Tag Archives: guns

My Final analysis of the Mexican drug war

Well, this is my last posting ever since I’m finishing this school semester. If anyone out there actually read this, I hope you found something useful. I know I definitely learned a lot.

I’ve never been this in tune with a political issue before, and I like being able to know a little bit more about what’s going in the world.

I hope you enjoy this video of me singing a song that I wrote called “No Mas Sangre” in dedication to the No Mas Sangre protest movement and campaign held in Mexico to promote peace and the ending of bloodshed.

SONG WRITTEN BY MICHELLE CUE

LYRICS:

How can this have a beautiful ending

When leaders and cheaters work behind enemy lines

Children of men cower into a life of crime

While we watch from the sidelines

CHORUS: No más sangre, que me duele, cansada de llorar

 Están matando mis hermanos, robando felicidad

Tiempo es de proclamarlo , que cese la sinrazón.

  Ya en mis ojos veo rojo. Cuando va terminar?

My neighbor with their addictions

My neighbor with his ambitions

We’ll never win this war if we’re always divided

So throw in your guns

Don’t give in to submission

Our hands united as one

 Chorus

Bridge: madres sin hijos, hijos sin padres

Ohhh

 Chorus (2x)

_________________________________________________

English Translation of Chorus: No more blood because it hurts me, I’m tired of crying. They’re killing my brothers robbing them of happiness. It’s time to proclaim the ceasing of (killing) without reason. Now in my eyes I see red. When will this end?

English Translation of Bridge: Mothers without kids, and kids without fathers

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New procedure to cure implications of operation fast and furious

On Tuesday October 25 a new a requirement was issued by the federal government after the complication of Operation Fast and Furious in order to stop the steady flow of guns from being purchased and crossed over to Mexico.

The requirement is the collection of private information which includes birth dates, addresses, race, and gender if a buyer purchases two or more semi-automatic rifles bigger than .22 caliber within a span of five days.

Gun sellers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are required to take this information and submit it to the ATF. The ATF claims that this plan will work a lot faster since they will be able to track these gun sales immediately “rather than a multi-day effort to trace the weapons back through the manufacturer, to the seller and eventually the buyer.”

Arizona attorney Stephen Halbrook said that collecting this information from buyers is a privacy invasion and is not the appropriate way to stop the gun flow into Mexico. He said there’s an obvious need to deal with this certain problem, but violating people’s privacy is not the right way to go about it, and that they should use more “traditional law enforcement methods.”

The attorney for the National Shooting Sports Foundation that happens to be suing the ATF just like Halbrook, is concerned that this requirement now applies to 8,500 gun dealers within these four states and it’s unffair because many of these gun stores have no connection to the guns crossing the border whatsoever. He also says he believes that the government made this decision way too quickly “perhaps for political reasons.”

So it’s just a big mess because the government wants to do one thing and the gun sellers and attorneys want to do something different but they’re unsure what to do, and there is no compromise. It seems like nobody knows what they want, they have no set plan of action, no alternatives, it’s appraently something that is not being dealt with in an organized manner. The government is trying to save their own butts while gun sellers see it as an imposition on human rights by invading people’s privacy. All the while, guns are still heading towards Mexico, and the Mexican people are still being killed.

So even though the ATF is being sued by several people, it seems as if they are still going to try to follow through with this plan for now. It’s been said that “two investigations have already been opened in the short time that the new reporting has been required.”

Article Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gun-store-owners-feds-fight-in-court-over-new-requirement-to-report-sales-of-multiple-rifles/2011/10/25/gIQAMNlfGM_story.html

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The Bang Bang Generation

I read all these articles about the goings on of the cartels, or the government, or the media dealing with the Mexican drug war, but I wanted to know about the innocent families that are going through this…especially the children. At a time like this, of violence and intense war, these young kids could be suffering negative psychological effects, and it’s important to take notice of this. Just try to imagine if it was your own child, or your little brother or sister, younger cousin, nieces/nephews, anything. If it’s someone that’s near and dear to you, you wouldn’t want to ignore what they’re going through.

The Bang Bang Generation was a term coined by Francisco Benavides, a reader of El Norte news, referring to the youth under 20 years of age that are “growing up in a society terrorized by violence.”

The age group most affected by this are teenagers. In the case of adolescents living in Mexico now, this society of war, gangs, shootings, killings, kidnappings, is something that they had to get used to. This major outbreak happened in 2006, so before that, they were able to go out by themselves, or hang out with friends on the weekends, or go to parties, etc. But now they are unable to because they always have to be on the lookout for dangers and be aware of their safety. I could only imagine how challenging this may be, to get accustomed to a completely different lifestyle, and not be able to have fun without worrying for the sake of your life.

Two 13-year-old friends were very upset about this issue that they even took the time to write a letter asking why all the parties involved, the government, the police, or the cartels themselves, don’t keep the children in mind.

These young girls said, “They don’t even consider us, maybe because they had a peaceful adolescence. Now we want the same, we want safe streets. We want to go out without seeing masked men carrying weapons.”
They feel as if they are trapped and alone because they aren’t allowed to have the freedom to grow up as a normal teen. No social life and no communication can really drive someone insane. The only thing these girls have as a means to communicate with the outside world is Facebook. But in a sense, these girls are more fortunate that they have the technology to be able to use Facebook. Imagine those really poor children that have no money to have a means of using the internet or for that matter any social networking media.
The girls ask that the aforementioned affiliates put themselves in the shoes of the younger generation and respect what they are going through, to create some kind of change, even if they can’t stop the war, at least give back the happiness that these kids once had.

Another teenager going through this hard time is a young man named Emiliano. He fears for his life everyday and grieves, “It bothers me that I am not allowed go out by myself or at night, and we always have to be very attentive, listening for gunshots, watching for kidnappers. We must always be careful. It’s tiring to always be so attentive, I would really like to just relax a little.”

The poor guy must be so stressed, all those nerves I’m sure make him really tense which in turn cause extreme fatigue. I bet it’s difficult for these kids to sleep at night, let alone keep a constant eye out during the day.

Throughout communities, adults are teaching their kids to take care and protect each other.

The youngsters are learning to simply accept the environment they currently live in and be extra cautious in everything they do. What else can they really do except just deal with it and do their best to live everyday to its maximum potential.

The article provides an inspiring statement given by professor of the UDEM Department of Education and Academic Director of Formus, Andrés Bolaños Werren. He said that “The world and history have taught us that the personalities that have transformed the world have come from difficult times, maybe it is human nature, man’s will to not just survive, but to overcome, move forward, thrive, and succeed, regardless of the circumstances. Although it will not be easy, there is great potential to become like those from our past.”

This is exactly what these young teens are having to prove. They will simply have to continue to push through these trials and adversities and hopefully…come out on top.

Article Source: http://jacqui.instablogs.com/entry/mexicos-drug-war-youth-generation-bang-bang/

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Analysis of a Mexican Priest’s sermon to end violence

In Mexico there is a very popular Catholic church, the church of Acatlán, that’s located in a town of about 20,000. The priest, named Father Juan Ramon Hernandez, started delivering sermons incorporating the controversy of the Mexican drug cartels and how the Mexican people should take the initiative to help stop spreading the message of violence.  One of the techniques in his sermon is a special object lesson, in which he asks all the children that have a toy gun to throw it on the middle of the stage symbolizing that of throwing the weapons and violence away, and then he continues to use his own large squirt gun and sprayed the first few rows of his congregation with holy water and then throw it away.

I want to analyze this course of action, since I’m unable to find the entire sermon of what he actually said online.  But I’m going to analyze why I believe he decided to create this sermon, how he delivered it, and if it was effective or not.

Well to start off with the question why, I think, in fact I know, this sermon was created to demonstrate a protest against the violence of the Mexican drug cartels. If he’s able to reach the minds of 20,000 people in that town, he could make some kind of impact in Mexico. He knows he’s a man with an influential position, and with a passionate love for his own country, he will do what he can to fight (for lack of a better word) for the cause of saving the life of his fellow countrymen. Now why did he use toy water guns as an example?

He could have used images (photos/pictures), a story, scripture passage, or other things. I believe it’s to make the people feel like they’re involved in this war too, not only that they are victims of it, but that they are able to instigate change and create more hope. By doing a live enactment of getting rid of the gun, and so to speak, throw away the violence, one could experience that feeling of a burden being lifted off one’s shoulders. There’s many experiments done like these in which psychologists say by doing something drastic, you’re getting rid of a part of that lifestyle that was corrupting you or making you unhappy. But these are all just notions of why he may have thought to do this, we do not know since we are not inside his head.

I read the comments on some of the videos that showed the Father doing this, and a couple that stuck out to me were:

“Pathetic why?, For me is a way to tell my people, that weapons should not be used to kill, but to bless the people…”

Comment posted by: elwerodelunar 5 days ago

“It takes a humble person to often start a revolution of ideas and hope. Let’s not be hard on Father Hernandez, his hearts and motives are in the right place.”

Comment posted by: diggerjohn111 2 weeks ago
These two comments are completely different, but both are reasonable thoughts as well. It just depends on what we believe in religiously I suppose.
In moving on to how he delivered it, I was accepting it, I thought it was a good way to protest violence, but after a while, I didn’t like how dramatic it got. If you watch the video at the very bottom of this post, you see that the children are throwing their guns on the floor, getting rid of their weapons, which is great! But as the priest began to jump on all the toy guns and break them, and then spray the holy water all over it, it got to be  a little much to me. It was kind of like he was advocating violence in the way that he completely and utterly destroyed and annihilated those plastic guns!
I liked the basic idea of the sermon, but to have the whole church bring toy guns and smash them is a little dramatic and irreverent. For those that don’t know the  definition of reverence, on the Merriam Webster online dictionary it states that it is “honor or respect felt or shown : deference; especially : profound adoring awed respect.” So, if you’re in a house of worship, where you’d want the Lord to reside, you’re not going to be smashing guns to pieces that shows a subtle act of violence, and that disrespects holy grounds. It’s better to act peacefully and passive just as Jesus would be.
In different videos, he also squirts the first few rows of his audience with the holy water. Once again, I think this is a bit odd. I don’t see the point in doing that. He’s still acting as if he’s shooting people…why would you want to shoot your congregation? I’m sure he has his own list of reasons for this, but I just know the only part I like about this sermon is the simple act of grabbing the fake guns and throwing them away…and that’s it. There doesn’t need to be any other dramatic scene.

And my last point was to find out if it was effective or not. Well from what little I could find, I believe it was somewhat effective. More people have joined his congregation to see what the buzz is all about, and this story made it into U.S. news. So even though it wasn’t national headlines, there’s at least 18,000 views of YouTube hits from this story, and 20,000 people in that town where the church is located. So I’m thinking 38,000 people being influenced from this humble story is more effective than 1 person hearing about it.

What do you guys think?

U.S.: NEWS STORY

MEXICO: ACTUAL RECORDING OF THE SERMON

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53% of high schoolers are not interested in the drug war

This past week I created a survey and asked my mom, a high school teacher in Houston, to pass out the survey to all her students. The survey creating program I used (survey monkey) collected the first 100 responses and organized the data into percentages for each question. Some of the results left me surprised, while others did not. (The title of this post only refers to the 100 students I surveyed).

I will analyze each of the 9 total questions in this report.

Question 1 is a type of question that will vary throughout socioeconomic classes as well as different demographic characteristics of the population.

Questions 2 and 3 correlate together. At first I was a little skeptical that only 5% of kids out of 100% said they used drugs but when I discovered the results of question 3, I found that 64.3% knew someone that used drugs. So those two results together make more sense, even though there’s only these 5% that are high school users, there’s still another 63 kids (out of 100) that know of family or friends that are using. Seems a little more accurate.

Question 4 I was forgetful in adding the number zero. So most of the kids that didn’t see zero either put 1-2 or skipped the question. This was my fault, therefore this statistic may be somewhat inaccurate under the 1-2 option. However, I was amazed that the 7 or more option would have one second place in the “how many people do you know that uses illegal drugs” category. 24 kids knew 7 or more people where as compared to the 5-6 with only 7 and the 3-4 not far behind with 21, that blows my mind. Because this means that kids either know no one or they know a lot of people. The options in between or fuzzy. So it’s just a wild thought.

Question 5… I’m not surprised. This would seem more accurate to me since I’d believe a lot of high schoolers aren’t going to be dealing or be in constant contact with a dealer.

Question 6 was to see if the younger crowd/generation has any knowledge of what’s going in the world today. Especially since we live in Texas, I was curious if they knew of an issue that’s happening so close to us.I’m glad to find that there was a large percent of kids that knew about it.

Question 7 I did something a little different. I had asked kids to type in their own free response to the question “What do you know about it?”

Here I will paste some of the answers I found interesting:

“People are doing anything they can to get drugs over the border across to the US, they have been putting drugs into dogs and animals and bring them over. They also kill others and their families in order to bring them over.”

” All i know is that it’s dangerous with people shooting others and stuff like that i think… ”

” There is drugs and its a big deal? ”

” People die all the time. they take prisoners and put them in fights to the death, and the winners have to go out and shoot as many people as possible until they get shot. also, they kill journalists. ”

” not much. my dad just talks about it sometimes because he works in Mexico ”

” Americans are buying drugs. ”

“I’ve heard that the people that bring the drugs over the boarderare usually poor and are just trying to make some extra cash.”

” There are brutal drug cartels that are responsible for smuggling drugs as well as many murders. In some cases inoccent tourists or itnernet bloggers have even been murdered just to be made an example of. Smuggling drugs is a huge felony and getting contraban into the country has become a very big issue for the U.S. and Mexico. ”

” That it’s happening. (?) ”

” That the native people of Mexico are smuggling drugs to the United states and other countries.”

” They cut off people’s heads and hang them from trees. ”

” I SMOKE IT! ”

” I know that it is sold for lots of money. I know the people that use it get bad grades, and usually don’t care about anything. I know that people who use them probably won’t be successful in the future. ”

” NOTHING (: ”

And many more were posted but I cannot post them all. These were just the ones that stuck out to me. Some of them were informed, some did not make any sense in relation to the drug war, and some were clueless. I noticed out of all the responses, the majority had no clue of the happenings of the drug war. But at least I did my part through this survey, to hopefully interest them in learning more about it. Some kids gave me internet responses, such as what it was from Wikipedia or other sites. So that means they took the time to learn what it was at least.

Question 8 I tried to make them aware of the fact that America plays a large part of the drug war in Mexico…that’s it not simply Mexico creating this mess.

And Question 9 I really wanted to see if young people care about this issue. And the result cut it close, but it turns out that more youth do not really care about the drug war. It’s sad to think this is our future. They don’t care about something that we are a part of… this means that they will continue to do drugs, go on with their lives, they will continue to be uneducated on these matters, and nothing will be resolved.

 

 

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“Wide Receiver” created the wide problem

New report on Wednesday October 5th from CBS News finds that operation “Fast and Furious” had been running for over 4 years with a different alias. This operation called, “Operation Wide Receiver,” had been carried out under the Bush administration, under the watchful eye of the ATF whose job is designed to bring gun trafficking to a halt, but instead allowed the “walking” of guns over the Mexican border.

A man by the name of Mike Detty, “gun enthusiast and licensed dealer” was selling guns at a gun show in Tucson Arizona (only an hour away from the Mexican border) in early 2006. One day a Hispanic man entered in the shop and bought 6 rifles in $1600 cash.

The man asked if he had more and he informed him that he would be receiving a shipment of 20 the following month, the young man straight up replied that he would purchase them all.

If you don’t find that suspicious I don’t know what you would. Just as any reasonable man would be, Detty was wary of this guy and reported the encounter to the ATF.  Their quick response was their request that he continue with the sale and they would send an agent to observe. At this point, ATF stepped in completely and inquired that Detty be their confidential informant. They told him that they had “a real chance at taking out a powerful cartel” so of course Detty like any other loyal man, wanted to help, and in an interview he stated “I made that commitment. And I really thought I was doing something good.’”

They even made him sign an “informant contract,” which in it, led him to believe that all he was doing was selling to “suspected traffickers,” and from there the ATF would “track the weapons, expose the cartel’s inner workings, and then interdict the guns before they could ever get loose on the street.” But it appears that this was not so.

After some time, Detty was uncomfortable and displeased with the whole situation, knowing that the ATF was allowing guns to “walk” the border instead of carrying out what they had told him previously. He eventually came forward with the information to the media, and revealed that he must’ve sold about 450 guns. That is absolutely unbelievable to me.  Just stop and think for one moment, and imagine if every individual had one gun, so 450 people carrying one gun…and they killed just one person each…they’ve thus far killed 450 innocent people. But of course we know that they killing more than just a single person with each of these guns! Even if they just killed 10 people with each gun, you already have a total of 4500 people killed! That is heart breaking!

So of course Mike Detty said looking back on it, knowing what he knows now, “It makes me sick.”

At least there’s one sensible person! Did the ATF leaders of the operation really not understand the consequences of what they were doing? Are they really that dumb? Or do they not care in assisting the assassination of thousands of innocent people?

And if that border patrol agent, Brian Terry, did not get murdered, these operations would still be playing out, without anyone outside of the government knowing. As I have been reading different articles about the two gun-walking operations, I like to read the comments that readers put, and I have noticed a lot of people like to put the blame solely on the President. And that’s honestly just a first resort to throw the blame on, because the President can’t do everything on his own, he’s not the only one making decisions around here, there are hundreds of other minds involved in these operations as well. So, it doesn’t matter if it’s under Obama or under Bush, there’s other people working beneath them that their job is specifically to take care of operations like “Fast and Furious” and “Wide Receiver.”

And not only should we blame our government, and the evil cartels in Mexico, and the government in Mexico, but like I have been putting in all my other posts, we have to blame the drug users which not only exist in Mexico but also exist in the United States. So, I’m pretty sure there’s a decent amount of comments from people on these articles blaming Obama for what’s going on when those people are the ones buying drugs, so they’re contributing as well! So go ahead, blame the president, but you should be looking at yourself in the mirror buddy.

So, to finish off what happened to Operation Wide Receiver, “prosecutors finally, quietly, rounded up seven suspects last fall.” Wow, what an accomplishment, great job guys…pshhh

And of course when CBS tried to reach the former Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez,  who was in office at the time of “Wide Receiver”  they failed, I’m sure he did not want to receive any scrutiny from the media. How come no one is questioning Bush? I guess this is all Obama’s fault even though the first original gun walking project was conducted under Bush, hmmm.

Regardless, the loss of lives continues as the clock is ticking and at this point the United States (along with Mexico of course)  has only contributed to those losses rather than try to stop or prevent them. Nothing new.

Article Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/10/05/earlyshow/main20115824.shtm

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A Liar is Offended?

A new finding by CBS News just two days ago, shows documents of proof that Eric Holder, Attorney General, was sent memos on the contentious operation “Fast and Furious” dating all the way back to July of 2010.

This means that he lied to Congress back in May of 2011 during a hearing when he said “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”

So while he’s busy lying to the faces of Congress, there are innocent people, both Mexican and American, being killed with the guns from the Fast and Furious operation that in partial part he allowed to “walk” the border.

I’ve posted a short blog about Fast and Furious before, but for those who don’t know about it, it’s an operation in which ATF  agents permit thousands of dangerous weapons cross the border, which they also call “gun walking,” and let them remain in the ownership of Mexican drug cartels. This is supposedly going to assist them in tracing the guns to the cartels, so they can identify and capture them.

I don’t understand. If they were allowing these guns to cross the border, and knowing as a matter of fact that they fell into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, why didn’t they immediately capture and arrest them? Instead they continued to allow “gun walking” and nothing really resulted from it. They let about 2,000 guns go over the border and it was months or years till they finally did anything about the surveillance of several suspects. From 2009 to 2011 they just watched what was happening, just waiting, just seeing who bought the guns and tracing the guns after they had been used to kill people in Mexico. All of this kept quiet until December when one of their own ATF agents was killed with an American gun, that’s when “ATF agent John Dodson blew the whistle on the operation.”

What did they think was going to result from this? Just painlessly handing American guns on a silver platter to Mexicans and allowing them to cross the border with ease was going to eventually help them stop murders? Uhhh, I’m pretty sure guns murder people…especially if you let them into the hands of criminals.

Ever since the rise of the news about the death of this ATF agent, the justice department has been purposely avoiding the news and media in regards to this operation.

But the documents and emails that CBS investigators have dug up and revealed, shows that they (officials) knew what they were doing. One of the emails  between two justice department officials, Weinstein and Trusty, starts with Weinstein saying  “It’s a tricky case given the number of guns that have walked but is a significant set of prosecutions,” with a reply from Trusty mockingly answering “I’m not sure how much grief we get for ‘guns walking.’ It may be more like, finally they’re going after people who sent guns down there.” How ironic that his last name is Trusty. Mr. Trusty, the Deputy Chief of the National Gang Unit, is not so trusty after all.

Later the Justice Department conveyed to CBS News that Weinstein and Trusty were discussing a completely different case that existed before Attorney General Holder was even in that position. And on Tuesday they also told CBS News that Holder “misunderstood that question from the committee – he did know about Fast and Furious – just not the details.” I’m so sure. I found out from reading some of the comments that later he said he (Holder) was offended because of how people are reacting to his not understanding. Well Hello! You’re an attorney! I’m pretty sure he’s fully aware of how the question and answer process runs, if he didn’t really understand it, he should’ve asked for a repeat of the question. But mainly, this guy is a load of B.S.

Guys like these are always trying to save their own butts, because the $$$ is what’s most important, not the lives of innocent people.

In viewing the comment section I liked a particular comment by username Commiefornia, written October 5, 2011 10:24 AM EDT. I liked that this person did not comment on the politics of the situation, or stated any statistics, but that they just shed light on the morality and reality of the situation. They wrote: “Hundreds of Mexican citizens died from these Fast and Furious guns. It would be like someone giving guns to the street gangs here in the US. No good could ever come of it and that person would face serious charges if murders were committed with those guns. The ATF, DOJ, and Obama [administration] are complicit in all the murders that were committed with those Fast & Furious guns.”

The truth is there, and it’s obvious, but we just have too many selfish, dumb people in control of these operations. And if you try to stand up and say something about it, you are reprimanded and hushed by the government; that will if they want to…shun you till you die. A little dramatic, I know.

Article Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20115038-10391695.html#comments

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