No stranger to embarrassing disclosures and revelations, the federal Justice Department recently saw the failed 'gunwalking' stings of Operation Fast and Furious end up at the top of Google's News Search when the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms chief and the U.S. Attorney for Arizona resigned 'amid fast and furious uproar' and a rapidly expanding internal investigation.
At first glance, 'gunwalking' is a loopy scandal about incompetent operatives hoping to discover key players in a gun-trafficking ring in Arizona by observing "straw purchasers" buy assault weapons on behalf of the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico and then...doing nothing. Some of these weapons were traced to the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent last year. It is clear that incompetence has had fatal consequences, particularly because Mexican drug cartels can now personally thank the U.S. government for acting as accessories to weapons purchases that evade tough Mexican gun control laws. As a DoJ employee recently pointed out, Operation Fast and Furious has become a 'Perfect Storm of Idiocy.'
But gunwalking has had me thinking about our role in the larger Mexican drug conflict. It is clear that Mexico's 'war on drugs' is turning the border regions into something out of Afghanistan or Somalia. It is also clear that constantly escalating violence threatens to wipe out Mexico's civic fabric, and--let's face it--create a failed state out of our neighbor. It seems beyond tragic, however, that arms fueling death and destruction in Mexico often originate in the U.S., and that our Second Amendment rights are being exploited by narco-terrorists in Mexico.
How can we best tackle this problem? Whatever the U.S. government is doing right now isn't working.