In an editorial this morning sarcastically entitled “The Drug Cartel’s Right to Bear Arms,” the New York Times is climbing aboard the drug-war/gun-control bandwagon.
Here’s how the reasoning goes: The Mexican drug-war cartels are killing people with assault rifles. The weapons are purchased in gun shops in the United States and illegally smuggled into Mexico. Therefore, if we just enact a ban on assault weapons, the violence in Mexico will disappear.
The bandwagon was set into motion by the U.S. Justice Department, which recently pronounced that the Mexican drug cartels are “a threat to national security.” Attorney General Eric Holder immediately jumped on board with his call for a new assault-weapons ban.
Threat to national security? Now, where have we heard that before? You guessed it: The Terrorists! You know, those scary people that the U.S. government is waging war against for the rest of everyone’s lives. You know — the war on terrorism, a war that has military prison camps, enemy combatants, torture and sex abuse, kidnapping and rendition, denial of due process, habeas corpus, and trial by jury, Gitmo, Bagram, military tribunals, sensory deprivation, and isolation.
The Mexicans will tell you that the drug cartels are much scarier than The Terrorists. The drug cartels have been killing law enforcement agents, judges, military personnel, and other public officials. In fact, during the past few years the drug cartels have killed many more people in Mexico than The Terrorists have killed in the United States.
The Times‘ solution to the problem? Here it is: “There should be enormous shame on this side of the border that America’s addiction to drugs is bolstered by its feckless gun controls. Firm federal law is urgently needed if the homicidal cartels are to be seriously challenged as a threat to national security.”
So, there you have it. The violence in Mexico is all the fault of those American drug users and gun purveyors. If only Americans would just stop ingesting drugs and if only the feds would finally clamp down on guns (like they’ve done with drugs), all the problems would just go away.
It’s all a classic example of how hope springs eternal for socialists, regulators, interventionists, and gun grabbers. It doesn’t even enter the minds of these people that a war on guns might well turn out to be a bigger, more violent disaster than the war on drugs.
In fact, it doesn’t even occur to them that there is a much better solution to the drug-war violence than some cockamamie gun-control scheme: Just repeal the laws that criminalize the possession, use, and distribution of drugs. In other words, end the drug war.
That’s it. All that needs to be done to end the Mexican drug-war violence is … legalize drugs. And the beautiful part is that the drug cartels would be put out of business immediately. Yes, that’s right — immediately. The reason is that drug cartels lack the competence to compete in legitimate markets. They are only able to compete in black markets, especially ones that involve violence.
The good news is that in the 20 years of FFF’s existence, I have never seen more articles and op-eds, especially in the mainstream press, calling for an end to the drug war as we are seeing today. Why, just recently the City Council of El Paso unanimously enacted a resolution calling on the federal government to consider drug legalization as the solution to Mexico’s drug-war violence. Even though the resolution was vetoed by the mayor, it is a remarkable thing that more and more mainstream politicians are now recognizing the fallacy, failure, and fraud of the drug war.
Thirty-five years ago, the interventionists were issuing the same pabulums about the drug war that we hear today. Isn’t it time that Americans rejected the drug-war nonsense? Aren’t more than three decades of failure, violence, destruction, and assaults on liberty enough? How can anyone really think that assaulting the Second Amendment is going to make a difference in a 35-year-old failed war?
The time has arrived for the American people to demand the adoption of the only possible solution to the drug war, including the drug-cartel violence in Mexico: legalize drugs.