Susan Estrich and I walk paths on opposite sides of the great political divide. Although I disagree with some of her assumptions, I find her ideas are often logical and her columns insightful. Her thoughts on guns and drugs are no exception.
We are the ones to whom they sell the drugs. It is American demand for illegal drugs that is the engine for the drug gangs operating in — and destroying — Mexico. And it is American assault rifles, bought at all the gun stores on the border, that are used in the killings.
Every part of this statement is true. America’s appetite for illicit drugs is killing Mexicans and tearing the country apart. But where do we go from here? That’s were Professor Estrich and I sing from different hymnals.
I am disgusted by the hypocrisy of every compassionate Hollywood starlet who sheds a public tear for the downtrodden illegal alien in America—and then jabs a needle between her toes or relaxes with a little weed. And yet such people continue to be held up as pop culture role models. Our “recreational” habits are the biggest and most inexcusable part of the problem.
Equally inexcusable is the illegal flow of arms from America into Mexico that is ending up in the hands of drug cartel killers. America has a duty to do as much to police the smuggling of arms south as we expect the Mexicans to do for drugs moving north.
Assault weapons are not used by sportsmen. You don’t hunt deer with an assault weapon. You don’t need one to protect your home against a robber.
“Wrongity, wrong, wrong wrong!” says the Mythbuster. This is where dear Susan is out of her depth and making erroneous statements that are frequently echoed in liberal echelons.
Before I pick this apart, it helps to understand what these guns are and where they came from.
As with nearly every firearm used by civilians today, the assault rifle’s roots are military. It is a category of weapon that emerged during the Second World War designed to fill the gap between large caliber long rifles and sub-machine guns that spit out pistol bullets. They are shorter and typically lighter than their long rifle counterparts, but they shoot scaled down high-power cartridges.
Contrary to popular leftist misconception, many sportsmen find so-called assault rifles ideal for hunting small to medium-sized game.
In my home state of Texas, A/Rs are used widely for hunting, especially for wild pigs, which are a nuisance species. The low recoil, speed and accuracy of many A/Rs are ideal when you find a sounder of pigs tearing up your corn field. While you won’t find many mule deer hunters trading in their bolt-action ought sixes for 5.56mm AR-15s, the smaller rifles are frequently used for taking white tail deer.
As for home defense, why wouldn’t someone want to us a rifle optimized for close-quarters combat for defending their castle? If I lived in the country and my nearest neighbor was miles away, I would certainly want an A/R’s firepower. (News flash to liberals: not everyone lives in L.A. or New York City!)
If Barack Obama could convince Congress to pass the biggest health care reform since Medicare and the biggest financial reform since the Great Depression, why can’t he push through a bill supported by police departments everywhere to ban assault weapons?
As I demonstrated in my response to Canadian pressure to ban guns in the United States, banning A/Rs in the U.S. would not solve Mexico’s violent drug cartel problem any more than it would curtail femicides up north; the drug lords would simply turn to other sources for their weapons or utilize alternate lethal tools. All a ban would accomplish: deprive law abiding American citizens of an important means of self-defense.
This does not mean that America should do nothing. The federal government and the boarder states have a duty to control what goes out of our country as much as it should manage what comes in. I do not advocate for splitting up families, or for halting lawful immigration and seasonal migration of workers. But the Mexican-American boarder must be controlled. Drugs. Weapons. Human trafficking. Terrorism. These issues are too important to allow the status quo to continue.
Out of political expediency, every American president in the last half century has been derelict in their duty to protect the integrity of our national boarders. Unfortunately, the flaccid POTUS we are stuck with for at least three more years would rather play race politics than honor his oath. And so we are left with ideologues like Susan Estrich advocating debunked fantasies about assault weapons bans. But talk is cheap. Show me something that works.