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Mr. Bonner noted that, though U.S. gun sales contribute to the level of violence, Mexico as a population is already much more heavily armed than the United States.

“The problem lies somewhere else,” he said. “That somewhere else is corruption in the government of Mexico that allows this violence to go on unabated.”

He added, “The object is to dismantle, deflate and destroy the drug cartels. It makes sense to me that President Calderon would be appealing to the Mexican public, the vast majority of whom are law-abiding and abhor the culture of impunity.”