These problems are not limited to Arizona. Texas has similar problems. The Houston Chronicle reported in January that Texas law enforcement officials say smugglers have gotten more aggressive, and “once they are apprehended, they fight back.”
Just how vicious are these smugglers? That is an easy question to answer given the many news reports that have covered the brutal kidnappings, tortures, and murders — including beheadings — perpetrated by the drug cartels that control large parts of northern Mexico and are responsible for the trafficking of drugs and humans into the United States.
Just two years ago, 72 Mexicans who were attempting to cross over into United States illegally were “lined up and executed” on a remote Mexican ranch only 90 miles from the border by the Los Zetas drug gang for refusing to work for the gang. Over the past five years, there have been close to 50,000 drug-related murders in Mexico.
The drug cartels are not only armed with automatic weapons and machine guns supplied by corrupt Mexican officials and defecting members of the Mexican military, but they were also supplied with what Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is calling “assault weapons” and other high-capacity weapons: civilian versions of AK-47s and AR-15s, semi-automatic pistols with large magazines, and the .50-caliber rifles that are used by the U.S. military for their sniper teams.
These are the kind of weapons carried by Mexican drug smugglers who have shown no compunction whatsoever about using those weapons to kill. I doubt that an Arizona or Texas rancher out on one of his ranges who is confronted with such highly armed and dangerous smugglers would find much comfort in Vice President Joe Biden’s admonition that all they need to defend themselves is a short range, double-barrel shotgun.