European Environmentalists Rekindling Cocaine Problem in Colombia and in the United States

Townhall.com Not that many years ago, the South American nation of Colombia was on the cusp of becoming a failed “narco-state.” With climatic conditions ideal for the growing of coca plants, and with dense jungles providing natural cover for illegal operations, Colombia became an international hub for the manufacturing and export of cocaine. As demand for these drugs grew in the United States from the 1970s on, so too did the violence and corruption of powerful drug cartels as they expanded territory, and battled rivals and the government. By the 1990s, Colombia was regarded as one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Today, Colombia is far different. Abundant natural resources and a burgeoning economy make it a popular location for tourists and businesses alike. However, this turnaround was made possible only because of an aggressive and innovative foreign aid and partnership program between the United States and Colombia beginning in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  “Plan Colombia” provided billions of U.S. dollars, along with military training and hardware, to the beleaguered South American democracy. This aid, along with a firm partnership between U.S. and Colombian political leaders, had a profound impact on drug violence there, while slowing the cocaine epidemic here at home. Despite this progress, a new enemy has recently emerged and threatens to undermine years of hard work, and placing thousands of U.S. lives at risk. Shockingly, the culprit is not a new drug cartel, but liberal environmentalists from Europe. It might seem paradoxical that European Leftists could dramatically impact the cocaine epidemic in the United States, but they are doing just that.  A pivotal method...

Gun Control Debate 101

Published November 8, 2017 at TownHall.com. Reading the social media posts of liberals following the latest mass shooting tragedy, occurring over the weekend in the small Texan town of Sutherland Springs, one might notice a pious gloating to their collective outrage. Rather than just the reflexive recitation of hatred at the National Rifle Association and congressional Republicans generally, liberals also lashed out against Christians, viciously blaming “prayers” for the lack of gun control efforts in Congress. It was almost as if they wanted to be at the scene of the horrific crime – a church – just to wag their fingers at the dead, for not heeding their snarky memes about gun owners and discredited studies from Michael Bloomberg’s “Everytown for Gun Safety” group. As victim-blaming goes, the Left has reached a new low; hard as that is to imagine. There is, however, a reason Congress has yet to fully address the problem of mass shootings, but it is not prayers, PAC-money from the NRA, or any of the accusations peddled by gun control activists. It is because, despite the same, trite demand from the Left for an “honest discussion about common sense gun reform” after every mass shooting, the Left appears to have no idea how to (or interest in) engaging such a conversation. Having served both in Congress and as a board member of the NRA, I have never met a serious person who is absolutely opposed to any limitations on firearms ownership or usage. However, this is often how gun owners are characterized when they refuse to engage the Left in a gun control debate on...