NM Republican's "Interesting" Idea For Border Security: Landmines

June 16, 2010 1:02 pm ET — Melinda Warner

New Mexico Republican Tom Mullins has an idea for our border security problems: landmines.

During the May 18 interview with KNMX radio in Las Vegas, N.M., Mullins said the U.S. could mine the border, install barbed wire and post signs directing would-be border jumpers to cross legally at designated checkpoints.

"We could put land mines along the border. I know it sounds crazy. We could put up signs in 23 different languages if necessary," Mullins says in the radio interview, where he also expressed concern that terrorists could carry a nuclear weapon across the Mexican border.

He explained Monday the suggestion about land mines was something he'd heard while campaigning, and that it came in response to a complaint that nothing could be done to secure the border.

"When I heard it, I said, 'Well, that's an interesting concept,"' Mullins said.

Landmines are "an interesting concept"?  Landmines are meant to maim human beings...and Mullins finds the prospect of using them on the U.S. border interesting?

"Interesting" that placing landmines along the border would cause "blindness, burns, destroyed limbs and shrapnel wounds...foot and leg injuries, and secondary infections usually resulting in amputation" in the United States of America?

Landmines were meant to be used in warfare, not as a solution to a policy problem.  Where the mines have been used in the course of armed conflicts, civilians and children are often the victims and continue to be injured or killed decades after the conflict has ended.

For example: landmines were buried throughout the Cambodian countryside during the 1970s.  Because records were not kept of where the mines were placed, "more than 40,000 Cambodians have suffered amputations as a result of mine injuries since 1979. That represents an average of nearly forty victims a week for a period of twenty years." 

And it's not just Cambodia.

Women and children in Angola have been disfigured:

A landmine in Thailand did this to an elephant

Signs like this are scattered across southern Sudan:

And Mullins wants these pictures to characterize the American Southwest.

God bless America.

For more on the horrors caused by the past and present use of landmines, see the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.