According to the Associated Press, South Texans might soon be experiencing the same type of drug-war violence that people on the Mexican side of the border have been experiencing. As most everyone knows, the drug war has produced unbelievable violence in Mexico, especially along the border. Murder, kidnapping, beheading, and torture have become routine. Friends in my hometown of Laredo, Texas, tell me that they don’t dare cross the border into Nuevo Laredo anymore, for fear of being kidnapped or killed or caught in the crossfire of drug gangs fighting for turf.
The Associated Press is reporting that the Mexican drug gangs are stockpiling weapons and recruiting gang members in preparation for violent confrontations with law enforcement on the South Texas side of the border. The equipment includes assault rifles, bulletproof vests, and even grenades.
For their part, U.S. law enforcement agents are saying that they’re not about to be intimidated by the drug cartels. They’re getting ready for confrontation. The sheriff of Hidalgo County, Texas, recently issued his deputies high-powered rifles and authorized them to return fire.
If the drug gangsters begin committing the same acts of violence against state and federal government officials on the U.S. side of the border that they’ve been committing on the Mexican side of the border, everyone should be prepared for the same types of bromides that are used to justify the war on terrorism. “The violence has nothing to do with drug prohibition.” “The drug dealers hate us for our freedom and values.” “We can’t surrender to the drug dealers.” “Mexico is the central front in the war on drugs.” “The Mexicans are a dangerous people.” “The Mexicans are trying to recapture lands that the U.S. government stole from them in the Mexican War.” “Don’t blame America for drug-war violence.”
For years, drug warriors have argued that if only the government would finally crack down in the war on drugs, it would be “won.” Well, the Mexican government, including its military, has cracked down viciously in the war on drugs, and things have only gotten worse. And now it seems that the results of the drug-war crackdown in Mexico are about to spill over into South Texas.
There is one and only one solution to all this. It’s the same solution that was used to get rid of the booze-related violence during Prohibition. Legalize, legalize, legalize. The legalization of drugs — the end of the drug war — would bring an immediate end to drug-war violence because it would put the drug gangs out of business immediately. That’s what the legalization of alcohol accomplished — the end of Prohibition-related violence.
The problem is that ending the drug war would also mean that drug law-enforcement agents would no longer be needed, just as booze agents like Eliot Ness were no longer needed after Prohibition was ended.
Perhaps that’s the reason that both drug gangs and drug law-enforcement agents are among the two foremost opponents of ending the war on drugs.