Arms trafficking from the U.S. to Mexico has given unimaginable power to criminal organizations. The iron river, as Ioan Grillo refers to this phenomenon in his literary gem, “Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels,” is a deady, blood-stained multimillion-dollar industry that American politicians have not dared to regulate as they should.
On April 21, Mexico’s president said that he hopes Joe Biden’s efforts toward stronger regulations in the U.S. will be successful, and the defense secretary explained that greater effort is being made at customs controls in the north to stop the smuggling that passes through the Mexican border. I fear that this will not be enough, and Grillo’s book makes that clear. But let there be no confusion: it has been evident for a long time that the problem lies in the U.S.
Biden has announced a handful of gun-related administrative measures in the U.S. One of these measures is to put an end to ghost guns, which are assembled at home by buying parts from various suppliers. Another measure is to stop pistols from being turned into rifles using a procedure that is quite common among gun carriers and allows them to avoid certain registrations. A further measure allows family members to alert authorities that a relative should be barred from buying weapons.
It is far from enough. The most that Biden has done with respect to changing the law is to appeal to Congress, which, as we all know, has refused to get involved in this issue for a long time because of its political significance to them and their relationship with supporters.
When Grillo’s book was released, he wrote an article in The New York Times recommending four legal initiatives that would be fundamental to controlling millions of guns without affecting the Second Amendment. This comes after Grillo spent four years reporting on this issue.
For example, there is no law that specifically prohibits arms trafficking in the U.S. That is why most traffickers buy guns in unrecorded private sales. There is no serious punishment for ghost buyers, citizens with no criminal record who easily buy guns for traffickers. And of course, there is not even any universal verification system at fairs, private sales, etc. None of this is on the agenda of Congress for now.
Until something like this happens, the river will continue to flow.