Well, governments do that too, although without the excuse of alcohol interfering with their judgment:
For the last couple of weeks reports have been circulating of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) being involved in a very messy undercover surveillance operation that went very badly. Allegedly, BATF let a few thousand (yup, a few thousand) weapons from the U.S. enter Mexico so their agents and other security agencies could track them. The new (and ironic) term for this is gun walking, instead of gun running. Essentially, BATF agents were letting weapons go across the border. The U.S. government is now calling the operation a serious mistake. U.S. sources admit that one of the things that led to the revelation that BATF was conducting the operation was that a number of the weapons involved in crimes in Mexico could be traced back to Arizona (checks included serial numbers). One U.S. media source claims that two AK-47s that BATF agents let be shipped to Mexico were used in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent. If there was ever an Operation Backfire, this is it.
And when you did it, nobody died. It was just stupidity.
Still, given the false claims that a high percentage of weapons used by the drug cartels in Mexico come from gun sales in America (in reality, only a high percentage of the very small percentage of traceable weapons seized can be traced to America--a rather skewed sample eh?), these thousands of traceable American-origin weapons floating around in Mexico will provide years of ammunition for the false argument that American needs to dramatically restrict legal weapons sales in order to help our Mexican friends battle the drug cartels.
So I guess it all depends on what the BATF considered their objective, eh?
Follow the link for much more on the Cartel War from Strategypage.