The problem with the generalƒ??s assessment is two fold- He refers, once again, to the weapons being smuggled into Mexico as "automatic weapons". They aren't. The military grade weapons that the Mexican military and law enforcement establishment is facing come from stolen stocks of their own weapons (their accountability system is extremely lacking), a proliferation of left over Soviet and US arms from Nicaragua/El Salvador, et al., and most being imported in with the fresh supply of cocaine from Columbia. Semantics? No, not really, and everyone who doesn't make that distinction instantly loses credibility. It seems keeping with the political language of this administration- anything that comes from the US is an assault weapon. I would really be interested in the primary source data showing this 20,000 weapons just last year. Heavy sigh.
The other problem is that, other than additional personnel checking folks going south (and apparently the US must shoulder this burden because the Mexican Customs is, what...a failure?) and more firearms tracing by the BATFE in Mexico (which is being done) what exactly is the US supposed to do? Do people really think that licensed gun dealers are going to sell weapons to questionable purchasers when they know that their sales will be traced back to them, especially under the level of politicized scrutiny now? With this new government and populist pressure, dealers will run the risk of discrimination practices based upon ethnic grounds (no sale to Hispanic-Americans just to be safe?). That isn't a very good solution either.
To eliminate the power of the cartels we need to train and empower the Mexican judiciary, their police, and military. But most importantly we need to figure out how to eliminate the market for the illegal drugs here in the US (god knows the War on Drugs has not been successful) and cut the source of the narco-trafficers funding. To do that would involve a paradigm shift in our own policies, one which no one is willing to make. This isnƒ??t an issue of when the violence will spill over. It already has, for over 20 years.