July 17, 2010

Never Let Go of the Narrative

Nick Miroff and William Booth have a fascinating article in the Washington Post about U.S. grenades provided to allied governments in past decades turning up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

M67 "baseball" grenades, typically stolen from military armories in Central America, are part of a growing arms race between cartels and government forces.

Miroff and Booth have done their homework identifying the source of the grenades, but then they got sloppy:

The redeployment of U.S.-made grenades by Mexican drug lords underscores the increasingly intertwined nature of the conflict, as President Felipe Calderón sends his soldiers out to confront gangs armed with a deadly combination of brand-new military-style assault rifles purchased in the United States and munitions left over from the Cold War.

As we've covered extensively in the past, only 8-percent of cartel firearms are purchased in U.S. gun shops, and the number of firearms traced to the U.S. for any reason—including stolen weapons— is still just 18-percent.

The vast majority of cartel weapons—82-percent—comes from the same black market sources as the grenades.

It's a shame that writers who did their homework to track down the various sources of cartel grenades so easily believed the fictions created by politicians such as Barack Obama and Felipe Calderon about cartel small arms, stories readily debunked by our own BATF trace data.

Neither cartel grenades nor guns come from American civilian sources.

It's too bad the authors were all too eager to continue pressing a left-wing anti-gun agenda in an otherwise informative article.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 17, 2010 09:42 AM

CY, as you point out, these reporters adhere to The Agenda, and if they fail to score at least a few points and advance The Agenda, however incrementally, they are deeply disappointed.

Posted by: zhombre at July 17, 2010 01:49 PM

At least they didn't claim the grenades came from US gun dealers, or blame the "gun show loophole."

Posted by: Steve Skubinna at July 17, 2010 02:25 PM

In fact the bulk of the cartels' firepower is full military stuff sold out the backdoor by Mexico's insanely corrupt Army and police.

I *seriously* doubt the Browning M1919 photographed in a recent seizure was bought in a Texas Wal-Mart.

Posted by: Bohemond at July 17, 2010 03:28 PM

I kind of took it that they were saying the M67 was some relic of the past, way, way back in the Cold War. But perhaps they don't realize the M67 is still the current US grenade?

Posted by: XBradTC at July 18, 2010 09:00 AM

You mean, I can't get any at "Grenades-R-US"

Posted by: Neo at July 18, 2010 12:47 PM

Until proven otherwise I'll assume the 'error' was willful.

Everyone knows you can't buy grenades even at a lefties' fevered imaginings of what goes on at a 'gunshow.' So the authors do the legwork of tracking down the actual source(s) of these devices.

But rather than noting this is also the same pipeline that supplies military type rifles they piggyback a lie onto the one bit of researched truth thereby dishonestly lending it credibility.

Posted by: ThomasD at July 18, 2010 07:40 PM