A Leftist Critique of March for Our Lives

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Ross Eliot at a gun show in Portland last October

The March for Our Lives movement has been getting a lot of attention lately. It’s always inspiring to see young people getting active towards causes that bring about positive change. However, this particular one exhibits fundamental problems that demand examination. A helpful way to illustrate what’s wrong in a substantive manner is by making political comparisons with the modern Tea Party. Let’s rewind for a moment and see how that’s important.

Back in 2009, American conservatives hit especially hard times. During a two term Republican administration under George W. Bush, the country became mired in Eastern wars with no end in sight, plus entering the worst economic depression since 1929. The middle class, long in decline, contracted even more sharply. People who leaned right politically suddenly found long held assumptions shattered, with establishment Republicans unable to offer satisfying answers. On top of that, Democrats had elected Barack Obama as president, a Black man (with an Eastern sounding name no less), overturning centuries of cultural and racial precedent.

For Americans with a liberal bent, that provided an outlet: Reject the Bush era wars and policies by voting for Obama and give him a chance to fix things. Even among us leftists who expected little from corporate Democrats anyway, there was a hopeful sense afoot, at least enough to keep off the streets for a while and see what would happen next.

That’s why, when rage erupted against government bailouts for the financial industry, whose unregulated greed had caused the economic crash, it came from the right, even though leftists had been leading critics of corporate welfare for decades. However, that anger became channeled aside almost immediately. When news pundit Rick Santelli made his famous rant against the banks, he explicitly did so in the name of Capitalism, calling for a “New Tea Party.” Many American conservatives resonated with his message, something Republican party apparatchiks tied strongly to Wall Street, couldn’t effectively voice.

What emerged from all this was a movement of people with very legitimate grievances against the status quo, yet guided and amplified by wealthy interests such as the Koch brothers. Foregoing any critique that could effectively address economic inequality, the Tea Party ultimately recycled familiar failed ideas. Instead of corporate accountability, their 10 point plan advocated striking down environmental regulations and subsidized health care, besides supporting lower taxes and more respect for the Constitution…etc, etc.

Shift forward to 2018 and it’s the Democrats in trouble. They self-sabotaged a popular candidate out of their own presidential primary in favor of one with a more business friendly platform, only to see her lose against Donald Trump, whose constant bungles would have made any other politician’s campaign self implode. Despite everything but a Mt. Rushmore sized neon sign advertising that Americans are hungry for serious political and economic reform, Democrats have still largely been content offering half-hearted resistance in the face of Trump’s authoritarian rhetoric, support for White nationalism and whatever the scandals du jour may be.

In other words, March for Our Lives materialized at a similar point in time but reversed. It’s also inspired by perfectly legitimate concerns: violence in American society is widespread, unavoidable and everyone knows someone affected. Women abused by partners, soldiers with PTSD from unnecessary wars and even whole communities of color terrorized by police departments. Of course, violence isn’t unique to the US, but a particular form of mass murder has become notorious within American society, what emergency drills call an active shooter. It’s specifically such an individual who caused the deaths of 17 high school students in Parkland, Florida last February, spurring the movement’s formation.

There are naturally significant differences besides similarities. The Tea Party arrived after economic catastrophe on a national scale as part of longtime worsening trends. Members of society most affected by it came from lower class and marginalized populations whose mass displacement into homelessness, addiction and suicide can never be fully quantified. March for Our Lives, on the other hand, mobilized in response to school shootings, a phenomenon on the decline for decades, despite sensational incidents played up in the media. Victims of class warfare are nameless, frequently unsympathetic figures. Solutions to economic problems, guaranteed incomes for example, often seem vague or too radical. Murdered tenagers, on the other hand, are universally relatable. People want tangible solutions and the issues appear more clear cut: simply curtail guns to stop guns killing people. Fundamental critiques of the social inequities that cause violence are more difficult to digest or be summed up in a meme.

Here’s how it broke down in practice. The Tea Party took widespread outrage against economic injustice and directed it safely away from taking up measures that might threaten the status quo. Right wing business interests funneled money toward the movement and conservative media outlets gushed enthusiastic coverage. By the same token, almost a decade later, March for Our Lives quickly allied with powerful economic forces. Democratic billionaire Michael Bloomberg provided assistance and high end fashion brand Gucci became its first large doner, besides other corporate backers. Citibank got in on the action, making moves to pressure clients toward more gun restrictions as did Walmart and other major retailers. Even prominent universities pledged they would not look askance at applicants disciplined by their high schools after walking out of classes for anti-gun protests. Then on March 24th, mainstream media outlets suspended ordinary schedules to provide live streaming coverage from Washington DC and other local marches.

Contrast that with the treatment of movements bringing other serious social problems to the fore. Would Gucci fund an event against police terror? Lyft drive anti-war demonstrators around for free? Citibank support protests highlighting Wall Street corruption? Look at news coverage for some perspective. The January 20th Women’s March culminated one year after the first, a year during which sexual violence, workplace discrimination and cultural misogyny rose to a level of awareness never seen before. Powerful men fell from grace, even well known offenders who had previously lived immune from conduct criticism. Significant subjects were raised that affected absolutely everyone in society. Despite this, the massive event took place with scarcely any attention from major networks.

Women’s issues, though directing affecting more than 50% of the population, are just one of many fallen by the wayside in comparison with the current media obsession around gun control. It’s a shame, because social violence is a serious problem and should be addressed as such. Like anything else, it’s the big picture that counts, yet March for Our Lives becomes fixated on minutia, often with little concern for facts. As observed before, school shootings are rare and declining, yet the movement claims them as an epidemic, just as it demonizes semi-auto rifles, which are only used in a tiny fraction of crimes. It doesn’t make for sensational headlines, but the vast majority of murders involve handguns, close proximity to the victim and only a few shots fired. Still, fear becomes drummed up around “assault rifles,” “high-capacity magazines,” and “high-powered” firearms.

Just as the Tea Party channeled conservative angst in a safe direction, March for Our Lives, strongly supported by 1% elites (that many liberals opposed during the Occupy Wall Street movement), appropriates frustration with the emerging Trump era and dilutes it. Suddenly, people who previously opposed regressive economic forces have found themselves on the same side as Walmart, the notorious destroyer of small businesses. Taking just two cases of many, Citibank cynically profited supporting the murderous South African apartheid regime and just last year was forced into settling 97.4 million dollars after a money laundering scandal. Picking up the gun control bandwagon provided much needed good press for both companies.

Still, despite the community destruction and very real bloodshed caused by corporations, it’s rare to find mainstream criticism. CEOs in suits, after all, don’t cast an alarming shadow for most people.  Every cause needs a villain and the NRA, with its uncritical backing of Trump and incompetent public relations might as well come from Hollywood central casting. Tone deaf 2nd Amendment supporters openly march with rifles, playing up to embarrassing stereotypes and tying their gun ownership with any number of regressive issues. No wonder armed people on the left have been keeping quiet for fear of social ostracization. Many times lately I’ve seen individuals who own guns for protection, perhaps because of violent former partners or whose grandparents generation fought off the KKK, sit silently while friends (oblivious to that) ask: “Why would anyone need an AR-15?”  

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Of course, there’s an answer and it’s especially alarming to see liberals clamoring for greater firearm restrictions at the same time as the far right is becoming more radicalized. Emboldened by scarcely veiled support from the Oval Office, domestic fascism has become just another legitimate point of view and White Nationalists gone on the offensive. Tragically, many who formerly claimed solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters pointing out systemic racism in law enforcement, now expect Black populations to disarm and become dependent on those same police for community defense. That scenario is even featured in a major work from the White Power canon, The Turner Diaries, where racist insurgents rejoice after state gun control measures leave neighborhoods of color completely vulnerable to extermination.*

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Of course liberals aren’t thinking about that when they opine against semi-auto rifles, despite their historic use in America** by marginalized populations to defend against lynch mobs and other collective attacks. It’s more comforting for them to imagine cartoonish redneck hillbillies being persecuted or camo wearing militia members rounded up. But just as the War on Drugs served as cover for the large scale incarceration of Black and Brown people, who would really be targeted during a War on Guns?

March for Our Lives deserves congratulations for enthusiasm and making effort to spotlight media bias in reporting about shootings in urban versus suburban schools. It may still find its own footing and offer up productive solutions toward reducing violence, however, that’s unlikely so long as the organization marches alongside regressive social forces. The measures it proposes do nothing to challenge institutional racism, skewed economic systems and toxic forms of masculinity, all of which are much larger factors behind violence of all kinds, not simply school shootings or particular tools used for violence. Americans should demand real solutions, not distractions that ignore root causes.

*Andrew Macdonald aka William Pierce. The Turner Diaries. Barricade Books, New Jersey, 1978 (1996 edition). 145.

**For further reading see:
Charles E. Cobb. This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible. Duke University Press, Durham. 2016.
Nicholas Johnson. Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms. Prometheus Books, New York. 2014.
Akinyele Omowale Umoja. We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement. New York University Press, New York. 2013.

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17 thoughts on “A Leftist Critique of March for Our Lives

  1. scrappycrow

    As usual, you’ve made excellent points, Ross — I’m glad to see you back after over a year! I’m particularly glad you pointed out the juxtaposition of folks wanting to disarm the population, while failing to acknowledge that the population contains minorities that are the focus of these same folks’ efforts against armed government entities.

    You mentioned Lyft, but also note that Delta also transported folks to March for Our Lives. This, after claiming they were dropping the seldom-used NRA member discount in order to appear “neutral.”

    Overall, this is feeling to me like a moral panic, akin to the purported daycare sex abuse hysteria of the late ’80s & early ’90s. Just as there was indeed sex abuse in a minority of cases, a minority of murders have been committed by “scary black rifles,” but blown completely out of proportion by hype and hysteria.

    Reply
  2. Michael Olenick

    “March for Our Lives, on the other hand, mobilized in response to school shootings, a phenomenon on the decline for decades, despite sensational incidents played up in the media.”

    No, they’re not down. They’re not up, either, but they are much more deadly. Why? Your precious toys, and that is exactly what the AR-15’s are. Toys. They’re useless against a real army. They’re useless for hunting. They’re useless for home defense. They’re toys. Deadly toys.

    Gun fanatics must stop lying, either by omission or commission. The death toll from school shootings is increasing, and it’s increasing because of the availability of cheap, worthless, semi-automatic AR-15 knockoff toys.

    As for the rest .. Parkland HS is in FL. I personally know of two middle-class Parkland students who, like countless Floridians (and Californians, and Arizonans, and Ohioans…) attended the school living in a home still in foreclosure so knock off the generalizations about the financial crisis affecting only poor people. They were far from alone.

    Occupy the 2nd Amendment? No – return it to the place where it was for over 200 years: no more meaningful than the 3rd amendment until right-wing fanatics on the Supreme Court invented a private right of gun ownership in 2008. Chief Justice Berger labeled that theory a fraud which it is, and so is this piece. There is nothing liberal about lying and there is nothing progressive about AR-15’s figuratively and literally ripping people apart.

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/04/mass-shootings-more-deadly-frequent-research-215678

    Reply
    1. Ross Eliot Post author

      Thanks for your feedback. It’s a good example of the comparison I often make of how listening to Liberals talk gun politics is like Conservatives discussing climate change. Pure emotion with zero regard for facts. Of course, passion is unavoidable when the issue involves teenagers being murdered, but ignoring statistics only serves to discredit productive discourse. If the goal of MFOL is to reduce social violence, I hope they succeed, but I would be irresponsible letting their fundamental failings pass by without note.

      Reply
      1. Michael Olenick

        Zero disregard for facts? I have a high-quality link showing that school shooting have become more deadly. There are two Supreme Court Justices — one of them a Chief Justice — who argue the 2008 interpretation of Heller is a fraud. It’s not me who has “zero regard for facts” – it’s you. Rebut the Supreme Court Justices, one conservative and one liberal, the top legal scholars in the country, who call your interpretation of the second amendment a “fraud.” Rebut the Politico article. Or admit you can’t.

        But don’t gaslight me labeling them “zero regard for the facts” or “ignoring statistics.” The Parkland students haven’t failed anything but we, the next generation up (assuming you’re not a high schooler) have failed them.

        I, along with several of their parents, worked on issues of economic justice. In Florida, after the financial crisis, that was important. But this issue is also vital. We want to tuck our kids into beds in bedrooms some crooked consortia of banks and lawyers won’t steal. But that’s pointless if those kids come home in body bags thanks to your toys.

      2. Ross Eliot Post author

        May I see that link? Of course your wording is quite telling. Because the most deadly shooting in modern US history occurred just months ago, its easy to twist the facts and make it appear as though such tragedies are on the increase. It’s odd you keep talking about the supreme court, as that has nothing to do with any particular arguments made in the article. I’m glad you work on social justice issues, as that has been my life’s occupation as well, spending the last 5 years working in a non-profit housing situation for women seeking shelter from domestic violence and houselessness. In addition, my community defense group has focused on providing hot meals and clothing drives as well as small arms training to folks from communities targeted by the rising tide of domestic fascism. Like the older generation used to say back when I was originally becomming an activist, knowing how to use a rifle is just another wrench in the social justice toolbox…

  3. Michael Olenick

    The link is the Polico article. You’re co-mingling the number of shootings and the number of people shot and killed. Shooting aren’t up or down but the number hurt and killed – the number shot – are up.

    I get what you’re doing but think it’s misguided. Guns in the house increase the chance you’ll be hurt by one. Are your DV victims really going to pull the trigger or are they going to have their gun taken away and used against them? Or are they going to pull it on the wrong person and end up in prison? Or have their kids treat it like a toy. If an ex comes with a gun are they going to pull theirs out and have a gunfight and win, walking away unhurt? The odds aren’t in their favor, especially if he has an AR-15 with a couple high capacity magazines and she has six billets in a pistol.

    You mention “second amendment supporters” in the article. That repeats the lie the 2nd has always had some right to personal unlimited gun ownership. It hasn’t. That interpretation is a decade old, a fabrication by far right judicial activists on the Supreme Court. Justice Berger called the argument “a fraud.” Every liberal voted against it. There’s nothing liberal about gun mania.

    Reply
    1. Ross Eliot Post author

      I googled Politico and gun control but still aren’t sure which article you reference. However, the key term is co-mingling. As I wrote in my article, I’m most interested in solving the big picture issues that affect social violence, so it’s important that tragic outliers don’t distract from that. Look, there’s a lot of gun owners who try to make the numbers seem like social violence goes down when communities are better armed and I’m skeptical of that also. It’s a giant spectrum and sometimes gun violence gets high, as in the early 90s and sometimes incredibly low, as it did a couple years ago, even down to levels not seen since the early 50s. Trying to make firearms the scapegoat OR solution just distracts from systemic inequities that are the main problem.
      Statistics about guns in the house are very misleading, as they only record deaths, so naturally that skews the picture. Most times guns are used, no shots are even fired. A guy broke into a friends house a couple years ago and attacked her, she pointed her shotgun at him and he ran away. No statistics record that, but it happens all the time, I’d love for the CDC to get numbers for that as well as other instances.
      Also, the Supreme Court is notoriously home to all sorts of regressive social values, so while I appreciate when it rules in ways that allow for better community defense options, I’m not especially looking towards it as some kind of moral leadership.

      Reply
      1. Michael Olenick

        It’s up there, in my first response. Here’s the link again: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/04/mass-shootings-more-deadly-frequent-research-215678

        The title is:
        Mass Shootings Are Getting Deadlier, Not More Frequent
        Data show that mass public shootings are roughly as common now as they were in the 1980s and ’90s. What has changed? The death toll.

        I don’t get why gun owners are so passionate about the issue. I don’t mean that condescendingly: I just don’t understand it. A friend of mine for 40 years, who had linked to this article, unfriended me on FB over guns.

        I’m American but living in France and, despite what people say, it’s not that hard to buy hunting rifles here. There’s a gun store in my village, one in a village not far away, and we see hunters and hear rifles and shotguns all the time (we live in the sticks, not in Paris obviously). I see and hear more guns here than I did in the US. But only terrorists seem to be shooting at people. They’re using illegal guns but we know if there were widespread legal guns, the “good guy with a gun theory” it’d most likely be ineffective. Look at the Pulse Nightclub: Florida has very open gun laws and there was one shooter, instead of three like at the Bataclan in Paris (a similar massacre). Yet the result was pretty much the same; the lose gun laws didn’t make any difference. Conversely, Parkland is also in FL and that was a legal semi-automatic rifle.

        Why do people who aren’t into target practice or hunting want guns? Why do they resist common-sense controls like banning lead bullets that are poison and that there are perfectly acceptable substitutes for (who would even want to feed their family meat with traces of lead in it)? Why would anybody think they need a semi-automatic rifle? None of this makes sense to me.

      2. Ross Eliot Post author

        Ah, thanks. Your previous link didn’t work for some reason. It’s an interesting article, more or less what I expected. I wish more writing like that would go further and draw connections involving the toxic forms of masculinity that affects white men who are almost always behind such mass shootings.
        Congratulations on France! I used to live in Berlin years ago and recently spent some time traveling around the Sigean region near Narbonne doing historical research.
        I’m sorry you lost a friend over gun arguments. People tend to get passionate when they feel their safety is at risk. I live in a liberal bubble like a lot of gun control proponents do who never had to distrust that the police would protect them in a dangerous situation. However, I work conducting small arms training with folks from POC and other communities being targeted by the rising tide of fascism in the US, often who live in rural areas where law enforcement is spotty and white nationalists don’t bother living undercover as they do more so in the cities. People used to say they were skeptical of the need for that and would literally say, it’s not like nazis march in the streets anymore. Well, here we are. It’s happening and with endorsement from the highest level of government. Historically in the US it’s rifles that have kept communities safe from domestic terrorism and I cited numerous books that document those struggles.
        Also, I’m totally open to regulating the composition of bullets, that’s only a big deal if it were to make ammo so expensive that low income people couldn’t afford it.

      3. Michael Olenick

        I agree with you about the machismo aspect. I think that is the real problem. Guns are not uncommon in France; I haven’t tried but it’s apparently not too cumbersome to get one. Not as easy as the US but not much worse. But they just don’t shoot one another, on purpose, with their guns. There are hunting accidents but a gun is seen as something to shoot a pheasant with, not a person.

        That machismo aspect, the defense mentality, is where I think the real problem is. It’s the reason my friend de-friended me; I implicitly challenged his manhood by challenging his guns. The challenge to his guns was a challenge to his Id, provoking a fight or flight response. There are a substantial number of gun owners who respond to that with fight, and their definition of fight is mowing down their perceived persecutors. The closeted gay man murdering the gay nightclub. The secretly bankrupt accountant murdering people outside a casino. The outcasts – often, honestly, because they’re obnoxious and have serious psych problems – mowing down their high school or University.

        But they couldn’t do it without the guns. They could go on a knife rampage, and probably kill or injure a few, but look at them – they’re almost all physical and mental weaklings. They’d be quickly overrun, so they turn to guns.

        I’m an American in France but I’m also a Jew in France. I know the history here. A small part of my family left Europe to the US and the rest, besides those who went to the UK, vanished into Nazi ovens. The friend who de-friended me said I’m always against guns and always for Israel (which I’m not: I don’t like the occupation but the double-standards and missing historic context are bothersome). But Israel is the ultimate manifestation of what you’re talking about: there is a severely historically oppressed minority armed to the teeth and willing and able to use their weapons; the opinion of their oppressors are neither welcome nor needed. But … wouldn’t it be better if they at least tried to work things out? Arabs did allay with Nazis, they did repeatedly vow to destroy the Jews, they repeatedly launched and lost wars. They still do. But … you’ve seen the videos: is that really the best answer? Is might make right really the solution?

        I’m not sure. Maybe it is – my family members were gassed, stripped naked and shot in the back in pits, subject to double standards, lied about… But something tells me there has to be a better way, in this modern time, than a shootout.

      4. Ross Eliot Post author

        Oh, I absolutely agree a shootout is the last thing anyone should want as a problem solving method. It’s that kind of macho regressive mentality that myself and the other armed leftists I work with are trying to strip out of gun culture. It’s actually one of the most interesting aspects to firearms defensive use that they don’t always lead to greater bloodshed, even against the aggressors. I’ve encountered many people personally who used guns to stop violent attacks but in every case, no shots were even fired. Simply realizing that the intended victims were armed stopped the assaults immediately. Even in many of the mass attacks against Black Americans that are documented, there wasn’t mass slaughter of KKK members when those communities defended themselves. Only one lynch mob participant had to be killed before several hundred others ran away during their famous attack on the doctor Ossian Sweet, back in the 20s.
        Are you familiar with the Kitat Konenut? It’s a Jewish militia group, mostly in the US. I did an interview with one of their weapons trainers for my magazine years ago, they do a lot of organizing and self defense work in their communities, inspired, of course, by the history you describe. How long have you lived in France? I’m quite envious!

  4. William

    So how many of the semi-auto rifles are trafficked to the Cartels in Mexico and how many Mexians have been killed by them? It seems you are perfectly happy to continue with Gun laws that allow the Cartels who behead people, cut off people’s hands and feet, peel people’s faces off film these things and post it online to get such large arsenal of weapons.

    https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e86_1361512345

    http://www.miscopy.com/1140/bestgore/brutal-beheading-man-peel-face/

    Reply
    1. Ross Eliot Post author

      There are no US gun laws endorsing the activities you describe and Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, which the cartels seem uninterested in following. Even if there were zero illegal imports from the US, wealthy narcos would obviously purchase them elsewhere. I’m glad you bring up Mexico since it also provides examples of how local community defense groups have used rifles (illegally of course) to protect themselves where the government is unable or unwilling.

      Reply
      1. William

        “There are no US gun laws endorsing the activities you describe and Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, which the cartels seem uninterested in following. Even if there were zero illegal imports from the US, wealthy narcos would obviously purchase them elsewhere.”

        It’s because firearms are so easy to buy in America that you have straw purchases of semi-automatic rifles which are then trafficked into Mexico into the Cartels hands. Which enables the Cartels to commit such violence hand have such power in Mexico. Since the vast majority of countries don’t have such easy access to firearms like America and don’t border Mexico they wouldn’t be able to get the same amount and types of firearms if it wasn’t for your gun laws.

        I’m glad you bring up Mexico since it also provides examples of how local community defense groups have used rifles (illegally of course) to protect themselves where the government is unable or unwilling.

        This is completely ignorant. Most groups you refer to are associated with the Cartels and are used to drive out other Cartels. It’s one of the reason The Jalisco New Generation Cartel was able to grow as fast as it did. Your support of your Gun Laws/Opposition to Gun Control makes you share in responsibility for the violence committed by the the Cartels against civilians and the poor in Mexico. Despite your claims you really have no care for the minorities or the poor otherwise​ you would be doing something about the America’s role in helping to create the violent situation in Mexico and in other parts of Latin America.

        Hopefully enough people in America push for gun control laws that you left/right wing gun owners hate so much.

      2. Ross Eliot Post author

        As I stated, narco cartels are incredibly wealthy and can buy illegal weapons on the black market wherever they choose. It’s foolish to imagine they would be put off by a slightly higher shipping cost. Even if the US supply was to magically evaporate, others around the world would be happy to take their money instead. You’re making the same argument conservatives do by imagining a wall with Mexico could cut off drugs. Even if it worked, american addicts would just buy it elsewhere. Also, you’ll be pleased to know, that the work I do with community defense groups also includes a strong anti-imperialist critique because, of course it’s the legacy of American interference in Mexico and other countries that created the violent situations I appreciate you feel so passionately about.

      3. William

        “As I stated, narco cartels are incredibly wealthy and can buy illegal weapons on the black market wherever they choose. It’s foolish to imagine they would be put off by a slightly higher shipping cost.
        Even if the US supply was to magically evaporate, others around the world would be happy to take their money instead. You’re making the same argument conservatives do by imagining a wall with Mexico could cut off drugs. Even if it worked, american addicts would just buy it elsewhere. ”

        Nothing shows that if America greatly restricted gun laws the Cartels would be able to get the same amount and types of firearms. It is just a baseless claim by Left/Right wing gun owners in America to avoid the fact restricting your gun laws would prevent the Cartels from getting such large amounts of weapons.

        From the Government Accountability Office report on Firearms Trafficking

        “Consistent with the
        results of eTrace data, U.S. law enforcement officials who had worked on
        arms trafficking in Mexico and along the U.S.-Mexican border told us their
        experience and observations corroborated that most of the firearms in
        Mexico had originated in the United States. Furthermore, U.S. and
        Mexican government and law enforcement officials also stated this
        scenario seemed most likely, given the ease of acquiring firearms in the
        United States; specifically, they told us they saw no reason why the drug
        cartels would go through the difficulty of acquiring a gun somewhere else
        in the world and transporting it to Mexico when it is so easy for them to do
        so from the United States.”

        The argument you use is the same one right wing/conservative gun owners make to argue against gun control. Real left wing groups know the difference between drugs and guns and that’s why they argue for decriminalization/legalisation of drugs while arguing for gun control.

        Also to show you actually know about illegal drugs what is the equipment needed and the process to synthesis the various drugs that get trafficked to America?

        “Also, you’ll be pleased to know, that the work I do with community defense groups also includes a strong anti-imperialist critique because, of course it’s the legacy of American interference in Mexico and other countries that created the violent situations I appreciate you feel so passionately about.”

        Yes America has greatly contributed to creating the violent situation in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. People should be informed about this instead of remaining ignorant of it.

      4. Ross Eliot Post author

        I’m confused as to why I would need to know how to personally manufacture drugs to be aware that they are widely available on the international market. If it’s no problem for cartels to switch between narcotic suppliers across the globe, how could it be any different on the black market for arms? It’s a pretty bizarre statement you quote, to suggest that narcos with essentially unlimited funds would find it hard to buy guns from the same far flung regions of the world where they have no difficulties purchasing opium poppies for instance.

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