“Fast and Furious” in perspective


by David Safier

Here's a figure in today's Star that puts the botched federal Fast and Furious gun operation into perspective: 253,000 guns a year going from the U.S. to Mexico.

An average of 253,000 weapons purchased in the United States head south of the border each year, according to the study by four scholars at the University of San Diego's Trans-Border Institute and the Igarape Institute, a research center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The scholars actually think their figures are on the low side.

Compare 253,000 guns a year to the 2,000 guns that walked because of the Fast and Furious sting. The botched sting operation contributed less than one percent to the estimated yearly total.

For the pro-gun lobby, Fast and Furious was a twofer. It allowed them to go after Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder at the same time they could blame gun trafficking and gun violence on the Feds rather than on the illegal operations aided and abetted by our lax gun regulations and willing gun sellers. But the fact is, the reason the Obama administration and the Bush administration mounted their ineffective gun operations was to try and slow the gun flow into Mexico which, according to the scholars, amounts to a quarter of a million guns a year. With stricter gun laws, the sting operations wouldn't have been necessary.

The study has some interesting stats. It says 6,700 of the country's 51,300 retail gun shops are in our four border states. On the border, there are an average of 3 gun shops per mile. The idea that U.S. citizens in these low populated areas have such an out-of-proportion hunger for guns defies logic.