Saturday, June 30, 2012

When The Basic Facts Are Wrong By the Second Paragraph...

Fortune has an article attempting to defend Fast and Furious, and it is amazing how much error it contains.  Let's start with the second paragraph:
Some call it the "parade of ants"; others the "river of iron." The Mexican government has estimated that 2,000 weapons are smuggled daily from the U.S. into Mexico. The ATF is hobbled in its effort to stop this flow. No federal statute outlaws firearms trafficking, so agents must build cases using a patchwork of often toothless laws. 
Let's see, there's the official campaign of BATF to remind people that you can go to prison for strawman purchases:

Buying a gun for someone who is prohibited by law from possessing one or for someone who does not want his or her name associated with the transaction is a "straw purchase."
1. An illegal firearm purchase (straw purchase) is a federal crime.
2. An illegal firearm purchase can bring a felony conviction sentence of ten years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000.
3. Buying a gun for someone who can't can cost you your good name and land you in big trouble.
Here's the web page telling you that you need an export license to permanently export firearms out of the U.S.

I'm sorry, but when someone has so much wrong by the second paragraph, and quotes Legal Community Against Violence as a credible source, why bother reading the rest?


  1. Thanks for taking a little time to look at that thing. I just quoted this back at my Liberal friend.

  2. It's actually true - from the F&F hearings themselves:

    Multiple law enforcement agents who appeared before the Committee stated that their efforts to combat international drug cartels would be strengthened through the enactment of a federal statute specifically designed to criminalize the trafficking of firearms. Currently, there is no federal statute that specifically prohibits firearms trafficking. Instead, prosecutors attempt to charge traffickers with “paperwork violations,” such as dealing in firearms without a license.

    Special Agent Carlos Canino, the acting ATF attaché to Mexico, stated during his transcribed interview that there is an “epidemic” of illegal firearms trafficking to Mexico, and a “trafficking statute would be helpful.” He added: “What we want to do is we want to stop otherwise legal guns from getting into an illegal secondary market. You know, we want to stop these guys, violent criminals, from hurting people.”

    Committee staff also conducted a transcribed interview of William Newell, the former Special Agent-in-Charge of the Phoenix Field Division. He stated: “not having a statute that would address a pattern of activity by a group of individuals that are engaged in some form of diversion of firearms from legal to illegal creates a situation for us where we have to go and look at each individual transaction.”

    Special Agent Casa reiterated this view during his transcribed interview. He stated: “There is really no trafficking, firearms trafficking statute, per se. It would be nice to have a trafficking statute per se or to enhance some of the penalties on even, on the straw purchasers, just to be a deterrent effect … so we can really hammer these people and just put them in jail.”

  3. Uh no, it's not true. Strawman purchases (and buying guns that are for someone else is definitely such) is a criminal offense--one that gets you ten years in prison PER GUN. Exporting guns without a license is a criminal offense. I pointed this out with references to official government websites. Anyone who bought ten guns for a drug cartel in Mexico could get 100 years in prison. What additional law is needed?