Made in America. Dead in Mexico. The massacre of a family this week highlights ‘grave problem’ of gun smuggling – USA TODAY

Like a rifle shot echoing in a canyon, the slaughter of nine women and children this week by suspected cartel members in Mexico has reemphasized the lethal role of U.S.-manufactured firearms in narco violence south of the border.

The members of the LeBaron family — three women and six children — were gunned down as they traveled along a rural road between Sonora and Chihuahua. The killings occurred in a nation that has set homicide records the past two years, and is on course to do it again in 2019.

President Donald Trump, within hours of the attack, put out a tweet calling on Mexico “to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth.”

Mexican counterpart Andres Manuel López Obrador balked, saying bellicose tactics produced the bloodshed that now terrorizes his nation. In a report updated last month, the Council on Foreign Relations summarized that point: