Friday, April 17, 2009

Libertarians call out Obama for fake gun stats

Libertarians are taking President Barack Obama to task for once again intentionally spreading false information about the source of guns used by Mexican drug cartels and blaming the United States for crime in Mexico.

“This war is being waged with guns purchased not here, but in the United States. More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States,” said Obama in a face-to-face meeting Thursday with Mexican President Felipe Calderon in Mexico City.

That claim, however, is blatantly false. According to information supplied by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) the real number is closer to only 17 percent.

“There is a reason Obama is intentionally spreading false information about American firearm businesses. He opposes the Second Amendment, promised anti-gun groups he would enact gun bans and is hoping to scare people into voting away their own rights,” said Donny Ferguson, Libertarian National Committee Communications Director.

“The first casualty in Barack Obama’s war on the Second Amendment is the truth. Not only does Obama want to renew failed gun bans here in the United States and register all gunowners, he’s hoping to literally scare up enough support for an international anti-gun treaty the Senate has been rejected for over a decade,” said Ferguson.

Obama hopes to enact the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA,) requiring all guns to be marked and tracked by the government. It was signed by then-President Bill Clinton in 1997, but never ratified.

“The people who wrote that treaty know you can’t ban and confiscate guns unless you know exactly where they are,” said Ferguson.

Backers of the treaty, such as Calderon, hope it will be the first step towards gun registration and prohibition in the United States. Obama hopes to push the Senate into finally ratifying the anti-gun treaty.

But Obama’s “90 percent” talking point has absolutely no factual basis.

ATF Special Agent William Newell tells Fox News that between 2007 and 2008, around 11,000 guns used in Mexican crimes appeared to come from the United States and were submitted to the ATF for tracing. Of those, only 6,000 could be successfully traced. Of those, only 5,114, according to testimony in Congress by William Hoover, were found to have come from the U.S.

Obama’s “90 percent” number refers, not to the percentage of “guns recovered in Mexico,” as Obama claims, but to the "percent of the traced firearms” according to a BATFE spokeswoman.
But Mexican authorities report that in those two years, a total of 29,000 guns were recovered at crime scenes. That means 68 percent of the guns recovered by Mexican police did not even appear to come from the United States.

That means only 5,114 out of 29,000 guns used in Mexican crimes were found to have come from the United States. That figure would be 17 percent, not the 90 percent repeated by Obama.

Further weakening Obama’s case is the fact firearms manufacturers such as Colt legally shipped some of those United States-originated guns into Mexico for permitted uses, such as by the Mexican military.

Research finds most of the guns used by Mexican criminals come from overseas black markets, Russian crime organizations, South America, Asia, Guatemala and even the Mexican army.

“No reasonable person would think Obama didn’t consult the BATFE to get numbers before coming up with his talking points, and this information has been public for over two weeks. Barack Obama chose to intentionally spread fake information because he hopes to use fear to ram his anti-Second Amendment agenda through the Senate,” said Ferguson.

During his term in the Senate, Obama earned an “F” rating from Gunowners of America, as well as the National Rifle Association. In an April 11, 2008 campaign speech in San Francisco, Obama claimed gunowners are simply “bitter,” racist people who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them.”

“Obama is ‘bitterly clinging’ to falsified numbers, hoping he can take away the constitutional rights of ‘people who aren’t like’ him,” said Ferguson.

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