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"Bitterly clinging" to fake numbers?

American gun-owners, en masse, are "casting their ballots" on how much they believe Barack Obama's campaign-trail promise to "not take away your guns."

They're driving the price of ammo through the roof, swarming gun shows and leaving the pallets and floors of the amino suppliers booths as naked as a wheat field after the locusts pass through.

My friend Glen Parshall, at Bargain Pawn in North Las Vegas, recently put up a single round of .380 (a most unimpressive handgun caliber) for sale online at AuctionArms, selling it for $17 to another dealer back East.

It was mostly a joke, of course. Glen says he's sending the round in a little red velvet jewelry case; the buyer wanted a receipt that he could frame and hang on the wall to show his customers "How much this stuff costs these days."

Handgun amino isn't really $17 a round ... yet. But it's a joke with a point.

Meantime, the Libertarian Party points out even the statistics used by Mr. Obama to supposedly justify his "emergency need" to "block the flow of arms to Mexico" are bogus.

First oil let's stipulate that if Mexico and the United States want to end the violence stemming from the trade in marijuana and cocaine, the answer is the same as when we wanted to end the bootleggers' alcohol-related violence in 1933: legalize marijuana and cocaine.

Distributors of competing brands of whiskey-a much more socially and medically destructive drug than marijuana, cocaine, or the opiates don't have to resort to shooting it out in the streets to settle their contractual disputes, because their trade is legal.

But the LP says Obama's numbers are purposely faked to create the impression Mexico's drug war would run out of arms if we could simply disarm all us gringos.

"Is Barack Obama 'bitterly clinging to falsified numbers' in his bid to push his anti-gun treaty?" asked the Libertarian Party in an April press release.

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

But that claim, the LP points out, "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%.

"There is a reason Obama is intentionally spreading false information about American firearm businesses," says Denny Ferguson, Libertarian National Committee Communications Director. "He ... promised anti-gun groups he would enact gun bans and is hoping to scare people into voting away their own rights.

"Not only does Obama want to renew failed gun bans here in the United States and register all gun owners, he's hoping to literally scare UP enough support for an international anti-gun treaty the Senate has rejected for over a decade.

"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," Ferguson of the LP points out.

But Obama's '90%' talking point has absolutely no factual basis, the LP proceeds to demonstrate.

"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%' 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% of the guns recovered by Mexican police did not even appear to come from the United States."

(And note that the Mexicans define as "crimes" many things that would be perfectly legal in the United States, including, for the average peasant ... simply possessing a firearm.)

"That means only 5,114 out of 29,000 guns used in Mexican 'crimes' were found to have come from the United States," the Libertarians conclude. "That figure would be 17%, 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."

Deserters sell their rifles, or simply go to work for the drug barons, bringing their service weapons with them.

"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," the LP wrote, back in April. "Barack Obama chose to intentionally spread fake information because he hopes to use fear to ram his anti-Second Amendment agenda through the Senate," Ferguson says.

During his term in the Senate, Obama earned an "F" rating from Gun Owners of America, as well as from the National Rifle Association. In an April 11, 2008 campaign speech in San Francisco, Obama claimed gun owners 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," The Libertarian Party concludes.

Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the daily Las Vegas Review-Journal, and author of "Send in the Waco Killers" and the novel "The Black Arrow." See www.vinsuprynowicz.com/.
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Title Annotation:gun ownership
Author:Suprynowicz, Vin
Publication:Shotgun News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 10, 2009
Words:1004
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