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I am a consultant and analyst with eight years of military law enforcement experience, six years of analytical experience covering Latin America, and over seven years of analytical experience covering Mexican TCOs and border violence issues. This blog is designed to inform readers about current border violence issues and provide analysis on those issues, as well as detailed focus on specific border topics. By applying my knowledge and experience through this blog, I hope to separate the wheat from the chaff...that is, dispel rumors propagated by sensationalist media reporting, explain in layman's terms what is going on with Mexican TCOs, and most importantly, WHY violence is happening along the US-Mexico border.

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With over a dozen years of combined experience in military law enforcement, force protection analysis, and writing a variety of professional products for the US Air Force, state government in California, and the general public, Ms. Longmire has the expertise to create a superior product for you or your agency to further your understanding of Mexico’s drug war. Longmire Consulting is dedicated to being on the cusp of the latest developments in Mexico in order to bring you the best possible analysis of threats posed by the drug violence south of the border.

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June 02, 2010

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The seizure mentioned in your post is a good example of law enforcement in action--post crime commission. What I, as a pro-gun advocate find disturbing is how someone is able to buy that many guns for the cartels. We can assume there are fake IDs and reselling involved, just as there would be with any similar acquisition of guns for criminal purposes within the USA.

However, the cartels in Mexico (along with the Islamists and various separatist/revolutionary groups operating in Mexico) must have someone working for them to purchase, collect, load, ship and drive the weapons back. Whether that job chain consists of multiple people or one person doing it all, the questions being ignored by politicians and law enforcement agencies are (1) WHO are those people--categorically, (2) and HOW are they operating within the USA?

Are those driving the truck loads of weapons to Mexico actually Mexican nationals? Are they naturalized American citizens of Mexican ancestry? Are they American citizens of non-Hispanic ancestry? We never hear of these things in mainstream media. Investigating local media outlets and skimming LEO reports, you get the sense that it is largely Mexican nationals and those of Mexican ancestry who are either naturalized or within a generation or two of immigration to the USA.

Yet, we still have the open-border lobby, pro-illegal alien crowds, the Reconquistas of La Raza and their political allies all claiming there's no problem with things on the border--a blatant lie. We all know who does what--yet everyone wants to pretend that somehow Mexico is really our good friend. Never mind the Mexican government prints manuals for illegals on how to avoid US Border Patrol agents, busses them to drop-off points and has probably the most corrupt and useless government in the Western hemisphere.

From Matamoros and Reynosa just across from the Rio Grande Valley where I grew up as a kid, all the way to California, there's more than sufficient evidence of what amounts to phase 1 incipient LIC having morphed into phase 2 guerrilla warfare--though everyone will claim it's not because it isn't by a cohesive, unified movement. The reality, whether or not anyone wants to admit it (and they don't, for political regions), is that it exists, and is being waged by multiple entities--each with their own goals.

Mexico is a failing state. Even the UN acknowledged that Mexican cartels control the meth trade in the USA. Roughly 43% illegal aliens entering the USA have prior criminal convictions according to DHS deportation statistics. Illegal aliens are being arrested for violent rapes, murders and drug offenses in the USA that have already been deported 3-6 times. The solution is simple and obvious, but fear-mongers claim it will somehow hurt the USA more than what damage is already being done thanks to the rampant crime, drugs, violence and spread of MS-13 and their ilk.

Close the border. Deny entry to the USA of those who are transporting drugs and weapons, stop immigration for a few years, secure the border. Doing anything else is a political consideration and has nothing to do with national security or preserving society. Those refusing to address the issue head on in a meaningful way that solves the problem are doing so out of misplaced cultural, political and sentimental reasons that are contrary to the very founding principle of government--security. It is THE PRIMARY reason governments are formed and is the prime duty of a government. Mexico's is failing, and now America's is as well.

Those who would rather take away freedoms, liberties and rights from Americans to pay for the crimes being committed by Mexicans in Mexico and the USA are anti-American, anti-Constitution and every bit an enemy of the Constitution as the Islamists, fascists, socialists and globalists are.

There are solutions available, but again, weak governments in both the USA and Mexico refuse to entertain their use. Letters of Marque and Reprisal, for one. But hey, what good is private citizenry addressing an issue that our government aids? Our own clandestine agencies have facilitated, aided and engaged in drug trafficking and propping up those who do so for political ends.

Narco-terrorists (you can continue calling them DTOs if you like) are resurgent throughout Latin America, from the tri-state region in Paraguay, to Honduras, Guatemala, Columbia, Venezuela and Mexico. Those same governments which sponsor Islamist terrorism in the Middle East have been training insurgents and narcos in Latin America for decades and have stepped up the intensity of those efforts. And all the US government and the Obama administration wants to do is take away more rights from Americans and force us to assume the tax burden of waging an ineffectual war it has no intention of winning...and forcing RFID usage upon us...when the threat lies outside our borders.

No one wants to just say that Mexico is not our friend. It's a trade partner, nothing more. We share some history--big deal. We share history with most of the globe, as does every other nation. The notion that we must suicidally leave our borders open for whomever to use as they see fit is...well, suicidal.

I enjoy your articles and analysis. But, I must point out, that your own profile on your blog suggests a bias in your analysis--calling media reporting sensationalist. It suggests you already have your mind made up and an agenda to boot. To things are sensationalist when ranchers are being murdered or sued for simply protecting their land against foreign invaders is a little skewing of the facts. To say things are sensationalist when there are American school teachers having sulfuric acid thrown in their face, home invasions by Mexican cartel members, murders and of course the other forms of violence associated with their trafficking...well, I would love to know how you reach that from your analysis.

Still, as I said, I am happy to have discovered your blog. Makes interesting reading. Looking forward to reading more.

Here is the response for the issue of calling these weapons "fully automatic" on the Borderland Beat blog post.

"Response to Sylvia Longmire: Initial local TV news coverage stated that the weapons were "fully automatic".

http://www.pro8news.com/news/95382304.html

I thought about this and felt that the reporter was probably echoing a statement from one of the authorities present at the news conference.

Also the presence of the bayonets was intriguing. According to my understanding of TABF regulations the presence of bayonet lugs on legal semi auto assault weapons is illegal (non-compliant in TABF language). Thus, a bayonet lug on an assault rifle might be indicative of a military grade "full auto" weapon (we're not talking conversion here. It is pointless to have a bayonet with a semi auto AK without the lug as the bayonet would not attach and would fall off when tilted downwards.

Also the June 2nd edition of the Laredo Morning Times has a frontpage photo of these weapons that show a row of AK's, some of which clearly display bayonet lugs. I was unable to include this photo since it is a paid subscription site that does not allow for downloads of images. (Sorry my scanner is broken)

Look at the news story video included in the link above. At -1.02 into the story there is closeup where a weapon with a bayonet lug is clearly present.

Also the safety selector switch on a semi auto AK has only 2 settings: all up for safety or all down for safety off semi auto. In a fully auto AK the selector has a 3rd setting in the middle for full auto fire.

At -0.45 on the news video there is a close up of a weapon that appears to have the safety selector at the middle "full auto" setting.

These are the reasons I decided to echo the initial news report of "fully automatic" weapons".

Actually I hope that my conclusion on this matter is incorrect. What would be the implications of illegal military issue assault weapons transiting through thru the U.S.?
Obviously these weapons would not follow the traditional illegal export model of legal arms flows through gun store straw purchases.

This may be a view into darker, more nefarious arms smuggling networks that illegally import large amounts prohibited military grade weapons into the U.S.

It should be assumed then that not all these weapons would end up in Mexico. There are plenty of bad actors in our nation as well: traditional organised crime syndicates, drug dealers, outlaw motorcycle gangs, radical militias, street gangs.

Looking at the rampant, senseless violence in Mexico and contemplating it's possible germination on this side of the border is very sobering indeed. Like I said earlier, I hope I'm completely wrong.

My question is could this incident be staged? Rifles in packaging with bayonets sounds very very odd.

There is no way to tell if these rifles are automatic or not. There were no detents on the receivers marking safety, full auto, and semi auto. The saftey selector needs to travel from the safety (up) position to the semi-auto (full down) position and one can easily place the lever where the full auto (mmiddle) position would be to give the apperance of full auto.

Also, many legal semi-auto AKs have bayonet lugs and they are not illegal (922r compliance rules).

Full auto rifles are illegal in the U.S. unless papered to the mid-80s or if manufactured by a licensed federal fire arms licensed dealer (FFL) who is also able to manufacture. The post-sample cannot be sold and needs to be registered with the ATF.

If these are full auto then someone illegally modified them en masse and/or, as Mr. Carrillo pointed out above, this may be a view into an arms smuggling network which goes far beyond "straw purchases".

The average American firearm owner is the scapegoat either way.

Wrong Gerardo. Bayo lugs are completely legal. Get your info correct before posting. Sheesh!!! This incorrect info always being posted is what's always making the LEGAL gun owners look so bad.

Several of the weapons appear to be short barreled rifles, commonly known as "krinkov" versions of the AKM/AK74. These are fairly rare in the US in semi auto because it requires registration with the ATF and a $200 tax to make such a rifle. My suspicion is these are real machine guns smuggled into the US illegally. Even though US citizens have not been able to purchase new machine guns since 1986, US gun owners will pay dearly in our rights because of this little stunt. But why let a good story go to waste when you can add some smoke and mirrors to push your anti-gun agenda?

- "Here is the response for the issue of calling these weapons "fully automatic" on the Borderland Beat blog post.

"Response to Sylvia Longmire: Initial local TV news coverage stated that the weapons were "fully automatic".

http://www.pro8news.com/news/95382304.html

I thought about this and felt that the reporter was probably echoing a statement from one of the authorities present at the news conference."

Considering that the reporter couldn't even spell "rifle" correctly (it's spelled "riffle" in both the video graphic and the text story) we shouldn't be surprised that they were ignorantly referred to as "assualt riffles" to boot. An assault rifle is, by definition, a select-fire weapon capable of both seme-automatic AND either burst-mode or fully-automatic fire.

- "Also the presence of the bayonets was intriguing. According to my understanding of TABF regulations the presence of bayonet lugs on legal semi auto assault weapons is illegal (non-compliant in TABF language). Thus, a bayonet lug on an assault rifle might be indicative of a military grade "full auto" weapon (we're not talking conversion here. It is pointless to have a bayonet with a semi auto AK without the lug as the bayonet would not attach and would fall off when tilted downwards."

Your understanding is faulty. Bayonet lugs are quite legal. And the presence or absence of such a lug has nothing at all to do with whether or not the weapon is full-auto capable or military in origin. I have one on my semi-automatic AR-15.

One would certainly expect "an intelligence professional with eight years of military law enforcement experience" to know that no one other than government agencies can legally buy "brand new assault rifles" in the U.S. That is, assuming that same individual knows what the term "assault rifle" means.

I'm afraid that it appears you're not really here to "separate the wheat from the chaff", and are merely contributing to the propaganda from the left.

Dan - It appears you haven't read too many of my other posts to get a feel for my political leanings...I actually chuckled quite a bit at your last comment. I try to keep my analysis fairly centered, but I think if you go through my previous posts (almost 200 of them, actually), you'll find that I'm very pro-law enforcement, pro-gun, and pretty much on the right when it comes to homeland security topics. My political leanings, however, don't prevent me from realizing that a lot of guns being used by DTOs in Mexico are purchased in the US. I've posted repeatedly that the answer is not to restrict gun purchases here or enact new laws, which is what "the left" wants to do. I just have a hard time understanding why some people find it so difficult to believe that many (and NO ONE knows exactly how many) guns are easily bought here by people who want to smuggle them into Mexico to use them for bad things.

Nothing about this makes sense. How can they be sure that the weapons were not moving south to north?

For all your long-winded hypersensitivity over only the last 4 words of my post, I see you opted to completely ignored the substance of my post. Perhaps if you're done chuckling by now you might consider actually addressing it instead of hiding behind petty misdirection tactics.

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