Mexican guns is galloping forth. Why is the focus on gun sources and guns?
Pick any war you can think of. Would the reporters have discussed ad infiinitum the types of guns and arrows warriors used to destroy or defend their homeland?
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# Lady Liberty 2009-04-08 02:23
It seems this story of Mexican guns is galloping forth. Why is the focus on gun sources and guns?
Pick any war you can think of. Would the reporters have discussed ad infiinitum the types of guns and arrows warriors used to destroy or defend their homeland?
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# Boris 2009-04-08 12:18
I am not impressed by this "rebuttal" at all. Mr. Bensman talks about statistics, but he does not quote any.

"The majority of the recovered guns that are traced - not all are - have been traced to American retailers, unless the ATF is just making it all up, and no one has even alleged such a thing", - I certainly do not claim that ATF is making it up. I claim that this is meaningless statement.

"Guns that are traced", - that it s meaning-killer. Imagine a hypothetical situation: we "recovered" 100,0000 guns: 99,000 Chinese-made AKs, 900 American-made M16s sold to Mexican army and a 100 of .38 snubbies with filed-off numbers. We tried to trace M16s and .38s, and found that all M16s and 50 of the snubbies are "traceable".

Can we claim in this example that "majority of the guns that are traced came from US"? Hell, yeah! We can even say that 95% of all traced guns came from the US! Does it adequately describe the situation with the gun-smuggling in Mexico? Not even close.

FOX is absolutely right in pointing out that there are other sources to obtain guns. You can't "rebut" that.

Any further discussion is meaningless without the following numbers:
1. How many guns were "recovered"?

2. How random was this "sample"? I.e., if bandits use mostly AKs and we "recover" mostly shipments of the "straw-purchase d" snubbies, - then "recovered guns" is not a very good sample to represent the situation.

3. How many guns did ATF try to trace?

4. How random was that "sample"? I.e., were the guns selected for tracing? Under what criteria? "Those that are american-made"?

5. How many were traced?

6. To whom exactly? Were some of them stolen? Were some of them issued to LEO or military? And I want the numbers here too.

Boris

P.S. "majority", "sizable amount", "great deal", "significant quantity" - those are not numbers.
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# naagatihalliramesha 2009-04-08 15:54
Having witnessed the horrors perpetrated by inhuman criminals in Cambodia, the poet is justly indignant about the rapacious malignant monster who plunders innocent poor people with no feelings. This plunderer - the United States, for example - is like the mythical Cain given to motiveless murder. However painful the ravages of war, one has to put up with it during and after the deadly event. The brutal marauder unleashing terror on innocent unarmed people walks away with his trophy leaving the victims to their fate. That has been the long story of a whole century of dastardly crimes by a mighty power which has regard neither for culture nor for life.

The shields of the

bombs and shells

that America dropped

on Laos

have become homes

for many people

today.
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# JohnF 2009-04-08 16:05
Have you ever noticed that the vast majority of the violence is coming from the side of the border that guns are banned? What do you think would happen if guns were banned on the US side of the border too, more violence, or less violence? Ultimately, the forces behind these stories are pushing for gun bans and confiscation. That's why it's so dangerous to repeat the truths, half-truths, and outright lies coming from the hoplophobes.
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# Jersey City 2009-04-08 20:17
Gee, I must be going to the wrong Gun Shows, and Gun Shops, cause the article you linked to mentions that most of what was seized came from Texas, and in that batch are over 150 Hand Grenades, and I don't see them sold any where I go.
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# Jersey City 2009-04-08 20:19
Oh.

My mistake, the linked article only mentions *retailers*. My mistake.

Lord knows you can't buy TNT at Gun Shows, or Gun Shops.
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# Scott K 2009-04-09 06:29
[note from webmaster: Removed due to profanity]
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# Scott K 2009-04-09 06:37
3) TCH: "Michael Yon really wants this to be true for some reason.

A real rebuttal doesn't say things like "There are lots of good reasons why not all seized guns in Mexico are traced. I won't get into that here."

Or make groundless assumptions based on zero evidence at all using zero knowledge of firearms to say "it is more fair than not for Mexican and American law enforcement, based on the tracing results we do have, to reach a reasonable presumption that the UNtraced guns also would be traced to the U.S. and not anywhere else.

Todd Bensman is either a useful idiot or a deliberate gun grabber when he reports editorializes "It is that 100 percent of the 383 of guns that were able to be traced from the largest seizure in Mexican history, the one last November in Reynosa, were traced to American licensed dealers in eight U.S. states. Pretty tough to get around that one if you're trying to argue that Mexican cartel guns aren't coming from the US. Although the other 150 or so firearms from that stash were not traced - we don't know why - I would wager a week's salary that most of the remainder, if they ever were to be traced, also would come back to US retailers."

He doesn't know why they where not traced, but he's maliciously certain they came from Academy Sports and Outdoors, Carters Country, Buds Gun Shop, or some other US store that sells firearms? Wow. And he says the Fox reporter jumped to conclusions about the untraced guns!

I have no idea why Michael Yon has latched onto this ideal so hard, but if he is this easily led by the nose, believing whatever else he has to say might lead us to play the role of useful idiot in the future.

If Yon really had the knowledge of small arms he has claimed in the past, he is willfully ignoring the machineguns, grenades, and rocket launchers in order to drive this point home, and that seriously makes me question his motives in all of this."
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# JohnF 2009-04-09 13:02
Michael, I sent you money, I bought your book, I hooked a lot of people onto your website, but you're really losing credibility to me. I hope you gain it back.
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# Gary 2009-04-09 18:55
What's missing in all of this, is the "apparent" lack of raids, and/or prosecution of dealers and FFL holders. **crickets chirping**
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# Jim 2009-04-12 18:18
Michael,

You profess that you are unsure what you did wrong that you are asked to apologize for, if you will forgive my paraphrasing you. I believe I can help with this if it is honest confusion. To see what you did wrong, all you have to do is remember what you did right in the past.

When you reported on Iraq and Afghanistan, you went there. You met with the troops and the Iraqis. You reported on what you actually saw yourself, and backed it up with pictures where possible. You built an immense amount of credibility with your readers by giving us facts about the war we weren't able to get anywhere else. As a result many of us bought your books, and some of us sent you donations. And you deserved it for the work you had done and the value you had given us.

With the Mexican issue, you are doing almost the exact opposite. You are stirring the pot from halfway around the world. You are almost bragging that you are forwarding other people's work "mostly without comment". How is this something that you are proud of?

In short, what you have done wrong, that you should give some serious consideration to apologizing for, is become an editorialist instead of a reporter. It's one thing to tell us that you think there's a story on the US/Mexican border that needs to be told and you're planning to go there next and tell it. It's another thing to tell us in advance what you think that story is and egg us on to tell you what we think the story is.

So go to Mexico and tell us what you really find, but be careful both sides will probably try to kill you. In the meantime, keep quiet and send the pretty pictures from Laos.
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# Bay 2009-04-13 23:01
Is someone making the case that since guns *that are traceable* are ending up in the wrong hands, that U.S. gun laws need to be more restrictive?

Fox "spins" stats opposing the way someone else "spins" stats, but Fox is misleading.

What a waste of time to argue with that someone.

Enjoy existence in your logically fallacious cocoon.

We will do everything within our legal power to stop the onslaught of mis-education in the USA.
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