U.S. Is a Vast Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels screams The New York Times (by James C McKinley Jr. February 25 2009).
Drug gangs seek out guns in the United States because the gun-control laws are far tougher in Mexico. Mexican civilians must get approval from the military to buy guns and they cannot own large-caliber rifles or high-powered pistols, which are considered military weapons.
The gun laws in the United States allow the sale of multiple military-style rifles to American citizens without reporting the sales to the government…
What is more, the sheer volume of licensed dealers — more than 6,600 along the border alone, many of them operating out of their houses — makes policing them a tall order…A.T.F. officials estimate 90 percent of the weapons recovered in Mexico come from dealers north of the border.
The agenda is of course obvious: the need for more controls on American buying guns.
One could equally derive from the story the idea that something is desperately wrong with Mexico: this availability of arms in America has not fuelled anything like the mayhem going on south of the border.
Mexico is of course a terrible mess - so bad that it is said to be making unemployed immigrants in this country frightened to return home. I was particularly struck by the comment by a Mexican émigré to Israel the other day. Discussing the peculiar fact that large numbers of Mexico City’s “steadfastly insular” Jewish community are said to have for some reason put “offshore, off-the-book investments “. with accused embezzler Robert Allen Stanford
Rosa, an immigrant from Mexico City now living in Israel (said)
"Everything in Mexico is fuzzy, it's a scary place…There's no rule of law, no real government, and the police themselves are thieves. Because it's so dangerous, you have to take care of yourself, and the only way to take care of yourself is with money. That's why so many people keep money somewhere else, outside of the country."
Have Mexican Jews lost their wealth in Madoff-like scheme? Abe Selig The Jerusalem Post Feb 23, 2009 (Hat Tip MVH)
Why is Mexico such a mess? It’s the culture. Don’t scoff. I live here, remember? Mexicans do not understand the very basics of Rule of Law. They don’t understand them and I don’t believe they ever will.
However, there is a third moral to be drawn from the story. The NYT story revolves around the prosecution of a significant factor in this arms trade - George Iknadosian, of Phoenix AZ:
A native of Egypt who spent much of his life in California, Mr. Iknadosian moved his gun-selling operation to Arizona in 2004, because the gun laws were more lenient, prosecutors said.
A certain type of immigrant seems to have a tendency to get involved in reckless crime. At least the New York Times supplied the minimal fact.