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I am a consultant and analyst with eight years of military law enforcement experience, six years of analytical experience covering Latin America, and over seven years of analytical experience covering Mexican TCOs and border violence issues. This blog is designed to inform readers about current border violence issues and provide analysis on those issues, as well as detailed focus on specific border topics. By applying my knowledge and experience through this blog, I hope to separate the wheat from the chaff...that is, dispel rumors propagated by sensationalist media reporting, explain in layman's terms what is going on with Mexican TCOs, and most importantly, WHY violence is happening along the US-Mexico border.

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June 23, 2011

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Sylvia,
Very interesting op-ed. I do believe you missed the point. It is obvious that the government put out statistics that were biased. The 90% number was just plain silly. Your op-ed challenges us to prove it one way or the other.
Why would I want to do that? The government premise with the help of the media was done to present gun control legislation during Obama's presidency. This was talked about by the gun control lobby openly. It was an agenda they thought they could make progress on during an Obama presidency. It was a political move. They did not have to be correct. The NRA pointing out the flaws in the statistics and listing all the other flawed methodology did not have to prove their point either. To put it another way let me say this...
If I disagree with your op-ed. Then I claim, because you are wrong I am going to have to limit the ability of you and others like you to actually write op-ed's by introducing laws against op-ed's. Would your arguement be the same? What would you say to my challenge to prove yourself one way or the other? Of course the answer is simple and has nothing to do with Mexico. You would argue it is your right to say or write whatever you want under the 1st amendment? Why would my answer to your question be much different? There are laws against straw purchases. There are laws against taking guns out of the country. Why discuss new laws? Because they wanted to limit my ability to buy guns while talking about limiting my ability transport guns to Mexico. Why talk about the percentages and just work to stop straw purchases (oh wait ATF was actually selling the guns going to Mexico then using those guns to try and limit my 2nd amendment rights.) If I wrote this two years ago you would accuse me of being a conspiracy theorist. Why try to fudge the numbers and just help Mexico control the movement of persons and goods south of the border? Securing the border secures it in both directions. With Mexico's help I suspect we could lock the border down close to the Korean border. But then again that has never been the point in border politics on either side of the border.

Hello, Sylvia:

I noticed you ignored ATF's "Operation Fast and Furious" (aka Operation Gunwalker) in your op-ed. Regardless of all else, all statistics (of what guns are sourced from gun shops in the United States) are now contaminated and skewed by the guns ATF allowed, encouraged and facilitated to be bought and trafficked to Mexico for the last few years..... Perhaps that was the purpose?

Further, in addition to the DOJ OIG, Senator Grassley has now weighed in on this issue, exposing ATF's abuse of the eTrace system for political reasons, and ATF's misuse of fraudulent statistics from eTrace. Read the Senator's letter! http://grassley.sena...geID_1502=35489

ATF has the data from the traces, showing the proportion of U.S. legitimate export firearm sales which show up in the traces, but fraudulently includes these legitimate transfers in their deliberately misleading statistics.

In fact, Senator Grassley stated (paraphrased): Despite ATF's contention, the data indicates that, of those firearms actually submitted for tracing, a vast majority of those firearms did not come from dealers in the United States.

The ATF eTrace system is also being abused by reporting as 'crime gun", traces that have nothing to do with crimes. As a result of Mexican traces, ATF freely reports (as a suspect) completely innocent (first purchaser) American gun buyer Names & addresses, with enough personal data for identity theft, to corrupt Mexican cops.... Thousands of them. Mexico has no jurisdiction over American Citizens in the United States. So, why would ATF report a first purchaser sale (with personal information) from 10 or 20 years ago to Mexican cops with no jurisdiction? It makes no sense.

This is not a pro-NRA position, nor an anti-ATF position, but simply pointing out the emperor's clothes in a search for facts....

So if we know that 12% of the guns collected by Mexican Authorites were traced to the US (per STATFOR below), we cannot make the presumtion that the other 88% of guns we know that were collected by Mexican authorities did not come from a US FFL? What evidence do you need that these guns did not come from the US? It is irrelevant whether the guns came from centreal American or Mars. The relevant fact is that they did not come from the US. I am not sure the NRA's arguement rests on the guns coming just from central america. Their point is that the current administration is putting out propaganda and you have just contributed by making a false equivalence fallacy by assuming Obama stance holds any merit at all.

New gun laws in the US are irrelevant if the vast majority of the guns in Mexico DO NOT COME FROM THE US. Perhaps we should be an example to Mexico and help them realize that they should stop making their people defenseless rather than playing into this global socialist anit-gun agenda. That would save more lives than any restriction on US rights would.

Folks should read some info from Senator Grassley about the newest "70%" figure:

http://grassley.senate.gov/news/Article.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1502=35489
And as reference
http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110209-mexicos-gun-supply-and-90-percent-myth

If our beloved leader is so concerned about the truth perhaps he should look into how many of those guns traced to the US came from the US government or from ATF programs. I won't hold my breath.

Sylvia,
" that translates into a stalemate under which no effective policy or strategy can be formed to address a problem that neither side can deny exists."

The stalemate is exactly what the NRA and its ardent supporters are striking for, that is all they need to maintain the status quo and hold on to their household arsenals. And, this is exactly the scenario thjat will keep the weapons going south. Obfuscate the real problem with figures and they win!

"The stalemate is exactly what the NRA and its ardent supporters are striking for, that is all they need to maintain the status quo and hold on to their household arsenals."

I am sure the NRA and other freedom loving Americans would want our country ruled by laws that protect our natural rights and not just a stalemate. We would like to hold onto our arsenals because it is our NATURAL RIGHT to do so not because we have found some loophole in the current unconstitutional laws in the US.

Mexico is a prime example of what happens when you start to believe government is benign and your friend. If that is a condition you want to submit youself to then move to Mexico and enjoy it.

Compromising what is right is immoral; that is if you are not a moral relativist and actually live your life by principles.

@hero:

"Compromising what is right is immoral; that is if you are not a moral relativist and actually live your life by principles."

Socialists, Communists and Nationalists dogmatically held on to their beliefs, too. And they also viewed their beliefs as 'right'. Say what you want about Castro, he has lived by his principles for over 50 years.

Anyone unwilling to compromise is also willing to do to our great nation what other idealogues have done to theirs. All in the name of being 'right'.

"And they also viewed their beliefs as 'right'."

Communists, Socialist and Castro were not right. You are viewing this as a moral relativitst. There is an objective right/wrong, good/evil. Communism, Socialism and the "principles" of Castro are objectively wrong and evil.

BTW Catro's primary principle is that principles can and should change for the benefit of the "revolution" and the elites in Cuba; that is he has no objective principles. He believes in social justice not equal justice.

Compromising what is OBJECTIVELY right is immoral.

@ hero:

"Communists, Socialists and Castro were not right." I agree 100%.

But they had their beliefs that they didn't want to compromise, either. In this regards, Castro is not a moral relativist. He has stood firmly by his beliefs that he considers 'right'--social justice--to use your words.

I'm just trying to say that it takes more than firm convictions to be 'right'.

And anytime I hear anyone talking about objective right/wrong and good/evil I get very nervous. Maybe one day they will decide that I'm wrong and/or evil? Fortunately, I have the right to bear arms, so I can defend myself if needed.

I do not believe the NRA can or should define what is OBJECTIVELY right. I do believe that they can push their agenda very well.

It is OBJECTIVELY right that democracy is built on compromise. Ask ANY lawmaker in ANY party of ANY democracy around the world--compromise is needed to move society forward.

Just out of curiosity; Were the laws in the pre-Civil War South objectively right? What about once the Civil War ended and new laws were enacted--maybe then they were objectively right?

"Castro is not a moral relativist. He has stood firmly by his beliefs that he considers 'right'--"
So the laws in Cuba are applied by Castro equally to rich/poor, peasant/privileged? I don't think so.

"Maybe one day they will decide that I'm wrong and/or evil?"
Then they are not adhering to an objective morality (as long as your behavior now and then is objectively moral). This is what Castro/Che/etc. have done; move the yardstick based on who people are or where the "Revolution" is at.

"I do not believe the NRA can or should define what is OBJECTIVELY right."
You are correct they cannot, just as a government cannot define what it is. Right and wrong exist objectively, they are outside of you, the Subject (defined as an entity with duties and rights). Right and wrong is what it is and cannot be redefined by who the Subject is and therefore should not be compromised.

You should also understand what a democracy is and why the founders of the US explicitly did NOT make our government one (we are a Constitutional Republic). Almost every murderous communist regime started with ideas and cries of democracy. See the Chinese Constitution or the The DEMOCRATIC People's Republic of Korea)

"compromise is needed to move society forward."
Forward towards what? Is there an OBJECTive we should move towards? Castro wants to move society forward. So did Stalin, Hitler and Mao. I am sure the cartels want to move society forward too.

"But they had their beliefs that they didn't want to compromise, either."
The willingness to compromise does not make an argument wrong or right. A truth is a Truth regardless of who believes or or not. See above.

"Were the laws in the pre-Civil War South objectively right?"
No they were not (and never will be) just as the laws that make abortion "legal" are not objectively right. Both sets of laws deny people life, freedom of movement, ability of defend themselves etc; examples of Natural Rights that are inherent to us. It is immoral to compromise on these things. It is immoral for the Mexican people to accept promises from their Socialist government that they do not need to the right to bear arms or to defend themselves.

1) I mentioned Castro's beliefs. You respond about Cuba's laws. Two different things. He is steadfast to the revolution. Not a sell-out like the Chinese or a quitter like the Soviets.

2) The point is, who is determining objective? Are these '. . . truths self-evident'?

3) We agree! Yay! pop the champagne! :)

4) Democracy is the form of representation, not just government. We are also a representative democracy as well as a constitutional republic.

5&6)I was referring to what we consider here in the USA to be 'progress' as 'moving forward'. To wit; the last 200 years. You are indeed correct that all idealogues have agendas.

7) Glad to hear that an NRA member and dyed in the wool Obama hater(?) (disliker?) acknowledges the inherent flaw (original sin?) in the founding of the USA. In fact, the otherwise infallible founding fathers compromised objective truth ('OBJECTIVELY right') and were thus guilty of 'immorality' according to your definition.

Why was slavery never mentioned in the Declaration of Independence where it clearly states "All men are created equal"? How did these infallible founding fathers overlook the fact that there were most definitely men who were NOT equal living in these United States? Why did the founding fathers compromise this basic, basic human right? Why did the founding fathers do a deal with the devil? What was the motivation of these original compromisers of objective truth?

But more interesting--you picked apart every sentence I said but not the last one: "What about the laws in the post-Civil War South?" This is also known as the "Jim Crow" South. Were those laws 'objectively right'? Please let me know!

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