Mexico is the ultimate debate fodder for American gun rights activists. That’s because you probably couldn’t come up with a better example of what happens when a country restricts gun ownership for law-abiding citizens, while failing to disarm and imprison violent criminals. The results of that are predictable. On one side of the border, there is relative peace and prosperity. On the other side, drug cartels practically own the government and act against a mostly unarmed population with impunity.
Granted, Mexico isn’t entirely void of legally owned firearms. It isn’t nearly as bad as most countries. However, buying a gun legally is difficult, the calibers you can buy are highly restricted (you can’t even own a rifle that’s stronger than a .22), and the weapon can’t leave your house for any reason without a permit. That’s an incredibly stark contrast with the United States. On this issue, it’s like night and day on either side of the border.
So what is a government official to do, when his or her country has highly restrictive gun laws, and out of control crime? They blame the guns of course, and by association, their gun-toting neighbors to the north. Mexico has long asserted that America’s loose gun laws have made it easy for criminals to smuggle powerful firearms over the border, and into the hands of drug cartels. That’s why Mexico’s Foreign Minister, Claudia Ruiz Massieu, called on Congress to restrict the sale of so called “assault weapons.”
Ruiz Massieu made this call at the Second Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
According to a statement by the Foreign Ministry, Ruiz Massieu said Mexico “places the highest priority” on this matter, as the country has suffered from the illegal arms trade, with assault weapons often legally bought from gun shops across the border in the U.S. and transported illegally to Mexico.
During her speech, the minister said “our country prioritizes closing access to gun smugglers and those who irresponsibly bring in guns in search of an immediate economic benefit.”
During the speech, Ruiz also falsely claimed that buying a gun in the US was as easy as buying a liter of milk, and recognized Obama’s efforts to ban “assault weapons.”
Of course, she failed to mention the ATF’s gun running scandal, which put so many guns into the hands of criminals, that to this day they’re still showing up at crime scenes in Mexico. I guess smuggling guns into Mexico from the US is a problem, albeit one that our government has contributed to.
In all seriousness though, there is a gun smuggling problem along the border. What Ruiz didn’t say, is that it isn’t nearly as big of a problem as most people claim. The oft quoted statistic that suggests roughly 90% of the guns used by the drug cartels come from the US, is way overblown. Most of their military grade weapons come from corrupt actors within the Mexican military. Or they come from countless South American weapon caches, which are left over from numerous Latin American insurgencies that occurred during the Cold War (again, I wonder how many of those guns were delivered by the US government?).
And in any case, if our guns really were fueling Mexico’s crime epidemic, how is it our responsibility to prevent these weapons from entering their country? Why do we have to change our laws and forfeit our rights? The Mexican government doesn’t do anything to prevent their citizens from entering our country illegally, and they sure as hell don’t take any responsibility when their criminals kill our citizens, on our own soil. If the Mexican government really thinks that American guns are a big source of their violence, then they can build their own damn border wall.
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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .