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Just an Ordinary Day of Death
August 27, 2011 11:45 AM   Subscribe

About one person is murdered every 35 minutes in Mexico. Statistics are bland, so the WSJ decided to track down the 25 murders on July 29th, an ordinary day of death.
posted by stbalbach (57 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
I could think of a few places in America that could use this kind of journalistic attention.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 12:01 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


How can we help? What will make it stop? I wish I could say something more intelligent...
posted by 200burritos at 12:05 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


dear america,

how's that war on drugs working out?

no love,

mexico
posted by elizardbits at 12:07 PM on August 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Check back tomorrow for the next episode Literalizing Bolaño Report, when the Journal will begin a series on aging and recently deceased ex-Nazi writers.
posted by RogerB at 12:11 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Statistics are bland because abstractions are bland. Well, to most people anyway.

Legal policies are also abstractions, and therefore boring. So when it emerges that the best thing we can do to reduce the rate of people getting shot in gang war is to change our policy toward the stuff the gangs are warring over, people lose interest.
posted by LogicalDash at 12:13 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The brashness and prevalence of the violence is staggering.
Men hanged and burned in broad daylight in wealthy, modern Monterrey.
And the casino arson mentioned in the article.
posted by Wyatt at 12:13 PM on August 27, 2011


I literally can not comprehend this level of violence within a civilian population not at war. It's been said before in other threads related to Mexican drug violence and I'm sure it will be brought up here, but reading 2666 kept me up nights for a good long time, as will this article. It makes the "Wild West" look like a Six Flags carnival ride you can only ride if you're below 36" tall. The utter randomness of the violence, I think, it was makes it truly terrifying.
posted by nevercalm at 12:14 PM on August 27, 2011


About one person is murdered every 31 minutes in America. Mexico is a smaller country, but not that much smaller - its population is 112 million.

Crime is a huge, monstrous problem in Mexico, but the solution isn't to make an entire country out to be a cartoon western.
posted by Simon! at 12:19 PM on August 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


I wouldn't blame America's insatiable need for nose candy on this.

If Mexicans had a second amendment [a right to bear arms], it would not just be the corrupt police and gangs who were armed. Once Jose and Maria seis-pack can get strapped and defend themselves, Mexican society will revert to the normalcy seen in Texas and Arizona.

The best thing America could do is airlift crates full of surplus guns and ammo and droplift them from the sky upon the Mexican people.
posted by Renoroc at 12:29 PM on August 27, 2011


Renoroc, I'd say that's the dumbest idea I've ever heard, but I heard it before when we were actually doing it.
posted by mek at 12:40 PM on August 27, 2011 [18 favorites]


Death in Vegas did a similar thing for Dirge which tallied a day's worth of gun deaths in America.
posted by fullerine at 12:40 PM on August 27, 2011


The last thing cartels want is legal drugs in America, it would be like willie loman with a nascent hatchet and special forces connections.
posted by clavdivs at 12:48 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or you can just go to Blog Del Narco (in Spanish - Chrome will auto translate) and see every day's worth. Its horrible.
posted by jeffmik at 12:48 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


When he says Blog Del Narco is horrible, he means it: very graphic pictures of dismembered human bodies.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:07 PM on August 27, 2011


mexico has the misfortune of being located in a really bad neighborhood.
posted by kitchenrat at 1:13 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I live far away in the rainy confines of the Pacific Northwest, so forgive my ignorance, but... when I've heard about this in the past, I've always just assumed there's absolutely no way this can occur without the implicit support/bribery/involvement of the highest levels of government- that elected and appointed officials, from the Presidente on down, are key members of these gangs.
posted by hincandenza at 1:18 PM on August 27, 2011


at least 70 percent of the guns recovered by Mexican authorities in 2009 and 2010 traced back to the United States.

Brought to you by your friendly gun-promoters at the NRA. There was even a botched U. S. attempt to create a "straw gun" supply that could be tracked into Mexico, but it went terribly wrong.

The depth of depravity in this situation, combined with corruption right into the highest echelon political offices in Mexico guarantees that this won't end if if we did legalize drugs.

So, how long do we think it's going to take to just get marijuana legalized? We're talking 3-5 years, if ever. Maybe 10 years?

How about the harder drugs? I don't see that happening in a nation that has so many "god-fearing" folk and pandering politician cowards who refuse once nd for all to get the money out of politics.

Result: this is going to continue, and it's going to get worse. Further, it's going to start spreading here is ways that we don't imagine.

I don't see America refusing to investigate these crimes, like the cowed Mexican authorities, but I do see the violence making its way here, anyway.

I say we help the Mexicans by putting troops on the ground, after we pull our guys out of Iraq, where they never should have been in the first place (get out of Afghanistan, too)

Start with the Mexican border cities, and open a cooperative action that stops this barbarous situation asap. What worries me is that if this doesn't seep North, into the US, it will go south, into Central America, where poverty reigns, and people are vulnerable.

Never thought I'd see the day when Mexico would become what it is today. Corrupt politicians, and help from weak American leaders has led to this problem. Today, Mexico - tomorrow?
posted by Vibrissae at 1:18 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Mexico is a smaller country, but not that much smaller - its population is 112 million.

The U.S. has 312 million people. It's much larger.

Crime is a huge, monstrous problem in Mexico, but the solution isn't to make an entire country out to be a cartoon western.

I don't see reporting the events as they happened as cartoonish (of course, I am not big in the trust for the WSJ department.

From the article: Mexico's murder rate has more than doubled, to 22 deaths per 100,000 residents in 2010, in just four years, a period that parallels the drug war. Before that, it had been falling steadily. In the U.S. the murder rate is about 5 per 100,000.

There's nothing cartoonish about a murder rate 4 times the rate in the U.S. (lover of all things gun-like). Things are pretty terrible if that's the case. Dismissing reporting on the abhorrent goings-on in Mexico as "cartoonish" doesn't strike me as very helpful to any discussion.
posted by IvoShandor at 1:22 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


in related news, the speaker of the tongan parliament, lord lasike, is facing arraignment sept. 30 in magistrate's court on charges of possession of two .22 caliber bullets found in his hotel room
posted by kitchenrat at 1:22 PM on August 27, 2011


A friend of mine was murdered in Mexico.

I know this means little statistically in and of itself, but still. I am more than willing to believe this is a serious problem.
posted by kyrademon at 1:26 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I knew briefly knew someone who was killed in mexico, the reverse is also true. I also know someone who still lives there. Even the elder Cartel leaders are saying 'off the lawn and by the why, what are you doing to the lawn', even if by design, a smart person would see the decentralization of the trade as a destabilizing factor for society= not good for business.

the idea Mexico is cartoonish always baffles me, the culture is older and more diverse then the United States in many ways. it amuses me to think of what we pay for then laugh at those who provide it, it's hypocritical to some degree. So, in some aspects it is not really a moral argument or problem because that line has been crossed.


The rowers keep on rowing.
posted by clavdivs at 1:50 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


About one person is murdered every 31 minutes in America.

Sure. And a LARGE fraction of those are because of drug violence. You're ADDING to the case that the War on Drugs is costing us far more than the drugs ever could, not detracting from it.

Americans would be significantly safer without the War on Some Drugs, especially the poorer communities. And Mexicans would be MUCH safer.

And this problem is only going to get worse, not better. We have declared war against ourselves. If there's any war you can never win, only lose, that's it.
posted by Malor at 1:59 PM on August 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


I say we help the Mexicans by putting troops on the ground

Every week stopthedrugwar.org posts an article titled This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories. Week after week, multiple stories of the drug war corrupting our law enforcement. It's neverending.

If we put US troops on the ground in Mexico, they could expand that series to "This Week's Corrupt US Forces Stories".

The economics of the drug war are too powerful to overcome with more guns. Guns didn't stop prohibition, and they aren't going to stop this tragedy.

The only thing more guns are going to lead to are more killings.
posted by formless at 2:11 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


"...and a woman so thoroughly tortured that police can't estimate her age"

Holy god in heaven. There is a line in Manufacturing Consent about a woman and her 2 year old son being murdered, and the son had his fingernails pulled out. It is when you read of this you realise there are no depths to which humanity will not sink, even now.

And a lot of this stuff is funded by America.
posted by marienbad at 2:15 PM on August 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Renoroc, I'm maybe more sympathetic to that view than some, but I don't think it would do a bit of good in this situation (or, to be honest, very many others). Read the article and notice the nature of the killings. Many are policemen and people involved in the drug trade: these are people who already have access to guns and the expectation that they will use them. An ordinary citizen who owns a gun but is mostly just trying to live their (non-murder-related) life will fare even less well. Most of the rest of the killings are ambushes, crossfires, or kidnappings; having a gun won't help the victim against a prepared attacker there, either.

I've always just assumed there's absolutely no way this can occur without the implicit support/bribery/involvement of the highest levels of government

I'm sure many are, but it sounds like a bigger part of the problem is that when some member of the police or government becomes too effective, they and their family and maybe random members of their neighborhood are tortured and killed. The cartels have a lot of manpower and are not at all afraid of totally disproportionate response.

I say we help the Mexicans by putting troops on the ground

Right, because using our military to perform police duties in foreign countries usually works out so well. [hamburger]
posted by hattifattener at 2:24 PM on August 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


I know someone who was recently in Mexico as part of his work in the corrections system, and one of the prisons he went to was building an extra wall further out than the normal wall. Not because of inmates escaping, but because the wall had to be far enough away to keep the people with mortars from attack the prison.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 2:29 PM on August 27, 2011


Oh God, marienbad. I did a Google search for that and found even more horror... [tears]

.
posted by limeonaire at 2:34 PM on August 27, 2011


This subject makes me wish for the dedicated assistance of a team of trained professionals who might be the last hope for aid to Mexican society: oil geologists who can get out in the desert and find the hell out of some unknown deposits. How else could the Mexican government get the full attention and aid of ours?

(Kidding. But only because I assume that this has been tried already in the natural course of exploration.)
posted by Countess Elena at 3:33 PM on August 27, 2011


Fertilizers that can be turned into bombs, substances inducing physical and/or psychological addiction (alcohol, tobacco, cocaine etc) and financial instruments: one thing they have in common is that we still haven't stopped their abuse; Mexico is just one additional example, except for the violent escalation of the war for the control of the lucrative drug market.

What they achieved in Portugal, by decriminalizing possession and treating drug users as ill persons, appears to be a remarkable success.

What is also remarkable, imho, is that Portugal appears to be working both on the demand side of problem (by not demonizing or almost automatically punishing the drug users with jail) and the offer side at the same time, as distribution is still illegal and prosecuted. As the lucrative portion of drug markets is mostly the composed of recurrent users, the cost of "doing business" in drug is increased by removing addicts, who are the most lucrative customers. Similarly by addressing the perception that (possibily) lies behind seeking drugs for recreational purposes, demand could be further reduced, thus making drug trafficking too risky a business.

By analogy, it may be possible to do the same for tobacco, alcohol and gambling, and not only for the compulsive users, but rather for population as a whole.
posted by elpapacito at 3:43 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


About one person is murdered every 35 minutes in Mexico

That must suck for that person.

Sorry ... my Vaudevillian side thought that was a setup.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:03 PM on August 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Every week stopthedrugwar.org posts an article titled This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories. Week after week, multiple stories of the drug war corrupting our law enforcement. It's neverending.

Around here it's an open secret that the county sheriff's dept. is in on the take.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:06 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


If Mexicans had a second amendment [a right to bear arms], it would not just be the corrupt police and gangs who were armed.

Mexico's constitution does include the right to bear arms. The laws regarding gun ownership are stricter than the US but are basically designed to prevent citizens from owning military weapons.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:20 PM on August 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Nothing else has worked in the war on drugs, have they considered the nuclear option? I mean it can't hurt.
posted by the noob at 4:34 PM on August 27, 2011


It's funny, I was wondering to myself about the historical origins behind the locations of bases like Camp Pendelton and Fort Bliss just the other day. Fort Huachuca is right on the border and it's a huge intelligence center. (Was it the Mexican-American War, good congresspeople, coincidence, etc.?)

I wonder what it would take for one of the cartels to decide to go all out and see what happens.
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:43 PM on August 27, 2011


2666
posted by Afroblanco at 6:13 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Renoroc, even if some Mexican civilians could better protect themselves with their own guns, the lack of firearms doesn't even come close to the heart of the problems in Mexico.

Consider also that the right for Americans civilians to own assault riffles in the United States is part of the reason that people in Mexico are able to obtain them on the black market.

There is so much money. So so so much money up for grabs. It's staggering. It's no surprise that there are government and law enforcement people who are tempted to get a piece. Mexico is a really beautiful place and what is happening there is just a tragedy.
posted by beau jackson at 6:25 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


There were 42 per day in the U. S. in 2009. And 44 per day in 2008.
posted by CarlRossi at 6:27 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


at least 70 percent of the guns recovered by Mexican authorities in 2009 and 2010 traced back to the United States.

This is almost true, but this percentage is not the total number of guns confiscated, it is the total number of guns confiscated by the Mexican authorities that are submitted to US authorities for tracing, meaning it is weapons that they already believe are of us origin, so the percentage would be high. The Mexican cops may be corrupt(and it appears being corrupt is important to a long life there) but they are not incompetent.

Also just because they are traced to the US does not mean they were acquired on the civilian firearms market. Most of the weapons in the Mexican drug wars are military weapons. There is a common misconception that military weapons are readily available to the US citizen. This is not true, only guns that look like military weapons are available. They lack the capability to fire automatically and usually have a few other modifications to make them more suitable for the civilian market and a lot of those modifications make them less desirable for military use. About the only truly military weapon available to the average US citizen is bolt action sniper rifles (also known as high quality deer rifles). The US sells military firearms to all kinds of people all over the world and it is not at all clear that they are not being acquired via third party.

It also appears that a huge number of the civilian firearms that have made it into mexico are their because the agency supposed to be policing this kind of thing is actually supporting illegal gun sales in some kind of insane, Hollywood caper logic, attempt to either A.)get evidence on the importers or B.)manufacture a reason to impose stricter gun control on the US population. The ATF is part of the problem.
That being said I am a strong supporter of civilian ownership of firearms of the rifle type (not so much artillery or such) Arming the Mexican Civilian is not likely to help much other than increasing the bloodshed in the short term. It might produce enough bloodshed to get UN peacekeepers in or such but that is not a good solution to the problem. Firearms are of litle use without training and a logistical train to support them for the kind of thing going on south of the border. It would take something like green beret A teams training town militias for them to be effective against the cartels. I believe that would most definitely be a cassus belli in the eyes of the world and rightly so. Stopping the insane US drug policies would help a lot. Mexico is also going through a big demographic shift in the aging of the population and birth rate. Such a shift is probably the big reason the US crime rate has been dropping steadily, so time will probably take care of it. This is little comfort to the individual being tortured to death however. I don't know the actual drug user percentage here on Metafilter but in the same way eating meat supports confined animal feeding operations and has moral implications so does drug use at least partly support this ongoing nightmare to the south.

BTW this kind of nightmare is the big reason border states like Arizona want a tighter control of the border, not racism (at least for a majority of the population). I am not saying they are right in their reasoning, just saying that is the reasoning and how the legislation is being sold to the populace. And after seeing the chaos on the border I can personally say something has to be done for environmental reasons alone, much less the humanitarian causes, to stop the endless flow of undocumented workers through the desert.
posted by bartonlong at 6:55 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Get rid of the bad people" seems to be the general default solution that people come up with when faced with tragedy.

Hey, maybe you COULD get rid of the murderers here. Congratulations, you've decremented the number of gangbangers in Mexico by 25. Keep going and you might just kill or imprison everyone in the drug trade at the moment! Well, if you can keep it up. Law enforcement is expensive.

You know how Singapore gives the death penalty to anyone found in possession of controlled substances? They still sentence people to that on a fairly regular basis. Certain people take drugs, not in spite of the dangers, but because of them. I don't pretend to understand it, but unreasonable risks like that really appeal to some people, and they are quite eager to risk getting shot for shooting up. The same is true of those gangbangers you just got rid of... or, well, you got rid of this batch. How long do you figure it will take before some other penniless thugs of a similar disposition decide there's an attractive entrepreneurial opportunity here?

Keep that all in mind before you suggest solving such a problem by dropping the fucking army on it.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:56 PM on August 27, 2011


U.S. Widens Role in Mexican Fight
posted by homunculus at 7:07 PM on August 27, 2011


Brought to you by your friendly gun-promoters at the NRA.

NRA Will Sue To Stop Effort To Curb Illegal Gun Flow From U.S. To Mexican Drug Cartels
posted by homunculus at 7:10 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I say we help the Mexicans by putting troops on the ground, after we pull our guys out of Iraq, where they never should have been in the first place (get out of Afghanistan, too)

I've seen you propose this in other threads regarding the situation in Mexico. Unless they're strictly there for a peacekeeping mission similar to how the UN does it, I don't think this is at all a good idea. Escalating a criminal problem into an armed military conflict doesn't sound like a viable solution in the long run. We've tried this before. Military intervention is not going to end the War on Drugs, which is the root cause of the problem.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:19 PM on August 27, 2011


This will tragically bring that average up today.
posted by Go Banana at 8:59 PM on August 27, 2011


There were 42 per day in the U. S. in 2009. And 44 per day in 2008.

The U.S has 312 million, and Mexico 112 million. The article states that the murder rate in Mexico is 22 per 100,000, in the U.S. 5 per 100,000.

And not that the murders in the U.S. aren't tragic, they are, I read about how horrible they are everyday. But the situation in Mexico is, apparently, much worse.

I really hate hit and run posts of one fact or stat that is supposed to somehow counter the assertions of the post
posted by IvoShandor at 9:06 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now, Mexican President Calderon has called upon the US, in a roundabout way, to legalize.
posted by daksya at 11:16 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Simon! is on the right track here. Northern Mexico has similar crime rates as many American cities. I just finished up a immigration policy course in college taught by a professor from the University of Texas who turned the class on its ear with this perspective.
posted by captainsohler at 11:29 PM on August 27, 2011


...Crime is a huge, monstrous problem in Mexico, but the solution isn't to make an entire country out to be a cartoon western...

...Simon! is on the right track here. Northern Mexico has similar crime rates as many American cities...


Its a good point but the problem with statistics is that they are a bland average. Mexico city actually feels fairly safe but many of the rural areas do feel like a cartoon western.

My parents come from a small village in the state of Michoacan. We have always gone there frequently to visit relatives. I always remember it as a peaceful, idyllic village. Unlocked doors, friendly neighbors, all that.. This is just an average little town. Its not Juarez. Its rarely mentioned in the news.

When I visited last year, we were told there had been an open gun battle in the town square the previous week. An ammunitions warehouse had also been discovered a few months previously just outside the town. They discovered it because a "prisoner" had managed to escape.

You have to be very careful, almost paranoid in dealing with others. The town's homicide rate has gone through the roof.

While I was there, and we were driving on the roads, the guy in front of us slowed down to chat with his passengers. We beeped at him to speed up. His response was to race ahead of us and disappear. This gave me a bad feeling.

After we turned a corner, there he was. He had pulled over his car, stepped out and was waving a gun at us. Our driver sped away like there was no tomorrow. Afraid, he was chasing us, we did some evasive maneuvers in a small town, zig-zagging through random streets then parking and sitting quietly. My heart was beating so fast I thought it would come out of my chest. Eventually we got back on the highway and kept nervously looking out for him.

A few weeks later, after we had left the area, we learned corpses had been found on that same stretch of road.

If that all sounds equivalent to your experiences driving around the United States, then, and only then, will I concede your point about statistics.
posted by vacapinta at 2:25 AM on August 28, 2011 [13 favorites]


¡Pobre México! ¡Tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca de los Estados Unidos!
posted by a robot made out of meat at 6:41 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


We had 66 murders per 100000 persons here in Flint as of last year.
I hear running gun battles at times, the encroachment of desperation and it is becoming increasingly hard to walk around without a weapon. I won't compare mexico to flint that would be wrong what seems evident is the brazen lawlessness that is emerging. In one week we had a african american civil rights leader and a long time supporter/organizer for Ceaser Chavez murdered, apparently over money...in the same week.

I'm gettting the fuck out before ms. clav gets hurt or i kill someone.
posted by clavdivs at 9:40 AM on August 28, 2011


If that all sounds equivalent to your experiences driving around the United States, then, and only then, will I concede your point about statistics.

Another vote for Michigan. Grew up in Saginaw, MI, where 2006 crime data put us at 41.2 homicides per 100,000. For a while, we had a huge issue with arson on Devil's Night, Halloween Eve. There are entire blocks in the city that are almost entirely ash. There are areas my friends won't drive through in the city. Just last month a man was in court for waving a gun at a cop while driving.

I'm not downplaying the seriousness of the issue in Mexico. There's a huge upward trend in crime and violence there. But almost none of the articles I've seen about the issue make comparisons to similar area in the US with incredible poverty and drug-crime issues. So much of it seems driven by the media's fear narrative and conservative immigration agenda. And it's coloring people's opinions in the immigration debate and subtly encouraging xenophobia.
posted by formless at 10:27 AM on August 28, 2011


The murder rate in Juarez is worse than the fatality rate of US soldiers in Iraq. A kid in El Paso is safer going to war for a year than moving a couple miles south.

I do wish we could compare gunshot wound rates instead of murder rates, since the quality of medical care has a lot to do with whether gunshot wounds are fatal or not. Maybe Flint would be just as bad as Juarez if it had Juarez-quality hospitals. The data doesn't seem to be available though.
posted by miyabo at 11:33 AM on August 28, 2011


Abortion is illegal in 18 of Mexico's 31 states. Legalization would significantly reduce crime starting in roughly 1.5 decades.

You could obviously produce much larger and faster results by legalizing the drug trade, but I figured I'd throw that our there, given the tone of discussion in the last Mexico drug war thread.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:12 PM on August 28, 2011


I literally can not comprehend this level of violence within a civilian population not at war.

Well, that's the thing. This is absolutely a civil war.

There is a long history of bandits taking over and setting up shop in weak states. When they have government-levels of spending power, they will use it to violently take political power for themselves. When you have rival bandit lords, it becomes a free-for-all, a multi-sided war.

Eventually, the bandits become legitimized as they defeat or co-opt the power of the legitimate government. Then Mexico's democracy becomes another thugocracy, like Panama under Noriega. To be honest, I don't think it will get that far. The gangs have started picking American targets to show off how tough an unafraid they are to each other.

If you're an officer in the US Military looking for a extra rung up on the advancement ladder, I would forget Arabic, and start learning Spanish. In a hurry. It will take exactly one Casino Royale Monterray bombing event in a US city to trigger a US invasion of Northern Mexico. Just one.

Obama is slipping in the polls, Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down, there is a rabidly jingoistic and hawkish component to congress, and war is stimulus spending by another name in a down economy. Yes, young soldier, learn Spanish. Unless you already know it, because you were raised speaking it, in which case we both know your career is fucked.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:06 PM on August 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Official: 140 Acapulco schools close over threats
posted by homunculus at 9:47 AM on August 30, 2011


Obama & Holder Push AZ USAtty Burke Out Over ATF GunRunner Cock-Up
posted by homunculus at 3:46 PM on August 30, 2011


Mexican Roulette: A deadly gun-running gamble just cost America's ATF chief his job. But the gun lobby gave him little choice but to try.
posted by homunculus at 10:40 PM on August 30, 2011


Look, people are dying everywhere. From guns. And drugs. Not much good will come from the my neighborhood is "harder" than your neighborhood back and forth. The go-to solution in the U.S. seems to be more guns. We are still holding out against that here in Illinois. But it won't be long now. The real solution is a new approach to drugs. But like children, we have our thumbs in our ears. Adults need not enter the debate. There is no place for you here. Mention marijuana legalization, even, get laughed out of the room as a bunch of internet kooks by the President of the United States. Forget about change. Not happening. What we get instead, is status quo. The problem is that our status quo, shiny, sparkly status quo, doesn't just destroy our corner of the world but rips at the very fabric of global society. In the U.S. we parole those incarcerated as if our system were somehow rehabilitative. In reality, our system is just overcrowded (good luck as you leave the prison's walls behind - jobs will surely be plentiful) so why not let 'em all go. Most of those people are overcrowding the U.S. system because of drug violations. But it's so overcrowded (the U.S. incarcerates more people than anywhere else - DRUG WAR - wouldn't ya know?) that the people who really need to be locked up, to be rehabilitated, aren't. They, too, are let go. If that isn't ripping the very society you depend on apart at the seems, then nothing will ever do so, in your mind. Dammit all.
posted by IvoShandor at 10:59 PM on August 30, 2011


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