Mexican President Felipe Calderon Renews Call for Renewed U.S. Assault Weapons Ban

Well, he has to call for something doesn’t he? Something that pins at least part of the blame on Los Estados Unidos for the drug war that’s claiming tens of thousands of lives south of the border. So the pre-state dinner Mexican Prez continued to chide American for not stopping exportation of the “assault rifles” that Mexican drug cartels use to kill each other (and anyone else they think needs killing). Which is highly ironic, if you think about it. On one hand, Sr. Calderon blames U.S. demand for for the illegal drug trade that’s murdered the rule of law in his country’s northern territories. On the other hand, it’s the U.S. supply of assault weapons that’s fueling the Mexican mayhem. Mind you, to its credit, the Obama administration and Congress are both sticking their fingers in their ears and going “lalalalalalalalala.” Or, as Democratic Representative Eliot Engel (chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere) put it after his cabeza a cabeza meeting with the muy macho Mexican leader . . .

“I hope we can get together and do something now to stop the cartels who buy guns in border states to go murder people.”

Should we rag on this assault weapons ban thing a bit more, even though it’s stillborn? As a preemptive strike against pro gun groups’ fund-raising-friendly paranoia propaganda, why not? For that we turn/click to burnafterreading.nationaljournal.com‘s War With Cartels, What’s The Answer On Guns?

Although the author of this round-up seems to think someone should do something (a common theme for all writers and pols when it comes to gun violence), Tom Risen’s bright enough to see that nothing much can, or will, be done.

Obama said today that he had directed the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to “ramp up our efforts at interdicting” the money and guns that have kept the cartels heavily armed against more than three years of Calderon’s counternarcotics campaigns.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has also focused on interdiction efforts recently, telling an audience at the Brookings Institution this month that “there’s probably not much appetite in Congress for reinstituting the assault weapons ban.”

Why the carefully couched resignation routine? Perhaps, just perhaps, it has something to do with common sense. Cue retired Col. Robert Killebrew, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

“If the cartels can’t buy guns from the U.S., they will buy them somewhere else,” said Killebrew, a Second Amendment rights advocate.

Can we trust those pesky Second Amendment rights advocates? In this, at least, you betcha! Meanwhile . . .

“Since the assault weapons ban expired in 2004, the seizures of fully automatic and semi-automatic weapons in Mexico have gone through the roof,” said Mexico’s ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarukhan. “What we are asking of the administration — and of Congress — is to enforce what is already on the books.”

Translation: advocates for the assault weapons ban are trying—well, tried—to sleaze it into law by suggesting Obama could simple reinstate the old ban. That dog won’t hunt.

At the start of Obama’s term, Engel and 52 other House members sent a letter to the president pressuring him to reinstate the assault weapons ban because it could be reinstated without writing a new law. While he’s disappointed the administration has not indicated support for the ban, Representative Engel observed last week that “there isn’t much stomach in the Congress to do that.”

And so Mexican President Calderon rattles his saber at American “inaction” on weapons smuggling while American President Obama says nothing about the corruption and impotence of the Mexican law enforcement officials that allows the trade to continue. Go figure.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

2 Responses to Mexican President Felipe Calderon Renews Call for Renewed U.S. Assault Weapons Ban

  1. Mexican President Felipe Calderon Renews [Coded] Call for U.S. Assault Weapons Ban…

    …because warring Mexican drug cartels can't figure out how to kill people with a [non A/R] rifle, shotgun, handgun, knife, rope, lead pipe, monkey wrench, or candle stick. Right!

  2. “Since the assault weapons ban expired in 2004, the seizures of fully automatic and semi-automatic weapons in Mexico have gone through the roof,” said Mexico’s ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarukhan. “What we are asking of the administration — and of Congress — is to enforce what is already on the books.”

    The ambassador is apparently misinformed on two separate weapons bans. One bans the import into the US of "foreign military-style assault weapons." It has been on the books since 1968 and remains the law of the land. Congressman Engel wants the Obama Administration to enforce THAT ban more vigorously, and is right to say no new law needs to be passed to do so. Congressman Engel says that non-US weapons are being trans-shipped through the US to the Mexican market because of the lack of enforcement. They most likely are, although I don't understand why the Mexican drug lords wouldn't just buy their guns directly and cut out any US middle-men.

    The OTHER U.S. assault weapons ban was the DOMESTIC ban on DOMESTIC "assault" weapons that was allowed to expire in 2004. Despite what the ambassador thinks, that former ban is NOT "already on the books." Congressman Engel knows that re-instating THAT ban WOULD require a new law. he is also correct in saying “there isn’t much stomach in the Congress to do that.”

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