Letter: Study on Mexican gun smuggling raises questions

April 26, 2013 

I read the report cited in the March 19 article, "Study Finds 253,000 U.S. guns smuggled to Mexico annually," and was surprised to find it rambling. Some of many observations:

-- The sponsor/funder of this research is never identified. Why?

-- A lot of misspelling. Was this report rushed? Why?

-- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Fast and Furious is not mentioned, although Newtown is. Does the 253,000 estimate include Fast and Furious guns?

-- The authors discuss grenades, rocket-propelled grenades, etc., as if these are available at a typical gun store, and without clarifying if these are included in the estimated 253,000 guns smuggled to Mexico from the United States.

One example: "The large number of guns available in the United States is facilitated by widespread availability of retail firearm licenses, permissive import regulations, and largely unregulated, owner-to-owner 'kitchen table' sales. This ensures that many types of low- and high-caliber firearms, ammunition and explosives are legally available for purchase in the United States."

-- "Vice President Biden proposed the criminalization of straw-man purchases, which is a step in the right direction." Are the Biden and authors unaware of the Gun Control Act of 1968?

Is this study dazzlingly brilliant or intended to mislead? Read it online at tinyurl.com/Gun-Study to decide.

BRETT MENAKER, Kennewick

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