Barrasso on the Border: Drug Cartels Pose Threat
Barrasso at the border
Senator Barrasso with Deputy Robert Wilson at a hole in the border outside El Paso, Texas. Photo courtesy Senator Barrasso’s office.
Barrasso: ‘I will not allow our Second Amendment rights to be sacrificed.’
by Senator Barrasso's office
April 1, 2009
Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) was in the border city of El Paso, TX to investigate the drug-fueled violence and the impact of the cartels on the border.
"We are faced with transnational criminal networks that produce, transport and market illegal drugs, Barrasso said. We must destroy the cartels. The violence along the U.S. – Mexico border is a serious security challenge that we cannot simply ignore."
Barrasso was in El Paso to participate in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing into violence on the southern border. Barrasso, escorted by West Texas sheriffs, visited a number of points along the porous border, including the new fence. He also flew a surveillance mission with the Texas National Guard Counter Narcotic Task Force.
"The problems that Mexico and the United States face may seem simple. But we are dealing with sophisticated drug trafficking organizations that adapt quickly to law enforcement methods and capabilities," Barrasso said.
"Some have suggested that we need to ban semi-automatic assault weapons to curb the violence. I don’t understand the rationale behind disarming law-abiding citizens. Why would you disarm someone when they potentially could get caught in the crossfire?"
"We have laws in place to tackle arms trafficking. The existing laws simply need to be fully enforced," Barrasso said.
"I will not allow our Second Amendment rights to be sacrificed. Additional gun control in the United States will not change the U.S. – Mexico border violence and smuggling problem," Barrasso said. "It will take trust, resources and leadership to defeat the cartels."
Barrasso believes that to destroy the criminal networks we need a three stage plan.
"The short-term solution is to beef up our border agents’ ability to collect and share intelligence and put more boots on the ground. Our border patrols are on the front line dealing with the illegal border crossings and cartel gang activity.
"The mid-term solution involves putting the Merida Initiative to work and providing the equipment and training to deter, and eventually defeat the cartels," Barrasso said.
"The long-term solution involves reforming the Mexican judicial system and curbing the United States’ appetite for illegal drugs. In the United States, we need to deal with our addiction to drugs and cut the market off for the cartels."