Gun flow south is a crisis for two nations


The United States lacks a coordinated strategy to stem the flow of weapons smuggled across its southern border, a failure that has fueled the rise of powerful criminal cartels and violence in Mexico, a government watchdog agency report has found.

Further, the report says, cartels are using such weapons to expand their operations in the US.

  • DJ

    Yikes, Bob– you’ve linked to an article that quotes (twice!) that bogus (and now debunked) 90% figure, without putting a disclaimer in your post. I can only imagine why AP might want to continue to disinform Americans– they’re now using a similar approach on Jamaica. It looks to me like they have an agenda.

    That said, the GAO’s criticism appears valid– we SHOULD know how many siezed guns were headed for what destination. That’s just common sense (something our government too often lacks).

    OTOH, the U.S. is frequently criticized for not preventing guns from leaving its borders. But the responsibility for smuggling traditionally lies at the inbound side. Mexico has point of entry inspection stations where it searches incoming vehicles, just not often or effectively. Should we help our neighbors control what comes into their country? Absolutely.

    But this once again points out the fallacy of border control as a means to stem the flow of– well, just about anything. I have often said that if terrorists were as energetic as those smuggling illegal workers and drugs, we’d be inundated with Al Queda. The border is just plain porous.

    Which suggests that a different appraoch is required, if effective results are to be achieved. (I have doubts that our government really WANTS effective results. They sure don’t act like it.)

    Where is the root of this problem? It is prohibition of drugs in the U.S. This is simple supply-and-demand economics. Enforcement reduces the supply of drugs. When demand exceeds, supply, the price goes up. The price goes up, competition increases. Without regulation, the competition engages in actions that we find unacceptable. Doesn’t sound too much different than the sub-prime crisis, does it?

    Yet once again, we as a nation adopt the Puritan “moral blinders,” and pretend that the simple truths of economics don’t apply because, well, drugs are bad. And yes they are bad– you and I both know that from experience. OTOH they kept me from becoming a teen suicide. For myself, the reason I took drugs was not because they were there, but because I needed them. Ultimately, THAT is the issue.

    But until we can address the underlying spiritual bankruptcy of our society, we’ll need to manage the drug issue in terms of economic realities. Because pronouncing that the drug trade shouldn’t exist is killing people on both sides of the border.

    • But I didn’t mention the bogus 90% number. My real point is, there’s a problem. So what will we do about it? legalization indeed seems a real answer.

      • DJ

        My point is: the mainstream media seems to have adopted the 90% number as “truth” and is using it to forward an agenda that has little to do with Mexico. And yes, the conservative media has adopted the equally fallacious 17% number to advance their own agenda.

        If 90% of the guns used in Mexico came from the U.S., it MIGHT make a difference to ban guns here. But if (as is the case) 2/3 of the guns in Mexico come from somewhere else, then banning guns here won’t make a significant difference– there are plenty of other sources of firepower.

        Yes, we need a solution to drug-related violence, but an effective solution relies on correct facts. And if they want to ban guns here, let them push that agenda on its merit (or lack thereof), not on disinformation.

        • But tracking down those guns that came from the US might lead to cartel members. and that’s a legitimate law enforcement goal

          • DJ

            Yes, it is. As I said above, I have no objection to the GAO’s criticisms of the current methodology. My objection is to the reporting, which uses as its backdrop that bogus 90% figure.

            If you say something loud enough and long enough, people begin to accept it as fact (otherwise Snopes would not exist). And if we accept that bogus number as fact and base solutions on it, it leads to a radically different conclusion than the truth.

  • DJ

    BTW: the photo in the article is a collection of German-made WWII Walther P-38 9mm pistols. They qualify as a “Curio & Relic” in this country. And they sell for about $1,200 in guns stores in California. That one in the middle with the swastika clearly visible is probably a Luger, and worth much more. I bet the 14 pistols shown in the foreground are worth close to $20K.

    Were these really captured from drug cartels? Because these aren’t tactical weapons– they’re expensive collectibles. You can buy much more modern and effective weapons for far less money.

    • FYI. I just read somewhere, from a reliable source, that most of the weapons used by paramilitaries / insurgents, are small arms weapons, not the high powered stuff. I’ll see if I can find it.

      But I doubt they’d be using collectibles to shoot with. Good point.

      • DJ

        For about $150, you can buy a brand new FEG or a Taurus 9mm pistol. For $500 you can get a (better quality) Sig or Glock. Why use a $1,200+ collectible relic?

        • I’m guessing whoever found the photo didn’t know anything about guns.

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