Ironically, it is American lawlessness, in the form of buying illegal narcotics, that has helped turn Mexico into a state destabilized by violent drug cartels. And merely ending drug prohibition, which would destroy the black market, would go a long way toward giving our southern neighbor space to improve its position.
Drugs are the driver but Mexico is a blood bath because of our gun laws, or lack thereof. Sarah Hill writing in the Boston Review this summer,
[In 2004], the United States lifted its ban on assault weapons, making it that much easier for traffickers to obtain their arms of choice. There are 6,600 gun shops in the four U.S. border states. Of the 11,000 guns turned over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) by Mexican forces in 2009, almost 90 percent were traced to U.S. gun shops.