Sunday, August 10, 2008

The U.S.-Mexico Border: A Iron River of Guns

While U.S. politicians focus on the flow of immigrants and drugs across our southern border, Mexican law-enforcement officials complain about the guns coming the other way. While the U.S. provides 16,000 Border Patrol agents, it has only 100 or so Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents to check the reverse flow of guns south. These guns ended up in the hands of the drug cartels, are often superior to what the Mexican police or army have, and are responsible for more than 4,000 violent deaths in the drug wars. In the border states -- where the National Rifle Association jealously protects gun-dealing -- there are more gun dealers than federal ATF agents. Only California provides any stiff state enforcement. In the other states, especially Texas and Arizona, the gun culture reigns supreme. Beside it makes for a tidy profit as Mexicans flock to gun shows, where sophisticated weaponry can be easily -- thanks to the NRA vigilance. Mexico has consistently asked the U.S. to stem the flow of guns. Its appeals are getting desperate as the cartel goons out-gun and out-shoot the federales. (See LA Times article.)

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