Escalating drug war violence in Mexico has brought recent attention to the fact that the cartels are often armed with American guns. The border is really a two-way street, with drugs moving north while cash and weaponry travel south. Here's Mexican President Felipe Calderon claiming that over 90% of the cartels' firepower comes from the U.S.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has proposed re-implementing the assault weapons ban and discussions are under way about what else can be done to curb the flow of American weaponry across our southern border. Naturally, opponents of gun control are concerned. The popular right-wing blog NewsBusters has a post criticizing media coverage of the issue, arguing that recent statements regarding the role of U.S. weapons in facilitating Mexican drug war violence have been widely exaggerated. The conclusion caught my eye:
Gun control doesn't work to stop crime. Just look at places that have very strict gun regulation. Like ... Mexico.Just replace "gun control/regulation" with "drug prohibition" and you've solved the riddle of why conditions in Mexico continue to deteriorate. Of course, while the NewsBusters site is overflowing with gun rights advocacy, discussion of drug policy is nowhere to be found, save for an occasional jab at the pro-pot liberal media. It never ceases to amaze me that some people actually believe enjoying guns is a personal choice, but enjoying marijuana is not.
So let me spell it out: the drug war is a huge reason the new administration is looking at the gun issue. Drug prohibition has created a bloodbath in Mexico that is now spilling across our southern border. The problem is getting worse because our strategy of fighting it out with the cartels just causes more crime and violence.
Marijuana prohibition alone plays a staggering role in funding the drug war violence that may soon result in new domestic gun control measures, yet NewsBusters has repeatedly criticized the discussion of reforming marijuana laws. The bottom line is that if you oppose gun control while simultaneously supporting a prohibitionist drug policy that increases gun violence and prompts calls for regulation, you're shooting yourself in the foot.