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Mon Mar 18, 2013, 07:12 PM

Made in the U.S.A.: The Role of American Guns in Mexican Violence

As many as 120,000 people in Mexico have been murdered since 2006, many from a bullet to the back of the head. Most of these killings are committed not with assault rifles, but rather pistols and revolvers. Many are perpetrated by hit-men tied to narco-cartels, but some occur in confrontations with soldiers and police. What's more, the majority of guns causing mayhem on Mexico's streets are made in the United States. And for all their destructive power, no one seems to know just how many firearms are flowing into the country.


We conservatively estimate that about 2.2 percent of total demand for U.S.-sold firearms originated south of the border between 2010 and 2012. These weapons are often bought in the U.S. through "straw man" purchases, who acquire arms on behalf of others with the intention of being trafficked to Mexico. This translates into at least $127 million dollars in revenue for gun retailers and weapons manufacturers who are literally making a killing. More importantly, it is the equivalent of an annual average of 252,000 guns crossing the border, far above previous estimates based on seizure data. In other words, the roughly 37,000 guns seized at the border by U.S. and Mexican authorities in 2009 probably represents less than 15 per cent of total traffic.

What this means is that the U.S. is a significant, albeit unintentional, contributor to the global black market in arms and ammunition in Mexico. One of the reasons for this is the sheer scale of production in the US. Mexico has a relatively small production capacity for firearms and ammunition and virtually no exports. According to economist Jurgen Brauer, however, U.S.-based firearms manufacturers produced more than 98 million handguns and shotguns for domestic sale since the mid-1980s. This amounts to more than 4 million guns per year.

Our study demonstrates that the U.S. is negligent in preventing illegal gun trafficking. Mexico's legislature recently called on the U.S. to introduce gun registries in southern states. Mexican police have also confiscated tens of thousands more firearms crossing the border than their American counterparts. In other words, they are trying to do their part. If the U.S. is going to get serious about stopping the havoc south of the border, it needs to invest in responsible gun control at home.



$127 million in revenue for American gun retailers comes from guns that are illegally smuggled into Mexico. No wonder the NRA is opposed to any gun reforms that would allow the ATF to fight international gun trafficking!

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Reply Made in the U.S.A.: The Role of American Guns in Mexican Violence (Original post)
DanTex Mar 2013 OP
freshwest Mar 2013 #1

Response to DanTex (Original post)

Mon Mar 18, 2013, 07:19 PM

1. It's not just Mexico, but they are our neighbors and this is destroying the social fabric there.

Death is one of our primary exports, directly or indirectly. This is a failure.

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