Summer Book Festival and Giveaway: Guns Across the Border

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
Summer Book Festival and Giveaway: Guns Across the Border

Today I share the next author interview and book giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Summer Book Festival.

Mike Detty the author of Guns Across the Border: How and Why the US Government Smuggled Guns into Mexico, shares his answers to my questions and is providing one of my readers with a free copy of his book.  Mike’s book is an expose of gun smuggling, sting operations and government betrayal as described by a key undercover player – himself. It is fascinating, if not downright frightening.

Guns Across the Border

Before we begin, I would like to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway.

“Ruby” has won a copy of Meals in a Jar by Julie Languille. Congratulations! I have contacted you by email with instructions for claiming your book.  Here is how Ruby answered the question “What is your best food storage tip?”

For successful long term food storage be sure to consider temperature, humidity, and light control of the storage space. And don’t forget ‘critter control’ too.

Be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.


Tell me about your book, Guns Across the Border. What is it about?

Guns Across the Border is a book about gun smuggling to Mexico. Operation Wide Receiver preceded the now infamous Operation Fast & Furious by two years. It is the first documented (documented by the author) case of ATF’s failed gun walking policy.

What type of research did you have to do while writing you book?

There was no research done for this book.

I was the confidential informant for the ATF and kept a detailed journal during the three years I worked selling guns to cartel members. In addition to my detailed notes I also kept digital recordings of every bad guy buy, phone call and when I lost trust in the ATF, my contact with agents. It is these materials that I used to write Guns Across the Border.

How long did it take to write?

From start to finish about seven months.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading Guns Across the Border?

I was just a good American trying fulfill what I perceived as patriotic obligation. I made the commitment and assumed the risks knowing full well that I might have to abandon the life I had created and enter the Witness Protection Program.

Though the case took several twists and turns perhaps the cruelest twist was the betrayal by the very agency I risked everything to help.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I’m an unmarried 54 year old resident of Tucson. In 1981 I received a BS in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Arizona. In 1982 I earned a commission into the officer ranks of the United States Marine Corps. For 12 years I traveled the Arizona gun show circuit selling guns. It was this endeavor that brought me and the ATF together.

Do you have plans for another book?

Yes, but an entirely different topic. The next one will be about dogs and my vision of heaven.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Yes, I’d like the women readers to know that I am single and very available!


A copy of Guns Across the Border has been reserved for one lucky reader.  Here is this week’s question:

When it comes to survival and prepping, what topics interest you the most and why?

To enter, respond in the comments area at the end of this article. The deadline is 6:00 AM Pacific next Friday. A winner will be selected at random using tools on the website.  In addition, the winner must respond to my email within 72 hours or an alternate winner will be selected.

Note: If you are reading this article in your email client, you must go to the Backdoor Survival website to enter this giveaway in the comments area at the bottom of the article.

summer book festival 2013_04


This week’s author, Mike Detty, and his book, Guns Across the Border, are a bit different from what you have seen so far in the Backdoor Survival book festivals.  That said, if you have been following my website for any period of time you will know that I am a seeker of truth and that regardless of what I hear and what I read, I will come to my own conclusions. 

I would expect you to do the same and recognize that you may not always agree with me or with the consensus of others.  Sometimes there are no right and wrong answers.  I do worry, though, that the risks of assisting the government are not just from the bad guys, but from the government itself.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Backdoor Survival on Facebook to be updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Spotlight Item:   Conducted under the umbrella of Project Gunrunner and intended to stem the flow of firearms to Mexico, the ATF ran a series of “gun walking” sting operations, including Operations Wide Receiver and Operation Fast & Furious. This is Mike Detty’s story of his involvement in Operation Wide Receiver and his experience that took several twists and turns, perhaps the cruelest turn was his betrayal by the very agency he risked everything to help.

Bargain Bin: Listed below are all of the books in the Backdoor Survival Summer Reading List. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone. Also, some of these books are Kindle e-books but you do not need a Kindle to read Kindle e-books. Simply download the free Kindle app from the Amazon site and you are good to go.

owl reading book


The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide
The Mini Farming Guide to Composting
Meals in a Jar: Quick and Easy, Just-Add-Water, Homemade Recipe
Fight, Flight, or Hide. The Guide to Surviving a Mass Shooting
Don’t Be A Victim!: An Officer’s Advice on Preventing Crime
Emergency Air for Shelter-in-Place Preppers and Home-Built Bunkers
Real Time Machines: The Future is an APP
Survival Medicine Handbook
Getting Home
Staying Home
Guns Across the Border: How and Why the US Government Smuggled Guns into Mexico
Spiraling Downward: Thinking About and Planning for Economic Collapse


Holding Their Own IV: The Ascent
Apocalypse Drift
299 Days: The Visitors
The Western Front (Parts 1,2,3 – The Complete Collection)
The Wayward Journey

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27 Responses to “Summer Book Festival and Giveaway: Guns Across the Border”

  1. AND before everyone of you point the finger at the current administration for gun running to mexico and other countries, remember that the Bush administration was running gun to mexico under Operation wide receiver.

  2. I’m interested in the survival of my family. It concerns me that none of them (none are preparing) will be able to drive several hundred miles to get to our place where all my survival preps are. Will they make it or be destroyed where they live? Will my preps be safe? Will I have to share them with others around me. I’m kind of selfish and tight about them; I only have my family in mind while prepping.

  3. All of my preps will not mean anything if I cannot keep myself and my family healthy. Medical and Dental preps and learning how to use them I rank up near the top.

  4. I am new to prepping so am reading everything and anything I can get right now. I do seem to prefer prepping from a woman’s point of view though.

  5. Gaye. You know your number one reader is still single. Until you find me a woman, don’t you even try to find one for Mr. Detty. As far as to where I am in my preps, I am into canning a complete meal. I would like to see more on tips to can “chili, beef stew”, and the like. This week I canned Chili and meatloaf. The meatloaf was great, but the chili was to dry. Get us some pointers.
    Also, keep up the reviews of gadgets we are not familiar with. Yesterday I received a dozen of the candles that burn the liquid paraffin. I am so happy with these.

  6. Our house is too close to the road. Outsiders looking to take what we stored is a main concern.
    Cache-ing is my next very important topic I am interested in. More on this topic would be great.

  7. I am most interested in alternative food-storage hints, because I have many of the other factors about as covered as is currently possible, although I surely wish I could become more independent from the commercial makers of rabbit feed.

  8. Like most preppers, my primary interests are evolving. I am more interested now in longer term issues and ways to improve security through smart planning and strategies rather than total reliance on high tech or weapon power. Disappearing in place kinds of strategies and ways to get friends/family to wake up start prepping themselves are of great interest.

  9. id like to see more articles on bugging in place.How to fortify a house and optional shelters such as tunnels bunkers spider holes.Also what about using storage units to stash supplies in diffrent locations forexample along your commuter route etc.I dont forsee me leaving my locatioon so iwant to secure as best i can

  10. As an old, now elderly person, my own personal survival is important to me but in the long run, I think it is even more important to consider the question of human survival versus extinction. Given the many problems not being solved or even dealt with, a massive die-off is now inevitable. But perhaps there are small spaces, places, times and a few people who can and will make it through the coming perilous times. Hope springs eternal that some will survive – so for me, my interests are in how and where and who might have an opportunity to live, how they will band together and create communities, and whether they can or will learn from the present day issues, and what they could do to prevent similar collapses in a somewhat distant future.

  11. I am interested in a wide array of preps. I try to learn broadly and practice regularly. I learn from others and from reading and from practicing. Any topics can be interesting to me.

  12. seeing what other countries,greece,Italy, Argenina,etc, and cities in our own country collapsing, I’ve been thinking that long term survial with old forgotten skills, and means to produce our own food, other things will be neccesary. even having,say a years worth of supplies will eventually run out, fuels will be hard to obtain, or not available at all. we have several months of stuff, and have several skills, but I still feel we will have to find other ways to survive before running out, and… having small groups banding together now, or soon will help. we are a bit isolated and not too worried about invaders initially, but must be prepared to defend, or bug out at a later date if needed. Old-world style living would be a good thing to learn about. if we had to bug out at a later date, after shtf, we would have to how to do things without modern things. starving, homeless, among other things is something I think about regularly now. our society has been spoiled with technology, it will be fifficult, at best.

  13. This would be a great win! We can not have any doubts that our government will do anything whether or not it is legal or not. We have to prepare for the upcoming collapse and those that are not preparing will become either a burden or a source of danger. It’s good and decent to help others as you can you just have to take care of family first and when you do help someone outside your “inner circle” you have to be careful how you do it or you put a huge target on yourself since they will know you probably have additional supplies.

  14. I am most interested in learning preps that will help my children and grandchildren survive. They are so busy with their own lives that they are totally unaware of what is really happening. I feel they must have someone that has skills and knowledge that at present they are not interested in. Health is a big issue and staying that way with limited medical care. I am interested in herbs, essential oils, and the most nutritious plants we can grow.

  15. Not sure what URL you are looking for. I have been enjoying your Facebook page. Beginning prepper so I am soaking everything up. Pantry suppilies and food storage, and Proper Weapons to Own. I need to start someplace so I have decided to concentrate on building food supplies. I also have an interest in building a proper order of weapons to defend my family.

    • I am not an expert and do not portray myself as such. For a weapon to think seriously about I would recommend a 22. They are relatively cheap including the ammo, except now when it is hard to find, and they generally do not weigh very much or take up a lot of space for a lot of volume. Of course other weapons may/should be considered for self defense purposes but a 22 can provide food, via hunting, without a lot of expense.


  16. Food storage and the requisite security of the stored food, and other items, are my main concerns.

  17. What interests me most is discussion about sheltering in place. I don’t have the physical capability to survive more than a temporary bug out then back to my “place”. However if Mike is still single and available maybe we could work something out. 😉

  18. Insofar is prepping goes, am as ready as I can be. (The only thing left to acquire, is a firearm. Up here in Canukistan, I probably won’t live long enough to finish the paperwork required to legally own one.) I was taught how to safely handle guns, by my Dad- a decorated WW2 veteran, and I started collecting them at the age of twelve, (back in the mid-fifties). Fortunately, I have access to a machineshop- so I can MAKE one!
    Yeah- I am interested in your ‘Guns Across the Border’- howzabout sending ME one?

  19. I don’t know if this question can be answered…. but, I’ll ask anyway. I’m prepping as much as I can, when I can, but what worries the most is protecting myself and my stockpile. People will turn into animals when TSHTF and that’s understandable, to save themselves. How do you reasonably fight against intrusion, or downright greed from others? Do we actually have to kill to protect? We haven’t been tested, so what can anybody advise?

  20. I feel the importance to relearning all the “old” skills that my grandparents knew will be vital after we come up for air when SHTF and no electricity. Learning more medical knowledge will mean the difference in life and death as getting to the doctor and pharmacy may be impossible. Would love the book!

  21. I am most concerned with home and personal defense. Although we live in the county, we live a stone’s throw from the city limits. Our house is a remodeled farm house and is full of windows with no way to defend the northern side of our property. I have been prepping for going on 4 years and feel fairly comfortable with what we have stored. But it could be gone in 5 minutes if we have no way to defend it from menacing gangs. There is no way we can bug out because we live on a peninsula and the traffic would choke at both bridges. Worry worry.

  22. I need to find a way to incorporate my prepping into my everyday activities. I feel totally unprepared for even a mild SHTF situation even though I am much better prepared than those around me. I’ve already been told by a neighbor, “If something happens we’re coming over to your house.” Security is going to be an issue if I can not find a way to go about my prepping without calling attention to my day to day activities and having my children say something to the neighbors and classmates.

  23. Becoming more Self reliant is something I have been working on for about 4 years. I have just added Muscovy ducks to my chickens and goats, thinking about rabbits next (the nice thing about small animals is you do not have to have a freezer). I have my staples in my garden every year, but I will try growing several new veggies every year, keep what works and discontinue what does not. this year I added 2 types of winter squash (total of 12 plants), cantaloupe, watermelon and pumpkin. the vines on the squash is reaching 20 – 25 feet in length and I’m pushing around 50+ squash. since 2010 I have been trying to grow a good cucumber with no success so this year I changed the type of heirloom and have had a very good crop, picking 6 more 8 inchers today. Saving my own seeds is both fun and allows for bartering, an added bonus is that I do not have to buy my seeds every year. sorry for rambling, I’ll stop. Bill B

    • I am a bit jealous of your garden. My garden space is tiny and shady so greens do best. This year, however, I have prepared a location to use as a bucket garden next year. The depth of the buckets will allow for vining plants and the location is sunny.

  24. I agree with Kathryn. People are already animals, being able to defend against vicious desperate people is my main concern. Even though I am generally a generous person, it will be dangerous to appear to have anything at all. The fear of govt. is even greater than the fear of thieves and thugs. I am very interested to read this book, even though it wil not doubt go far beyond confirming my worst fears.

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