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L. Neil Smith's
Number 420, June 3, 2007

"Fame, Fortune, and Groupies"

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Letter from Albert Perez

Re: Liberation by L. Neil Smith

Two comments from the Border.

1. My wife's stepfather was an airplane mechanic. He often did work for the Border Patrol.

He told me that one day he was chatting with one of the agents and the following story came up:

The agent was flying with a group of illegals to be released in the interior of Mexico (back when the events described occurred mojados dumped in Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, etc., actually beat the BP Agents back into the US). He asked one of the deportees why he kept coming to the US. The man answered for freedom. The BP Agent asked why he and his fellow Mexicans didn't rise up as they had before. "Senor, they have all the guns."

2. As I've mentioned earlier and in other places: El Paso, which is a city of 750,000, has a murder rate of about 13, maybe 15 a year. We are at the intersection of US Southern and Mexican culture, both cultures which encourage forcible self defense more than liberals like. We are poorer than average. We are a major smuggling route, drugs are just a part of the issue and last I heard the war over who controls drug smuggling in Juarez has not been completely resolved. Due to Texas laws and instacheck it really does take longer for your credit to clear (or get declined, damn it!) than it takes to complete the paperwork and get legally cleared to purchase a gun. Burglary and car theft rates show we aren't necessarily all that honest or excessively decent either.

And we keep our murder rate so low there is speculation that something in the water is pacifying us.

Gun control as a plan for crime control makes as much sense to me as touting infecting people with HIV/AIDS to cure autoimmune illnesses.


Foolishly I ran off at the mouth (Keyboard?) before checking my stats about El Paso's population. The city has an official population of about 568,000, the metroplitan area is between 720,000 to 730,000, at least that's what the bosses will own up to. The gist of my argument, that when you consider all factors that lead to violence and add in the ready availability of guns, our murder rate is inexplicably low. remains valid. If the hoplophobes (Jeff Cooper introduced this term, at least to me, to describe a person with an irrational fear of other people going armed) were right our murder rate would be as bad as it was in the days of Dallas Stroudemire and Wes Hardin. Instead it's low enough for us to qualify as the third safest city in the nation in spite of a high rate of burglary and cartheft and an undermanned PD. Meanwhile, we live next to a country in which gun control has been used to oppress honest, hardworking people.

For some reasons even most liberals in this burg don't believe in gun control.

Sorry about addendum, but unlike our opponents, we do not have national media bias to cover up our errors and must work harder at trying to be acuurate.

Albert Perez

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