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I used to sell boats. These things probably set my state back at least $5m dollars. Not to mention the ongoing price of running the damn things. And for what reason? We could just legalize drugs, and stop making the drug trade lucrative enough to cross the border. But no, we’re going to buy six of the biggest goddamn dick extensions I’ve ever seen, mount even bigger compensatory devices on the deck, and cruise up and down the Rio Grande like its the damn Mekong. Check it [via]: “The 34-foot-long boats, each powered by three, 300-horsepower outboard engines, will have bulletproof plating and six machine guns apiece, not unlike the river patrol boats the U.S. Navy used during the Vietnam War.” Admiral Rick Perry?

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  1. Tyler,

    If they’re using them to actively pursue and engage cartel surface craft that are smuggling cargo or murdering our citizens as they use waterways,then I’m fairly comfortable with this.
    If they’re going to be used to intimidate recreational boaters with boardings, fines, searches, and “discouragement” from using certain fishing locations that’s a whole other story and I’m certainly against that.

    I’m not too crazy about the sexual analogies that you used in your post.
    That’s exactly the sort of language the anti crowd uses against us.

    • Nobody is strong arming readers to stay.

      Your time is not important to me or this blog. If it is important to you then how about wasting it elsewhere.

  2. Gary,

    I’ll make an exception to the rules against flaming the website.

    What’s your beef, exactly? That we’re going to heavy on the anti-“police militarization” stories (this one by Tyler Kee)?

    If you want to write an article “In Defense of Arming the Police Properly” or some such thing, I’ll publish it. Send it to [email protected].

    TTAG welcomes all perspectives on all topics, within reason and without flaming.

    • I’m not sure what Gary’s beef is as a whole, but the thought in this sentence is reprehensible “We could just legalize drugs, and stop making the drug trade lucrative enough to cross the border. ”

      I can see the argument for legalization of some of the softer drugs such as Marijuana, but a blanket statement that we should legalize drugs is not within the realm of sanity. I’ve seen the effects of individuals on Meth in Missouri. I would never argue that addicts of that and harder drugs should be free to enjoy that form of entertainment.

      • Better put tobacco on that list, too. Ever seen what happens to a cancer patient?

        And hells, alcohol, how many people does drunk driving kill every year? Just ban it.


        • I didn’t say anything about tobacco don’t insinuate I’m saying all harmful products should be bad, but some substances are beyond just harmful to you and those breathing your second hand smoke. Drugs like Meth, cocaine, heroin, PCP, and other hard drugs go beyond the effects that the soft drugs like tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, etc.

          Besides Cancer patients are not as prone to going crazy and drowning their own children.

          • So, what you’re saying Joshua, is that it’s perfectly OK for you to decide what someone else does with there life, and imposed that decision on them with police force? Remember Joshua, the government is of the people, meaning anything they do, is our fault, as a whole. So… if you are fine with telling someone, personally, that they can or can’t do something to there own body, and them holding them at gunpoint so that they obey you, then keep on the way you are now.

      • I truly doubt that a lot of people sit around thinking “Meth? Heroin? Coke? Man, if those were legal, I would sure like to try them.” Legal or illegal makes little difference when it comes to many of the choices we make.

        • People don’t do a drug because it makes them feel bad.

          Recreational drugs are exactly that.

      • I’m starting to sound like a broken record starting sentences with “I understand.” I swear that I really do. I was a hard line anti-drug crusader before I read about Portugal’s success with decriminalization. There’s a good article from Time in 2009, another one from 2010, and finally a small opinion from Forbes in 2011.

        I’ll freely admit that Portugal is nothing more than an interesting case study, but it is still worth considering.

        • My small town of about 2000 has 7 pot shops the last time I counted.

          I you are prepared to legalize you should be prepared to have to look at storefronts advertising meth, cocaine, etc. and have your kids ask questions about them.

          Should the taxpayer still support rehabilitation of addicts in a world where drugs are all legal? As it is now we decided as a society that these substances are bad and we will fight to keep them out and try to clean up people that get addicted to them. It makes sense that we share that cost.

          • Does it make sense that we help alcoholics recover? I’m fairly sure there is taxpayer money spent to help with that. I know for a fact there is government money being spent on anti-tobacco programs. What’s the difference?

            The law isn’t the only solution to these things. There are a lot of other options.

          • We all went to high school. Remember how available drugs were then? How about in our early 20s?

            Kids are already exposed to illegal drugs. In fact, for those under drinking age, it is easier to score illegal drugs than it is to buy a six-pack of beer.

            It would be easier to discuss and teach our kids about these things if they were out in the open. As it is, we have no idea when our kids are going to be first exposed to drugs, or in what kind of situation.

        • I find the Libertarian position on drug legalization to be as simplistic as anything I hear from the left. You guys are simply first order thinkers.

          Your assertion that most crime will just wither away if we just legalize drugs shows an appalling lack of historical knowledge on crime in the United States. Back at the turn of the 19th century opiates, cocaine and weed were all legal in the United States yet the major cities were more crime ridden then as they are today. The motivation for engaging in criminal behavior is found in the hearts of met and not a simple matter of economics so legalizing a criminal activity will only give gangs a steady source of legitimate business. Just remember the Mafia controlled both gambling and prostitution for years where it was legal in Nevada. Their control was broken not by competition from non criminal elements but by successful criminal prosecutions.

          Second, the assertion that legalizing drugs would not increase the number addicts ignores economic behavior. The cost, if not legalized, experiment has already been run. The introduction of crack cocaine took the drug from a niche drug for the wealthy into widespread use. Crack is incredibly cheap on per unit basis as little a $5 a hit. If you legalize drugs then both the dollar cost and social penalty will fall. Use is going to expand. Whether legal or not, drug addicts still can’t hold a job and will seek “non- traditional” sources of income, e.g., they will be breaking into your house to steal your stuff to support their habit. Just ask the Dutch who have reversed policy after getting fed up with street crime and petty theft.

          If you want to talk legalization you have to add up the costs on either side of the equation. Until you do that you are just smoking something.

      • “I would never argue that addicts of that and harder drugs should be free to enjoy that form of entertainment.”

        The funny thing about self ownership is that it implicitly means you don’t get to tell other people how to live.

        I don’t think you should be free to (insert my personal bigotry) and I want to the police to come after you with gun boats if you try…

        This is the mind set of a dictator. It’s not healthy or rational. Live your life the way you want to live it and let others to do the same. It’s an easier and much more peaceful way to interact with people.

        • I’ve seen a guy ‘huffing’ gasoline, if you want to get high, you will get high. It’s my body and I should be able to put whatever I want into it, as long as it’s not on your dime. I would continue to discourage driving or working or any potentially hazardous activity under the influence of any substance.

  3. Texas can’t lift a federal ban on drugs and the federal government isn’t doing its job at the border. What choice do they have?

    • I completely agree with Anon. While sometimes it seems as all the new SWAT gear is an answer in search of a problem with the result that SWAT is used when it should not be in order to justify its existence, that is certainly not the case here. Criminals crossing the border to murder, kidnap, etc. is a very real problem and the federal government refuses to do anything to help.

    • I 100% agree that there is not help coming from the federal government, but I would argue that instead of threatening to secede, we could throw a bit more muscle around when it comes to legalization and relations with Mexico. We’re the second largest economy in the nation, but all we’re known for is wanting to secede and our governor shooting a coyote with his concealed piece.

      Its also not to say that we can’t do both in tandem. This isn’t the first escalation by DPS on the border. Last year (memory is fuzzy), they started helicopter patrols as well.

      All I’m asking is that we at least admit that we would love to solve this diplomatically instead of tooling up. It makes us looks like trigger happy yokels, and Texas as a whole are far from that.

      • I “get” the whole legalize drugs concept. That we are free individuals and should be able to put in our bodies what we want.

        On the legal side of things, you have fewer “criminals”, ostensibly. You also remove the trade and dealers, ostensibly.

        But what is the cost to society? Somehow the notion that legalizing drugs is a magic pill (pun intended) to much of our crime in our country and the violence on the border. We assume that once something is legal, that we won’t regulate it, creating black market opportunities for the very some low-life dealers. You simply need to look at smoking and the taxes they have placed on it. How about the companies that have been sued on the order of, what, $250B?

        We complain about healthcare costs of those who have destroyed their livers and lungs by drinking and smoking – or the toll on lives from drunk driving. Have we considered the costs to society if more people than we think, including future generations that have always seen these as legal vices? With a nationalized healthcare very nearly implemented, and only one election away – what will the costs be and services rendered (or not rendered) be?

        The current trend is medical marijuana – yet its been shown that that vast majority of MJ shops, and the “prescriptions” by “MD’s” are simply for recreational use.

        So, getting back to the story – we have Federal law being broken without Federal support (or severely lacking support). You have violence spilling over, thousands have died on the border. Beheadings, kidnappings, etc… Texas is simply taking steps to try and stop it.

        Rather than make semi-related jokes about Admiral Perry (I was in the Navy, I get it) and his genitalia-compensating boats and guns (and trust me, I don’t like the militarizing of our police force). We should instead, first get after the lawmakers, locally, state, and federal (they do indeed get elected by us, we get what we deserve in a representative republic), and secondly, seriously consider how we can “legalize” drugs and still function as a moral society. Without those societal and moral underpinnings, I think we would be doomed. YMMV.

  4. ” I bet Rick Perry is just creaming his pants at the thought of it.”
    I understand the disgust over the ridiculous militarization of the local police, but just for the sake of having a bit of class, perhaps TTAG writers could stop using sophomoric, tasteless diction like the above – though maybe it’s just me, so. . .


  5. Interdicting international drug smugglers should be the responsibility of the federal government, ie the Border Patrol, ICE, and the Coast Guard.
    I realize the the current administration is not doing much to secure the borders except against illegal hair dryers, but still I am leary of law enforcement having military grade hardware. The po po can’t shoot straight with a single action weapon, automatics just compound the problem of stray bullets.

  6. ..or the state of Texas can just put out a welcome mat and say to the narCoterrorists, “please take what you want, just don’t hurt us.”

  7. This is just a cover, when Texas is independent again they will now have a start on their own navy. They just bought it under the auspices of drug interdiction.

  8. What’s wrong with this picture? The Border Patrol carries shotguns, but the Texas DPS is going to open up with those machine guns? Sure. Another “Texas and AZ nudge the Feds” move? Attempt to use the power of suggestion? This post, the DPS boats, sets the stage for a remake of Apocalypse Now, Mexican Border Edition. Just need to find a DEA agent ‘gone native’ (a Col. Kurtz) and the story tells itself. This just shouldn’t be the case. The serious side of this story simply isn’t “gun-related” web site material. Does look, though, like Cormac McCarthy’s got new material.

  9. “We could just legalize drugs, and stop making the drug trade lucrative enough to cross the border”
    It’s not that easy nor that simple. True the casual user would be well served but the result of legalization would be a far cry from what is being touted.
    Do you really think those bad guys will merely vanish or take up honest work?

    • We could just legalize drugs guns, and stop making the drug gun trade lucrative enough to cross the border

      “It’s not that easy nor that simple. True the casual user would be well served but the result of legalization would be a far cry from what is being touted.
      Do you really think those bad guys will merely vanish or take up honest work?”

  10. prohabition was ended in portugal 10 years ago. The results are interesting and well worth the read.

  11. Ur.. okay. I’m about as anti-crew-served-cops as anyone, but, seriously? The solution to the Mexican problem is to legalize drugs? Presumably you mean all drugs, as if any are left off the table, very little will change.

    Okay, so we legalize everything, and in one major exception to the trends of history, uncle sam starts cranking out narcotics at a price point that is somehow cheaper than a bunch of skinnies in a colombian jungle somewhere. Right, okay, I suppose that could happen with a government program. It would be the first time in the history of the nation, but sure.

    So now instead of one relatively easy problem to deal with, bad guys digging holes into Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, we have the comparative bliss of paying the health care costs of a subset of the population who are addicted to narcotics. Narcotics that generally result in really expensive heath problems. Sure, okay, I’m sure if we ask nice and bow deeply enough, China will give us a few trillion dollars to pay for that.

    So now all we have to deal with are the cartels, who deprived of their primary revenue stream, will I’m sure convert to peaceful farming and industrial pursuits in Mexico. Oh, wait, what’s that you say? Human trafficing, arms smuggling and terrorist important pays better than that? Well, golly. At least everyone will be too high to notice.

    Please. Legalization of “soft” narcotics solves nothing. Legalization of all narcotics tears the country apart in a generation. Compared to those two outcomes, the cops can have effing Apaches and Hellfires for all I care.

    • We already are paying all the medical bills for hard drug addicts, though these don’t come close to the bills Medicare and Medicaid are paying for long-term alcoholics, who have comprised 40-50% of organic brain disease in-patients for years. We’re also paying all the costs for the drug gang stabbing and shooting victims. IF you are taken to Philadelphia’s shock trauma unit for a check-up after a car accident, you’ll find $22,000 tacked onto your bill as a “facility fee,” even if they determine nothing is wrong with you. This is a subsidy for all the uninsured shooting, stabbing, car-crash and other accidents that poor Philadelphians experience. We’re paying for the medical, policing, education disruption, domestic violence, all of it. It CAN’T get more expensive.

      • It can only get cheaper. Take the budget of DEA, and the budgets that the LEAs have been spending on drug enforcement efforts each year, and it rises into the billions per year. Add in the additional taxes you’ll collect on newly legal products and you have a lot of revenue.

        And it won’t be Uncle Sam cranking out the drugs. It’ll be ConAgra, RJR Nabisco, Merck, Pfizer, and all the other agricultural, tobacco, and pharmaceutical companies that know how to grow crops and refine drugs. And drugs are expensive because they’re illegal. It restricts the market and adds barriers to entry and makes economies of scale difficult. Once that’s gone, prices will collapse, and legitimate businesses will take over.

        • Didn’t work that way for gambling and Prostitution in Nevada. The Mob controlled the business until the Feds found a reason to put them in jail for other activities. I have a suspicion that even now that organized crime is working behind the scenes in Vegas and Reno.

            • There is a lot of cultural mythology to that claim. The Mob controlled alcohol distribution channels long after Prohibition ended and contrary to the popular view mob violence was not solely driven by it. The Prohibition era coincided with the rise of the Italian Mafia in the United States, They, and their Jewish allies, were driving the formerly dominant Irish mob out of the control of organized crime. The Roaring Twenties would have seen a big upturn in criminal violence regardless of the Volstead Act. Mob violence didn’t end with with with the repeal of Prohibition. Mob wars broke out repeatedly until the Feds effectively destroyed the Italian mafia in late 70’s and early 80s.. At that point the law of unintended consequences took over and other groups filled the vacuum. The Italians were replaced by
              Latin Americans, Russians and the more entrepreneurial black gangs all of whom were more violent than the Mob ever was.. The 1980’s were a repeat of the 1920s because of the struggle for power among the ethnic gangs not because of drug prohibition.

      • We’re paying for the medical, policing, education disruption, domestic violence, all of it. It CAN’T get more expensive.

        Oh, it most certainly can. The issue is one of scale. A great many people think twice about buying and trafficing narcotics due to the pentalties involved if caught. Remove that, and you open the floodgates to massively increasing the costs associated with paying for those existing problems.

    • I understand you don’t like drugs. I agree, drugs are bad and you shouldn’t use them because their bad for you.

      I also think inserting large vegetables in unusual places is a bad idea. I don’t do that either but I would never send guys in a gun boat to stop you from doing it.

      It’s called freedom, it means that sometimes people do stuff you don’t like.

      • I also think inserting large vegetables in unusual places is a bad idea. I don’t do that either but I would never send guys in a gun boat to stop you from doing it.

        Because extremely violent cartels trafficking in large vegetables is such a problem? Come on now.

        There is a very large difference between “something I don’t like” and “activity that affects me by proxy when done by irresponsible people”.

        Someone wants unfettered access to narcotics? Fine, in principle, I’ve no problem with that. Just as soon as the following happens:

        – Said someone is flat out denied medical attention of any kind that they do not pay for, via whatever means they may.

        – Said someone is denied the privilege of operating a motor vehicle.

        – Said someone is ineligible to own a firearm.

        With that in place, their problem stops being my problem, and they can stuff whatever chemicals they like into their body and live in happy-happy land as often as they may like.

        Want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane? Go right ahead. Only thing you’re going to hurt is yourself and the ground if it all goes sideways.

        Want to drive a race car, go deep sea diving, juggle chainsaws, or any other risky behavior? Be my guest.

        However, when someone fidgets up behind me at an ATM because they need my money to buy their drugs, and are willing to kill me to get it, then it’s my problem. When I’m taxed out of business to care for people who are on their twelfth overdose, it’s my problem. When I get T-boned at an intersection by some retard who is out of his mind on drugs, and naturally has no insurance because that would get in the way of his drug purchases, it’s my problem.

        That is not “freedom”, it is “anarchy”.

  12. A couple of things here:
    1) Since this is a gun blog not a drug blog, I won’t comment on that more than to say I do not agree that legalizing drugs would solve the problem – and not create more.

    2) The feds haven’t been keeping the border secure (whether through lack of resources or other issues).

    3) we recently had some recreational boaters get shot by cartel members.

    4) the BGs have been increasingly violent and quick to run across the lines when LEO gets after them because of the ROE our guys have to work under. A series of boats like this is not a SWAT team looking for a problem, but an attempt at a solution to an existing and increasing problem we’re having.

    5) Now – back to the Truth About Guns….

    • You’re right, we are off topic. But the parallels between the anti-gun arguments and the anti-drug arguments are an interesting and related topic.

  13. I have to wonder, just how much money are we going to sacrifice on the prohibition on personal behavior?

    How many rights will we gladly hand over because we find it distasteful that some people like to put things in their body that are bad for them?

    How many people, in how many countries, will we watch die because we still don’t understand that prohibition doesn’t work?

  14. I’m going to leave all the police/drug debate aside and just talk about the equipment.

    And the boat is pretty friggen’ cool. I’m going to the local ‘Sportsman’s Show’ tomorrow, I wonder if I can buy one? Maybe with quad shotguns and an AA sight so I can finally hit a flying duck.

  15. TTAG should try to get someone from LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) to submit an article of their own or comment on this.

    We’re losing our freedoms in the name of the War on Drugs.

  16. Even if drugs are legalized, and I hope they never are, Uncle Sam will still tax them and regulate them, which will make it more expensive to get legal drugs than illegal ones. You may temporarily cut into the profits of those making and distributing illegal drugs, but they won’t go away.
    If government revenue really does go up because of legalization it will simply be spent restricting your freedom in other ways. In the end you will gain nothing.

    By the way, using Portugal, a tiny country with an extremely high proportion of Roman Catholics as a stand in for the United States is not a valid comparison.

    • Not many would buy garbage they don’t know is safe or not. We still have moonshiners but they are nowhere near as huge and profitable as liquor companies.

    • Because you “feel” you have the right to force people to do as you say at the point of a government gun. Nice! Your argument is fallacious at best. Is legal whiskey now harder to get, more expensive and more dangerous than during prohibition? I think not.

    • Right, because so many people are going out and buying black-market alcohol and tobacco. *rolls eyes* Your war on drugs is as foolish as prohibition was – all you’re doing is increasing crime, losing tax revenue to the black market, and ruining lives by locking people up (or killing them) simply because you don’t like their personal choices regarding what they do with their body.

  17. Also, I would like to see evidence that legalization causes an uptick in drug addiction. Millions of Americans experiment with drugs and never become addicted. That being said, society will always have addicts. Ultimately you can’t protect people from themselves. We either have control over our own bodies and what we put in them or we do not.

    I’m at work, but if anyone has links to any studies conducted about Portugal’s decriminalization program I’d like to see those too.


      Cato Institute study.

      Portugal had lower drug usage rates than surrounding countries before decriminalization. They still do, even after decriminalization. Drug trafficking or having more than “personal use” amounts (defined as more than 10 days’ worth for one user) are still criminal offenses.

      While I am sure that decriminalization would be better for US drug users, I don’t believe it would do much for this particular boat project. The shipment of drugs would still be illegal even if we adopted Portugal’s same suite of laws.

      Just to show you how low drug use was in Portugal before decriminalization, 13% of Portugese high school students had tried marijuana. This compares to 19% in the rest of the EU on average.

      The US number is 32%.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly! I would even add that legalization won’t even have an surge in usage. No one refuses to do a particular drug because its illegal, people don’t use because of what impact they feel it may have on their lives, either physically, socially or financially. Never knew anyone to say, “I sure would smoke this rock if it was legal” or “Damn, I want to shoot up this heroin but I’m cool because you know it’s illegal”. Drugs are easily accessible, even for non-users, so back to my point, usage wouldn’t increase if legalized.

  18. If these boats were purchased by a small towm sherriff looking to increase his personal power, I’d have a problem, but since it is the state government buying these, I can see a rational use for the boats. The Rio Grande has become somewhat of a militarized zone with the Texas police, and US Border Patrol on one side and the drug cartels, and corrupt Mexican police on the other side. If they can stop smuggling of drugs, people, and other contraband going in either direction across the border with these boats, more power to ’em. If these boats will protect the ligitimate recreational use of the river, that’s a plus too. Somebody has to step up with the Feds recently not meeting their obligations.

    • It seems there are always good excuses for the continued militarization of law enforcement. SWAT teams, armored assault vehicles, automatic weapons, pilotless drones and now heavily armed patrol boats.

      The result? UnAmerican things like asset forfeiture, no-knock raids, the Patriot Act, and more…

      America is changing before our eyes.

      • I have to respectfully disagree. No knock raids and forfeiture have nothing to do with a gun boat, or heavy weapons for that matter. With Posse Comitatus nixing the use of our military to guard our border, how would you feel if you were the LEO on the ground and all you had for defense was a Sig Sauer 9mm and a shotgun, or at best, an AR, when the cartels have anything ranging from Barrett .50 cals to Russian machine guns? And if the bad guys aren’t as well armed, tough. In a gunfight, it pays to be a winner and sometimes it’s appropriate to kill a fly with a sledgehammer in the event, God forbid, that MORE LEO’s on our border come under fire. Brian Terry (rest his soul) and bean bag rounds come to mind….

  19. While I’m anti-militarization of police and pro-legalization of marijuana, in the interm, as long as the Cartels and thier minnions have military grade weaponry, and the current administration refuses to recognize the gaping hole in our border as a military threat, then I’m of the opinion that the police need all the firepower they can get.

  20. Tyler, have you traveled down to the border recently and talked with locals? Talked with anyone who travels and/or has family right on the Mexico side of the border? I regularly travel to the border and in my business dealings work with dozens of hispanics who have family on both sides of the border.

    The stories they tell me of not being able to see their family in months due to the dangerous conditions (caused by drug cartels), relatives who have been killed, and the surviving ones living in fear are very real. I’m sure many have read about the stories, but hearing it across a table from someone you know and work with is very different. The only thing keeping this from happening on our side of the border is our police and military presence.

    I have zero problem with this enforcement of our laws and protection of our citizens along our border.

    If drugs are legalized, these cartels will find something else to transport and control. Many of them already participate in human trafficking. Will we then be talking about legalizing this? The fact is, it’s not the drug smuggling that is dangerous – it’s the cartels doing the smuggling. Drugs just happen to be their flavor of the decade.

    • “If drugs are legalized, these cartels will find something else to transport and control. Many of them already participate in human trafficking. Will we then be talking about legalizing this? The fact is, it’s not the drug smuggling that is dangerous – it’s the cartels doing the smuggling. Drugs just happen to be their flavor of the decade.”

      Just as organized crime – once it was fostered due to prohibition – became something we’ve had to live with since. So too would existing cartels move into other business.

      The difference is that recreational drugs are a mass market. Prostitution, racketeering, human trafficking, these are all niche markets. The cartels would be greatly reduced in scope, violence and numbers if their current mass market were denied them.

      • Agree. Americans (and mainly on the right) are kidding themselves about one thing, though, National ID cards. The government knows you are. All of you. They know what you spend your money on, where you pay utility bills, the whole bit. Isn’t it about time we had a card (like Sweden and Switzerland) that is difficult to fake, and that says to another person “yes, I’m a citizen of the US”? Else show a passport and a valid visa. (Now everybody screams at me…).

        • I agree with you, Ropingdown. I have a passport, and a passport card. What’s the big deal? The good news is that when the mountain of data gets so huge, it becomes less useful and retrievable.

    • First of all, your first paragraph and most of your second is irrelevant.

      You believe that our police and military presence is the only thing keeping a ton of violence and kidnappings from happening on our side of the border. I disagree.

      IMO, there are a couple of reasons why it’s more violent down there:

      1. The drugs are being produced there and the Mexican government is at war with the cartels, trying to stop the production. The cartels are at war with each other, too. AFAIK, we’re not down there raiding the cartels’ drug manufacturing plants.

      2. You don’t piss off the country whose citizens you’re trying to sell the stuff too. If the US government REALLY wanted to, they could shut down and seal the entire border with assistance from state National Guard units, then have LE round up all the suspected and known dealers and traffickers in the border states.

      3. The culture of deep-rooted corruption inside the Mexican government encourages criminal behavior by alleged authorities and elected officials working on behalf of the cartels. You can’t have a unified front when you don’t know if you can trust the guy to your left and right. Thus, the violence continues.

      Your comparison of drug trafficking to human trafficking is ridiculous, by the way. Drugs are objects. They do not have rights. You know this and you’re being intellectualy dishonest, especially when you ask questions like: “Will we then be talking about legalizing this?”

      Give me a break.

      You’re rightly concerned about the drug cartels switching to some other trade if drugs are legalized. Fine. But human trafficking is nowhere near as profitable as drug trafficking is, nor is the demand anywhere near as high. Some guy who wants to get high every night probably isn’t the same kind of person who’s going to want to buy another human being. Unless they were magically made out of marijuana, cocaine, or whatever.

      What did the moonshiners do when booze was legal again? They did various things. Some even got into politics up in Massachusetts. It’s hard to know what new trades many of them got involved in since I doubt there were many studies, surveys or polling of the former criminals. And before anyone says there’s no comparison between the bootleggers and the rum-running organized crime dealers of the day and these cartels, you’re wrong. There was a whole hell of a lot of violence, murder, ostentaciousness, arrogance, and corruption.

      Prohibition doesn’t work.

      • Michael B, we’ll have to disagree with each other.

        You disagree with my opinion of our military and police largely keeping out what is occurring in Mexico, but then each of your next three points is contingent upon a competent military or police force – or in the case of #3, a lack thereof. Thus, I find most of your post irrelevant.

  21. A couple thoughts on the boats and equipment:

    They’re too big, too expensive, and too flashy. Bullets outrun motorboats, so why do they need such powerful engines? If someone’s trying to outrun you, put some rounds through their engines.

    Six machineguns a piece? I could see one or two, but six? C’mon.

    What a boondoggle. I feel for ya, Texans. One of our local speed trap departments has a Vietnam-era tracked APC with an M249 mounted on it. It’s more of the Chief’s toy than anything else. That and a massive waste of taxpayer money.

    • If it’s an M113, most of the money was already spent getting an APC out of bulk steel. There’s some expense in running the thing, but it was paid for long ago by federal taxpayers. If it sits in an Arizona graveyard slowly decaying, then it’s a complete waste of taxpayer money. At least your Chief has a toy.

  22. It is interesting that most readers here can appreciate that banning guns does not reduce gun violence, while some at the same time claim that banning drugs keeps an epidemic of addiction at bay (or at least works better than legalizing and controlling them). This seems inconsistent to me.

    The biggest losers of a possible legalization of drugs (and I would do this for all drugs, including prescription medications) would be law enforcement and government. No more DEA. Greatly reduced budgets for FBI and local law enforcement. Oh, and crooks would be in a world of hurt too.

    Much like gun grabbers who cry that, “blood will run in the streets,” when gun laws are liberalized, drug prohibitionists are sure that society will self destruct should drugs be legalized. There is little real evidence in either case that these worse case scenarios are inevitable, or even likely.

    What bothers me most about all this is the militarization of law enforcement. These gun boats in Texas are just the latest example. Armored assault vehicles for SWAT teams, heck, even the existence and wide (and often inappropriate) use of SWAT teams. Now drones. America is slowly creating the mechanisms of a police state almost totally on the justification of the War on Drugs.

    Heaven help us if we get a political class that wants to use these police state mechanisms. The dangers of drugs aside (and there are dangers, to be sure), I would end the War on Drugs simply to stop the militarization of law enforcement.

    • I actually agree and enjoyed your post very much.
      I remember years ago the Libertarian Party proclaimed the War on Drugs is a War on People.
      Gun Control is People Control.
      A lot of this big government is an assault on people.

    • This seems inconsistent to me.

      As well it may be, were narcotics inert tools that when used by law abiding people do no harm to anyone, and were they protected by an explicit Constitutional right.

      However, drugs are not guns. Otherwise law abiding people generally do not rob and murder in order to get their hands on guns. They do not prostitute themselves for guns. They do not shoot tiny portions of themselves off with guns and eventually die from a death of a thousand flesh wounds.

      Narcotics are addictive and carry with them serious health risks, health risks that we are in the very near future likely to be footing the complete bill for.

      The argument that “Hey, it’s my body” falls short when I start having to pay to fix your body. The “this doesn’t hurt anyone else” argument falls short when you lose your job, become a criminal in order to support your drug habit, and generally move from the “pro” column of the societal roster to the “con” column.

      Want unimpeded access to drugs? Fine. How about we introduce a drug license that permits exactly that. Only caveat is you have to post a $50k bond for medical needs and pass a background check to ensure you aren’t prone to addiction. That’s sensible, right?

      Bottom line is that firearms when used by law abiding citizens are a benefit to society. Drugs, in the vast majority of cases, are not.

  23. Commodore Rick Perry, not Admiral Rick Perry. Admirals have flagships and command from them; Commodores command squadrons of more than one vessel without a flag. This is closer to option B.

    I know it’s pedantic, but I like being pedantic sometimes.

  24. I’ll bet that the narco gangs in Guadalajara and Cuernavaca are shuddering in fear now that Texas has its own Navy. All the Republic needs now is an Air Force and an Army and the drug problem will be over. Oh, and maybe some drones, too. With Hellfire missiles and rail guns. And a million more cops. Preferably unionized.

    Do our fellow Americans never tire of being scammed?

  25. I’ve canoed part of the Rio Grande, and the stretch I was on could not accommodate a boat like that. Too many sand bars and shallows. Maybe there are zones that are wider and deeper, that are frequently used by criminals. I think many localities and states are awash in DHS money that they have to spend. (Because if you don’t spend your whole budget this year, they might reduce it next year…)

    I agree that legalizing drugs would be a huge blow to the cartels–and to the DEA. It would deprive both of the funding they survive on. Not to mention removing a large segment of the prison population from state care (or at least preventing that population from continuing to grow). Someone also posted that the war on drugs is being used to justify the growing police state. Hadn’t considered that. But more and more, our government seems to think crisis is just another word for opportunity.

  26. “not unlike the river patrol boats the U.S. Navy used during the Vietnam War.”

    The PBRs used in Vietnam not only were used in an active war zone by the military, not in the US in a time of peace by peace keeping agencies, but they also only had 4 machine guns not 6.

    • Some of them had grenade launchers, and some of the MGs were M2 .50 cals. I’d trade 2 .30 cal or 5.56mm MGs for one .50 cal any day.

    • Probably the PBRs could go in shallower waters than the Texas Contraption. I remember seeing a video about PBRs, they were really great in the shallow water of the Mekong Delta.
      This whole thing reminds me of “Apocalypse Now”.
      “We have to go up the Rio Grande and terminate the Colonel’s command. Terminate Colonel Kurtz with extreme prejudice.”
      ” If I am not back to the boat, you call in the air strike”.
      “Almighty, Almighty, this is PBR Streetgang.”

  27. The problem with the Mexican front of the Global Narcotics War is that keeping the “war” going is a better alternative to the people in power than a “peace”.

    It is no mystery what must be done to stop the violence to anyone. The catch is that the politicians, criminals, and middlemen and women in between benefit from keeping the lead flying. President Obama benefits because he can use the violence as an excuse to sell gun control laws, President Calderon gains because he can label one cartel as “Public Enemy” and send government forces to take it out, while taking a payout under the table from the villified cartel’s competitor. The individual criminals have an organization they can advance in , while lawyers in between on both sides of the law collect.
    The Cartels win because they can use their considerable financial and martial power to influence policy and keep drugs illegal, thus improving the bottom lines of their own business and any political allies.

    From the perspective of the right thinking man & woman on the ground, a drugwar is a disaster. From the perspective of Felipe Calderon & Barrak Obama among others, life is good just the way it is.So long as the lead doesn’t fly near the White House or Mexico City, both are willing to let the bodies hit the floor.The sound of people mourning their dead is being drowned out by money counters ticking away in Washington and Mexico City.

    I do not fault the Texas LEOs in the least. The Cartels have extensive logistical and military backing, and neither Mexican or American governments have anything to gain from stopping the violence, so border states are 100% on their own in combating lawlessness.

  28. Mexico is fighting a civil war in every thing but name. The Texas Dept of Agriculture under Todd Staples contracted a strategic survey on Texas border security from Colgen; which was released in Sept. 2011. Gens. Barry McCaffery and Robert Scales determined that the intent of the Cartels is to establish a buffer zone one county deep on both sides of the border so as to provide an area to operate freely and allow escape to either side when pressed. To do so they are using tactics to intimidate local residents and LEOs. They are using tactics that require military intel and strike methods to defeat and deter. The DPS Task Forces operations have to reflect the reality on the ground and the capability of the Cartels. Dedicated patrol craft and helicopters will both prove valuable.

  29. Anyone who runs, is a Zeta. Anyone who stands still, is a well disciplined Zeta. Ain’t war hell? HAHA!

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