Radley Balko at Reason's blog offers a corrective to the myth circulating recently that the vast majority of weapons used by drug cartels in Mexico come from America. Apparently not only is that not true, but it seems that a similar number of guns leak out of the Mexican police force itself (which is increasingly funded by...yep, you guessed it, the US government!).
From Hillary Clinton to Diane Feinstein to Bob Schieffer to the New York Times, gun control opponents keep repeating the claim that 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico's drug war were sold in the United States.
William La Jeunesse and Maxim Lott say it just isn't true. As it turns out, the 90 percent statistic actually concerns only those guns Mexican authorities sent to the U.S. for tracing. [...]
But that's not what gun control proponents have been saying. They've been saying nine of 10 guns used in all Mexican drug crimes came from the U.S. That number, La Jeunesse and Lott report, is closer to 17 percent. [...]
The report explains that most of the weapons used by Mexico's drug cartels are actually illegal in the U.S. Even if they weren't, it makes little sense to suggest drug cartels are going through the hassle of sending thousands of "straw buyers" across the border to legally purchase guns in America when more powerful black market weapons are available from Russia, South America, China, and Guatemala without the bureaucracy and risk of registration.