About half the time when I get on my political soapbox in a particular post here, I delete my post a day or so after I write it because I decide I sound like an ass on the subject in question.
I don't think I'll delete this post.
As an American and as a Texan, I ask those in Congress to consider the other massive problems this country faces that are more important than gun control.
I realize that "Executive Action" has been threatened by the Vice President on behalf of The Commander in Chief. This is not good for America. Our country was not built on Executive Action being levied upon it's citizens. Our Country is the Rule of Law, not of men. We have Congress and the courts to decide what is and what is not.
My father felt that the closest this country ever came to a military takeover was during the reign of President Nixon. He also felt that we were likewise dangerously close to a dictatorship occurring. Either one would have been more than bad.
Just as bad as an Executive Action that affects a basic Constitutional right.
In my state, Texas, we have no control over vast territory that borders Mexico. In reality, it is a war zone. There have been innocent civilians murdered by drug cartels. One man was killed while riding a jetski on a lake that borders the two countries.
If one doubts my veracity, then all they need do is tune in the weekly TV show called Border Wars, and some of the other shows that feature coverage of what goes on in Texas, Arizona and California as drugs and human cargo come and go nearly as they please. They shoot at our law enforcement with impunity. And sometimes, they have far better weapons than our guys have. And usually lots more folks in their battles on the bad guy side.
For decades, with me growing up in Texas a couple of hundred miles from the Mexican border, I was told we (The U.S. Government) had a lax border security policy because we (The actual people of the USA) were a "pressure valve" for Mexico, providing jobs for them to send money back home to their families. With the illegal immigrants doing the jobs we as Americans no longer wanted to do.
Corruption, of course, has been well established in Mexico since long before I ever walked this earth. There was no fixing the system in Mexico of the days of old, and there is certainly no fixing the problem in current Mexico. It's just gonna get worse. And one day masses of people are going to storm the border seeking to flee the horrid violence of the current Mexico.
So first thing our Congress needs to consider is securing the Mexican border of this country. I don't mean send an extra thousand men down to the border. We need an actual army of thousands down there, with full air, sea and tactical support. We are, literally, at war on the border, and normal law enforcement is outgunned and out manned so much of the time nowadays.
All of that army gear our forces left in Iraq could have been moved to the border to establish base stations and outposts and forts and such to secure our borders. Instead, we basically abandoned what we didn't sell for pennies on the dollar.
I realize Americans shudder when thinking about our armed forces being stationed on American soil. To that I say, talk to someone who lives on the border or owns property or a business there. Ask them if they feel safe. Drug violence has crept into border communities on US soil, and death just follows drug money.
Which leads to the second major problem in this country. We are spending billions, and have probably spent trillions, of dollars in the war on drugs. We long ago lost the war on drugs and it appears we will never win it.
As an aside, do the pro-gun control people think any of their proposed anti-gun laws will be any more effective than the drug laws are in this country?
Which leads to the third problem that needs to be addressed to solve what the anti-gunners think they can solve by their actions. Mental health. We abandoned the mentally ill so long ago. Our prisons, our streets, our hospitals and so many other social service agencies are filled to the brim with the mentally ill.
Although many mentally ill people who commit crimes do actually need to be in prison for our safety, some do not. But there is no place else to put them, at least not in Texas, and the ones who just will not behave have to be sent somewhere after all other rehabilitative efforts have failed. There are many convicts who would be better served by doing their sentence in a lock down custodial care type mental facility.
The public mental health system burst at the seams decades ago. Our public medical health system is likewise long broken and too many ER rooms serve as a primary doctor for far too many folks.
I say it's time to spend the billions we now spend on the war on drugs to care for the substantial portion of the population who are mentally and medically ill.
I've heard it said a thousand times by defendants and their attorneys that their aberrant behavior is caused by their bi-polar/manic depressive disorder. Let's do something about it.
Instead of sending the non-violent offender to prison, send them to mental health camp for an equal amount of time. Let them be legally medicated by doctors if necessary and sober up (since many mentally ill folks self-medicate) and keep them on ice and hopefully help some get their life back on an even keel.
It's not popular in some circles to say that the war on drugs has failed. Clearly, drug use and even much of the criminality and personal and family dysfunction that stem from "the drug problem" are a social problem. A criminal justice solution has not been effective in any way to solve the drug problem.
In fact, with methamphetamine, prescription drug abuse and crack cocaine, our drug problem today is legions worse than it was back in the 1960's and 1970's when heroin was the most feared drug.
We created the cartels and all that surrounds them by the supply and demand to the American people. Now that these cartels are established in other criminal enterprises in Mexico and America, so simply legalizing drugs here in America will not end the days of Cartels and Gangs. Instead, they'll take a big financial hit, probably reorganize and direct their efforts into other criminal endeavors.
And even if all illicit drugs in America were legal, the cartels would still be making and importing drugs, again, due to supply and demand.
I have no idea how to stop the border violence and the drug trade.
I do know that sealing off the border, and I mean actually sealing it with a serious military presence from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, and enforcing our current immigration laws (if found in this country illegally, you go home), would stop much of the problems.
I mean, what other country in the world can you go to and find millions of people illegally residing there? Paying for welfare, health care and social services for folks who are not paying taxes because they are here illegally is offensive. We should be spending that vast amount of money on folks who are legally in this country.
The anti-gun control folks will continue, I predict, to ignore the problems of the Mexican border, the drug problem, the issue of providing real medical and mental health care for Americans and the vast problems associated with illegal immigration.
Dealing with these issues would protect more people right away than all of the gun banning and outlawing that they can do in Washington D.C.
Our state has literally begged and pleaded with the President to do something to stop the border war. Gun control is not going to help our border problem, in fact, if anyone in the nation needs high capacity magazines and assault rifles for protection, it's those folks who live in close proximity to the border. How ironic, and how sad.