As Violence In Mexico Rises, American Guns Tied To Crimes Committed Across The Border

Violence is down on the American side of the Border. To say that violence on the border has dropped under the Obama Administration is empirically true, there is certainly statistical evidence to indicate that there has actually been a drop in violence on the American side of the border.

This is not an unrealistic outlook, it is the result of unprecedented amounts of funding that has been thrown at securing the American side of the border. What the Media in the United States particularly Fox fail to acknowledge is that much of the violence that occurs on the border occurs mostly on the Mexico side of the border.

Perhaps an even more nuanced view of what is happening on the border is that violence is down on the American side while also being up on the Mexican side, but that violence committed on the Mexican side has been done with American guns.

James V. Grimaldi and Sari Horwitz of The Washington Post have a great story up, which really dives into the connection between the increase in violence in Mexico and the increase in American guns moving south of the border.

No other state has produced more guns seized by police in the brutal Mexican drug wars than Texas. In the Lone Star State, no other city has more guns linked to Mexican crime scenes than Houston. And in the Texas oil town, no single independent dealer stands out more for selling guns traced from south of the border than Bill Carter.

The report goes even further by compiling the 12 largest retailers of weapons to Mexico, not surprisingly all of them are from border states, additionally 8 of these 12 come from Texas:

A year-long investigation by The Washington Post has cracked that secrecy and uncovered the names of the top 12 U.S. dealers of guns traced to Mexico in the past two years. Eight of the top 12 dealers are in Texas, three are in Arizona, and one is in California. In Texas, two of the four Houston area Carter's Country stores are on the list, along with four gun retailers in the Rio Grande Valley at the southern tip of the state. There are 3,800 gun retailers in Texas, 300 in Houston alone.

The fact that so much of the guns being used in the drug war being waged IN MEXICO come from Texas is significant because Governor Rick Perry has made much about the escalating violence on the Mexican side of the border:

Perry said drug-related crime and violence all along that country-sized border have "gotten considerably worse, despite all of our efforts." The governor told the Tribune-Review that he is concerned not only by the increasing violence and its spiraling brutality, but by the growing sophistication of the drug cartels' operations and the willingness of gang members to confront U.S. law enforcement officers.

If Governor Perry was serious about doing something about violence on the southern part of the border, given the evidence presented in the Washington Post report, perhaps he should make it harder to buy weapons in his state. The report notes that what makes Texas so popular is not only the sheer numbers of gun shops but also the types of guns you can buy with relative ease in Texas:

Drug cartels have aggressively turned to the United States because Mexico severely restricts gun ownership. Following gunrunning paths that have been in place for 50 years, firearms cross the border and end up in the hands of criminals as well as ordinary citizens seeking protection. "This is not a new phenomenon," Webb said. What is different now, authorities say, is the number of high-powered rifles heading south - AR-15s, AK-47s, armor-piercing .50-caliber weapons - and the savagery of the violence.

This has led to a huge number of guns moving from the United States to Mexico:

Federal authorities say more than 60,000 U.S. guns of all types have been recovered in Mexico in the past four years, helping fuel the violence that has contributed to 30,000 deaths. Mexican President Felipe Calderon came to Washington in May and urged Congress and President Obama to stop the flow of guns south.

The Washington Post article is comprehensive, it is well worth wading into as it gives an excellent snapshot of exactly what is occurring on the southern border.