What’s Spanish For “Quid Pro Quo?”

Well, there’s trouble on the southern border again. It seems that the government is getting sick and tired of the constant smuggling across the border, and is threatening to do something.

Oddly enough, the government this time is Mexico’s, and they’re fed up with guns coming south.

My first response is really unworthy. These undocumented guns are simply doing the jobs that Mexican guns don’t want to do, killing the Mexicans that the native firearms can’t be bothered to kill.

I have some sympathy for them. We certainly know what it’s like to have a neighbor treat your border like a joke, to ship unwanted stuff across it and alleviate their own problems by making them someone else’s problems.

Now, I wouldn’t be a very good neighbor if I didn’t offer a solution or two for the problem.

First up, there are some people who are discussing this radical notion for the border that just might be crazy enough to work. They call it a “wall” or a “fence,” and it seems to revolve around putting up some sort of physical structure that makes it darned difficult for people or things to go through it.

The beauty of these “walls” is that they seem to work in both directions, so we’d only need one of them to solve both problems.

The other solution is to let the free markets solve the problem. Mexico is complaining that there are too many American guns and ammunition in their country; we complain that there are too many undocumented Mexicans in the United States.

Now, if you ask any good liberal, they will tell you that the root of most problems is not people, but things. Guns are the bad, dangerous, evil things that kill people, not the people using them. So, by that reasoning, Mexico’s problem is far worse than our own.

So here’s my solution, generated out of the goodness of our hearts: we set up an exchange program where the United States trades with Mexico. We take back our guns, they take back their citizens. The free market will help settle an exchange rate, but I think we should start out with 100 people per gun. The actual ratio of American guns vs. illegal Mexicans is pretty much impossible to determine, but I’ve seen estimates of both figures that put the true ratio closer to 600-1 or 1,000-1, so 100 ought to be a good starting point.

It’s a simple, elegant solution, and everyone wins.

Which is precisely why I don’t expect it to go anywhere.

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