In 2009 President Obama uttered what was to become the cornerstone of administrations feelings on gun in Mexico; “More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States, many from gun shops that line our border.” Bullshit, and he knew it. He flat out lied.
But the administration ran with the baldfaced lie. Every news story on drug war related in violence in Mexico features pictures and video of stacks of vicious looking guns, grenades, anti tank weapons, etc.. But guess what. They didn’t come from U.S. gun shops. You can’t buy most of this stuff in the U.S.
U.S. made fully automatic M-16s are a popular centerpiece. You can’t buy a fully automatic M-16 in a U.S. gun shop. If you are a civilian in the U.S. and want to own a full auto M-16 you have to find one manufactured before 1986. That’s when the Hughes Amendment froze the supply. Newly manufactured machine guns are for the special people in government and law enforcement only. We mere mortals cannot buy a new machine gun at all.
Of course, with the supply frozen the prices have gone up. A full auto M-16 that $600-$900 in 1986 will cost you about $30,000 in 2011. And then you have to pay a $200 transfer tax, fill out a ream of paperwork, and wait for the BATF to check you out and approve you. Then, 6 months to a year after you started the process and $32,200 lighter in the pocket, you can have your machine gun. But not from a regular gun shop. You have to go to a special dealer who mainly sells stuff to, guess who,………the government. Because they exempt themselves from all of this crap. Obviously it is a niche hobby. Certainly not for every average Joe Sixpack. I can’t afford to get into it.
Want a grenade? Check your state laws. In some they aren’t legal at all. In others you can have them. But on top of whatever you pay for the grenade, and they aren’t cheap, you also have to pay the $200 transfer tax on each one. And again, fill out a ream of paperwork, wait for the background check, investigation, and BATF approval. And then what? Are you going to toss your $200 ++ toy down range and blow it up? Hey, if you have that kind of money then more power to you. But again, you’d be shopping at specialty dealers used to handling rare things costing thousands of dollars. Not regular gunshops.
So where are these weapons coming from? Uncle Sam himself. The U.S. defense department ships tons of weapons to Latin America to support the people they like and oppose those they don’t. Mexico itself has ordered tens of thousnds of firearms and explosives. In 2009 alone Mexico bought nearly $177 million worth of American-made weapons, exceeding sales to Iraq and Afghanistan. Wow!
There are also the leftover arsenals in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Remember the banana republics, and all of the little revolutions and coups of the last century? Remember the Contras? The U.S. sent tons of weapons to people it liked, and those weapons are now sitting around collecting dust. It is much more profitable for everyone from governments to corrupt officials, and corrupt military officers to siphon these off and sell them to the cartels. The cartels pay very well, by local standards.
Wikileaks published state department memos containing such gems as “U.S. law enforcement has fair reason to worry a number of weapons simply disappear… ” and one from June 2009 says, “Rogue elements of the Guatemalan military are selling weapons to narcos.” Confidential informants who have worked for a number of alphabet soup agencies report that Mexican Federal police siphon off warehouses full of weapons. But wait, there’s more.
According to officials in El Salvadore, Mexico’s drug cartels are stepping up efforts to acquire weapons there. The cartels are also making efforts to set up logistical support, drug growing, and drug trafficking operations in central American countries. Sort of a rear guard for their operations at home.
Once again we see that the whole problem is government. Government made certain substances illegal, which created a black market, which government declared war on and appropriates tons of money for, the black marketeers fight back, government supplies weapons to it’s allies in an attempt to out violence the black marketeers, who respond by corrupting officials and siphoning off the weapons in an attempt to out violence the government. An endless cycle of increasing violence because government decided to tell you what you cannot have.
And regular people are caught in the middle. We need to eliminate government, and with that we will eliminate prohibition of all forms. This would eliminate the cartels. They would become legitimate businesses and start acting accordingly. There were no cartels and no drug violence before drug prohibition. Didn’t we learn anything from alcohol prohibition? Once government is gone then people can make their own decisions and suffer the consequences. We would all be a lot freer, a lot safer, and a lot less taxed.