Krauss in Investor's Business Daily: Mexican Standoff on 2nd Amendment

In an op-ed appearing in Investors Business Daily, Professor Michael Krauss and co-author Dan Gifford caution that a forthcoming GAO report claiming a high percentage of Mexican drug dealers' weapons originate in U.S. gun stores is part of a thinly veiled attempt to reinstate the federal assault weapon ban that lapsed in 2004.

The authors explain that the true source of the military weapons, illegal in the U.S., is Mexican criminals who are supplying an international black market with weapons the U.S. sold to the Mexican military and that were subsequently resold to drug cartels by corrupt Mexican officials.

Similar stories of Mexican drug dealers buying pistols that fire bullets capable of piercing body armor from licensed U.S. merchants are likewise untrue, say Krauss and Gifford.

"The news media have knowingly or incompetently lied to Americans in service of a political cause. For this they should be deeply ashamed," conclude the authors.

Mexican Standoff on Second Amendment, Investor's Business Daily, July 7, 2009. By Dan Gifford and Michael I. Krauss.

"Last year's Supreme Court ruling in Heller v. D.C. that the Second Amendment right to own firearms is an individual one may crimp confiscation plans, but the current set of lies being told in order to achieve renewed restrictions goes on.

"Savvy operators like Sugarmann have told them for years. 'Assault weapon' is a military term Sugarmann and others intentionally misapply to civilian firearms to frighten the public and play on its ignorance.

"As Sugarmann himself told supporters in 1988: 'The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns vs. semiautomatic "assault" weapons - anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun - can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.'

"Among previous Sugarmann inventions are the 'plastic gun' and 'cop-killer bullet' scares. In the former case, Sugarmann claimed that plastic guns able to evade detection by metal detectors were being sold - but no such gun existed or can be made.

"In the second case, he asserted that handgun ammunition was being expressly manufactured to kill police officers. Reporters and politicians ate it up; yet there has never been any such thing as a cop-killer bullet, notes David Kopel, research director at the Independence Institute:

"'The issue is a fiction, invented for purposes of politics. .. .In any case, since 1986, federal law has prohibited the rare types of handgun ammunition that have unusual abilities to penetrate body armor.'"

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