Nonetheless, the Obama administration (still fun to write seven days in!) would be smart to crack down on gun traffic. For one, it would buy some goodwill from the Mexican government. Two, it eventually would probably force the drug gangs to pay more for weapons, which will leave them either with fewer guns or less disposable income with which to corrupt government officials. In either case, that's a positive result. And third, it would hopefully make guns harder to come by for low-level criminals, which would make low-level crime less tied to murder. In other words, it would limit the organic growth of violent crime in Mexico, aside from the cartel battles, which are to some degree inevitable.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Making Mexico Happy, Gun Dealers Mad
A lot of attention has been paid to arms traffic along the US-Mexico border and the potential for curtailing it along the southern border since Obama was elected. That's good news, although I think it's unlikely to have a very direct impact on Mexican security, which in past posts I neglected to point out. One problem is that there are already tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of American weapons in Mexico, so even if the pistol spigot was turned completely off tomorrow, it's not like would be killers would have to switch to slingshots the day after. Further, drug-traffickers, being a part of a several-billion-dollar industry, will have little trouble finding their way to non-American arms dealers. After all, it's not like Colombia's cartels struggled to find weapons.