5 years, 4 months ago
A top US Justice Department official told lawmakers Tuesday that better controls are needed to help stem the flow of weapons from the United States into Mexico, where they may end up in the hands of drug cartels.
“It is clear that we need more tools to get those people who are buying the guns and illegally transporting them to Mexico,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing. “We need to stop the flow.”
According to Justice Department figures, in the past five years 94,000 weapons have been recovered from Mexican drug cartels, of which 64,000 — 70 percent — come from the United States.
Yet currently the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), a division of the Justice Department, is not permitted to “receive reports about multiple sales of long guns, of any kind of semiautomatic weapon or the like,” Breuer said.
“Very few hunters in the United States or sports people and law-abiding people really need to have semiautomatic weapons or long guns,” he said.
Breuer said that if US officials were notified then they could keep track of the powerful weapons.
This is a remarkable report on the testimony before Congress for several reasons. First, even now after all of the information is out on the scandal that Fast and Furious has become, Breuer is still pretending that the handover of thousands of weapons to the drug cartels with absolutely no ability whatsoever to track them any further than the border was all about trying to stop the flow of weapons to the drug cartels. It’s absurd on its face.
Next, Breuer still insists on perpetuating the 90% myth (although it has now morphed into the 70% myth in an apparent attempt to make it more believable). Finally, Breuer steps on his own testimony by reintroducing the anti-firearms argument to the calculus. If he was smart he would have avoided this as a potential for contaminating his (and the Justice Department’s) motives. But like a dog returns to its own vomit he must continue his assault on the Second Amendment. It’s a canard, this idea that so-called assault weapons are somehow responsible for mass shootings in the U.S. Based on information I compiled when examining Heller II and assault weapons, long guns and assault rifles were no more likely to be used in shootings than handguns or shotguns. Moreover, the number of mass shootings is so low as to be statistically insignificant. They just don’t happen that often in America regardless of what the main stream media portrays.
But Lanny Breuer wants everyone to shoot a bolt action rifle, apparently, or better yet, nothing at all (Would Breuer allow us to use single action revolvers?). Law abiding citizens just don’t need such a thing, according to him. Not for hunting feral hogs in Texas or Georgia, not for home defense, not for sporting (such as 3-gun or other shooting competitions like IDPA), not for any reason at all. And thus has Breuer told us what he and the Justice Department (and by extension, the White House) really thinks is important in this whole affair. Citizens don’t need firearms.
Got it. Hopefully the American public will file that one away for the next election cycle.
UPDATE: Cross posted at reddit/r/guns.
UPDATE #2: Thanks to Dave Hardy for the attention.
UPDATE #3: Thanks to Say Uncle for the attention.