The Great Debate

American guns and the war next door

By Bernd Debusmann
December 18, 2008

Bernd Debusmann - Great Debate– Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. –

Last year, around 2,500 Mexicans died in the twin wars drug cartels are waging against each other and against the Mexican state, using weapons smuggled in from the United States. In the first 11 months of this year, the death toll was 5,367, according to the Mexican attorney general. Next year?

There is no end in sight. At least two of the lethal ingredients in the toxic brew that fuels Mexico’s ever-widening violence are unlikely to change: lax American gun laws and a Mexican border that barely controls north-south traffic. On many of the crossing points along the 2,000-mile frontier, travelers coming in from the United States, by car or on foot, are routinely waved through without even having to show identity papers.

Weak Mexican border controls rarely feature in official or academic reports on a problem that has prompted some experts and U.S. publications to wonder whether Mexico is a “failing state”. That’s the headline over a cover story on Mexico in the latest edition of the business magazine Forbes. Mexican officials reject the label.

But privately, they concede that Mexican authorities are doing a less-than-thorough job in searching and monitoring north-south traffic. They tend to point in the other direction, to the easy availability of guns in the United States, the armory of Mexico’s criminal mafias.

According to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the agency charged with regulating the firearms industries, there are 9,161 licensed arms dealers in the four states bordering Mexico — California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Buyers from licensed establishments need to go through a background check and the serial numbers of their purchases can be traced.

No background checks and no paperwork is necessary for weapons traded between private citizens on the “secondary” market — gun shows, over the Internet, through classified advertisements. Around 40 percent of all gun sales in the United States, where private citizens own at least 200 million guns, are on the informal market, estimates the Violence Policy Center, a Washington-based group in favor of tougher gun controls.

How many guns are smuggled across the porous border? Nobody knows, and a frequently used figure of 2,000 every day appears to be more of an urban legend than an estimate based on evidence. It would amount to 730,000 smuggled guns a year.

Whatever the number, it is enough for the U.S. State Department, on its website, to advise citizens contemplating a visit to Mexico that “recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have taken on the characteristics of small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and, on occasion, grenades”.


Almost all the weapons seized inside Mexico or left at the scene of shootouts have been traced back to the United States through eTrace, an electronic system the ATF set up to trace illicit firearms. The cartel killers’ weapons of choice: AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles. Favorite pistols: Colt .38 Super, Glock 9 millimeter, and the FN 5-7, nicknamed “cop killer” because it can pierce a flak jacket at a range of 300 meters.

All these can be legally (and easily) acquired in the United States by citizens and legal residents without a criminal record, after a background check with the Federal Bureau of Investigations that often takes less than 15 minutes. The ease with which Americans can get arms flares into public controversy at regular intervals, usually after a gun owner with a grudge commits a massacre in a school or other public place.

Attempts to introduce more restrictions have failed regularly, and this year the Supreme Court ended decades of legal argument by ruling that the second amendment of the U.S. constitution, written 219 years ago, does guarantee an individual’s right “to keep and bear arms”.

Even Eduardo Medina Mora, the outspoken Mexican attorney general who makes no secret of his frustration with the flow of weapons from the north, seems resigned to the prospect that the United States will not change its gun laws to keep Mexico from sliding into deeper trouble.

“Although … it may seem absurd to us that a (U.S.) citizen can buy an AK-47, an AR-15, or a Barrett .50, it’s the law of the land,” he told the Spanish newspaper El Pais in November. The last item on his list is a sniper rifle that costs $8,650, weighs 30 pounds and can punch through an armored vehicle from a mile away.

On the U.S. side of the border, the ATF has just launched an advertising campaign in Arizona to remind citizens that buying guns on behalf of others — so called-straw purchases — carries penalties of up to 10 years in jail. Using straw buyers has been one of the cartels’ methods to evade background checks. Gun shows are another.

Just before entering Mexico, large signs at crossing points read: “Warning: Firearms and Ammunition Illegal in Mexico.” Chances that you are stopped and searched by Mexican officials are slim.

Reuters correspondent Tim Gaynor, author of a forthcoming book on the frontier (Midnight on the Line: The Secret Life of the U.S.-Mexico Border) reports: “In scores of crossings I have made to Mexico over several years, I have been stopped on just two or three occasions. Never once have I had my car searched. The odds are heavily in favor of the smugglers.”

Time for Mexico to start watching its border rather than pointing a finger at the United States?

You can contact the author at Debusmann@reuters.com. For previous columns by Bernd Debusmann, click here.

202 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

More gun control; More crime. All law abiding citizens should be armed!

Posted by Roy | Report as abusive

Sure. Why not? Watching borders definitely better than finger pointing.

Let’s assume Mexico does as adequate a job watching the border as the US would do. . . what would happen? Drug Cartels quit the business for lack of fire power? If there were no high powered sophisticated guns there would be no cartels, right? Mobsters in America during the thirties had it so rough. No glocks, AK-47s or Barrett .50s. It’s a wonder the mafia survived in America.

Perhaps a combination of the analyses behind *The Case for Piracy* *America’s decades old failed drug war* and this column are in order. If we combined all three would we still be talking about the border?


my kids all were required to take drug education courses. these should include background on all of the cartels and narco-violence worldwide.

Posted by ray | Report as abusive

Another misinforming article written by yet another misinformed author.

The F-N 5.7 by itself is no more effective against body armor then a Glock .22 (for example). Only specialized ammunition (which is essentially attainable only by law enforcement) can penetrate various levels of body armor.

The .38 Super is considered a competition round and is sold in such limited quantities that gangs cannot find ammunition for it…Your data is highly suspect.

The AR-15 and AK-47 are rifles. Nothing more, nothing less. The Ruger mini 14, Browning BAR are also rifles that accomplish the exact same thing…semi-automatic fire. That’s all…no fully automatic, armor-piercing, evil technology. These are all rifles that fully serve
legal hunters in America throughout the year.

Federal background checks have never taken “15 minutes”…I am an avid and legal gun owner. Even after repeated checks I must still wait for at least 1 week to purchase a firearm. It is frustrating, but if it helps to keep a gun out of the hands of the wrong person, so be it.

Again…blaming the tool, not the user. History has proven time and again stricter gun laws only decrease the law-abiding citizen the chance to rightfully defend himself. Under no circumstances will increased gun restrictions in the US decrease gun-related crime south of the border. Mexican gangs can and will continue to replenish their gun supply from Brazil, France and of course, China.

Is it a coincidence that Chicago and Wash DC, the 2 most gun-crime ridden cities in the country, also ban the right of the homeowner to defend himself/herself against that which the criminal obtains illegally? But wait, how is this possible? Handguns are banned in Wash DC? That automatically removes ALL guns from ALL hands, correct?

These idealistic gun control views are often found wanting when reality proves that as long as the demand exists, so will the supply.

Just imagine for one second that we ban ALL guns in the US. Honestly, what would the Mexican border look like then? I propose that once criminals realize we cannot defend our border, the border will disappear.
In fact I propose that guns and the mean and women with the ability to use them have kept the borders as they are for hundred of years.

Why does law enforcement carry a weapon? To defend himself and others against ILLEGAL weapons and their owners.
I also own my weapon to defend…I don’t have the same right as my neighborhood cop?

Posted by Dave532 | Report as abusive

Now we need to give up our constitutional rights to save Mexican bandits?

Search everybody if you want to, but don’t point fingers.

A little research would tell the author that a “flack vest” is something designed to stop shrapnal, as in mortar and Grenade rounds. As for regular body armor, AKA “bullet Proof Vest” An Arrow,a sharp stick, a knife, or any other pointed object, like a tire iron or barbeque fork will penetrate body armor. Throwing around terms like “Cop Killer” only serves to inflame otherwise sane people to make wrong headed ill-informed choices.

Posted by Tom Holiday | Report as abusive

I am a staunch supporter of the 2nd amendment. The D.C ban is overturned and the Chicago ban will soon follow. That is not the issue here. If I have read correctly, firearm sales are unreported at shows and to foreign nationals or cross border. I am sorry to report that arms and military equipment are the United States biggest export products. It has been that way for some time (balance of trade you know).Our government knows the destruction and human cost this business has wreaked around the world yet they still allow it. Maybe that is why so many in congress support excessive gun control here at home (maybe this is why so many abroad don’t like us too). This seems to me less an issue of personal liberties and more a matter of politicians ensuring the financial health of substantial campaign contributors (weapons manufacturers). No matter what the cost.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

There is no doubt that Mexico is a country in trouble, not only because of the drug wars but also because of an ever-worsening crime situation. Kidnapping has developed into an industry, and common crime is everywhere. But it is an exxageration to speak of Mexico as a failing state, as Forbes did, and a few months ago Stratfor, a financial analysis company. The Mexican state is weak, but it is not failing.

What IS failing is an effort by the Mexican government to counter-act the very dark view many Americans have of their neighbor. Being called a failing state is bad enough but now a Columbia law professor, Philip Bobbit, has gone a step further in a recenet Washington Post article. This is what he said:

Mexico is potentially our Pakistan — a failing state on our border that can provide haven for our adversaries, at least some of whom will be privatized terrorists. Imagine a poorer, less-democratic Mexico; then imagine it harboring extortionists with a small arsenal of deliverable nuclear or biological weapons. This may be a long-term threat, but it requires immediate assistance and cooperation.”

Give me a break. Mexico is not Pakistan. What’s next? They will compare us to Somalia?

Posted by Maria Jose A. | Report as abusive

A few observations from someone who travels in Baja California:

The FULLY AUTOMATIC weapons used by the drug cartels, including hand grenades and rocket propelled grenades used against Mexican police, most certainly did NOT come from U.S. dealers. In my opinion, the most likely source is the drug cartels’ connections with FARC and Chavez’s “Bolivarian” revolution. The choice of Colt .38 Super mention is significant to me because this is the largest caliber LEGALLY available in Mexico to private citizens, indicating that those handguns were most likely obtained in Mexico. Colts smuggled in from the U.S. would most likely be larger caliber, since the .38 Super commands a premium in the U.S.

As far as I know, There are NO cases of a Barrett .50 being used in a crime, either in the U.S. or Mexico.

As the article points out, the Mexican law is very strict against illegal possession of either guns OR ammunition. There are American citizens serving prison time in Mexico for inadvertently bringing ammunition across the border. These facts are well known and well advertised to those crossing the border. While searches may be infrequent, the penalties are severe and unlike the American side, difficult to escape. Only the foolish would risk it.

In summary, there are certainly problems with the drug trade, but I suspect they have more to do with the massive market and opportunity for profit that America’s prohibition approach creates. Mexico also suffers from systemic corruption in its police force, although its Army forces are improving. To blame the drug violence on “lax” American gun laws and “lax” border enforcement is to misdirect attention from real sources, and take resources away from where they would do the most good.

Mexico and Mexicans need an economy that offers alternatives, and their law enforcement forces need the prestige and pay that provide a defense against the temptation of corruption. Fixing the problems the drug trade and its associated violence requires assisting Mexico in building and strengthening a functioning civil society, none of which will be done by focusing attention on American gun laws or lack of border searches.

Just my two cents.

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive

The lead heads will always find a rationale for their absolutist interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. The NRA is the greatest thing to happen to the Mexican drug gangs; in fact they’re practically their armorer and facilitator. Collateral damage to others means nothing to the NRA and the lead heads. Pointing to DC and Chicago as two cities with large crime problems and gun control laws ignores many other factors that go into crime statistics; it also ignores an obvious measure of just how bad a place really is, its per capita gun deaths/year, which is quite high in places with loose gun laws like Houston and Miami, I believe higher than DC and Chicago. So look at all the facts, not just the ones you would like to pick and choose, and if you’re going to make an argument about correlation you’re being intellectually dishonest since causation is the issue.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

I was born and raised in Mexico and all I can say is that the Mexican government needs to seriously consider introducing a law that allows law abiding citizens the right to bear arms. Why should the criminals and the corrupt/scared police the only ones with the weapons? Since the police is already doing a lousy job of protecting the population, citizens should be allowed to protect themselves. The only thing I agree with this article is that Mexico is quickly becoming a failed state.

According to the organization, Fund for Peace, a failed state is one with a central government so weak or ineffective that it has little practical control over much of its territory; non-provision of public services; widespread corruption and criminality; refugees and involuntary movement of populations; and sharp economic decline.

Why else would most of the populations be fleeing to the US? No jobs, no protection, no safety, no education, NO FUTURE!!

Posted by Nora H. | Report as abusive

I hope people read what most of us in here seem to agree on… The 2nd ammendment. To me this is just another attempt at suggesting we give our rights up as American Citizens so either the “bad” guys or maybe, even worse soccialist ideas and ways win…No way I say, you can not have my guns. I will vote to ensure my right to bear Arms. If they take our right to vote away (soccialism) then I may have act…Hopefully we all will.

Posted by Larry | Report as abusive

DRUG cartels, DRUG related crime, DRUG war ($40b/yr wasted)… None of this would be happening if the drugs were legal. Have governments control them, sell them and tax them. Save money and lives.

Posted by Solomon | Report as abusive

Should I be embarrassed that I felt more emotion thinking “that sounds fun!” when reading the statement about the sniper rifle than at any other point in this article?

Posted by Sean | Report as abusive

“It is obvious that not until the people are educated, not until public opinion is rightly focused, not until government officials, even minor ones, are free from even the least remnant of corruption, can the country be properly administered. Not until discipline, order and good government reach the degree where an individual, even if he should put forth his utmost efforts to do so, would still find himself unable to deviate by so much as a hair’s breadth from righteousness, can the desired reforms be regarded as fully established.”
“Furthermore, any agency whatever, though it be the instrument of mankind’s greatest good, is capable of misuse. Its proper use or abuse depends on the varying degrees of enlightenment, capacity, faith, honesty, devotion and high-mindedness of the leaders of public opinion”.

(Abdu’l-Baha, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 15)


“The sovereigns of the world,” writes ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in elaboration of this theme, “must conclude a binding treaty, and establish a covenant, the provisions of which shall be sound, inviolable and definite. They must proclaim it to all the world, and obtain for it the sanction of all the human race… All the forces of humanity must be mobilized to insure the stability and permanence of this Most Great Covenant… The fundamental principle underlying this solemn Pact should be so fixed that if any government later violate any one of its provisions, all the governments on earth should arise to reduce it to utter submission, nay the human race as a whole should resolve, with every power at its disposal, to destroy that government.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u'llah, p. 192)


Since Bernd Debusmann is this inaccurate on firearms issues, I have to wonder about the accuracy of his other editorials. It’s apparent that he did not research this article and may have relied on “data” from organizations with their own agenda. Poor reporting, by any definition, but apparently acceptable for editorial comment. My faith in Reuters as a conveyor of news, truth, or any of the other noble virues has dropped considerably. Blaming Mexico’s problems on US gun laws is like blaming New York’s weather on Pennsylvania. I can only assume that Debusmann was seriously hoodwinked by some of his gun information sources – to advance their own agenda.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

As a law abiding legal gun owner I applaude and very much agree with the pro 2nd ammendment responses. Come on do you really think law abiding US citizens are buying guns for drug cartel bad guys then smuggling them across the border??
Stop the drugs and the cartels will dissolve along with the killing and abuse. Mexico should stop pointing fingers and beef up their border searches with good, honest border police if there is such a thing.
Without the 2nd ammendment the United States would be just a hollow shell of a country with a lot of scared sheep (read people).

Posted by Guy | Report as abusive

The pro gun argument by Dave532 is weak. The assumption that the way to protect yourself from “gun-toting criminals” is to carry guns yourself is absurd. I believe the chances of lowering the amount of gun deaths by introducing MORE guns into the equation doesn’t make any sense at all.

Your neighborhood cop is trained (or should be) in firearm use. He is also trained into how to assess a situation and make the decision WHEN to pull out the firearm. Your neighborhood cop has also got a big target painted on him since he has been granted the authority to enforce the law.

I would venture a guess that most gun owners have less than adequate training or experience with a gun to warrant using one. I would also think that a person like yourself doesn’t have any other plan of protection other than “I’ve got a bigger gun than yours”. While that plan works there are other preventative measures that can be taken looooong before the criminal ends up in front of you with a gun.

Posted by Soelas | Report as abusive

Gun control critics, do you really believe Washington DC & Chicago can be taken seriously as examples of ineffective gun control given their proximity to uncontrolled jurisdictions and their exposure to uncontrolled populations?
How do you reconcile this position when considering the significantly lower homicide rates of Australia, Britain & Canada for example (and there are many others), as compared with those of the US?

I just don’t see how intelligent gun control doesn’t benefit everyone – definitely including gun fans. With intelligent gun control:
* People who don’t want guns don’t buy them.
* Criminals find it much harder to procure them.
* Perfectly normal law abiding citizens who have guns as a hobby can go to the local shooting range & shoot their own gun.
* Guns become just another hobby & its hobbyists no longer need to defend their hobby from those who don’t share it.
* Unstable 16 year olds have no option to plot & commit mass murder.
* The out of control meth addict tries to rob the local convenience store with a far less lethal weapon.
* The US constitution’s 2nd amendment stays in tact.
Add to all of that fewer dead people & how do good people lose out whether they are pro gun control or not?

Believe it or not, I like guns well more than most people, but I wouldn’t give up the gun control in my country for anything unless it saved more lives.

Posted by Mark from Australia | Report as abusive

The Bush Administration has a direct responsibility for this situation. The business interests who funneled million of dollars to G W Bush and his team want to break the already low wages of the USA low and middle class by allowing millions of illegals to cross the border into the USA. How did they do this–by virtually leaving the border totally open and unenforced by the border patrols or by erecting a protective barrier. All along the border from Texas to California, local governments are forced to now deal with this influx of non-educated and impoverished people from Mexico and South America. One could easily reason that the bravado that Bush has exuded since 9/11 that he is fighting terrorism in Iraq is a pile of crap. Terrorists can easily come into the USA hundreds of ways all along the 2000 mile Mexican border.
We now are reaping the another of the Bush ugly history–thousands of Mexicans are fighting what amounts to a civil war just a few mile from us here in El Paso. Over 3,000 police in Juarez have been killed in the last 12 months.
Don’t get too complacent however. I think this bloody drug war will come right on over the border in the next 5 years and we will all be caught in it. Gangs already have staked out turf in all our major cities. Gun battles, kidnapping, murder, police corruption are coming to a neighborhood near you as this spreads. Thank God only 2 more months of GW Bush’s failure. However, we will all be victims of his neglect and greed for years to come.

Posted by Barry Rand | Report as abusive

This all a hoax! They cannot have those guns in Mexico –it is illegal, it is against the law, so the guns cannot be there.

I will maybe buy into gun control when I do not see criminals with illegal guns. Control them first!

Posted by Rod | Report as abusive

I live three miles from the Mexican Border. The ONLY people
getting SHOT UP are the cartel members shooting at each
other. Once in a great great while another person or baby
gets hit by a stray bullet but they are few and far in

In Mexico they have NO SECOND AMENDMENT so the ONLY ONES
that possess firearms arms are the BAD GUYS and the
CARTEL MEMBERS. I say we equip every citizen in Mexico
with a firearm and ammunition and let them solve their
own problems.

Posted by Lee Robinson | Report as abusive

Guns to Mexico ! ! ! WHY NOT ! !


We Americans are once again being bad-mouthed for
supplying guns to Mexico ..

I propose that we stop selling guns to Mexico when THEY
stop selling Marijuana, Cocaine, Meth-amphetamines, and
God knows what else illegally to the USA. FYI about 80%
of the Cocaine used in the USA is either manufactured
in or transported through Mexico. Stop them at the border fence like Ramos and Campean tried to and the Street
Gangs like MS-13 and the Latin Kings …

Don’t blame the gun but blame the Gang members and
the Drug Dealers who use them ( Dah ??)..

OH and Reuters. Stop publishing the “propaganda” like
the article blaming the US for violence in Mexico.
Remove the guns and they will still kill the other
Cartel members with knives,stick and stones, or
machete’s or anything they can get their hands on.
This is irresponsible journalism at its best.

signed ; Long time TV Engineer

Posted by Lee Robinson | Report as abusive

Not all of these weapons could come from the US.
The drug cartels are not buying the automatic weapons at gun shows in the US. Civilian AK-47s and AR15s are not fully automatic. Fully automatic weapons are illegal for most people to purchase and possess. 5.7×28 The “cop-killer” gun is only armor piercing with the military grade ammunition which is not sold to civilians in the US. The cold war CZ52 pistol, made in 1952, can pierce armor with commonly available ammo. Many common hunting rifle cartridges are capable of defeating armor with cheap ammo.
I would not be surprised if many of the arms come from the Mexican army. The cartels have enough cash to corrupt all but the most honest of men.

Posted by Kansas City | Report as abusive

Here in vancouver canada we have strict gun control but it has not slowed the open drug war. When the police make a seizure there are weapons from around the world this is a port city. With the olympics in 10 months i hope the drug guys are sports fans and take a break. The point is criminals have easy access even with our strict gun laws.

Posted by steve | Report as abusive

As always people miss the problem and solution. Regulation increases crime; look what happened when we had prohibition. Legalize the stuff; save all the money on the war on drugs and use it for the a campaign about the responsible use of recreational drugs. Tax the things like tobacco and you will eliminate the Cartels and solve the budgit deficit.


No wonder there is a shortage of grenades and full auto weapons at the gun shows. The Mexican mafia is buying them all up. Whoops, these were outlawed already in 1934 here in the U.S. I think murder is against the law also.

Maybe if they made drugs illegal people would stop using them?


#1 You can’t just buy guns on the internet. If you are a gun dealer and have an FFL 001 license you can. If you are a licensed collector of curios and relics, an FFL 003, you can buy certain firearms from other licensed dealers. In either case, you have been checked out by the ATF and your local police have been advised and given the chance for input.
#2 The only gun sales at gun shows that are done without background checks are those between private individuals. Any dealer will still have to do the check. Many shows forbid private sales.
# I suspect that most of the trade in guns is through the Mexican gangs that have been allowed to flourish in the US. Mexico is a third world cancer that is metastasizing into the US. Build the fence and arm the people.

Posted by Ed | Report as abusive

The author fails to point out nearly every major poll taken over the past 30 months identifies the fact the overwhelming majority of Americans want the Mexican border “secured.” There are outstanding examples of security improvement walls provide; Israel and Sadr City. The crimes of suicide attacks, crimes against persons and auto theft declined dramatically in Israel, even though the world screamed obsenities at Israel for its construction The building of the wall around Sadr City confined the criminals to the area, giving our troops command and control with the added benefit the citizens of Sadr City got tired of the militants heavy handed ways and have begun to cooperate with U.S. forces for their eradication.
Why don’t our citizens deserve this same consideration? Yes, I understand the “scope” of the project; current employment conditions provide an adequate work force to carry it out. I also understand the gravity of the confiscation of property issue in emminent domain and sympathize with those citizens cast into that environment. However, the fact is our border towns are war zones, our border hospitals are turning into triage centers for Mexican drug cartel warfare and the violence is spilling into them with subsequent assasination attempts. One need look no further than Juarez and El Paso to corroborate this evidence.

Posted by Rick Dendorfer | Report as abusive

Guns, Guns, Guns:
Why do US citizens want guns? To protect themselves from guns.
Do you get it??? What the???

See if you took the Guns away eventually you all wouldn’t be so scared of each other. It seems to me that most Americans live in ‘fear’.
You fear ‘God’, ‘Guns’, ‘Gangs’, ‘each other’, & ‘yourselves’. No wonder every man & his dog has anxiety and a therapist. Those therapists must be raking it in. If I was a therapist I’d be pro-guns.

Posted by brad | Report as abusive

The point that makes gun control (and I mean registration) so unpopular with me is this: I have firsthand experience with that from Germany:

Once such a measure is established it is irresistible for politicians to squeeze the blood out of gun owners with the never tiring argument to increase the safety for the population.

Gun control has a couple of components, some of the are acceptable, others not:

1.) Gunowner be a good, reliable citizen (acceptable)

2.) Proven handling skills (not too hard to acquire, acceptable)

3.) Legal knowledge about legal self defense, penalties for mischievous or illegal use, gun storage and such (acceptable)

4.) Gun storage in a secure locker (generally acceptable, but risk is that the legal requirements are defined too high; not everybody will have the opportunity to have 600 lb safe at home; with storage requirements come legal responsibilities; if a gun is stolen, the good citizen may face a downgrade to be an unreliable citizen, barred from owning guns)

5.) Requirement to acquire or own guns, citizen got to beg for permission or prove a requirement as a licensed hunter, shooter or collector (This is the stickiest one, because there is a politician between you and your gun ownership; you have in effect a politician or administrator meddling with your private life and imposing further contraints on you as far as licensing is concerned; absolute nuisance = unacceptable )

6.) Next stop, once the populuation is been suckered into believing that gun registration is a good thing, gun confiscation; very easy because the administration knows what everybody has; possible unwarranted home searches (= unacceptable; only alternative: don’t tell anybody and put your guns and ammo away until you really need them; better being illegal on that point than dead)

Posted by wolfgang | Report as abusive

Mexico being disarmed, no 2nd amendment, innocents unable defend themselves, corrupt government, no border security from the US, corrupt police forces, on and on. There wouldn’t be drug cartels in Mexico if we American didn’t use drugs. Mexico would still be the corrupt hole it has always been regardless of our addiction to drugs. The Mexican citizen has always been at the mercy of the cartels, police, and federals. We need our 2nd amendment to defend ourselves from our corrupt government. Britain and Australia have been disarmed, crime is rampant, and the everyday citizen cannot defend themselves. All governments seek to eventually disarm their citizens. citizens. If it happens here, get used to living in fear.

Posted by Gary | Report as abusive

The United States has had the ability to get the guns off the streets for a long time. I did not say – get the guns out of your homes. Take a majority of the drug offenders out of jails and prisons and replace them with criminal element of this society that insists upon transporting weapons on our streets for the purpose killing people and/or commiting crimes. I did not say transporting firearms for hunting in designated seasons or going to or from shooting ranges. The present approach to firearms in this country is absolutely insane and totally uncontained. US citizens would still be allowed to bear firearms in their homes for protection and hunting without compromising the original Constitutionality of bearing arms. Containment on our streets of guns for commiting crimes would stem the flow of arms to our neighbors also.

Posted by Mike C | Report as abusive

Like it or not, Legal gun ownership is protected by the Constitution; however, guns are not the root of the problem, drugs are. These Mexican cartels only exist to the fill the vacuum left by American drug prohibition. They supply the drugs that Americans continue to buy (regardless of legality), just as the mob supplied alcohol during prohibition. Administration after administration, from Nixon to G. W. Bush, has failed to end drug trafficking because of the simple forces of supply and demand. Guns are merely an ancillary problem – tools of the violent drug cartels that exist because of America’s absurd attitude towards drugs. If the Mexican and American governments were truly concerned with the safety of the border, they would consider ending the war on drugs, not further restricting the rights of their respective citizens.

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive

Mexico has its own plethora of problems. one quick way to solve the drug cartel problem is to simply leagalize and regulate drugs in the US.

A legal, free market on drugs is the only way to regulate and tax the industry. Afterall, prohibition didn’t work and only created criminals like Al Capone. There is no difference between the bootleggers of prohibition and the mexican cartels. Leagilizing the drug industry in the US takes away any power of the cartels in mexico.

The second thing Mexico needs to do is what alot of others have been saying: Promote gun ownership for every citizen. Criminals fear nothing more than armed potential victims. Criminals always manage to get guns, while good citizens are the only ones who obey the and remain defenseless.

Until these things happen, the violence across the boder will only escalate even more.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

I agree with Aaron. America has a great talent for turning everything into a business – and the war on drugs is a good example, along with its cousin, Incarceration. Lax gun laws? Good for business. Loose borders? Good, too — only positively so. — AsiaScoop


Now see what alot of the supporters or “gun control” dont realize is the simple fact that the criminals will ALWAYS have guns. If we let the governement take the guns away from the legal citizens like me and millions of others how will we protect ourselves when the REAL criminal decides he wants to break in my house and rape my wife or daughter? That is the way it is and has always been. This is america if you prohibit something be it alcholo or drugs or guns people are still going to have them. The difference is it will be the criminals who have them and nobody else. That my friend is a world I personally dont want any part of.

Posted by ryanimler | Report as abusive

Criminals, by definition, do not obey gun laws. So it’s the law-abiding citizen that is handcuffed by restrictive gun laws. “lax American gun laws” are to blame for the drug cartel blood-bath? Please, Bernd, at least do your research- thanks to the NRA, the NICS is in place to minimize the chance of an unqualified person buying a firearm. And, sorry, but a pistol (even the FN 5-7) does not have a 300 meter reach — Geez, do your homework! The VPC is a hard-left, anti-personal self-defense organization and their statistics should be considered suspicious.

Enhance border security? With a vigorous force and on both sides! But some would criticize that as being zenophobic and nationalistic – so we can’t use common sense clues to deter, hold, arrest, prosecute and jail those who would perpetrate cross-border crimes. Quit blaming the USA for the ills of other countries! Sloppy journalism, sir.

Posted by DocForesight | Report as abusive

American guns in Mexico? I am so happy to hear we are actually manufacturing something for export that someone is buying.

Posted by Brenda Spencer | Report as abusive

You are definitely right. It is time Mexico starts watching its border once and for all. I mean, how hard would it be to send 10,000 soldiers to check almost every car that goes into Mexico. Guns will have a harder time to get across the border, they will not stop flowing, but such searches could deter people from even trying, rising the prices putting drug lords nearly out of business. Anything, I think will help, but then again, how many more victims are needed before the Mexican government starts doing something, 5000, 10,000, 20,0000? Who knows. One can only wait and see, I just hope the Mexican government doesn’t throw the towel. Thanks for your report and Happy Holidays.


Posted by Jose Rincon | Report as abusive

“Poor Mexico–so far from God and so close to the United States”.

(“!Pobre Mexico–tan lejos de Dios, y tan cercita a Los Estados Unidos!”).

Truer words were never spoken.


It is senseless to blame inanimate objects for the actions of people. The Drug Cartels have guns because they have the money to buy guns. They have very good guns because they have a lot of money. War cannot be waged without financing. The US cannot wage war in Afghanistan or Iraq without financing and these drug Cartels cannot wage war without it either. Take away the Money and you take away their ability to wage war. The only way you can take their money away is to legalize the Marijuana and Cocaine industries in the US. The current US government and some State governments do not want this to happen. Until this attitude changes it is a waste of time taking about how these very wealthy Cartels get their weapons for if it is not from the US it will be from somewhere else and the war will wage on.

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

mexico isn’t the only place in the caribbean where americans are selling guns:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7684 983.stm

Posted by jamaican watcher | Report as abusive

How about if we just legalize drugs? Imagine if the narcotraficantes and the Taliban had to hold bake sales to stay in business.

Posted by Juan SF | Report as abusive

One wonders what Mexico would be like if they enforced their Northern border the way they enforce their Southern border. With a fully equipped army on the border would the drug cartels be interested in any weapon American? What would be the cost then? With an ever increasing flow of illegal immigration out of Mexico’s northern border it would seem that the government of Mexico gives not even one small twiddle for the rights and protection of its own people. Why then, should Americans abridge their own right to protection? It makes no sense to me.

Posted by Thomas Nickelsen | Report as abusive

Good column! I worked as a Border Patrol Agent on the Mexican/US border from 1985 to 1999 and was stationed in Laredo, TX, truly still a part of the old west and an environment completely unique, even along the weird culture known as the southern border.

It’s lawless in attitude and culture. There are fewer social norms that would link that area to the USA there than almost anywhere I have ever been.

I was very glad to finally get away when I transferred to the Northern Border and many of us would refer to a transfer out of Laredo, TX as “Moving back to the USA”. I retired this year after 23 years of service and was damn glad to do so as that job has gone completely in the toilet during my time in service.

The nation of Mexico is, in my opinion as well as many people I worked with and observers along “the line”, as complete disaster of a nation and as far as the technical terms for a “Failed State”, it may or may not be, but it is a wreck.

I’ve seen a lot of sad things when I was there, crazy things and heard stories to make one just stare in amazement.

I ran across your column here online while looking at some other stories, but will bookmark it so I can find your writing again. Thanks for a good clear insight.

I’m also willing to bet that the drug wars there will do nothing but get worse over the next couple years too. The culture of government workers, top to bottom on Mexico, as well as many parts of the USA near the border is completely and totally corrupt and unfixable, again in my opinion.

If you go there, be careful and watch your back!

Posted by Carl Pietrantonio | Report as abusive

I have lots of friends in the business and professional community of Monterey, Nuevo Leon, which is the third largest city in Mexico and located 150 miles south of the Texas border. About ten years ago we all came to the realisation that the border region of Northern Mexico and the Southwestern US, specifically Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas and Chihuahua was gradually returning to the status of a semi-autonomous and largely ungovernable region that it was for most of the 19th and into the early 20th century.The exchange of contraband for cash across an artificial and porous border, paramilitary warfare between federal police/rurales/armed forces and violently rebelious communities, great disparities of wealth between urban and rural Mexico and a less than cooperative relationship between Washington and Mexico City have been features of this region for almost 200 years. Automatic weapons, cell phones, automobiles and electronic funds transfer have simply accelerated the pace of rebellion but have not fundimentally changed its nature.
The salient difference between then and now is a pervasive electronic media that regularly brings this tradition of regional lawlessness into middle class American and Mexican living rooms. Hence the recent expressions of public dismay and consequent demands that something must be done.
However, bringing law and order to the border lands requires the kind of fundimental policy changes that will antagonise powerful interest groups in both countries. To cite but one example, Mr. Debusmann dwelled at length on the almost unhindered flow of American made firearms into Mexico. What is the likelihood of restrictions on the possession and private sale of firearms in the US surviving the de facto legislative veto of the NRA, domestic arms manufacturers and the outdoor sports lobby? What is the likelihood of a poorly trained, underpaid and throughly intimidated Mexican Army effectively interdicting American weapons at their border?

Both governments lack both the resolve and domestic political muscle to bring even a modicum of order to the border lands now or in the future. If you find the reality of low intensity warfare in southern Texas and northern Mexico disturbing get used to it. It will be with us for a long, long time.

Michael McCullough         


Gee, these guys weren’t riddled with automatic gun fire. I guess we need to start controlling the machetes that we sell also. If this keeps up we may find oursleves down to baseball bats and butter knives.

Soldiers decapitated in new round of Mexico drug war
Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:39am EST
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican police on Sunday found nine decapitated bodies and the army identified eight soldiers who had died fighting powerful drug gangs and whose murders were seen as a brazen challenge to the government.

The bodies showed signs of torture. They were left on the side of a highway about an hour north of the tourist resort of Acapulco in the southern state of Guerrero, state police said.

Their heads were stuffed in a plastic bag and left outside a shopping center.

Mexico’s President Feline Calderon has deployed tens of thousands of troops and police since 2006 to take on drug cartels. The defense ministry vowed not to back down despite its latest losses.

“They are trying to scare the military. Regardless, the ministry promises to continue fighting,” it said in a statement.

The ministry released the names of eight decapitated soldiers but said one of them was recovered on December 9.

Drug killings throughout Mexico have more than doubled to over 5,300 this year, scaring off investment and tourists. The United States has sent hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to help its southern neighbor fight the cartels.

The Mexican army has made some prominent captures, but the cartels seem able to quickly replace their losses. Meanwhile, a growing number of police have been gruesomely murdered.

A note left with the severed heads warned of more decapitations, the state police said.

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

We need to make automatic weapons like AK 47′s etc ILLEGAL. I am sick to death of the control the NRA and gun manufacturers have over guns which basically their only purpose is to kill other human beings. We are we going to grow up and decide we don’t need these things to be sold….period… and this country would be a better place without them.

Posted by jackson | Report as abusive

To Jackson,
I understand your concern with the availability of some guns. That said, automatic weapons, such as the AK-47 and the like, are already illegal to buy and sale without some kind of special permit, which is difficult to obtain. What these goons are using are “semi-automatic” weapons which are not illegal and use a similar operating mechanism as semi-automatic shotguns, hunting rifles and handgunds.


While many of the commenters have tied themselves into knots about perceived threats to their Second Amendment rights, Michael McCullough hit the nail on the head:

“Both governments lack both the resolve and domestic political muscle to bring even a modicum of order to the border lands now or in the future. If you find the reality of low intensity warfare in southern Texas and northern Mexico disturbing get used to it. It will be with us for a long, long time.”

Exactly. As to the debate over fully vs semi-automatic AK-47s, most of those harping on the point know that converting semi to full is not rocket science. There are pretty precise step-by-step instructions on the Internet.

Posted by Bruce | Report as abusive

Criminals, by definition, do not obey gun laws.
So it’s the law-abiding citizen that is handcuffed by restrictive gun laws.
“LAX American gun laws ? ” are to blame for the drug cartel blood-bath?
PLEASE !, Bernd, at least do your research- thanks to the NRA, the NICS is in place to minimize the chance of an unqualified person buying a firearm.
And, sorry, but a pistol (even the FN 5-7) does not have a 300 meter reach — Geez, do your homework!
I live just a few miles from the Mexican border on the Texas side.And i can tell you for a fact the so-called law enforcement on the Mexico side is almost nonexistent.
In fact,,some have said they have observed Mexican military or police type personal and vehicles assisting some of these people,(drug runners) moving drugs across the borders.

Posted by W. Griffin | Report as abusive

Bernd, if the Mexicans can’t enforce their own laws is that OUR problem? The drug cartels have and will use anything they can touch to kill innocents. Knives, dogs, cars, lead pipe, even rocks. You infer they kill because of our “lax” gun laws. A simplistic and foolish inference. Actually we have some very restrictive laws. And yes the instant check is a good thing, not a bad thing. Ask a woman whose boyfriend has beat her to a pulp to wait a week or some indeterminant time before she is able to arm yourself. And please don’t say “The cops will protect us”. Can you say Katrina? Look up Kitty Genovese and read her sad story. Arm yourself and protect yourself – you can NOT depend on the government.

Posted by Lee | Report as abusive

Perhaps if Mexico would help control the entry of their citizens into our country it would be easier for us to control the flow of guns into their country.
To me the two work together. When it is easy for folks to come across our border without papers, it makes it easy for them to return to mexico with weapons.
By controlling the flow of people we can control the flow the guns.

Posted by Craig Coal | Report as abusive

Fighting the drug cartels requires strong leadership – in the government, in the judiciary, in the police, in the media, in society in general. Draconian laws need to be passed to deter anyone from assisting those who traffic drugs or guns in the slightest way. Laws to confiscate property and wealth from anyone who has profited from persons illegally involved are also needed.

The brave souls to fight these crimes are plentiful in Mexico and in the USA. What is sadly lacking at the present time is the political will to do all that is necessary to initiate the required policies.

Posted by Norm | Report as abusive

Legalize some drugs (like marijuana) and ban assault weapons. The cartels would evaporate. You would take away their power, resources and the multi-billion dollar black market funding the failed war on drugs is promoting.


A few years back, Mexico had the awesome idea that it would legalize personal quantities of drugs. Of all kinds, everything. The Bush administration was up in arms about that, and via pressure caused the idea to be dropped.

Casual observation shows that illegality breeds illicit trade. Nothing appears to have been learned on this side of the border, at least not until recently, of what the results are of a “Prohibition” on something people want.

This is not about technological firepower. Back in the day, gangsters in the US had top of the line automatic weapons such as the Thompson sub-machine gun. The federal government eventually overcame via a determined application of force and resources. The nation-state of Mexico doesn’t appear to have made that application yet, 45,000 soldiers to the contrary.

Maybe the recent decapitation of Mexican soldiers will change that. Who else in the world commits that kind of atrocity? That it has happened indicates the level of commitment and force that needs to be applied by the state of Mexico to the problem, IMHO.


That’s right. It’s America’s fault. Whatever the world’s problems are, it’s America’s fault.
The problem is corruption in the human heart.


Mexico has some the the strictest gun laws out there. I think every weapon you mention is illegal in Mexico. You go to jail in Mexico for possession of a single 9mm round.
I’m not sure what liberals find so difficult to understand about the fact that CRIMINALS DO NOT OBEY LAWS. No matter how many times you say “pretty please with sugar on top”.

Posted by insurgent | Report as abusive

1. I agree that legalizing or at least decriminalizing most drugs would take away the money and violence associated with their smuggling into the US, but answer me this: just which political party is going to be the first in the US to advocate legalizing cocaine? To me this sounds like another “third rail” of politics, regardless of how much economic and legal sense it makes. It will always be an issue demagogued by the opposite side, especially if the ones proposing it are the Democrats since the GOP will just pull another version of their “Southern strategy” by yelling about “law and order”.
2. Regardless of the illegality of fully-auto firearms in the US (and actually they are legal, it’s just difficult to get a license to own them), the narcos only need to get their hands on semiauto versions of AK-47s and AR-15s since it is ridiculously easy to convert them into their fully auto versions; all it takes is a decent machine shop and often not even that. So the argument that fully auto firearms already are illegal is a red herring.
3. As to who is breaking the law here, there are plenty of otherwise law-abiding gun shops and licensed gun dealers here in the US who look the other way on straw purchases or multiple purchases by one person at one time. Shouldn’t that set off some alarm bells in a law-abiding gun dealer? And when someone tries to come down on them, e.g. NYC on the NC, VA, SC, and GA gun dealers who sell the bulk of guns used in NYC crimes, there’s the NRA defending the “rights” of these dealers and buyers to engage in everything up until the time the guns are used in the crimes, even though anyone with sense would recognize the purpose of straw and multiple purchases. So don’t tell me the NRA is only for legal gun ownership; it just doesn’t wash.
4. And don’t tell me that if narcos don’t have guns they’ll just use something else to kill with. You can’t outrun a bullet the way you can a knife or club.
5. If you’re for fully enforcing the existing gun laws of the US, then you must therefore be for funding the law enforcement agencies, e.g. ATFE, FBI, local police, which requires you to be for increasing government income, i.e. taxes. You must also therefore be for fully enforcing the bans on private sales at gun shows, unless of course these laws on the books are only for show and not for actual enforcment. It’s more difficult to transfer ownership of a car than a gun in the US.
6. Individuals within Mexico’s government are corrupt, not the entire government, and they are because they can be corrupted combined with the vast amount of money the narcos have compared with the government. Yet another argument for either higher taxes in Mexico or decriminalization in the US which raises again the two things people like less, taxes and looking soft on drug addicts.
7. While we’re on the subject of supply and demand, why is it the GOP is always big on the supply side of economic issues but never takes limiting the demand side, whether it be for drugs or oil or anything else for that matter? Within the US the only things we truly can control are what happens within our borders, in this case the demand for drugs; saying other countries should limit their supplies is unrealistic, patronizing and chauvinistic as well.
8. Given the hundreds of thousands of crossings of the US-Mexico border each day, just how would you go about inspecting each and every vehicle for weapons smuggling (I mean without breaking the US treasury)? Now’s the time for some actual clever thinking instead of mere knee-jerk Rushian bloviating. Come on, speak up.
9. Every armed US citizen is a law-abiding citizen up until that moment he (and it’s almost always a he) finally snaps and pulls his handy piece and begins shooting up a freeway in Dallas (as was done today by an otherwise law-abiding citizen). Again, they’d be a lot less lethal without a gun, and there’s very little that separates them from any other gun owner.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

Frankly, I am tired of Mexico being our neighbor. They are doing all they can to undermine our country. I have no sympathy at all for the country. They have a lousy , corrupt government that keeps their people in poverty. If I had my way there would be a 50 foot high impenetrable fence keeping anyone from crossing either direction. The illegal aliens here would be deported and the people helping them stay in the US by giving them jobs would also be deported. It is time for america to take care of americans and let Mexico do the same

Posted by P R | Report as abusive

A good number of arguments over gun laws simply ignore facts. Some of them are summarized in today’s New York Times: “For years, the gun lobby has defeated new control laws partly by arguing that stronger laws do not deter crime. A study prepared by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan group headed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York and Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston should finally put that myth to rest. The study analyzed trace data for guns used in connection with crimes during 2007. The data reveal a strong correlation between weak state gun laws and higher rates of in-state murders, police slayings and sales of guns used in crimes in other states.

See rest at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/23/opinio n/23tue2.html

Posted by Peter F | Report as abusive

“7. While we’re on the subject of supply and demand, why is it the GOP is always big on the supply side of economic issues but never takes limiting the demand side, whether it be for drugs or oil or anything else for that matter? Within the US the only things we truly can control are what happens within our borders, in this case the demand for drugs; saying other countries should limit their supplies is unrealistic, patronizing and chauvinistic as well.”

I would say that the GOP is doing a very good job of “trying” to curb demand. The US has the largest Prison population per capita is the world and growing. It is creating the largest sub culture this country has ever witnessed by releasing over a million well indoctrinated and disenfranchised ex-cons each year. Sorry but, this argument is false. We need to Not dismiss the fact that legalization of Marijuana and Cocaine will deprive these cartels of their financing and shut them down. As long as the US maintains these black markets Mexico and many, many other countries south of the boarder will suffer this fate and we will suffer as law enforcement destroys lives and families and a gang culture proliferates our society.

As for the Gun arguments…I believe that a Free society has inherent risks. As those risks diminish so does individual freedom. In our society the police cannot protect the citizenry nor is it their responsibility. This has been established by the courts in various decisions. It is up to the individual to protect themselves. Given this, I want the best protection I can afford. I carry a Safari Arms Enforcer in .45 ACP. I would feel safer if more people did the same. It’s called Backup. I hope I never have a need for it. However, I would feel worse if the need arose and I didn’t have it. You too can live in a free society. You just have to understand a free society is not utopia.

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

As for P R’s statment: The illegal aliens here would be deported and the people helping them stay in the US by giving them jobs would also be deported. It is time for america to take care of americans and let Mexico do the same.

Ok, let’s do this:
Anyone whose ancestor snuck into the USA within the last 150 years, illegally, heads back to Europe, Asia etc.

Pack you bags!


To B. Free: You are right on the money. Years ago at 2:00 AM our house alarm sounded. I grabbed a pistol that I had in a closet, while my wife phoned police. As I descended our stairs, pistol at ready, I felt that at least I had a chance of saving our lives if an intruder attacked us. It turned out that one of the sensors fell from a door, tripping the alarm. But from that point on, I have had a pistol by our bed. If it’s my or my wife’s lives at risk, vs. a person who entered our house- it’s HIS life that goes.

Posted by Ron Geraci | Report as abusive

Out of the 2500 who died, how many were involved in the drug trade? Im not feeling to sympathetic towards the criminal element, If they want to kill each other off who am I to care or try to prevent it?

The Mexican government is crying foul because of the weapons being brought over from the US?.. this coming from a government who openly supports the invasion of the continued illegal migration north by it’s citizens, undermining our laws and our sovereignty? I’m not feeling all warm and fuzzy, nor am I going to support stricter gun laws for US citizens, Because mexico is unwilling or unable to curb their corrupt police force.

And Jimbo you are an idiot, cars are more lethal then guns, should we take your license to drive away because you might snap and go on a road rage spree? you would be much less lethal without a driver license wouldn’t you?

Posted by larry osborne | Report as abusive

So…. outlaw guns and they will use Molotov cocktails instead. And you solved what problem again?

Violence, gang warfare, all that jazz – was around long before the advent of the gun and will continue on; guns or no guns.

Sometimes, it can be even more dangerous if you force them to innovate.

Posted by Overcast | Report as abusive

“Poor Mexico–so far from God and so close to the United States”.

(”!Pobre Mexico–tan lejos de Dios, y tan cercita a Los Estados Unidos!”).

Truer words were never spoken.

Yep g Anton, that’s why poor Mexicanos are risking life and limb to come to the evil US- brilliant analogy!

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

The Europeans you allude to immigrated legally. Nice try though.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

what does our gun rights have to do with criminal actions in mexico?


The logical solution to this would be to take away the source of the money that buys the guns, in this case it is the very same thing that they are used for.

oh wait, drug law and logic, sorry got crazy for a second.

our drug policy, which we insist on imposing on the world, has caused an epidemic of crime that has lasted decades, just like prohibition and gangland, but on a global scale. millions have died for our pseudo-morality.
nothing new under the sun i suppose.

Posted by jeremy | Report as abusive

“Frankly, I am tired of Mexico being our neighbor. They are doing all they can to undermine our country. I have no sympathy at all for the country. They have a lousy , corrupt government that keeps their people in poverty.”

thats us, and we do it to ourselves too.

Posted by jeremy | Report as abusive

Are you serious ?

American guns are not the issue here. Lack of non-corrupt authority
within Mexico is probably a better culprit. Start looking at the folks
wielding those weapons and you’ll have a better understanding of the

As an example, I personally own a pair of AR-15′s AND a .50 caliber
rifle. None of them have ever killed anything other than the ten ring
of a paper target. . . .

Gun control activists crack me up. They think that simply banning the
firearm will simply make the problem go away. Mexico already HAS firearm
bans in place. Sure solved their gun problem didn’t it ?

Expecting the US to implement stricter laws because Mexico can’t
enforce the ones they have is laughable.

While Mr. Mora might think it absurd that Americans can purchase
a wide range of firearms, I regard his line of thought to be equally
flawed as any who blame guns, instead of people, for their problems.

Perhaps if Mexico put more effort into border control instead of
expecting the rest of the world to cater to them they would
actually see some results. . . .

Just a thought.

Posted by Nehumanuscrede | Report as abusive

Wow. Stupidity abounds from clueless people who think they could run the world better than everyone else.
“Gun control” is favored by people who won’t take responsibility for their actions and need somewhere to place blame.
Fact of the matter is this: outlaw guns and criminal will use…GUNS! They don’t obey laws…look how well outlawing drugs is stopping them from being used! And if you destroy all the guns? The criminals will turn to…GUNS! They are a thousand-year-old low tech machine that anyone can make.
And thank God criminals have guns, because the easier and more efficient choice over a gun would be a bomb, and I doubt the drug dealers care about collateral damage.

Posted by Noone | Report as abusive

What a problem. Maybe its time we buy Mexico, you know as a bailout. That way our drugs won’t have to go through a middle man on the way up from central america.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

Yet another left win, bed wetting liberal. Guns and gund….and poor mexicans….oh, my heart is bleeding. Those guns are going off on their own ! what a moron…and by the way, if they are using weapons they might as well be ours.

Posted by Canr Alonk | Report as abusive

This would be an intriguing article if its point were to hold the USA responsible for contributing to the deaths and maimings of individuals and families on both sides of the border by its multi-billion dollar illict investments in addictive drugs. Instead, we have a pseudo-factoid article slamming guns instead of criminals.

Guns don’t shoot themselves. Global oligarchs find a myriad of ways to bump people off that get in their way. The Russians seem to prefer poison. WE need to cease enculturating and enabling the black market crime culture.

Sadly, the worse the mainstream economy gets, the more our addictive and exploitive drugs profiteering, human sex trade, and gambling and cyber crime will pick up the desperate people seeking to survive.

As that occurs the criminal culture will expand. I am a single 56 year old female human service professional who was mugged in my former New York City apartment , stabbed in the neck by a 6 ft 2 teenager high on crack and then when i wrestled the knife from him (with the help of my guardian angels) choked until i passed out. I cheerfully pack a pistol and ride out in the woods on my horse with a rifle and next year i’ll have shotgun. I live in a rural area where the sheriff is an hour or more away, and where there is a huge number of disenfranchised people lving on illicit sales of highly adictive prescription drugs like Oxycontin and methamphetamines.

Please stop your gated community out of touch ivory tower rants about our rights to self protection, because the problem is not the gun, but our violence drenched media , families and social culture.

I will help anyone i can to kick drugs and have a decent life. But their rights to harm me or my critters stop at my property line.

Posted by Aminah Carroll | Report as abusive

I have read more responses and wish to write agin. SOme of the reasoning that i see here is dubious.
Being a police officer (Armed) or City social worker (unarmed) are similarly stressful jobs. Child protective workers often arrive at practically the same time as officers to crime scenes and have to cope with the same upset people during dangerous domestic disturbances.
Yet the social workers are far more at risk BECAUSE they are unarmed and vulnerable.
ANd, despite the notion that anyone carrying a gun is likely to go postal and start shootinfg someone up, cops are a great barometer for that and they have a lower not a higher risk than unarmed people for committing gun crimes.

Violence is endemic to our csociety becasue we saturate our nation in it from daewn t dusk on tv news, crime shows, music boxes, and vile video games that desensitize people and dissacociate them from empathy/. Violence is ubuquitous because we have an epidemic of family violence in our midst both spousal and child assault.

Violence is epidemic in Mexico because we have enabled cultures there that spawn a feeding frenzy for desperate poor to escape their poverty by becoming oligarchs through sales of drugs.

What is remarkable, is that after our nation exported exploitive sex, addictive drugs, and other hedoistic habits to Mexico, that so many decent people maintain better standards than many in our country.
I remember CANCUN when Americans introduced cocaine and acting out sexual behaviors that victimized the young, and destroyed the virginal culture; we brought ion rampant decadence along with the hotels and then blame the victims.
What we as a nation have spawned in El Salvador is unconscionable.
It is not our precious second amendment rights that are creating the problem with violence. It is our society’s unbridled licentiousness, addictions as a social virus enabled by carpetbaggers who profit from crime, and the inability of the working class to live with human dignity in our culture that is causing rage, criminal complicity for a living wage, and attendent violence.

Posted by Aminah | Report as abusive

Mexico should guard its borders, but this assumes that the Mexican police and military are not corrupt. The problem is not new. In 1916, the Mexican revolutionary General Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico to retaliate for an unsatisfactory arms deal. The US sent military forces into Mexico in pursuit of Villa and his army. The US army never found Villa because he was protected by the Mexican people as a popular hero. The current generation of Mexican drug dealers are cultural descendants of a very old tradition of corruption and violence. It is absolutely crucial that Americans hold Mexico’s government responsible for violence in their own country.

Posted by GreenJim | Report as abusive

Mexico should have better border controls and real leaders, americans should not use such a big amount of drugs, american government should control drug traficking and the world would be better, thats why the only solution to many of these problems is drug legalisation, just as weapons are legal, don’t you think??

Drug legalisation is the only way to avoid big mafias with lots of money to bribe mexican and american officials which allow drugs to travel thousands of miles between the border and say Bronx, where they are sold at 100 times its original price, don’t you think??

Why to oppose legalisation if all other control methods have failed?? Is this failure a coincidence or is there some economic interests on it??

Posted by Joel Garcia | Report as abusive

The US is a bad, bad country! Mexico, after all has done wonders with the millions of dollars we have given them and continue to give them. Mexico has been the most responsible country on the planet, and in no way can be held accountable for the evil deeds in their country. What we really ought to do is make it illegal for US citizens to have guns, so no violence would occur. This will make the criminal Mexican element more passive so the killing of mexicans and US citizens will stop immediately.

Posted by half breed | Report as abusive

The US is to Mexico as Georgia is to New York. The criminals in New York get their guns from places with lax gun laws, like Georgia. The criminals in Mexico get their guns from countries having states with lax gun laws, like Georgia in the US. And a majority of those 2500 Mexicans killed last year were not narcos, they were Mexican police, soldiers, and ordinary civilians terrorized by Mexican narcos carrying US source firearms.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

Until the US legalizes drugs and makes the dangerous ones prescription drugs there will be no end to the corruption and killing. The government should cultivate coca and completely kill the price.
Keeping drugs illegal feeds the cartels and corrupts so many people, including officials in the US Government.
We could abolish the $20bill DEA and use the money on healthcare and rehabilitation.
No one will stop taking drugs just because the Government says they are illegal. Did prohibition work in the 30s?
Once everything is legal then the Government can actually see the problem and take steps to remedy it. Now it is all in the shadows and they don’t know the extent of the problem!

Posted by gerard | Report as abusive

Talking about the pervasive influence of drugs, guns and money in Mexico, turns out even beauty queens get involved. “The career of an international beauty queen may have come to an abrupt end on Tuesday when the police announced that she had been arrested in suburban Guadalajara in a Toyota Cruiser stuffed with guns and cash…”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/24/world/ americas/24briefs-GUNSCASHANDA_BRF.html? scp=1&sq=MEXICO:%20Guns,%20cash%20and%20 a%20tiara&st=cse

Posted by Roberto | Report as abusive

Mom and Dad: jail your kid and help stop the demand for illegal drugs.

Oh, that’s right, your precious child never does any wrong, do they?

Posted by K | Report as abusive

What we have here is pure & simple communism! Another member of the media misstating the facts and not doing their homework or intentionally lying to support their new liberal leftist leader God bless him. Gun Shows at least in Florida (where many brilliantly conceived concealed weapons laws originated)do require background checks, waiting periods & are staffed with plenty of law enforcement. Maybe Comrade Debusmann could take time off his busy schedule producing propaganda for the new United Socialist States of America and visit a gun show in Fla. & watch the thousands of its citizens lawfully arm themselves as our BRILLIANT Constitution permits & was miraculously reaffirmed recently. Imagine Mr. Debusmann if Mexico’s gun laws mirrored ours & the citizenry was well armed! How many thousands of cartel members would have been killed in self defense? Let the cartels try that in Florida where 50% of all drivers on the road this second right now today is armed & ready to defend their lives, their family, & their country!!!! KNOW our Founding Fathers included the right to bear arms not just to protect ourselves from criminal intent but mostly from our Government should it fail for example like Mexico’s or become something unintended like ours is trying to become not protecting our “guns & religious beliefs” & other “God given rights”. God bless you Mr. Debusmann, Merry Christmas & Happy Hanuka! God bless the United States of America!!!!

Posted by Drew Adams | Report as abusive

Gun control should be absolute. Implement a buy-back scheme. This does work. You may have to go through the process more than once, but it will eventually work. Once the government have obtained the guns, destroy them all.
Only allow military (in o/s combat, police, limited registered & licenced security guards(or give them tazers), and shooting clubs. All guns including police guns should be registered, and none should be kept by individuals other than the ones mentioned above. All hand gund and semi-automatics should be outlawed except for police and active military. Simultaneously a moratorium should be put in place, which progressively moves into stricter & tigher laws for possesion, with penalties for possesion increasing over time (Plenty of warning and advertising should be done promoting this alng the way. These laws should coincide with stricter and tighter laws for drug importation with death for any dealer or importer as the goal. Don’t waste time and money filling gaols. Zero tolerance is the only way.
‘Tolerance’ of anything and everything is America’s disease which has claimed morality along the way. ‘Tolerance’ of bad behaviour is what is costing lives to the drug trade. It’s quite simple really. If you don’t tolerate your family bringing drugs into your own home, they won’t right? Therefore if you don’t tolerate the community (Americas family) bringing drugs into your country (Americas home)then they won’t.
There are many countries in the world that have strict policies like this. They aren’t completely drug free, but they have a hell of a lot less to deal with.
The next generation will then have a moral guide for the one after that, but if you teach nothing they learn nothing. Guns are no different to drugs, they are both destructive and should not be allowed in your home.
If people argue that they need protection, well then just beef up your police & military. A combination of decrease of guns, and increase in policing will have an immediate positive impact.

Posted by Brad | Report as abusive

I love how these reporters, like Debusmann here, show how amazingly stupid they are every time they pick up a pen or start typing. First he cries like a little girl about how horrible it is that we don’t have more gun laws in this country to prevent this mexican tragedy.
Then, he sites laws that would stop this problem in the first place if they were simply enforced. That’s the problem, moron. Only law-abiding citizens are worried about laws such as the “straw-man” purchase laws, and every other gun-law I might add. Criminals aren’t worried, because they know that we don’t have enough cops to enforce such laws, because law-enforcement isn’t a very attractive occupation, because left-wing moron reporters cry everytime a cop tries to enforce our laws.
Come to Kennesaw Georgia, where every third person owns a gun and our murder rate is close to nothing. Then bitch to me about gun laws.

BTW, you idiots have had your butts handed to you in this debate every time. You guys always decide to reignite this debate only after some time has passed and the general public has forgotten all of the facts that made you look stupid in the first place.

Posted by matt | Report as abusive

Brad, I’m assuming your screed was facetious in nature. Nice parody- it made me laugh. Seriously people, get real. The only way to cut down on this is to legalize drugs. You can restrict guns all you want but what’s truly fueling the violence is the tremendous amounts of money involved. If the money is still there, believe me, the narcos will get the guns anyway.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

The war on drugs is failing, just as did prohibition, and needs to be abandoned. Substitute treatment and counseling for prison sentences. The hard core addicts will of course always find something, most likely provided “legally” by Big Pharma. Absent the huge profits to be made in illicit drugs, the cartels will fail. Guns simply make the present mess worse: they are not at the core of this problem.


All you have to do is consider the source of this article to know where this freedom-hater is coming from. Mr. Debusmann is a well established opponent of the U.S. Constitution and continues to get a platform from the extremely liberal leaning Reuters.

See http://waronguns.blogspot.com/2008/01/be rnd-again.html for more information on this German socialist.

Posted by D.Moss | Report as abusive

A slightly different thread, but I doubt it’s possible to rid the US of guns. At least, not within the foreseeable future. A buy-back program, or an outright ban, would be unenforceable even if they could be passed, which is improbable given our history and present society. Comparisons between the US and those countries where guns are very closely controlled need to be very carefully laid out. Present indications are that the US would not at present accept such controls, whereas folk in other places might not even notice. Better to concentrate on the sources for violence in our ailing society, rather than messing with a symptom.


Bernd Debusmann has written some excellent, productive words regarding the war on drugs — but, alas, the armaments entering Mexico could just as easily enter from Mozambique, Angola, Brazil … whether of American or European or former East Bloc make. Secondly, Assault Rifles are already banned in the United States — all legal firearms must be registered with the Federal Government with the $200 Tas Stamp or they cannot be sold! (Only fully Automatic weapons are Assault Weapons, and semi-automatic weapons are not readily made into automatic ones, as any genuine arms expert will testify, including Chiefs of Police and experienced Gunsmiths.)

Somebody has been feeding wrong information here, or somebody is simply disregarding false information for the sake of disarming the lawful citizen of his right to self-defence — like Mexico, where only the criminals readily possess guns!

Posted by Brooks A. Batson, NP | Report as abusive

Bernd Debusmann has written some excellent, productive words regarding the war on drugs — but, alas, the armaments entering Mexico could just as easily enter from Mozambique, Angola, Brazil … whether of American or European or former East Bloc make. Secondly, Assault Rifles are already banned in the United States — all legal [fully] automatic [machine gun] firearms must be registered with the Federal Government with the $200 Tax Stamp & finger-printed record cards or they cannot be sold! (Only fully Automatic weapons are Assault Weapons, and semi-automatic weapons are not readily made into automatic ones, as any genuine arms expert will testify, including Chiefs of Police and experienced Gunsmiths.) Mexican Police & Military possess fully automatic, machine-guns Assault Weapons — and these guns being legally bought in the USA are not machine [fully automatic Assault rifle] guns! Legal American guns sold are the one-bullet-at-a-time variety, whereas the Mexican authorities possess fully automatic Assault Guns, i.e. “Machine Guns”.

Somebody has been feeding wrong information here, or somebody is simply disregarding false information for the sake of disarming the lawful citizen of his right to self-defence — like Mexico, where only the criminals readily possess guns!

Posted by Brooks A. Batson, NP | Report as abusive

As usual, there are the bleeding hearts believing that guns kill people. 5,000 deaths in Mexico? How about the 40,000 deaths in the U.S. each year due to car accidents? Do you think cars kill people? Why not ban them? The root cause of the Mexico deaths is the U.S. war on drugs – the government outlawing certain personal freedoms. So you want to eliminate the war on drugs’ collateral damage of drug cartel murders by placing more limitations on personal freedoms in taking our guns away? Wrong. End the war on drugs, just as we ended prohibition. I’m not sure you bleeding hearts understand that your solutions lead down the path to collectivism, with no personal freedoms whatsoever. You’re unwitting tools of government oppression, not the saviors that you think you are.

Posted by Hoss | Report as abusive

Surely if US guns are a problem there must be some statistical data to prove this? Not some anti gun lefty anecdotes, but cold hard statistics.

Out of all guns ceased from gangs in Mexico how many came from.

1) US
2) Mexican police
3) Mexican army
4) Central America

The Mexican police is corrupt and penetrated by gangs, the mexican army is corrupt and infiltrated by gangs. Did it ever occur to the author that both the police and the army have access to firearms and grenades in quantities unseen in the US civilian market. And I bet they are more then willing to sell their small arms. That is the case in many other crime ridden failed sates. Like Russia and Argentina. The cops and the army are the primary source of arms for organized crime, in those countries. Why would it be different in Mexico. After all during a large scale anti drug operation in Tijuana, the mexican military had to disarm the local police, in order to prevent the flow of arms and ammo to the gangs they were trying to bust!!! And that is a documented fact!!! Unlike the BS that is in this article.

This article looks like a bogus piece of trash anti gun smear, with absolutely no real data in it.

Posted by gene | Report as abusive

Wow! You mean that pourous border with Mexico isn’t a one way street?

Here’s a thought from a California Deputy Sheriff:

Secure the border and we will keep our guns here and the Mexicans can keep the illegal aliens over there!

Sounds like a WIN/WIN for everybody…

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

I find it troubling that no one wants to talk about the porous border and the influx of illegal aliens going North, who bring crime, drugs and disease with them.

85% of the outstanding warrants for murder in Los Angeles County are for illegal aliens.

93% of the tuberculosis cases in the L.A. County jail are… you got it, illegal aliens..

Control BOTH sides of the border..

I find it even more disturbing that Reuters feels these statements need “moderating” and then don’t post them.

So much for reputable reporting of the facts.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

Interesting. Notice that Mexico HAS the guns laws the author thinks the USA should have. And with what result? If the USA has the ‘bad, weak’ gun laws, and Mexico the ‘good, strong’ gun laws, why isn’t Mexico like the USA and vice versa? AK-47s are not made in the USA, and the only source of automatic AR-15s and AK-47s is the Mexican Army and Police.
The first time I went to South Texas, I was surprised that so much of the population is Hispanic, including the elected officials. So, the difference between Mexico and the USA is NOT ethnic. It’s our economic and political system. Mexico was founded by Spain, which was an absolute monarchy. The American colonies were founded by British, where the monarch ceased to be absolute in 1215, and the colonies established local democracies. Mexico has more natural wealth than the USA, but it’s people are poor and sneak into the USA to do manual labor, because their government and economy are failures.

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

Statistics for the UK (population 60 million) on gun crime:

There were 10,182 firearms offences in the year to the end of September, 2007, compared with 9,755 in the previous 12 months. The average figures for gun crime for the UK is about 10,000 per year.

The population of the USA is about 300 million. Do we find gun crime in the USA to be 5 times that of the UK?

The population of Mexico is about 109 million. Do we find gun related crime in Mexico to be about 1.8 to 2 times that of the UK – 18,000 – 20,000 crimes per year?

Perhaps someone can furnish us with the statistics on gun related crimes for the USA and Mexico – just so we can compare?

Posted by Norm | Report as abusive

Decades ago when the U.S. Government wanted help from Mexico concerning drug smuggling, the Mexican Government said it was an American problem and not a Mexican problem.

Well, now that the drug traffickers are buying weapons in the U.S. and using them in Mexico, the shoe is on the other foot, huh?

This is a Mexican problem.

Posted by alex | Report as abusive

The key to the problem is not American guns in Mexico – it’s SMUGGLED guns in Mexico. The drug cartels will get guns from somewhere – smuggling is what they do for a living.

If the US-Mexican border could be sanitized and the flow of guns south from the US were cut off completely, that leaves millions of weapons left over from the Sandinista-Contra violence in Nicaragua, as well as various civil wars elsewhere in Central America and the thriving arms trade in the tri-border area between Colombia, Venezuela and Paraguay.

All of these areas are logical places for importation of cheap fully-automatic weapons from China, North Korea and other firearm proliferator states. Most of the guns used in drug violence in Mexico aren’t even FROM the United States – they’re imported from China through various other countries. Ever since Hutchison Whampoa and other Chinese port management companies assumed control over the ports of entry around the Panama Canal, this has left Central America wide open for importation of illegal firearms, brand-new from the factories of north China.

Posted by loupgarous | Report as abusive

The population of the USA is about 5 times that of the UK, yet annual gun crime figures are 50 times those of the UK (10,000 compared to approx. 500,000).

Tolerance versus intolerance: the statistics speak for themselves.

In Mexico, officially, guns are not allowed to be easily available. Unofficially, the laws are not strictly being enforced. Mexico and the USA have the same problem with respect to large numbers of guns being available out on the streets. In the UK this is not the case and gun crime in the UK by proportion is more than 10 times less. Mexico has to raise its efforts against drugs and the ownership of guns. Drugs are behind much of the crime – guns are the preferred weapon for crime. The ease of availability must be radically reduced.

In 2005, 477,040 victims of violent crimes in the USA stated that they faced an offender with a firearm (National Crime Victimization Survey).
In 2004, 10,650 murders were committed with a firearm (FBI figures).

Posted by Norm | Report as abusive

As to the view of many of those who commented that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens do no harm, what do you think of the Christmas Day killing of eight people by a man dressed in a Santa suit. All the reports I have seen indicate that he was a law-abiding, church-going, garden-tending citizen before he took his hand guns to a Christmas celebration. Would he have been able to kill as many people as quickly with a knife, a baseball bat, an axe?

Aren’t most, if not all, mass shootings carried out by Americans who were law-abiding until the moment they weren’t?

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me- santa-shooting26-2008dec26,0,6505439.sto ry

Posted by Lauren, LA | Report as abusive

With regard to the article, I would like to point out that it is neither guns nor the fact that the guns are from the U.S. that is the real problem here (although I am an advocate of tighter gun control). The guns and where they get them is just a means to accomplish the crimes, which are the symptoms of the real problems: 1) Poverty; 2) A weak Mexican government; 3) Lack of adequate education; 3) The prevalent use of drugs in those countries where the drugs are trafficked (the U.S. being a major user); 4) Lack of adequate systems and support in the U.S. to decrease illegal drug use and trafficking. I could go on, but the point is that until the U.S. and Mexico begin addressing the root causes behind the murders by guns trafficked from the U.S., this problem will not go away.

Posted by Dissentus | Report as abusive

Does anyone reading Debusmanns article actually believe that he is in any way pro 2nd amendment? Pro self defense? Logical in any way shape or form regarding the god given right of all people to defend themselves against anyone, anytime, anywhwere? I doubt it. In reading his story, it is blatantly obvious he hates guns and the people who own them. Take it a step further and it’s blatantly obvious he also hates individual freedom. Unless he of course it affects him personnally. Then all of a sudden you’ll hear him complain. What a phony fraud!
Mexico is 100% responsible for it’s drug/human smuggling problems and issues because the gov’t of Mexico is corrupt and has been long before the cartels existed. No gov’t can ever stop any profitable business. Anything desired by people will always be supplied by other people. Laws are nothing more than words on paper. Debussmann’s ability to be intellectually honest on this issue is non-existent. He is first, a fool. Second, a coward. Thirdly, a liar.

Posted by david | Report as abusive

the article is pretty stupid-

I have actually been at the border over a dozen times- the drug gangs have machine guns- (AK, and M-16) which are severely regulated in the US. and typically start at about 18k and require months of waiting for ATF, and local Law Enforcement to sign off on….

when I see articles claiming the gangs are using Grenades and Machine Guns- such as this one from the uber-conservative LA Times, I have to conclude the auther to be a jackass.

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jun/03/ world/fg-border3

Posted by charles maynes | Report as abusive

Gee, I guess that eight-year old girl the law-abiding citizen in California shot in yesterday’s massacre had it coming since she wasn’t packing for self defense as the lead heads think should be the solution.

They may be made in other countries but their last stop before Mexico is usually a US gun shop or show. Freedom from fear was one of FDR’s Four Freedoms, and I fear whack jobs who just love their guns. Debusmann may be off on a number of details but on the overall concept I think he’s bang on: America has an unhealthy love affair with guns that causes more mayhem in the streets than it solves. If you want to own a gun, join the police or military where you’ll have the obligation to defend people and your country; stop using your personal insecurities as an excuse to be able to terrorize others at will.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

For all the anti-gun people who seem to point to the UK as some sort of god-like state for banishing guns, you are missing the point.

Guns are not the problem. The criminals holding them are. You want statistics? Then stop padding things by saying gun crimes are so low in the UK. So what? Does that all of a sudden mean criminals have given up terrorizing people? Hardly. Two words for you:

Knife crimes.

Proof. http://www.insight-security.com/facts-kn ife-crime-stats.htm

At least 130,000 incidents last year alone. A knife will kill you just as surely as a gun will my friends. ANY weapon sufficiently and expertly used can kill. A gun might make it somewhat easier, but then again, it also makes it easier for someone to use to defend themselves. How do you really defend yourself against a bruiser of a guy with a combat-style knife if he is determined to kill you?

Workout much?

Posted by C.T. Smith | Report as abusive

The focus shouldn’t be on an object (Guns) or even law abiding gun owners who have nothing to do with any of this whatsoever. It’s the criminals who are already breaking the laws by selling illicit drugs that are the problem. Guns aren’t free, they need to be purchased using money. That money comes from the sale of drugs and other illegal activities. Lets place the blame on the criminals and focus on why law enforcement is unable to enforce the laws already on the books (In both countries) than write even more laws that may only serve to criminalize millions of innocent, law abiding citizens and don’t do a thing to actually fix the root cause of the issue.

Posted by Joe R. | Report as abusive

This strikes me as another pathetic attempt to disarm the law abiding population of the United States, or at least another attempt to put a nail in the coffin. I would always prefer to have gun crimes than to not have guns simply because the thought of the government confiscating our only means to resist is a true nightmare. I have been robbed at gunpoint, and the only thing running through my mind during the event was how badly I wished I was armed, not how much I regret that the perpetrator was able to easily acquire a gun.

Posted by JD Beck | Report as abusive

Total ignorance is no substitute for research, even for a liberal. The stats presented in this article are fanciful at best and solely figments of the author’s limited imagination. Purchasing ANY firearm over the internet requires by STATE and FEDERAL law that it be transferred to a licensed FFL dealer who in turn runs the federal background check before the buyer is allowed to take possession of the weapon. Unfortunately, liberals never grow up. They’re opinions and views are lock step in line with what a second year college student believes. Too ignorant and smug to realize what they believe in is a lie.

Posted by Kyle | Report as abusive

The media can’t force the US government to take away our weapons so it again is trying to modify world opinion. I was really looking forward to reading this article by someone who appeared to have learned some common sense in the 50 plus years he has been alive…was I disappointed. No wonder the daily papers are broke. People won’t pay hard earned money to read this trash. I suggest the author head on across the border since it is so easy to cross. I also suggest that he take the illegal aliens with him. My taxes are killing me.


This guy is ill-informed or just another alarmist, anti-gun type. I challenge anyone to show me a crime in the USA in which a .50 Cal Barret sniper weapon was the gun used? Also it is VERY difficult and expensive to buy AK-47, M16, and other automatic weapons in the USA. Permits, background checks, waiting periods, and high prices. I’m sure the drug dealers and corrupt Mexican police go through less-than-legit sources for their full-auto needs.
Lastly does the author with the USA to become Mexico? Where only the corrupt police, violent drug-gangs, and sadistic murders have means to defend themselves? I hope not….

Posted by Al | Report as abusive

There are so many sources of weapons in Central America. It is absurb to only point the finger only at the USA. The Sandinista communists in Nicaragua have tons of surplus weapons and they are known for thir greed. The former FMLN communits terrorists in El Salvador would be a good source of weapons and I would be greatly surprised if they are not working for the drug cartels. Then there are the thousands of Arab terrorists living and training? in Mexico. How do you think the beheading of people got started in Mexico? Of course many of the weapons of the FMLN and the Sandinistas came from the USA, many from stupid communist sympathizers. Ciao wwterry

Posted by ww terry | Report as abusive

People kill people….and there hundreds of weapons/methods to choose from. Cain killed Abel with a rock, so let’s ban rocks.
To stop killing takes the conversion of people’s hearts, let’s count the ways we can do that.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

I have read many U.S. gun laws. They are plenty stiff. And there are plenty of them. But, as long as we have ultra liberal judges who are willing to let ultra liberal district attorneys plead criminals out to lesser charges and into diversion and probation, no one will ever get the message that we are serious about controlling gun-related crime. Simple as that. Use a gun, go to jail for a long time. Use a gun and someone dies, so do you. That would help more than a thousand new gun laws.

Posted by j munks | Report as abusive

If the guns are the problem, and the guns are from the United States. Why don’t we see these kind of murder numbers in the US.

Posted by Teni | Report as abusive

I think the problem is the fact that the Mexican society is corrupt from the top down and has been that way for about a 100 years. The corruption in law enforcement and politics enables these narco terrorists to terrorize the Mexican populace. Many of these Cartel members are former Mexican military. Do you honestly think these people need to buy their guns here? I’d be willing to bet that they are stealing these fully automatic weapons from the Mexican Army because they sure as heck are not easy to buy here.

I know it’s the easiest and most politically correct thing to blame the U.S.A. first but try knowing what you’re writing about first.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

Excuse me, but did this esteemed columnist suggest that we as citizens of the US curb or give up our rights so that the Mexican border police could continue with their siesta? Why are such smart people so incapable of simple observation?


I find comparing small countries with large countries to be misleading. Especially when within the US there are areas with differing gun laws and differing gun crime stats. My only question to those that like stats is why, in states like Vermont that have almost no gun laws on the books and where there you do not need a license to carry a gun, do you find the lowest gun crime per capita in this nation.

Maybe when criminals know that they could be surrounded by armed citizens they are more hesitant to use there gun? Maybe if more citizens were armed at that Christmas Eve shooting the psycho would have been less effective in his shooting spree. It is hard to have a shooting spree when the spree is directed back at you by the armed citizenry around you. Maybe the psycho may have not even attempted such stupidity if he knew he would have been quickly cut down. Of course he may have thought of an even better way of committing mass murder like a bomb. I am surprised he didn’t think of it and opted for a gun. Oh, right. He was a psycho. You can’t predict what a psycho will do or when he will do it.

Also, as this economic situation grows here in the US more crime will occur. Cime and economice are linked. I hope those that believe guns are “bad” do not fall victim to gun crime. Remember the Boy Scout motto: Always be prepared! This is your best defense because, when seconds count the police are minitues away.

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

Where are the statistics on how many of the victims of gun crime were armed? The shear number of victims makes the case for armed self-defense. Thank you.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

Its interesting to me that no matter what the problem the US is at fault, too many illegals and the US should build up the Mexican economy so they will stay, now the drug gangs run wild down there and its the US gun laws at fault. maybe the real reasons are a failed, corrupt and poorly run Mexican govt. typical third world country with oil

Posted by steve | Report as abusive

I lived in Tucson Arizona for four years or so…ending four years ago. I thought I would share a little of my experience there with you.

The Immigration Debate is very much discussed on the American side of the border by average Americans on a near daily basis. Of course the war on drugs..crime by illegals..job loss to illegals…border habitat destruction by crossers…Mexico`s culture of corruption and a host of other topics are regular parts of these discussions.

One thing that really stuck in my mind more than some others was the fact that teenageers in the town of Sierra Vista were being paid 200 dollars cash on their lunch hour, while at high school, to deliver McDonalds sandwiches to illegals hiding in an Arroyo waiting on darkness to fall so they could continue their journey north. After nightfall…these same teenagers would then make 1000-1500 more dollars to drive a carload of illegals to Phoenix…a 7 hour round trip.
I often wondered how these teenagers would ever be satisfied making 150 dollars a week cooking hamburgers in a McDonalds resturaunt like their classmates did. I mean what kind of values are these teens going to have?

The Mexican border towns have basically survived and thrived for the last 4 decades on servicing the drug and people and gun smuggling industries that naturally belong there…and the new Mexican War on these people is really starting to pile up the bodies.

The worldwide criminalization of personal drug consumption and the vast sums of untaxed revenue is the root cause of a huge percentage of the social…personal…and local and national law-enforcement issues.

I mean really..If I want to get “High”…all I have to do is make an appointment with my physician…tell the right lies…and get a perscription to give me the desired “High”….or I can go to the “bad part of town”…and get similar or identical items from drug dealers and or addicts..No difference really…except the side effects and long term health issues of the perscriptions might be more dangerous to my overall health and well being….and the obvious risk of incarceration and public humiliation are worse when dealing with criminals dealing drugs.

This might be the biggest delimma facing the governments and peoples of the world..even bigger then the threat of Islamic Militants and Nuclear Bombs.

The seemingly real need for a certian percentage of the population of the world to self administer drugs or alcohol on a daily basis, and the seemingly real need for another percentage of the population to dictate certian religous belief systems upon the rest of the people left in the middle…

I guess these two groups of people…who might be considered as one group…will keep you journalist busy forever!!!

Oklahoma, U.S.A.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

Ah yes, the usual biased platitudes and falsity.

The Fn5.7 “Cop Killer” for example. The armor-piercing version is not available to the public. What you get in the US, if you are not police or military, is a version of that cartridge that is nothing like the type intended for use in the FNP90 and the 5-7 Pistol.

Mexican drug cartels will get their guns any way they want. Not all guns on the shelf in the US are actually produced there. So there is no proof that the guns come direct from the north. The article even uses “not sure” on that statistic.

But certainly people are always sure about things when it comes to the disarmament agenda. Nobody is sure how many innocent Iraqis were killed since 2003, but the occupation continues. Nobody is sure how many Afgans outside of any relation to Al Queda were killed by US forces, yet that war continues. Nobody is sure how many lives are destroyed by the garbage that Hollywood pipes into peoples’ homes, but that continues. Nobody is sure how much all that “humanitarian” aid and nation-building money actually harms more than helps, but yet those things continue too.

Yet guns were around long before all those “modern norms” came about, long before 100 years of social engineering by the so-called “progressives”.

And that same old argument is alluded to: because there was no AR-15 219 years ago when the Second Amendment was written, then perhaps it’s wrong or should be re-written? Well then, there was no radio or television, or internet either, back when the First Amendment was written. I can hear the arguement “But….but…. *snivel* guns kill people!”

Yeah, and Hitler used radio and films to achieve his ends and his regime killed a lot of people too. Stalin had the same ends. Consider also these these were regimes that people thought were protecting them, that approx. 100 million people murdered by their own governments in the 20th century is still not enough to make people distrust any government that wants to disarm them.

But based on the logic, the TV, radio, and internet, not existing 219 years ago, needs to be regulated quick! Before another Hitler or Stalin gets hold of it!

And in the meantime, cars that are designed to break the speed limit should also be banned. Based on the logic that “guns are only for killing people”, a car with a lot of power is only for going beyond the posted limit. I bring this up because there are a lot of people who will not care a whit about liberty so long as their precious sports car is not touched. And certainly this could be the case because the car is a great toy for the adult-sized children who fall for the shallow logic of this article.


Just once I would like to see an article on criminal weapons that correctly identifies those guns and does not use the propaganda phrase “AK-47.” You can’t purchase a real AK-47 at gun shows or from a pricate individual or at a gun shop without paying a federal tax and getting registered with the ATF. What you can buy is a Chinese Type 56 semi-automatic rifle that looks pretty much like an AK-47. Is this what was meant? Are rifles really used all that much in crime? Are no other countries likely sources for criminal weapons than the US? Cuba was, at one time, pretty free with weapons shipments to anyone who could claim to be a revolutionary. Nicaragua and El Salvador have a surplus of guns.

Articles like this one, full of ignorant comments about guns, don’t help us understand what is happening. The gun does not make the criminal. The criminal seeks the gun, not the other way around. Other weapons will work if one source of guns is closed down.

Posted by Ian MacFarlane | Report as abusive

“lax American gun laws”

Puh-lease…!!! My family ranched in Mexico (Durango) for 25 years. It’s not lax American gun laws causing Mexico’s problems, IT’S MEXICANS!!!!

CORRUPTION is your problem, not American gun laws. Mexico has no real legal system, so the only recourse a person has in many instances is taking the law into their own hands…and the cr*p ball just starts rolling downhill from there! Mexican politicians and law enforcement officials are BOUGHT AND PAID-FOR by the cartels.

Mr. Debusmann appears to have no experience in the reality of Mexican society or he wouldn’t make such utterly inane statements.

Posted by jdnaustin | Report as abusive

Hahahhaa….Mexico blamming the US for it’s problems. That is rich. Oh okay. Aren’t MILLIONS of them here illegally?

Moreover, I’m pretty sure that Mexico – being the bastion of laws and regulations that it is – gets all of its drugs from the US too right? Oh wait, no it doesn’t.

If they didn’t get them from us, they’d get them from their other border on the south. There’s a reason it’s a third world crap hole, and why everyone there is trying to tunnel into the US.

I wonder if the uninformed author has a problem with the Mexican military engaging our Border Patrol people ON US soil? How about their acting on behalf of drug dealers smuggling their wares into our country?

Posted by Martin Riggs | Report as abusive

“No background checks and no paperwork is necessary for weapons traded between private citizens on the “secondary” market — gun shows, over the Internet, through classified advertisements.”

That is just flat out untrue. Such a basic and easily confirmable fact being wrong, indicates to me a profound ignorance of the subject.

Posted by Drew | Report as abusive

Notice Debusmann’s dismissive tone toward the Second Amendment, implying that it’s an anachronistic relic : ”… and this year the Supreme Court ended decades of legal argument by ruling that the second amendment of the U.S. constitution, written 219 years ago, does guarantee an individual’s right “to keep and bear arms”.

Of course he misses the irony that the Second Amendment was written simultaneously with the First Amendment. Liberals tend to worship the First Amendment while distaining the Second Amendment, as if the Constitution were a buffet, where you can pick out what you like and discard the rest. They have depended on activist judges to distort and re-write the Constitution to their liking for so long, that they were outraged that the Supreme Court’s recent interpretation of the Second Amendment actually relied on the original intent of the people who wrote it.

Posted by Roger | Report as abusive

While U.S. guns and gun laws are not the root cause of the problem, the cause of ILLEGAL drug trade related violence in Mexico (as opposed to LEGAL and morally justified self defense by innocent citizens defending themselves against criminals, a distinction which Debusmann and 99% of other anti-gun “journalists conveniently gloss over when citing statistics about gun deaths) is certainly related to some very ill considered U.S. laws–those prohibiting the drugs whose illicit traffic provides the revenue that fuels the drug cartel’s market share and distribution territory centered violence. The violence surrounding the drug trade is a direct result of its illegality which prevents businesses from increasing their market share and marketing their product through other channels. Think about it–when was the last time you read about a shoot out between Pfizer and Merck executives?

To the extent someone wants to blame firearms they should look no further than corrupt mexican police and military sources. Debusmann’s silence regarding this other likely source of arms is a telling indicator that his goal is to vilify U.S. gun laws, not to thoughtfully delve into this issue.

Posted by Eddie | Report as abusive

Since a number of comments focussed on the legalization of drugs as the best way to end the violence and the traffic of drugs north, guns south, here is a column suggesting just that:

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/20 08/12/03/einstein-insanity-and-the-war-o n-drugs/

Posted by Maureen | Report as abusive

If the importation of guns into Mexico completely and perfectly stopped instantly, right now, the rate of murder by Mexican criminals would not slow at all, ever. Guns are durable, not consumable.

If you Mexican politicians want to stop crime, end your corruption and do the job you are paid to do. If you socialist reporters want to escape personal gun freedom, move to Mexico (or Europe, or Africa). NO JUSTICE / NO PEACE>

Posted by Lombard Street | Report as abusive

guns and borders? kidnapping and killings?

it all distills back to the problematic drug war

cant we just all chew some coca and get along.

it is America’s fault for promulgating such a knowingly un-winnable notion.

I much rather deal with a few more homeless drug addicts then infinite chicanery.

Posted by peaceful citizen | Report as abusive

Every time I see a “news” video on this story, said American-puchased guns include machine guns, fragmentation grenades, and other items not legally sold in the U.S…. Hey Mexico, cry me a river.

Posted by Big Joe | Report as abusive

This is pure propaganda. It is a meme that the anti-gun left has been trying for the last year or so.

Refuting the “facts” in this piece is easy as there are no facts, only carefully crafted talking points.

Mexico needs more guns! It has one of the most corrupt governments in the world. It desperately needs its own 2nd Amendment to insure that ALL of its people are protected.

Posted by Kate Stonehedge | Report as abusive

This guy’s distains for our constitution show’s loud and clear with his statement that our constitution was written 219 years ago, ( Like because it’s that old it shouldn’t be taken seriously.) and does guarantee an individual’s right “to keep and bear arms” .
He’s just another liberal that thinks if there were no guns there would be peace and harmony and everyone would love one another and we would all hold hands and sing we are the world.
Liberals, they have the naivety of 4-year-olds.

Posted by Silas | Report as abusive

What is the problem. Let them blow each other away.
It is a wake up call to the Mexican government (an oxymoron if there ever was one).
Just maybe mexican citizens will finally take action against the criminals who have been running (raping) the country for decades.
Nay!! That’s like expecting Illinois citizens to vote the Democratic criminals who have been bleeding Illinois taxpayers for decades, out of office. Never happen.

Posted by irotram | Report as abusive

The US gov’t should get into the drug production business. We could produce a high quality, high purity product at a fraction of the current cost to the user.
We could contract with other countries to produce the raw material e.g. cocoa leaves or poppies, ship them to plants in the US for processing and distribution under highly regulated conditions.
Laws concerning there usage would stay about the same e.g. no driving, or in the workplace, and around equipment, etc but recreational use would be decriminalized. Sure there would be some abuse but compared to the current chaos it would be minimal.
The problem would be what do we do with all the people involved in the drug trade when they lose their jobs.

Posted by irotram | Report as abusive

surprise surprise surprise we get an anti gun sociolist ready to take orfice an all the anti gun sociolist come out of the wood work an write why we need more laws against guns
maybe you sociolst need to look at history an see thats how hitler took office

maybe you need to spend more time looking at the ponzi scheme you call sociol secruity

do your job an write

Posted by Walley | Report as abusive

Are you kidding? If the availability of American guns were the problem, then the massive spike in violence would be in America, not in Mexico.

This article suggests that we are somehow able to export massive death rates to a neighboring country, without having that same issue here. If these guns are being sold and distributed, by legal US citizens, to criminals, how do we guarantee that the bad guys will only use them in Mexico and not in America.

Perhaps the bad guys promise to do so and ‘crossies’ don’t count.

Remember, ‘Liberals is dumb’

Posted by Felix Amaro | Report as abusive

Let’s get to the nut of the issue. Debusmann does not know what he is talking about. That is undeniably clear. But his editorials are published anyway.
Reuters pays him to express his opinions and distributes them. But hides behind a disclaimer “his opinions are his own”. Reuter’s completely absolve themselves of responsibility to do any fact checking and will therefore publish lies, half truths, misleading statistics, etc without the slightest twinge of ethical conscience.
No that isn’t it at all, Reuter’s knows this editorial is grossly inaccurate. The reality is that this IS THERE POSITION. No ethical, professional publication would print such error filled drivel unless it was completely in accord with the stated position. Folks, the problem isn’t the writer, jerks like him will always be around. It’s the publisher who disseminates the propaganda. The behind the scenes instigator of the myths and falsifications. I almost never read an editorial published in Reuter’s. This one is a good example supporting my decision. It will be a long time before I make the same mistake.

Posted by irotram | Report as abusive

So Mexico can’t close it’s northern border. Sounds like the author feel that it maybe should be close by the U.S.?

Posted by joe | Report as abusive

Mr. Debusmann,
How much research did you do before writing your article? I read it 3 times and came to the conclusion each time that it wasn’t very much. Our “lax american gun laws” as you put it is anything but. I suggest you look up 22USC2778-ARMS EXPORT CONTROL ACT & 22CFR120-130 INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC IN ARMS REGULATIONS via the website http://www.pmddtc.state.gov as it covers those very firearms you are talking about.
To permanently export a firearm (other than a sporting shotgun which falls under the jurisdiction of the Dept of Commerce-Bureau of Industry & Security) you first need to register with the Dept of State-Directorate of Defense Trade Controls as an exporter/manufacturer/etc. After that you must apply for a DSP05-Permanent Export License for those item(s) which you will have to show an import permit from the country it is going to.
After this the exporter (or their designated agent) must lodge the DSP05 license with US Customs & Border Protection prior to filing AES (Automated Export System) http://www.aes.gov and must get a “green light” so to speak to export said firearms & related equipment/accessories.
US Customs & Border Protection (www.cbp.gov) under “Operation EXODUS” and Immigration & Customs Enforcement (www.ice.gov) under “Project SHIELD AMERICA” enforce both the AECA & the ITAR. BATFE does require that a ATF Form 9 be used if the exporter wishes to have the transfer tax waived.
As you can see I have taken the time to do a little research from internet based websites so I accept no excuses that you did not do the same. I highly suggest you do more research before showing your ignorance to the world on US gun laws and regulations, especially those that apply to the permanent export of same.

Posted by Exodus1 | Report as abusive

CT Smith’s response to the statistics I gave on page 6 comparing gun crime between the USA and the UK needs addressing. The figure for knife crime in the UK as recorded by police is about 22,000 (2008). The figure that was used to suggest knife crime is high in the UK was arrived at by a survey that ‘questioned’ only 47,000 people and multiplied the result by 1,200 to suggest a figure for the nation. (The likelihood of exaggeration by such a method is of course very high.) The statistics I gave are based upon officially recorded incidents.

Based upon official figures, gun crime is the US is 10 times that of the UK (that is ‘per capita’). In the UK, hospital treatment to victims of assault with a sharp object was recorded as 5,455 in 2006-07 (Home Office, UK figures). The ease of availability of guns is one of the chief problems that must be addressed. Yes, thieves may resort to using knives if they can’t get a gun – but the preferred criminal’s weapon is the gun!

Surely this must tell you something! Mexico must take all measures to disarm as far as possible all private citizens and must seriously declare war on the drug dealers and gun smugglers. If only the USA could have the will to do the same!

Posted by Norm | Report as abusive

only 8000? shucks

Posted by Jose | Report as abusive

So, let me get this straight:

According to the story “… Mexican authorities are doing a less-than-thorough job in searching and monitoring north-south traffic.” (i.e. Mexico has “weak” border controls) and U.S. gun control laws are the problem…??


Posted by huh? | Report as abusive

Usually we think of the border problem as “drugs/illegals” coming north, not “Guns going south” My father spends a lot of time in West Texas near the border giving tours on historical cave painting sites, he has repeatedly commented to me on the massive build up of the US Border Patrol, and has talked to several agents who have told him about shootouts they have been in or cleaned up after (think No Country For Old Men)
Gun ownership is such a touchy issue for Americans,heck, I own a ww2 soviet sniper rifle, 2 shotguns, a .22, and a .45, but then again I live in TX. I still don’t think that the framers of the constitution had in mind the military grade fire arms that I can easily purchase (and potentially illicitly re-sell) when they added the bill of rights. They had no way of knowing the future development of firearms. Remember that in the late 1700s all long-arms were breach loading muskets, the only difference between military and civilian was (possibly) the size of the musket ball. So I take the 2nd amendment wackos at their word: “surprise surprise surprise we get an anti gun sociolist ready to take orfice an all the anti gun sociolist come out of the wood work -Walley” (posted as a comment on this column) and yet I own guns, not one, but several… it is a conundrum. Perhaps it has something to do with being raised in the outdoors, perhaps it is because I am a Texan, who knows.
Is there an “easy fix” to the problem on the border? Sure, ban and destroy all privately owned assault rifles. That would of course cause a new civil war so… Perhaps massively expand the border patrol and ATF’s authority? Hmm, you’d get right wingers bitching about invasive gov’t. Possibly give Mexico a bunch of logistical and material support? I just don’t know, interesting problem though.

Posted by William Gaskins | Report as abusive

The writer seems to be spouting the tired old anti-gun rhetoric that permeates the major media types. From all statistical indications, what would most improve the Mexican situation would be (1) the right for Mexicans to keep and bear arms to protect them from the drug cartels and their corrupt government and (2) the decriminalization of drugs in the US and Mexico to collapse the lucrative black market that spawns the illicit drug industry. Underlying these suggestions is an old concept that escapes the media elite but is validated by a simple review of history: individual freedom is good — government oppression is bad.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

When does Mexico not point the finger north concerning its woes?

Posted by RT | Report as abusive

Let me think, Drug Cartel’s with unlimited money and sumggling prowness can only buy guns in America? they could not buy guns from any where else? Do you think anyone belives the crap in this article? SEAL THE BORDER, rmemember whan Nixon did it?

Posted by snoop dogg | Report as abusive

1. One man’s government oppression is another man’s government enforcement of the law.
2. The Supreme Court case one commenter referred to was 5:4 compared to every other Supreme Court case on the 2nd
Amendment which were all unanimous the other way. And those 5, three were on the majority side in Bush v. Gore while the other two would likely have been there too, so don’t put much weight behind their opinion. Only one federal appeals circuit went the way of this Court’s majority, the one based in Texas (naturally); all others went the other way. And I’m not surprised this Court went the way it did given Scalia’s personal interest in firearms which may have determined his vote in the case. And if you read the opinion drafted by Scalia you should have noticed that he closely analyzed every part of the dependent clause of the 2nd amendment except “being necessary”, most likely because including that phrase would have called the rest of his opinion into doubt.
3. Are you just as angry when Fox’s commentators put out their opinions without bothering to back them up with hard facts? If not you’re applying a double standard.
4. Vermont is not part of the Southern gun culture as is Texas, so no wonder they don’t kill each other with the abandon Texans and other southerners do. They don’t carry as often as the one commenter implied.
5. So it’s politically correct to blame the US for all these troubles? But over what country do we have direct control but the US? If we can’t determine what other countries do at least we can control what goes on in our own, and suggesting the other countries come up to our standards for them is patronizing as well as impossible so it’s pointless to point our finger at them. I’d guess this is something all the legalization of drugs folks believe sotto voce.
6. Why aren’t the same numbers killed in the US as in Mexico? Perhaps we have better cops and a better justice and penal system (as many lead heads on this thread acknowledge) as well as simply a greater regard for human life.
7. Plea bargains are necessary in the US justice system because there isn’t always enough good evidence to convict someone in a trial or enough resources (i.e. tax $) in the system to fully investigate crimes. If you don’t like it then by all means volunteer more of your $ to the government.
8. Just because Mexican narcos could obtain firearms and ammo from sources other than the US is no excuse for not trying to limit the flow of these two from the US to Mexico. It’s the only one we have direct control over, if we choose to exercise it.
9. Yes the US has strict laws against possession of full auto assault rifles but that ignores now easy it is to convert the civilian versions of AK-47s and M-16s to their military versions. I had a neighbor when I was a kid who was sent to prison for dealing in conversion kits.
10. How to avoid being killed by a gun? Run the other way. Far easier to do than run from a bullet which travels faster than anyone I know of.
11. If a robber had a gun on you and you began pulling yours, don’t you think he’d just shoot you instead of waiting for you to draw down on him? Kind of refutes the “self-defense to armed robbery” excuse which is why nobody acknowledges it. Thus how is packing a concealed weapon a deterrent to armed robbery?
12. Nobody has really refuted Norm’s statistics; they’ve only chosen to disbelieve them.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

Excuse me, correction. 10. How to avoid being killed by a knife? Run the other way.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

Boring!! Here we go again! Same old same old; another lefty Pinko generating another insane reason why the people of the United States should no longer be allowed to own guns. Obama has you stoked huh? Why dont these people move? Move to China or Cuba and now Venezuela too; move and enjoy your restrictions!

Posted by Mick | Report as abusive

I think most of the people posting here negative comments spouting their right wing gun-hugger nonsense, miss key points, first the US is a major producer of firearms, this means responsibility for who gets these weapons regardless of whether it is inside the country or out, two as the most powerful country in the world both economically and militarily, every oversight has repercussions around the world, and as a democracy that means you the citizens are responsible for what it does. So, in effect it is not the fault of the US that horrible things happen but as the saying goes evil triumphs when good people do nothing.


Read the following Jimbo, then google “Armed Citizen” for hundreds more, in answer to your #11. And remember most self defense actions with guns (1-2 million per year) occur without a shot ever being fired. If I had the time I could refute each one of your other foolish assertions, Read and learn:

“It’s kind of a blur, ” recalls Robert Smotherman of his life’s most terrifying moment. As he pulled into his driveway, two men wearing ski masks and carrying rifles ran around the corner and demanded his valuables. “I had a gun on me,” recalls Smotherman, a concealed-carry permit holder. “[They] hesitated, and I took the opportunity.” Police said Smotherman fired eight shots from his .45-caliber pistol, striking at least one of the suspects several times and causing both to flee. “I just took my gut reaction and went with my first instinct,” he explained. The wounded suspect was apprehended; his accomplice is being sought. (Bradenton Herald, Bradenton, FL, 09/14/08)


Another impotent European whining about the woes of America….that’s rich

Posted by J | Report as abusive

Lets see now;
Illegal alien comes to America…Crime 1
Illegal alien brings drugs…….Crime 2
Illegal alien gets gun (stolen)..Crime 3
Illegal alien takes gun home…..Crime 4

American crimes….0
Mexican crimes…..4

Looks like a Mexican problem,maybe Mexico should close the border.

Posted by Terry | Report as abusive

To poster german….You’re confused about where you are this is a republic, your thinking of some other country , right?

Posted by Terry | Report as abusive

The answer is to decriminalize drugs and then guess what?? Drug wars will end.

Posted by Carlos | Report as abusive

I live in the USA, I have worked in Mexico City DF since 2000, I worked in Costa Rica, Brazil, Argintina and a few other sparce places, my point is all of these Countries – states all have the same anti-or no legal gun laws what so ever. In Brazil for example, I worked the Amazon Region from Manus east to Belem and I spoke to many poeple whom live off the land, fish, hunt, etc. To obtain a shotgun is nearly impossible.
But if you just travel to the south machine guns rule the getto and the drug lords take on the Army and Police all the time. So, did the light bulb come on with regards to Mexico yet? Because Brazil is not attached by land to any country that has favorable gun laws, Agentina to the south is completely Left wing, all the western and nothern latin countries are no guns, and pretty much left wingers. Whats the bottom line, the governments are all corrupt, not that ours here in the good ole USA isnt, we just think its not.

The majority of the US population is not very well traveled, and has no outside world understanding, most cant read a map let alone point out countries on a blank world map or globe. So, all I can say is this, be ready because the difficulties that lay ahead for most will not be solved by Bush, Clintons, or Obama printing money and giving it to Bankrupt corporations.

Its going to be a very long drawn out process, and anyone that reads this should consider entering technical college to become well skilled, retrained, and able to do what ever comes along. Just think, all the lawyers of the USA, who and what will they attack, how will they make money?

It will be a time to try to forget, but its just to large to run away from! Go out buy what you need, a gun, ammo, reloader etc, it might be what you need one day and cannot obtain.


Posted by Alex | Report as abusive

2 points:

Someone mentioned that existing gun laws in the U.S. are not prosecuted heavily enough; that too many deals are being cut by prosecutors. This, too, has its root cause in the failing U.S. war on drugs. Way too much time, prison space, and taxpayer dollars are spent on drug users, petty dealers and idiotic 3 strikes laws. VICTIMLESS CRIMES SHOULD NEVER BE PROSECUTED!!! We should be focusing our law enforcement efforts on violent offenders and not distracting ourselves with social engineering.

For the bleeding hearts: Yes, it’s terrible that people are killed with guns. But it’s your bleeding heart that won’t let you blame the person for the crime, so you blame an inanimate object. Americans must decide whether they want to be able to protect themselves against the government (the original intent of the 2nd ammendment) or entrust the government (this same government that brought us Iraq, a bankrupt Social Security, Fannie and Freddie, the Carter years, Vietnam, etc. ad nauseum) with our protection. This same govt. that we love to criticize is the one who would be confiscating our means of self defense.

Posted by Hoss | Report as abusive

It is never the criminal that is at the core of these discussions. There is no “war” on anything — Iraq, drugs, STD’s, pirates, teen pregnancy, illegal border crossings, etc. There is only a media induced hyperbole of limp-wristed nose pinchings taking place, under the guise of war. War should be swift, resolute, deadly and it is indeed ugly. The skirmish in Iraq could have been over years ago, if the troops would have been allowed to conduct a war. There is no war. Today we have — Skirmish … why yes son, I was in World Skirmish III.
Welcome to Obama Land … welcome to the Obama Nation. BHO — the poster boy for all of you that skirmish. Now, would you all please stand aside, and let those who know how, take care of things.

Posted by Nevlin | Report as abusive

Apply the same reasoning to drug smuggling. Why the intervention in Colombia is better than the border control in US?

Posted by carlos | Report as abusive

If Mexico was smart they would stop doing the US’s bidding and simply legalize all narcotics. That would solve the problem of the “drug war” and drug dealers. Mexico’s problem is not with drug abuse, it is with trying to interdict drugs on behalf of the US. All Central and South American countries should legalize and solve their own problems and then the US would have deal with its own issues.

Posted by rob | Report as abusive

Hey Hoss, in the US people are the government. Heard Junk, I have the time to read them so go ahead and post them. But also include all the stories of crimes committed by previously law-abiding gun owners like the recent California Christmas eve massacre.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

I’ve re-read this article several times and I still can’t see what the problem is here. The United States is a consumer of drugs and the worlds largest producer of arms. Mexico is a producer of drugs, and so it only makes sense that they would be a consumer of arms.

The US (and Britain) has been trading Armaments for the things it needs for centuries, Oil, heroin, dope, and this is in line with it’s free trade ideology.

If we are talking about Mexico’s “problems”, this is nothing more than a trade war between Mexico’s biggest producers. Trade wars are violent, as the past 200 years of trade wars shows us. The genocide of the Native Americans in the US was basically a trade war. The American Civil War was basically a trade war. WW1 has been called a trade war by some historians. WW2 was a financial war.

Clausewitz said, “war is the continuation of politics by other means”, but I say that war is business competition by other means.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

Guns Guns Guns. Incredible bad luck that almost all firearms excepting those owned by wealthy elites and wealthier criminal armies, are banned in Mexico. Perhaps some “good intentioned” imbecile should press for more stringent firearms bans in USA so that Mexico would be forced to acquire guns from – CHINA, RUSSIA, HUNGARY, CZECH REP, VENEZUELA, CUBA, SOUTH AFRICA, EGYPT, SOMALIA. It is unfair that Americans living along the Mexican border should have any means to defend themselves from the encroachments of Mexican Gangsters and Mexican American Gangsters. The 90 year single party rule of corrupt PRI Socialist Party kleptocracy and criminality certainly has nothing to do with the degenerate violent chaos in Mexico.

Posted by Wil - Indy | Report as abusive

In point of fact, any muzzle loading or modern rifle made since the 18th century can penetrate a police type soft kevlar bullet proof vest.

We should seal our borders and decriminalize drug use for adults in USA. Thus eliminate the profit motive that is the energizing motivation of the drug cartels and funding of FARC.

8000 dead by murdering criminals. Kind of puts a perspective on the Iraq War doesn’t it?

Posted by Wil - Indy | Report as abusive

As in any country that has disarmed it citizens, violence takes hold by criminals. An armed citizenry always lowers crime. The numbers prove it in the US when concealed carry laws are established in communities. Law abiding citizens should and have a right to personal protection. You can see what “gun laws” at the border of Mexico do right now. They are ignored by the criminals. Guns and ammunition are illegal in Mexico yet the criminals bring them in by the truck loads. In the US, you’ll notice most massacres occur where guns are prohibited by law abiding citizens. Schools and public buildings are places where citizens don’t have the right to personal protection by concealed carry. Otherwise these crimes would be halted before they happen by law abiding citizens armed to defend themselves.

Posted by John Stubler | Report as abusive

Hey Jimbo – check the law books and you’ll find that California has some of the toughest gun laws in the US. In other words, the criminal ignored the gun laws and the law abiding citizens were killed. If they had concealed carry laws in California, I bet those people killed that night might be alive. But their rights to defend themselves had been striped by the government. So you make the case for concealed carry by law abiding citizens even stronger by citing what a criminal can do when you don’t have the right to defend yourself.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

This article misses the point, which is the U.S.’s failed war on drugs. Without a means to regulate the source of drugs, production and distribution is left up to those who are willing to kill for profit. We need to stop pretending that this war can be won, and remember the deep hypocricies within our own government. Let’s not forget the CIA plane that crashed a few years ago with millions of dollars worth of cocaine. We export our failed war on drugs and at the same time secretly import drugs into our own cities.

Posted by Tyler | Report as abusive

Mr Debusmann needs to be more careful with his research before spreading mis-information.
His comments “No background checks and no paperwork is necessary for weapons traded between private citizens on the “secondary” market — gun shows, over the Internet, through classified advertisements” is not exactly correct. It’s my understanding that trading long guns between private citizens does not require paperwork, but paperwork is required for hand guns. Also, I have never been to a gun show where firearms were for sale by un-licensed dealers, therefore paperwork & instant check was required for all firearm purchases. In addition, any transfer between states requires paperwork. In my opinion, The Violence Policy Center is nothing more than an organization hell bent on the repeal of the second amendment, and won’t let facts stand in the way of the message they preach.
In the future, I suggest Mr. Debusmann do some actual research, instead of simply regurgitating someone elses spin on a particular subject. That is, of course, if he ever expects to be taken as a serious journalist.

Posted by joe gaynor | Report as abusive

My favorite is asking anyone opposed to guns, if they would be willing to place a sign in their front yard, stating that very fact. In big bold letters tell the world you have no way of protecting yourself. So far, no takers.

Why do you think the cowardly “D.C. Sniper” drove all the way to D.C. and Maryland FROM California, and literally blasted people from the trunk of his car, killing I think it was 11-13 people total, that is correct, he knew there would be no guns to fire back at him since they were illegal then, hello.

Posted by sofa king stoopid | Report as abusive

Jimbo, you said the govt. is the people. Yes, to an extent. The laws of the land are passed by our representatives, so it’s a republic, not a democracy. Even then, we-the-people may pass laws by proxy, but the execution of those laws is ever further from our control. Look at the current bailouts that are being implemented, which were opposed by a majority of Americans across all parties, races and economic status. You cannot believe that the govt. consistently acts on behalf of the people’s interests. And taking away our right to rise up against the govt. (via gun control) if they go too far makes it a govt. which is that much more a govt. NOT of the people.

Posted by Hoss | Report as abusive

A moron with very little understanding of what is really going on except what he reads from other’s research and of course from behind his desk. Scary to think that people like Mr.Debusmann actually get paid for this.

Posted by Leo | Report as abusive

Joe Gaynor: “It’s my understanding that trading long guns between private citizens does not require paperwork, but paperwork is required for hand guns.”

Your understanding is wrong. This from a report this month by Mayors Against Illegal Guns:

(1) Background Checks for All
Handgun Sales at Gun Shows:
States that do not require background checks for all
handgun sales at gun shows have an average crime
gun export rate that is about twice the rate of states
that do require such background checks.
Under federal law, both federally licensed firearms dealers
(FFLs) and unlicensed private sellers are permitted to
sell firearms at gun shows. Licensed dealers are required
to run background checks to identify prohibited purchasers
and maintain sales records for all firearm transactions,
including at gun shows.15 However, persons
who maintain that they sell guns only occasionally – private,
unlicensed sellers – are currently exempt from
these federal background check and sales record retention
requirements at all locations, including gun shows.
This so-called “gun show loophole” allows individuals
who are prohibited from possessing or purchasing
firearms, such as convicted felons and persons with
mental illness, to sidestep the background check and
obtain guns from unlicensed sellers at gun shows.
2000 ATF report found gun shows to be involved
with the trafficking of approximately 26,000 firearms
over a two and a half year period. This figure represents
30% of all guns identified in federal criminal trafficking
cases over that period.16

Nine states and the District of Columbia require some
form of background check for all handgun sales at gun

There is legislation pending to close the so-called gun show loophole. It’s called the Gun Show Background Check Act 2008. Here is a link:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd  ?bill=s110-2577

Posted by Bruno | Report as abusive

Many here have made good points.
1. The US has many very good laws regarding the international sale of arms.
2. Many states have very good laws regarding the sale and carry of arms.
3. Many in this country think it would be better if guns were illegal.
4. Many in this country think it would be better if illegal drugs were legal.
5. Governments are by nature corrupt.
Just thought I would take a tip from Jimbo and number my points.

Alex, has a point. With the gun prohibitionists taking power, now would be the right time to buy guns and reloading supplies and start stockpiling ammo. I like to target shoot and burn through a few hundred rounds a week. I may have to cut back.

It is good to see so many who grasp the relationship between black markets and violence. Make sure you let your Representatives know that you are against laws that maintain black markets and funnel so much money from the US into the hands of Criminals. Let them know you want to put a stop to the unconstitutional War on Drugs. Since the US is the worlds largest consumer in these drugs, such an act would cripple organized crime world wide. This would also move other nations to stop contributing to these black markets. Then we could concentrate on real problems like slavery in the world. The amount of money wasted on trying to stop Jim Bob from smoking a joint on his back porch could be much better spent on stopping the human trade in forced labor. That is the new title for slavery. Instead we believe the fear mongers and think the world will collapse if Pot or cocaine were legal while an estimated 10,000 children in this country are forced to work up to 20 hours a day as slaves to their masters who bought them in foreign countries. Sorry, I digress.

There are people who would rather use the turf wars south of the border fueled by black market income to limit legal possession of arms in the US. There is overwhelming evidence that banning arms does not stop the violence. Look at New York or DC. Yet they continue by saying that those areas are surrounded by gun toting states. But look at the example given by Alex. It doesn’t matter. You are not going to get ride of guns no matter how strict your laws are because the criminals do not care about your laws and there will always be someone to sell an illegal gun somewhere in the world and get it to the guy with the money…the criminal! This is why the Cartels in Colombia are better armed than the Colombian government. If you do not want them to have this kind of power then take their income away. However, do not think you can solve their problem by taking away my rights. I refuse to let the sheep of this nation strip me of my rights by taking away my ability to defend myself.

Lastly, Gaskins you are correct. In fact, during the Revolutionary War the civilians had better long arms than the military. It was our Kentucky long rifles that played hell with the British Officers. Our snipers were so good the British officers took to staying way behind the lines. But, the point is that at that time the people were better equipped than the military when it came to long arms. But, to day that is a far cry for true. True your average Joe didn’t have canon but, when it came to pistols and hand guns the military had noting over him. Are we, today, any less responsible than the Americans of 1776?

The gun prohibitionists cite the acts of the insane and clashes between criminal factions driven to their insane acts by greed as reason to take away our right to protect ourselves. I think many here have seen the flaw in that logic.

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

The US does have a lot more relaxed gun laws than many other countries. I would say that Mexico needs to search better at the boarder. There were several guns mentioned in this article. The author did some research on guns but failed to mention some major points about them. For instance a 50 caliber Browning will not punch through an armored car without armor piercing rounds at any reasonable distance, nor will the cop killer pistol be able to go through a flak jacket without the proper ammunition. The ammunition needed to create the destruction that is described here is not legal in the US- so black market Mexico or black market US they are being bought illegally.

Posted by albert | Report as abusive

I just wish they would use the weapons to overthrow the corrupt mexican government. I mean – what are weapons for anyway?

Posted by Richard | Report as abusive

Why not? It seems that everyone doesn’t want to take responsibility for their own actions and shortcomings…they would rather have someone to blame. And Mexico is unwilling to watch their borders, because they don’t want to inconvenience the tourist with the dollars…but they also let in thousands of guns a year. Gun crimes in general also fall in to this finger pointing territory. Take Columbine for example, the weeks and months after the incident they were blaming Marilyn Manson and the video game DOOM. And not looking at the way they were treated by others, or the lack of proper gun safety, arms not under lock, and not unloaded when in the case. It’s all a shame really.

Posted by Brenden | Report as abusive

Drug lords have money and can get whatever weapons they want. Weapons are readily available in central and South America. We are simply a supplier of convenience.
Until Mexico gains some semblance of rational, uncorrupt government there is no hope for it. Take every gun from every household in America and it would have no effect other than to make US residents easier targets.
The anarchy and corruption that passes for a government in Mexico should not affect our laws one iota.

Posted by riverguide | Report as abusive

You’re missing the point entirely! Instead of focusing on trying to regulate weapons. What do you suppose would happen if all of a sudden drugs were legalized? This nonsense would disappear overnight! It’s time to take a second look at this farce we call “The War on Drugs” and begin constructing a viable model for regulating drugs.

Posted by August Gioia | Report as abusive

TEMPESTUOUS TIMES! (Gun issue comments at end)
These are very tempestuous times and it is good to look beyond what is happening at a given moment and to see if a broader plan is working in the background to the detriment of the the American People.
Under both the Clinton and Bush administration’s, policies were put in place which are designed to eventually dissolve the United States of America and to the forming of a new United Nations World Government as it’s ruling body.
People in bread lines, like during the great depression, are more open to a new form of government!
President Clinton signed into law, under his emergency Presidential powers, a decree stating that in time of extreme emergency, United Nation Commanders would be placed over the Mayors of our cities to rule OUR country. This law was nearly activated on 911 when the fourth plane was apparently headed for Congress but was thwarted by the heroic efforts of the passengers on the plane.
President Clinton, while also using these emergency Presidential powers signed into law a decree stating that all National Parks were to be turned over to United Nation’s control. All United States National Parks were turned over to United Nations control on January 1st of 2000. Three months later they started limiting our access to our own parks.
President Bush has met on multiple occasions with both the Presidents of Mexico and Canada to lay out a plan to combine the governments of the United States with the Governments of Mexico and Canada, starting with the meeting on March 23, 2005 at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. After this meeting, these three Presidents drove to Baylor University to announce their signing of an agreement to form the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. (The SPP).
This agreement is the foundation for the North American Union which will combine the governments of the United States of America, Mexico and Canada. The North American Union will effectively dissolve the United States of America!
The currency for this new country will be called the Amero.
Once this equivalent of the European Union is formed the next logical step is to combine it with the European Union to form the new United Nations World government.
The United Nations has already put forward a set of plans to levy taxes on American businesses, to form it’s own army and the new UN World Court System even now claims that it has power over United States Citizens. Note: our own court judges have even recently quoted foreign law in deciding American court cases!
President Bush recently made arrangements with both Mexico and Canada to provide troops in case of an uprising of US Citizens.
One thing though: There are over 70 million gun owners in the United States with over 120 million guns and at only 200 rounds of ammunition per gun, (many have thousands), that amounts to over 24,000,000,000, 24 Billion rounds of ammunition.
Around 30 million of these gun owners are trained killers, present and former military, hunters and police.
This is the largest armed force on Earth! INTERESTING isn’t it.


Posted by Wayne J. Behrle | Report as abusive

1. Hoss, are you really advocating the overthrow by force of arms of the US government? Because when I look in my pocket Constitution that is one of the only two acts considered to be treason against the US. So I’m guessing that all these folks who believe that the purpose of their firearms is to prevent tyranny have so little faith in the democratic process that they instead advocate, what, change of government by bloody coups like in the Third World? If you really want to live that way I suggest you go to Somalia where they really love their guns.
2. Bravo Bruno! At last some facts with some proper citations so we all can look them up and confirm them to our heart’s content instead of all this hand-waving. This is the way it should be done.
3. I know a little something about the DC sniper because I was living in the VA suburbs while that was occurring. They shot from a camouflaged location, i.e. the inside of a car’s trunk that had a loophole cut in it so they didn’t have to show any sign of their intent before acting, taking only one shot then immediately moving on. They did this mainly in MD and VA, not DC which is far too crowded and urban to escape detection easily the way they were doing it in the less dense burbs. And VA has concealed carry laws, I think MD too, yet they didn’t seem to help prevent any of those killings, now did they? And they killed someone down South on their cross-country jaunt, I believe in Alabama, another state with lax laws, but then that is really immaterial because they’d already obtained their primary weapon by then. So just exactly how would have an armed citizenry helped stop the DC sniper killings? I want to know, lay it all out for me in detail. As it was they were caught by an alert motorist who spotted their car (which didn’t look anything like the van some witnesses claimed to see) in a highway rest stop fairly far outside DC late at night who then reported it to the cops; no armed militia was involved at all other than MD state troopers.
4. As to all those other potential sources of firearms for Mexico, not one is on this continent. In fact, they’re all oceans away from Mexico. Thus it is still far easier for Mexican narcos to obtain their weapons and ammo from US sources. No US Customs and Border Patrol agents are looking in vehicles going into Mexico for guns; they’re looking for drugs and people coming back from Mexico. And the Mexican police are in fact outgunned and outfunded by their narcos (McClatchy story on that subject today). It’s not that they don’t want to do their jobs, it’s that doing their jobs can get them and their families killed. All because the US can’t curb its demand for drugs and insists on making them illegal. We had that in the US once; it was called Prohibition and it gave rise to organized crime in the US just like it does in Mexico today. So demand side economics, not supply side.
5. The gun proponents always insist that concealed and open carry keep the bad guys at bay. But they never consider the case of the bad guy who shoots first, like in California Christmas eve. Do you really believe that an armed person with malicious intent wouldn’t shoot first the first person he saw trying to pull a weapon to shoot back, even before the bad actor confirmed his intentions by shooting since until then he’s just another open carrier? It’s who shoots first who has the edge, just like in the DC sniper killings. The gun folks seem to be pushing a vision of America where everyone is always armed and always on edge for the first hint of trouble. Sounds more like Mogadishu to me than Mobile.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

Jimbo said: “5. The gun proponents always insist that concealed and open carry keep the bad guys at bay. But they never consider the case of the bad guy who shoots first, like in California Christmas eve. Do you really believe that an armed person with malicious intent wouldn’t shoot first the first person he saw trying to pull a weapon to shoot back, even before the bad actor confirmed his intentions by shooting since until then he’s just another open carrier? It’s who shoots first who has the edge, just like in the DC sniper killings. The gun folks seem to be pushing a vision of America where everyone is always armed and always on edge for the first hint of trouble. Sounds more like Mogadishu to me than Mobile.”

Just for the record, insane people are unpredictable.

Jimbo, your thought process is liner. If you have one armed man (let’s say with a Beretta 92) and 10 people unarmed people who has the advantage? The armed man has the advantage in this case because his weapon holds more rounds than there are people facing him. Now let’s say 3 of those people each have a firearm (a S&W 38 special) and let’s say the insane guy opens fire on the ten. We can even say that no one spotted him drawing the weapon. How many shots do you think he will get off before he encounters return fire? Let’s be real, Jimbo. If handguns were of no use in self protection the police would not be carrying them and the military would not be issuing them. Handguns are not assault weapons. They are close range protection. Can you stop insane people from initiating their crazy plans? No! Never! Even if you could melt down every gun in the world, you could not stop the insane intent on killing. But, you can limit the damage. You can also deter the not-so-insane criminal who normally looks for the easiest targets and you can protect yourself with a hand gun you carry with you. What you had on Christmas Eve was a lion in the middle of a heard of sheep with no shepherd to be found.

Jimbo said: “4. As to all those other potential sources of firearms for Mexico, not one is on this continent. In fact, they’re all oceans away from Mexico. Thus it is still far easier for Mexican narcos to obtain their weapons and ammo from US sources. No US Customs and Border Patrol agents are looking in vehicles going into Mexico for guns; they’re looking for drugs and people coming back from Mexico. And the Mexican police are in fact outgunned and outfunded by their narcos (McClatchy story on that subject today). It’s not that they don’t want to do their jobs, it’s that doing their jobs can get them and their families killed. All because the US can’t curb its demand for drugs and insists on making them illegal. We had that in the US once; it was called Prohibition and it gave rise to organized crime in the US just like it does in Mexico today. So demand side economics, not supply side.”

Damn Jimbo…”All because the US can’t curb its demand for drugs and insists on making them illegal.” I do not think the majority of people in this country would say they are insisting. State after state is decriminalizing pot but, the Feds are screaming. Why? Because, the peoples voice is not heard in DC. The most powerful lobbyist on Capital his is the CIA. And they along with the DEA and FBI do not want drugs to be legal. This would cut way to deep into their funding. So let’s be clear that it is the Government Bureaucracy protecting itself that is keeping certain drugs illegal through fear mongering and payola. You are correct in that the Narcos south of the boader have been armament than the Police. To say that it comes from the US may be true but it does not matter because, they would still have their arms no matter where they come from. US, China, Russia, EU it does not matter. They will get their weapons because, they have the money. Write your Representative and tell him you do not want US money going to Criminals any more and you want the Unconstitutional War on Drugs stopped. If enough people did this, they would be forced to listen or face the consequences of being voted out of office. No this will not solve all our problems but, it would put those problems legalization doesn’t solve and those it creates in the hands of responsible people.

Jimbo said “1. Hoss, are you really advocating the overthrow by force of arms of the US government? Because when I look in my pocket Constitution that is one of the only two acts considered to be treason against the US. So I’m guessing that all these folks who believe that the purpose of their firearms is to prevent tyranny have so little faith in the democratic process that they instead advocate, what, change of government by bloody coups like in the Third World? If you really want to live that way I suggest you go to Somalia where they really love their guns.”

Jimbo, do recall these words by any chance?

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security…”

Yes the US government has the authority to protect itself. However, if the people feel it is not working or corrupt the People can demand a constitutional congress be called so changes can be made. Many Poly-sci Profs have been concerned that just such an event is near. If the Senate and Congress turn a deaf ear then you will have states secede and the possibility of civil war will loom. At which time those with arms will be called to service. Treason charges will be determined by who wins. If you read the Wall Street Journal you would have seen in yesterday’s edition that others believe the US is nearing such a crisis. I doubt it will actually occur but, stranger things have happened.

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

I apologize for not having read all the comments, but I’ve read some, and wow there’s a lot there.

I’ll try to keep my comments short.

First, as a human being I want other human beings to stop trying to take away my legal rights to own various firearms. Police officers are by the laws of physics incapable of protecting me from a criminal intent on hurting me, unless by coincidence there’s a police officer already there, and even then it’s iffy. The responsibility is mine though. I don’t want to rely on anyone else anyway. If someone tries to hurt me, I might fail at protecting myself… but that’s how life works. And it is certain that I would at least try to protect myself. A gun is a tool that might help me… and when out-spoken-anti-gun folks write things about making more guns illegal or taking more guns away from citizens like me, I get insulted and dissappointed. Guns are not the problem. People are the problem. Why not turn that energy toward dealing with bad people instead of trying to take away one of the available tools we have to protect ourselves from the people who are actually the problem.

As for how this affects mexico… I’m not sure I can say it better than the people who have already posted that it’s up to Mexico to deal with it.

Posted by Kevin | Report as abusive

These narco gangs are getting fully automatic weapons, grenades, and explosives and those are most definitely not coming from america.

There own military and police are so corrupt as to supply weapons and the killers to pull the triggers. There have been cases of Mexican military hit squads coming to the US to invade houses and kill people.

To blame this problem on the US and the citizens already restricted access to firearms is so laughable as to be a joke.

Sure, they are buying fully auto AK’s and grenades at US gunshows. Yah!

Try venezuela. The biggest supplyer of such weaponry to narco terrorists in the western hemisphere. Jose

Posted by Jose | Report as abusive

Perhaps they will escalate their killing of each other and eliminate the problem themselves.
All in all an irresponsible piece of journalism designed to bolster the anti-firearms faction in the U.S.
These criminals are not purchasing fully automatic weapons and grenades in the U.S.and I am guessing the ones they are “importing: have been stolen from law abiding U.S citizens.
Until we close our Southern borders and deport the illegal immigrant criminals violent Mexican drug gangs will continue to be a problem.
Mexican officials are making way too much money to ever mount an effective campaign against them.
Mexico and South America also regularly blame us for their gang violence due to our deportation of illegal alien gang members.
Bernd if you choose not to be armed that is your choice.Don’t mess with my choice to be armed.

Posted by NickinWashington | Report as abusive

B. Free, it is clear your grasp of the US Constitution is tenuous. And those words you quote are not in it; they are in the Declaration of Independence, which is not the supreme law of the land and in fact has no continuing legal effect. The US Constitution is (US Constitution, Art. VI, para. 2), no matter how stirring is the oratory, propaganda, and hyperbole of the Declaration. The manner of amending the Constitution is set forth in Art. V, which does not mention people demanding a constitutional convention; only two thirds majorities of all state legislatures or two thirds majorities of both houses of Congress can call for a convention proposing amendments. The people are limited to what they can get their legislators to do, and even there Art. IV, sect. 4 guarantees to each state a republican form of government, meaning representatives, not direct voting. I believe the issue of secession of states from the union was settled in 1865, but if you still have doubts I refer you to US Constitution, Art. I, sect. 10, first and third paragraphs. Treason is defined in Art. III, sect. 3, first paragraph. And considering who now owns the Wall Street Journal I don’t know that I’d believe everything it prints.

You prefer to limit the damage by retaliation; I prefer to limit it by preemption. In which case are fewer people left dead? Are only insane people unpredictable, or are you using unpredictability as an indicator for insanity? I’d say people have free will, which makes everyone unpredictable. And if you could melt down every firearm in the world (swords into plowshares, I believe the Bible calls it), you’d cut down a lot of that killing that occurs because those with intent to kill would have to find a much less easy method than simply pulling a trigger. That’s one of the reasons why police and military are issued weapons; it’s an easy way to kill and hence to gain obedience (although it doesn’t necessarily cause the other to actually change his/her mind). What would the Christmas eve lion have been able to do without his guns? Much less than he did do.

Claiming that the CIA, FBI, DIA (did I leave anyone out?) are the true forces behind preventing decriminalization borders on being a conspiracy theory. The two most powerful lobbies on Capitol Hill are the NRA and AIPAC; this is why at least the liberals in Congress prefer to keep themselves uninvolved in gun legislation (it stirs up the single-issue voters who don’t care that the economy is collapsing around them as long as they have their guns so they can steal someone else’s food), while the conservatives always embrace it, and why both always kowtow to the absolute security of Israel (as unattainable as that actually is despite their overwhelming superiority in just about every class of weaponry the two sides possess).

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

Jimbo, your point #4 is my main point. I don’t even own a gun, though I was in the Marines. As far as advocating armed rebellion against an oppressive govt. – definitely. That’s what the fireworks are all about on the 4th of July.

Posted by Hoss | Report as abusive

Hoss, we apparently agree on the need to decriminalize possession of narcotics and hallucinogens or whatever, treat it more as a public health matter than a criminal matter, but if you insist on claiming a right to overthrow the US government by violence you’re risking spending the rest of your life in Guantanamo if that’s still open or a federal supermax prison otherwise. In the US we vote our way into power, not shoot our way in.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

In this phenomenon tearing at the Mexican social fabric and functionality of Government of Mexico (GOM) the firearms are an accoutrement, an incidental, rather than a driving influence. The cause is incredible illicit wealth, and it is aggravated by the chief influence of inherent corruption in the elite class ruling Mexico and running GOM. The corrupt conduct is systemic and generations long in its influence. I worked as a US Justice Department criminal investigator and official from 1971 until 2004. I met and mingled with GOM officials up to the immediate subcabinet level. A nation does not descend into lawless gang warfare because of weapons, but because the leadership and institutions have sold out, failed. The pretense that smuggled guns from the USA are a cause rather than affect seems silly when the full automatic AK 47 and AK 74 are principle shoulder arms in the gang wars, yet are not even present in the USA to be available to smuggle to Mexico.

Posted by james | Report as abusive

Why do the Yanks feel it necessary to HAVE to own more guns than some national armies?

Reliance on a 219 y/o law is twaddle – if I acted on a statute from the Middle Ages and I could (I have a book with complete English statutes from Magna Carta to 1681) I would be looked at askance. Yet 300 million yanks do exactly that – why? Look at all the kids who spray their fellow pupils with semi-auto fire – that was the meaning behind your Constitution??

The US needs to wake up!

Posted by William Fletcher | Report as abusive

America has two borders in North America. Why don’t we have the same problem with Canada? Maybe Canada is not corrupt. If America magical got rid of their guns tomorrow, the drug cartels would buy guns from China or Russia.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

Jimbo, I just don’t think the majority of those posting here agree with your message.

As for your take on the Constitution…If a government does not provide for peaceful change…I think you know the quote.

As for your concerns over my spouting conspiracy theory…no, just a simple matter of funding. And, if you think the NRA is the most powerful lobbyist on capital hill, man are you deluding yourself. They don’t have the money or power to be a leading lobbyist. Compared to big oil and the pharmaceuticals they are a gnat buzzing around being an annoyance at best.

And, I am aware of how the Constitution defines treason. And, I will restate, the winners try those charged with treason. Also it is not treason to call upon Congress to vote for a constitutional congress. Call upon…demand…you decide. It would take a popular movement, no doubt. But politicians usually want to keep their job and if enough “demand” was voiced I am sure such action would be taken. And if they didn’t, well, you already stated secession could never happen again and I am sure everyone agrees with you.

James, you state the simple facts. And, if all that illicit money were to dry up???

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

No one is going to take MY guns, or tell me what type I amy or may not own, because of what anyone else thinks or does. End of story.

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive

Our government does provide for peaceful change; it just might not be the change that you want. What then? To arms? Hasn’t happened even in Zimbabwe where there is clearly an illegitimate government in place. If you want an example of a recent time when we allowed peaceful change regardless of the will of the majority I call your attention to the 2000 election where the loser obtained some half million more votes than the winner, yet the only civil unrest was that by the Brooks Brothers GOP congressional staffers who tried to intimidate (terrorize?) the Florida vote counters as they went about their work. I wonder what would have happened if they were armed? The majority of people don’t believe in evolution or plate tectonics or any number of other things that exist or occur, but facts are not determined by majority vote. Which is the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill depends on how you measure it, so this argument is pointless without some definitions we can agree on.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive

Hey Jimbo, you are so close. Now, is there a difference between the rules of government set forth in the Constitution and the wills of men? If this government stops listening to the people is it still a republic? Is it still the government set forth in the US Constitution? The election of a president that was not popularly elected didn’t violate any rule set down in the Constitution. Even though I do not believe the US needs an electoral college it followed the rules. “To arms?” you are funny. As I stated, it will be the states that do the calling. Not some two bit para military org. or even me. And, as I stated before, I doubt it will happen. My reason for this position is simple, I think the American public is still to fat and happy and unwilling to see all the wrongs this government is doing. And of course the two party system allows us, when we are fed up with one abusive regime, to switch to the other abusive regime and they make it feel so good. Of course I will need to also state that I think this country does a vast amount of good in the world and at home but that is no excuse for the wrongs we commit. They don’t offset. A good citizen acknowledges the good and fights to correct the wrong. And in my opinion, my right to protect my self is inherent and good and this government should not try to limit this ability. If this is making it easier for individuals in other countries to acquire arms, then better enforce the laws regarding international trade in these arms but, do not restrict my rights. If this is being fueled by gross amounts of illicit income and for the past 50 years the country’s efforts at stopping that income have failed, maybe it is time to try a different tactic. Maybe we should take a clue from history. You know it as the XXI amendment. Repeal prohibition!

Posted by B.Free | Report as abusive

Gun shows DO have background checks. Apparently facts do not get checked by journalist but merely repeated off hand by word of mouth. America is not responsible for the actions of Mexican citizens. Mexicans commint a huge amount of crime as far away as Canada and all over the United States. Maybe if our citizens were allowed to defend their nation against invasion both countries would see a signifigant drop in crime. Mexicans kill more Americans then Al Quada ever did or ever will. Lets focus on the real threat to us.

Posted by Don | Report as abusive

I guess if you are a reporter you can “report” whatever you like. First of all if you buy a firearm on a internet site like gunbroker you have to have it shipped to a
FFL licensed dealer, than if a waiting period is required, like florida, wait to pick up your purchase.
This also applies at gun shows, you have to have a background check to buy.Between private individuals you can sell and that applies to anything, bombs, booze or
drugs.We have enough laws in this country regarding
firearms. It’s the jerls like the mayor of NYC and Chicago
that scream about more laws but do nothing about enforcing
them. By the way the cities with the most laws have the
biggest problems with firearms, duh !


If they are being smuggled then where does this figure of 2,000 a day come from? How much drug traffic comes into the U S from South America and what is the responsibility for that by their citizens in terms of their freedoms and rights. Perhaps every home and business in certain South American countries should open to search and seizure on a daily basis. Why is this a war between drug dealers in Mexico so important and what makes this something that U S citizens should be concerned about. Concerned to the point that we should curtail our freedom? Perhaps England should have set aside a lot of their citizens civil rights during the strife in Northern Ireland? Who would pay for the enforcement of new and restrictive laws in the U S?
Finally, again why is this so important? Huge areas of Africa still live medically in the 19th century. Over and over we again see headlines of hundreds of thousands on that continent perishing due to lack of food. The situation in darfur, Western Sudan is not solved and a reminder of ten years ago the genocide in the former Yugoslav that went on for years with the world standing by just observing.
I will give the writer one hurrahh for great great creativity and nominate him for a high award for best fiction author this month.