Thursday, July 31, 2008

Regarding Guns, Drugs, and Growing Violence

On June 10, 2008 The Dallas Morning News published an article entitled "U.S., Mexico launch unprecedented effort to disrupt cross-border weapons smuggling" which discussed a joint venture by Mexican and the US security forces to address issues of border security. COHA Research Associate Chris Sweeney wrote the following letter to the editor in response.

My hat goes off to U.S. and Mexican customs officials for the initial success of their joint operations (“U.S., Mexico launch unprecedented effort to disrupt cross-border weapons smuggling” June 10). Such progressive law enforcement is a promising development in the otherwise disheartening war on drugs. However it is a misguided solution. The US must instead focus its attention on the domestic issues of drug abuse and gun control – not border security – to achieve any sort of resounding victory in the drug war. After all, it is the American lifestyle, not the Mexican drug cartels, that is to blame. The widespread demand for drugs by U.S. consumers gives the cartels incentive to do business, and the accessible supply of weaponry from U.S. arms dealers makes their business possible. This lethal mix of supply and demand has resulted in far too much violence, some of which is now spilling into the U.S. How ironic that the global spread of American consumerism and violence has taken its ugliest form along our very own border. Meanwhile, law officials on both sides, regardless of their joint operations, continue to suffer the consequences of inappropriate national drug policies.

Chris Sweeney; Research Associate
Council on Hemispheric Affairs

To read the full article, please go to:

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