Felipe Calderon, President of Mexico, was interviewed by Charlie Rose last week. He blamed the start of the rise in violence in his country on the end of the Clinton-era Assault Weapons Ban.
Later in the interview El Presidente Calderon notes that the per capital GDP in Mexico has risen from about $3,000 per year to $15,000 since the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) was passed. With the rise in income has come the rise in drug use in Mexico itself. As a result the drug cartels are no longer in just the wholesale export business but have now entered the retail drug trade as well. Calderon admits that much of the current cartel violence is aimed at controlling their distribution territories. By the way, NAFTA was ratified in 1992 – 12 years before the Assault Weapons Ban expired.
Because we refused to renew a gun control bill that never had any impact on crime and because we made the Mexicans a more prosperous people, the violence of the drug cartels and the failure of the Mexican federal government to control their own state is now our fault. Yeah, right.
If Calderon had blamed the rise of the drug cartels and accompanying violence on the passage of the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, I might have believed him. With most domestic meth production ended due to the difficulty of getting pseudoephedrine in quantity, the overwhelming majority of the drug now comes from Mexico. This also coincides with the growth of the Mexican cartels and the violence in Mexico.