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“The operation began after an air force helicopter detected a convoy of vehicles traveling on a road near Matamoros, Tamaulipas state, and followed them to determine their destination,” reports. “The air force personnel called for army support after gunmen began shooting at the chopper. When the army troops arrived, the assailants fired gunshots at them and fled in different directions from the soldiers’ return fire. After reinforcements arrived, troops blocked off the area and combed several streets in the zone until they located the abandoned vehicles and weapons.” OK, so the Tamaulipas area has been the scene of a turf war, with Los Zetas playing D against other [allegedly] government-backed cartels. So guess how many weapons the Mexican military “stumbled upon” . . .

The Defense Secretariat’s 4th Military Region said in a statement that 83 automatic rifles, 18 handguns, five grenade launchers, a rocket launcher, 11 fragmentation grenades, 28 40 mm grenades, 315 ammunition clips, more than 18,000 rounds of ammunition, 17 vehicles and eight kilos of marijuana were confiscated in Wednesday’s operation.

If we accept this version of events—and I see no reason why we should—we learn two things.

First, again, grenades, rocket launchers and 18k rounds of ammo are not something you pick up from Bob’s Gun Stores just over the border. As the Wall Street Journal correctly surmises in this morning’s paper, small time gun smuggling is . . . small time. As they don’t point out, the cartels are supplied by official military sales that somehow “seep” into their possession.

Second, it highlights the fact that the drug war is a tale of two countries. In one, it’s open warfare; with everything from cartel-run pseudo-military style checkpoints to mass graves to military chopper pilots taking incoming fire. In the other, it’s not-so-open warfare.

But make no mistake, America is paying the price for our porous borders. In yet another scary-ass report on the Mexico- America drug traffic, tells it like it is:

While Mexican officials are frequently forced to choose between “plata o plomo” (Spanish for “silver or lead,” a direct threat of violence meaning “take the bribe or we will kill you”), that type of threat is extremely rare in the United States. It is also very rare to see politicians, police chiefs and judges killed in the United States — a common occurrence in Mexico.

That said, there certainly has been cartel-related violence on the U.S. side of the border with organizations such as Los Zetas conducting assassinations in places like Houston and Dallas. The claim by some U.S. politicians that there is no spillover violence is patently false.

However, the use of violence on the U.S. side has tended to be far more discreet on the part of the cartels (and the U.S. street gangs they are allied with) than in Mexico, where the cartels are frequently quite flagrant.

The cartels kill people in the United States but they tend to avoid the gruesome theatrics associated with many drug-related murders in Mexico, where it has become commonplace to see victims beheaded, dismembered or hung from pedestrian walkways over major thoroughfares.

Bottom line: the number of people shot and killed in the U.S. by narco-terrorists is not as great as it is in Mexico. It’s bad on the U.S. border, and getting worse. But it’s not on the same scale. There is, however, another danger: the political fallout.

As Stratfor points out, it’s far easier for Mexican politicians to blame the U.S. than halt the tsunami of home grown drug thug gun crime, or fix Mexico’s endemic corruption. As we’ve seen, American gun control advocates and their supporters have repeated the imported untruth to their own advantage.

If the ATF’s Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious hadn’t blow up in their collective face, the southern part of the U.S. would already have a federal long gun registry, via executive fiat, justified by Mexican gun crime. Once that scandal simmers down, chances are the Obama administration will make another run at it, citing Mexican gun crime.

Which is why gun rights advocates must remember to focus their attention on the reality of the illegal drug trade with our southern neighbor, and expose the lie that our Mexican border is secure. If we don’t constantly shoot down the idea that U.S. gun dealers are directly responsible for the drug cartels’ arsenal of death and destruction, it will no doubt be used against us.

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  1. It’s pretty sad when free people need to justify the retention of their liberties to their own servants. Is it just me, or is the republic truly dead?

  2. Methinks that the chopper should have launched a Hellfire missile right up the drug-thugs collective heinies.

    • Come now, the drug thugs have their right to due process under the law of “We paid your lawyers, politicians, generals and police chiefs off so kiss my a$$.” Shooting them with a Hellfire would be against everything that the Mexican government stands for.

  3. I think the various government agencies involved in the drug war fiasco absolutely love it when this kind of shit goes on. It gives them a purpose. What you won’t hear about is when the head bureaucrats from these alphabet-named agencies put on their suits, go sit at a table in Washington, fold their hands in front of them and look all serious, thoughtful and wise. And ask congress for another XX billion dollars from the tax payer trough. To fight the Helicopter Killers! Which they’ll get. To accomplish, well, nothing.

    Wait, not entirely true. They will kill innocent people, rip apart families, destroy infrastructure, direct billions of dollars to political cronies, crush gun rights, send countless non-violent offenders to jail, create a monster black market for drugs and generally wreak havoc on the people in this and neighboring countries. So there’s that.

    This country is broke. Flat effing broke. There is no more money to pay for this nonsense. No more money to put everyone on jail. No more money to put a BATFE agent in every gun store and on every corner. To make sure every single knucklehead that does something wrong is punished to the fullest extent of the law.

    Stick a fork in us. We are done. Just one man’s opinion… 🙁

  4. I just returned from the border in far West Texas a few weeks ago and met one of the chopper crews setting up a refueling station near Terlingua, Texas. I was carrying more weapons in my vehicle than they had in their chopper. I also got the chance to meet some of the border patrol folks and I can tell you this; they are outgunned and severely undermanned. They’re also the youngest group of LEOs I’d seen working in Texas but I was impressed by their professionalism and courtesy.

    For those of you that have never visited our southern border, you’d be surprised at just how big an area we are talking about and how easy it is to cross from Mexico into the US. It will take tens of thousands of troops to truly secure our border and more than just a fence with some razor wire. Take a look at my blog to see some recent images from the border and you’ll begin to understand just how big this problem really is.

    But I disagree with John completely. The US may be going through a rough stretch here with the economy, the Mexican drug wars, the ATF screw ups and everything else but we are still the strongest nation in the world. We will meet the challenge and we will secure our borders. We are a nation of two great documents and as long as the Constitution is the law of the land we can change any policy with our votes. And if they ever take that right away from us we have the Declaration of Independence to remind us of what it takes to secure our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s only been 235 years and I’m pretty sure most of us understand those famous words of Thomas Jefferson.

  5. Although it is a comedy show, tonight on The Smoking Gun (Tru TV), Brad said “Mexico is the new Afghanistan.” Those words hit me as almost prophetic.

  6. The way you stop this is legalize it. If you believe in your right to bear arms, you should also believe in your right to smoke anything you want as long as it doesn’t harm others.

    I predict the next step will be a Stinger missle.

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