Intertwined Prejudices: Drugs Smuggling, Gun Control, and Immigrants



The Mexican border has been associated with drugs smuggling for a long, long time. As Nevins explains in his book Operation Gatekeeper, Tijuana has been dubbed “the sin city” because of its mass tourism centered on gambling, alcohol, prostitution and, especially in recent decades, drugs.


Furthermore, Mexico represents the connection between US and Latin American drug markets, that e,braces the northern regions of Central America as long as the underground hubs in Colombia.

Even recently the country has met horrific peaks of violence and there the name “war on drugs” seems to be taken literally for “Narcos” don’t hesitate to use grenade and other weapons as such to attack Mexican law enforcers


Are the doors of entrance in the United States the same for drugs flow and immigrants? Probably not at all. The smugglers have to be certain that their very costly and sensitive merchandise arrives safe and stashed in the country, while immigrants’ routes are extremely dangerous, as proven by the corpses that continue to emerge from the desert


The Mexican war against and between the “Narcos”, moreover, has had a pace independent from that of immigration: this last was stepped up in the Nineties, while the first is a much older phenomenon and it decreased for some time just before the beginning of this century, due to a sort of truce.

It has to be added that the drug consumption in the US is the obvious fuel of the smuggling and that, surprisingly, in the border regions too the vast majority of individuals involved in trafficking are American citizens


According to the well-established image of the dangerous boarders-crossing Latino criminal, the debate on gun control involved concerns regarding minorities’ communities. Once again, statistics show that Black and Hispanic possess far less guns than White. Nonetheless, they bring the social stigma of violence and are the most likely victims of the American side of “war on drugs”. In the United States, though, its battles are not usually those of policemen reacting to grenade throwing, but rather consist in frisking young suspected and running the risks of stigmatizing their neighborhoods through oppressive and insistent patrolling.


Hence the danger that gun control entails an increase of inequalities in the treatment of minority members, as it historically happened with the first restrictions to the Second Amendment.


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