Narco-Terrorists and the NRA

Narco-Terrorists and the NRA

American gun hobbyists and arms merchants quibble over exactly how many firearms used by Mexican drug gangs come from the U.S. — 90 percent? 70 percent? —  but one thing is certain: the 10,000 people killed in Mexican drug cartel violence since January 2008 are 100 percent dead.

The number of assault weapons seized in Mexico has been increasing, and most of the firearms were bought in the U.S. and smuggled across the border. The practice is likely to continue unless we get consistent laws and effective enforcement in the United States.

Think it’s not your problem? The more guns move south, the more drugs move north — and wholesale violence follows. Mexican drug cartels are adopting a new business model, “vertical integration”:

In 230 U.S. cities, the organizations maintain distribution hubs or supply drugs to local distributors, the federal government reports. Places like Miami and other longtime transportation points along the Southwest border. But also Twin Falls, Idaho. Billings, Mont. Wichita, Kan. St. Louis. Milwaukee.
— “Mexican drug wars spread north into U.S.,” Associated Press via

It happens at gunpoint. And the U.S. provides the guns.

Read more:

River of Iron: Gun violence and Illegal Firearms Trafficking on the U.S.-Mexico Border.

 Indicted: Types of Firearms and Methods of Gun Trafficking from the United States to Mexico as Revealed in U.S. Court Documents

Project Gunrunner: Firearms Trafficking in the Southwest Border Initiative. US  Department of  Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives

Project Gunrunner — Latest News.

Armas Cruzadas  DHS, ICE, PGR, SSP

 Visual learner? Watch this.

What can be done? For a start, the U.S. can finally ratify the The Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA). The National Rifle Association has thrown money around and stalled this for a dozen years, at the cost of thousands of lives.

You think life is cheap in Mexico? So are congressmen, here in the USA. You can buy them for the cost of a few assault rifles.


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length. Not all comments are posted. Got a problem with that? Write about it on your own blog.

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6 Responses to “Narco-Terrorists and the NRA”

  1. Mike Licht Says:

    On our flickr site, iamyourbestfriend said:

    The solution is to lock up the border, not change our laws to appease Mexico. I have a photo of some of the guns they use as “proof” in my stream, most of them are illegal weapons that you can not purchase in the USA, so that means they are getting them from other sources.

    The solution is to lock up the border

    Very practical … wonder why no one ever thought of that before.

    not change our laws to appease Mexico.

    Smuggliing guns out of the U.S. breaks our laws. Just ask ICE and DHS.

    I have a photo of some of the guns … illegal weapons that you can not purchase in the USA

    You probably mean the recent widely-publicized seizure of a 50 cal. machinegun and RPGs captured in Mexico. It appears that the Barrett M82 sniper rifle favored by cartels is more of a threat. There are plenty more pictures of huge caches of assault weapons, handguns and ammunition — bought in the USA.

    so that means they are getting them from other sources.

    ATF busts people with illegal weapons in the USA every year, too. If gunrunners can smuggle thousands of small arms, they can smuggle heavy weapons.

    There are lots of guns and lots of photos. There are also lots of bodies, and there will be more — on both sides of the border — until US gun laws are rationalized and enforced.

    Sorry if you are inconvenienced in pursuit of your hobby.

  2. Mike Licht Says:

    Note: Sylvia Longmire’s well-written blog seems to be a good place to follow this issue.

  3. mikeb302000 Says:

    Mike, Thanks for a great post. I’ve written about this a few times over on my blog and always receive the typical resistance one expects from the gun crowd. Whatever the exact percentage is, it’s too much. The ATF themselves put it at about 90%, which I quoted one time.

    Just like there’s too free a flow into Mexico, there’s too free a flow on the streets of America.

  4. TW Says:

    Fully automatic AKs, M16s, and RPGs cannot be and never have been freely bought and sold on the US market, yet photos of Mexico gun seizures are filled with such weaponry.

    You see any such photos here? No. Auto-loaders kill people just as dead as automatic weapons. So do bolt-action rifles and revolvers. And people take pictures of unusual things, not typical ones. -ml

  5. Joe Plumber Says:

    Automatic AK’s are the weapon of choice, and they are purchased cheaply and freely from other countries by the boatload. Eastern Europe and Chinese weapons are purchased by third world brokers and shipped into Mexico. The author of this post should be ashamed to imply that by restricting our ability to protect yourself would decrease Mexican violence. If that were the case, Mexico would be safe due to the heavy gun control regulations. More Americans need to arm up, not less.

  6. Mike Licht Says:

    “Joe Plumber” asserts: . Eastern Europe and Chinese weapons are purchased by third world brokers and shipped into Mexico.

    You often hear this unfounded claim from gun enthusiasts. It is nonfactual:

    “… the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reported last month that of the 29,284 weapons recovered in Mexico and submitted for tracing in 2009 and 2010, a total of 20,504 – 70 percent – were “United States-sourced firearms.’’ Virtually all of the remaining weapons were not traceable because insufficient information was submitted.” — Dan Freedman, Houston Chronicle

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