Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Some folks get it, and some folks don't...

in the letters to the editor in today's Houston Chronicle...

Might the violence in Mexico have some root in the official anti-gun policy over many decades? Private citizens there do not have the right to defend them-selves with modern firearms. They are easy prey for heavily armed criminals and have little defense. Another possible root of the violence in Mexico is the thriving drug trade, which goes on and on due to the large market for recreational drugs in the United States.
There might be two major steps that could help Mexico. First, legalize self-defense with modern weapons. Second, legalize the use of recreational drugs in the U.S. That would take all of the financial muscle out of the criminal gangs.

A-yep, it's just that simple, actually. It'd be interesting to find out just what kind of money one could fetch for proscribed weaponry south of the border precisely due to its illegality, whether it be a pistol or semi-auto rifle. No doubt the illegal gun trade in Mexico is or at least could be just as lucrative as, if not more lucrative than, the illegal drug trade in the United States.
The people who choose to buy, transport and, most im-portantly, to kill others make the decision to break the law. Let's focus on enforcing the laws we have today to reduce the problem. Access to guns doesn't equal more crime. Since 1991, the number of pri-vately owned firearms in the U.S. has increased between 65-70 million, and the nation's murder rate has decreased 43 percent.
Why not address the reason the drug cartels are still in business, despite the use of drugs being illegal in the U.S.? I believe it is because demand is strong. Every time someone lights up a marijuana cigarette or snorts a line of cocaine, they are supporting those who pro-fit from this illegal activity and help to create more violence. Let's address the cause of the problem, and not just the symptoms, to reduce criminal activities here and in Mexico.

Wayne, ole buddy, you're halfway onto something there. You just got one thing ass-backwards. The cartels aren't in business despite drug illegality — they're in business because of it. We're already trying to address the cause of the problem. Does "Just Say No" ring a bell? How about the DARE program? It's not as if we're just throwing people in jail or fining them for getting involved with drugs in whatever capacity here. People are going into this nowadays at least semi-educated, just like they are with alcohol and tobacco. And one more time, why are those two substances not against the law, despite THEIR deleterious effects on society?