WikiLeaks exposes true origins of Mexican cartels' weaponry (Hint: It's not due to the "mythical" gun show loophole)

by Jim Shepherd

The idea that we'd ever find WikiLeaks information relevant to the protection of United States citizens' gun rights wasn't anywhere on our radar when the NSSF's Larry Keane tipped us off to some disturbing information gleaned from leaked State Department documents.

According to State Department cables, the Mexican drug cartels are getting their weaponry from an international operation, with the cartels getting military weapons through various government channels. Some of those weapons did, in fact, come from the United States, but they weren't the result of the "gun show loophole" straw-man purchases or any of the other individual criminal acts anti-gun groups would have you believe.

Large quantities of those US weapons -everything from rifles to machine guns, grenade launchers, explosives and ammunition, came from purchases by the government of Mexico from the United States. As the underpaid, undermanned and undermined soldiers of the Mexican army skipped out on the military to put their training to work for the cartels, they took their issued-arms with them.

Others come from weapon buys from guerilla groups in South and Central America that are then smuggled into the country.

No specific numbers on how many of those guns "recovered in Mexico and traced back to the United States" were, in fact, military purchases, but the State Department cables indicate a portion of the fewer than 12 percent of the traceable weapons actually came from the United States in gun shop/individual type purchases. Remember, that's not 12 percent of the tens of thousands of weapons recovered - it's only 12 percent of the weapons recovered that were traceable. It's nowhere near the 12 percent figure that has been misquoted and used as evidence of the United State's "horrific" problem of illegal gun sales.

Republished from The Outdoor Wire.

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