March 01, 2009

Facts, people! Where are the facts?

The Drug Cartel's Right to Bear Arms

I'm going to do something I almost never do. I'm going to copy and paste the entire content of the copyrighted article above. Maybe once you read it, you'll understand why I need to make sure everyone has access to it.

The hypocrisy is gruesome: The Justice Department pronounced the Mexican drug cartels "a national security threat" this week, even as American gun dealers along the border were busily arming the cartels' murderous gangs.

Mexico complains that American dealers supplied most of the 20,000 weapons seized last year in drug wars in which 6,000 Mexicans died.

A vast arms bazaar is rampant along the four border states, enabled by porous to nonexistent American gun laws. Straw buyers can pick up three or four high-powered war rifles from one of more than 6,600 border dealers and hand them off to smugglers. They easily return to Mexico, where gun laws are far less permissive.

Licensed dealers routinely recruit buyers with clean criminal records to foil weak laws and feed the deadly pipeline, according to a report by James C. McKinley Jr. in The New York Times. The countless unlicensed "gun enthusiasts" free to deal combat rifles at weekend shows, thanks to loophole-ridden laws, are a second source.

The federal government is allowed only to trace weapons used in crimes, and has no idea of the full scope of the border trade, which accounts for nine out of 10 recovered weapons.

One dealer exploited the lack of federal controls by packing up his California shop, where laws were tougher, and moving to the lenient Arizona border. He is accused of selling hundreds of AK-47 assault rifles to the cartels before he was finally arrested in a sting by undercover agents.

That's more the exception. At best, 200 agents work the border expanse where gun smugglers operate as a "parade of ants," in the words of one frustrated prosecutor.

There should be enormous shame on the U.S. side of the border that America's addiction to drugs is bolstered by its feckless gun controls. Firm federal law is urgently needed if the homicidal cartels are to be seriously challenged as a threat to national security.

I have spent four days trying to find the ATF report James C. McKinley, Jr. cites. No one else in the media seems to have access to it, and I cannot find it at the ATF website. I am beginning to believe there is no report and there was no arrest. Every single media report about this issue is derived from the same article. Some of those reports are edited quite severely, but they still derive from the same story.

Until someone presents me a solid set of facts to the contrary, I am going to consider this entire story to be just that, a complete and total work of fiction!

That story is here: U.S. Gun Dealers Arming Mexican Drug Cartels. In summary, a dealer named George Iknadosian, originally from Egypt, sold the Sinaola cartel hundreds of AK-47s through his "dingy" Arizona gun store.

One dealer out of 6-7,000 Federal Firearms License holders living in a four-state area broke a Federal law put into effect in 1934 and suddenly every dealer is a criminal? And all this just happens to take place the day Eric Holder annouces a massive take-down campaign against the Sinaola cartel and Sinaola allies operating in the United States? An announcement he uses to re-open a debate settled in 2004? McKinley's article also speaks of "massive" imports of "assault weapons" the ATF has "chosen to ignore" without offering up a single supporting source for this assertion.

I don't know about anyone else anywhere in the world, but until I see some real facts (such as a copy of the ATF report his article is supposedly based on) I am going to contend that McKinley's article is a complete fabrication created in conjunction with Eric Holder and designed to stir up feelings of guilt and fear in the hearts and minds of Americans. I did find one article from 1997 (U.S. Arms Both Sides of the Mexican Drug War), but it is not an official report of any kind. Also, it specifically points to Mexican citizens coming across the border and buying guns. Selling to anyone who is not resident in the United States is already illegal, and most of the weapons mentioned are not military grade weapons. Adding new laws to the books will not help halt this "army of ants", if it still exists.

Even if it does still exist, why should we in the United States be responsible for a century and a half of corruption and failed politics south of the Rio Grande?

There is, however, one group of Americans I do blame for the violence: casual drug users. It is their money that is buying these weapons. Money spent on marijuana to relax, cocaine for a pick me up, and Ecstasy to heighten the driving sensations of hate-filled lyrics in the latest rap music.

The sub-culture of self-indulgence is robbing us of our pride, undermining our traditions, and endangering the very Constitution our nation is founded upon. This sub-culture is now six decades old and shows no signs of losing intensity. Eric Holder and James C. McKinley, Jr. are either criminals themselves and desperate to hide their own contributions to the Mexican blood bath, cynics who hope by whipping up fear and guilt they will be able to advance their own careers, or conspirators involved in an international plot to destroy the last bastion of freedom and liberty, namely, the United States of America. Take your pick!

Our enemies are not the gangs with their fancy military hardware. Our enemies are not the Muslim extremists with their hypocritical and blasphemous jihad. No, our enemies are here among us. Passing themselves off as politicians, journalists, industry experts, academics and law enforcement specialists, these people spend their days creating elaborate justifications for restricting the personal freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Every one of them is an enemy of America and a traitor to the people of the United States. Even though dissent is good and freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment, to turn around and cynically use that freedom to destroy our country from within is cancerous and must be dealt with accordingly.

If this drive to tyranny continues, patriotic Americans everywhere will be left with no choice but to exercise their Second Amendment right in the one manner our forefathers hoped we would never see but feared was inevitable: armed rebellion against the established social order.

For the record. I do NOT want to see Americans fighting Americans in our streets and countryside. I am afraid that those who either failed high school civics and/or grew up refusing to believe in our traditions are so self-righteous and so closed to rational consideration of an opposing opinion that they will leave the patriots no other choice but violence.

(Additional finds)

AP Report from January 27, 2009. Did McKinley write this or plagiarize it?:
Arizona Gun Dealer Arrested For Selling to Cartel

Finally, after five days of searching, I find the original report about Iknadosian's arrest! When? May 2008!:
Phoenix Gun Dealer Arrested for Selling to Cartels

I am glad this criminal has been arrested. I hope he is convicted and given either life in prison or the death penalty (if Arizona has a death penalty). Let me repeat again the simple fact that ONE criminal does not indicate the civilian market is underregulated, poorly monitored, or in need of more federal intervention. Obviously, the criminal has been caught and there is no need to antagonize the remaining 6,599+ law-abiding gun dealers in the four-state border region.

(March 2, 2009)

This is odd. I suspect this article is related to the mass arrests of a few days ago: 20 Alleged Hispanic Gang Members Indidicted in Colorado

According to the article, it was the culmination of a three year investigation. What this means in real-world terms is:
1) Eric Holder, as I said earlier, had nothing to do with the successful conclusion of the investigation
2) The enforcement system is working exacty as intended, no additional regulations are necessary
3) The timing of the release of McKinley's article was NOT coincidental

It's not exactly a conspiracy. It is, however, a cynical and deceptive attempt to manipulate the public into giving away their civil liberties.