Al Jazeera isn’t exactly what anyone in this country should think of as a particularly unbiased source. The Middle Eastern-based network has a history of supporting jihadists and espousing anti-American sentiment. However, that doesn’t mean everything they report should be dismissed out of hand. After all, even a blind squirrel can find a nut from time to time.
It does mean, though, that their reporting should be taken with a grain of salt in many cases.
So what about a recent story they wrote about how Mexican cartels admit that their guns are coming from the United States?
My honest response is, so what?
Now, understand that I feel for the innocent people of Mexico who are living in terror at the mercy of the cartels. I sincerely wish that they weren’t and I think the Mexican government has a lot to answer for simply because they allowed this to fester until now it’ll take something akin to civil war to remove them.
Yet this push to blame the United States is off-base.
You see, the Mexican cartels are criminal organizations. They’re violating the laws of two countries by smuggling in these firearms, but yeah, they’re getting them from where it’s easiest to get them. That’s because, for one thing, there’s a porous border between the two nations. That goes both ways, after all. The same tunnels used to bypass customs for the drug trade also work quite well for smuggling guns into Mexico, thus going around any law enforcement that would actually care to stop them.
Further, the implication in this is that we are somehow responsible for the violence in Mexico. We’re not. Even if we somehow purged guns completely from our nation–something that would be impossible to accomplish–it wouldn’t do diddly for the violence in Mexico.
One needs to remember that the Mexican cartels are drug cartels. In other words, they’re involved in an illegal trade to begin with. The idea that they would suddenly lose access to firearms is beyond ridiculous.
Right now, guns are coming from the United States because that’s where they seem to be easiest to get for them. As I’ve said before, guns will always find the “low spots.” But restricting our gun rights won’t actually have an appreciable effect on the cartels. They’ll simply use their access with other criminals to get guns instead. It might cost them a little more, but it’s not like they’re running short of cash.
At the end of the day, stories like this may actually be news, but they’re not remotely about what the journalists who cover them claim they’re about. If you want to stop the flow of guns to Mexico, lock down the illicit travel across the border. Shut down the trafficking of drugs from there and you’ll shut down the flow of guns to there. It’s not rocket science.
The truth of the matter, though, is that millions of Americans aren’t going to curtail their rights to keep and bear arms just because of the actions of criminals in another nation. Mexico needs to get its own house in order. It’s not up to us to solve their problems, no matter how much they may seek to claim otherwise.