It is not likely that new evidence high-powered U.S. firearms are fueling Mexican drug violence will change the political course of gun control in Washington, experts tell the Christian Science Monitor. The Government Accountability Office report that 87 percent of seized guns given to U.S. authorities by Mexican officials come from the U.S. shouldn’t come as a surprise, says criminologist Bill Vizzard of California State University in Sacramento: “We’re the largest legal gun market in the world.”
The report acknowledges that there are significant gaps in the data. It blames both U.S. and Mexican authorities for the problem, citing U.S, laws that allow “paperless” sales of firearms between private individuals and corruption in Mexico that makes it difficult for the U.S. to help it fight the arms influx. Critics say the report contained no new information, and comes off as a political document – a way “to embarrass Republicans for their ties to the NRA,” says Vizzard. “This is just factoid laundering of the GAO,” says Dave Kopel of the conservative Independence Institute in Golden, Co. “Basically, because Hillary Clinton or some Mexican cabinet official says something is true, then it’s officially true.” The effort by some Congressional Democrats, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder and Clinton, to bring the issue to light, says Vizzard, is largely to placate Mexican counterparts, who are seeing a burst of violence as police attempt to tamp down drug cartels.