Your August 12 article about a market-based solution to the political deadlock on gun control in the United States, “Government can limit gun sales—here’s how” by former Governor Eliot Spitzer does not acknowledge the full extent to which U.S. gun policy shapes drug violence in Mexico and Central America. Doubting the political feasibility of Congressional action on gun control, Mr. Spitzer asked the Department of Defense and the City of New York to cease the purchase of guns from sellers who do not perform background checks. Mr. Spitzer exhibits misplaced pragmatism with this request, underestimating the need for legislation that could directly reduce the proliferation of assault weapons into the hands of drug traffickers.
Closing one particular loophole could provide a concrete step in the right direction. Currently, sellers at gun shows are not required to run background checks on gun buyers. Through such channels, anonymous buyers easily pass untracked weapons to wide networks of drug trafficking organizations. Last year, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced legislation to require background checks at gun shows, a policy that could bring direct results to the supervision of assault weapon purchases. Congress would be prudent to adopt the law.
Recent events have brought U.S. gun policy once again to the forefront of public consciousness, providing a critical moment to debate the acceptability of guns in the household and scrutinize the assault weapon market. Yet, this crucial discussion must recognize that U.S. gun policy affects the livelihood and security of citizens throughout the Americas.
Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs
In response to the Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/08/12/2945272/government-can-limit-guns-immediately.html#storylink=misearch
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