NSFW: Why We Need the Second Amendment: Anti-Corruption Edition

Take a look at the image after the jump. [Warning: graphic] Notice that the man on the left’s missing his right foot. Note the billboard in the background; the men were hung from a highway overpass in Monterrey, Nuevo León. Resist the urge to dismiss this carnage as collateral damage in the ongoing Mexican drug cartel turf wars. Instead, clock this from blogdelnarco.com: “At around six in the morning, motorists circulating about Gonzalitos Avenue observed a group of armed men. They hung two bodies at the same bridge where they hanged La Pelirroja . . .

There were approximately 20 witnesses including some policemen who did nothing, as if the armed group was invisible. Even some ministers observed the scene and passed by.

I’ve heard members of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia dismiss the violence in Mexico as a reflection of the culture of corruption that has bedeviled the country since it was formed. As if average Mexicans are getting the non-government they deserve. And the violence to match. I disagree. Profoundly.

I’m aware of the dangers of ethnocentrism. But I believe there are hard-working, God-fearing, moral Mexicans. Men and women who share the average Americans’ desire to live in country where they can live and raise their children without having to appease people without respect for honest labor, personal freedom and the sanctity of human life.

If you want to know how Mexico got to where it is today, why the United States is not there, and how we could be, consider the corollary to the oft-repeated quote from Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Good men can’t do anything about evil if they are denied the means to do it.

Wherever you find a disarmed population you find unimaginable brutality. The Holocaust is only the most common and perhaps obvious example. The horrors visited upon African-Americans—lynchings, torture, kidnapping, rape, starvation and endless humiliation—provide the same cautionary tale. Today’s Islamo-fascism rests on the bedrock of a defenseless public.

Truth be told, Mexico is plagued by torture, murder, extortion and corruption because those who would oppose it are powerless against the evil men who rule them. Make no mistake: the Mexican government forcibly disarmed the public. If nothing else, they shuttered all the country’s gun stores and transferred all gun and ammo sales to the Mexican military. Which now denies the public their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

In that sense, you can no more blame the Mexicans for their suffering from drug cartel violence than you can blame the millions of Jews packed into freight trains and sent to concentration camps. Or the slaves who had their children ripped from their arms. Or the Arabs gunned down by their not-so-secret police.

That said, there’s an undeniable element of complicity from those who don’t understand or value their freedom enough to exercise their personal responsibility to protect and defend it. We the people don’t need guns. We’re “above that.” We pay the police and National Guard and FBI and DEA and ATF and DHS and all those other agencies to wield guns on our behalf.

Is it any coincidence that police corruption flares most violently in American cities where citizens have surrendered their constitutional right to self-defense? Providence, Boston, LA, Philadelphia, New York, Hartford. Anyone remember Mayor Richard Daley’s instruction to his police force re: protestors at the 1968 Democratic National Convention? “Break their heads.”

History tells us when oppressed people are armed they fight back against aggression, enslavement and corruption. Look at what the Jews did in the Warsaw ghetto with a few rifles and pistols. Consider the contribution of African Americans to the Union’s efforts during the Civil War. Americans who write-off Mexican citizens as complacent and complicit in their own misery deny our common humanity.

And willfully ignore the importance of armed self-defense. Without it, we are literally defenseless against those who would twist and ultimately destroy the rule of law for their own profit and power. I know: The UK. Europe. No guns. Plenty of peace. Freedom? Not so much. Rioting? Sure. What do you expect from a society where the balance of power has tilted violently to the side of the government? What do you see in their future?

America’s future is bright. Protected and informed by the Second Amendment, the so-called Tea Party movement is out there, somewhere, continuing to agitate for a return to individual liberty based on personal responsibility. As the Supreme Court recently affirmed by incorporating the Second Amendment, we are still a nation of gun owners and, thus, laws.

As such, we have no business supporting Mexican gun control. I am deeply shamed by Uncle Sam’s longstanding support for Mexico’s firearms prohibition. I am deeply offended by the feds’ reprehensible support to the Mexican government and its cartel paymasters. Which includes supplying the bad guys with “military” firearms.

At the very least, the United States should stop arming the wrong people. We should halt all arms sales to the Mexican military until they restore their citizens’ right to armed self-defense. And then we should do whatever we can to get guns to the people who need and deserve them.

comments

  1. avatar Luke says:

    Tragic photos…truly sickening.

    I largely agree with what you have to say here. The “you’re not doing that in my neighborhood” mindset is the fundamental thing that keeps communities strong and holds people accountable for their behavior. It starts with basic things like keeping your lawn mowed and your fence painted and moves all the way up from there.

    As a (very) moderate person politically, though, I have to take issue with your comments on the Tea Party phenomenon. While I believe quite strongly in personal liberty, accountability, and responsibility I fear that the Tea Party is turning off a lot of moderates and conservative Democrats. Much of the rhetoric that starting coming out of that camp last summer, and the political positions that have been constructed around it, is extremely off-putting for moderates like me who do see a very legitimate (if limited) role for government.

    Even more troubling, the hard-right turn they are forcing is further dividing the populace. Issues which are not fundamentally political, like firearm ownership, are turning into “the conservative thing to do” rather than “a long-treasured American tradition.” Responsible gun owners will eventually lose, and lose big, if we keep allowing it to be “a red state thing” that only conservatives are interested in. It was never a political issue in the past, and we must not let it continue down that path.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      I didn’t say that the Tea Party is our salvation, or that they have a monopoly on traditional American values. I said they are “agitating” for a return to a smaller government and personal responsibility. They have put the subjects on the table. For that I am grateful.

    2. avatar Keith says:

      What does it mean to be be extremely moderate? To me it sounds like extremely luke warm.

      I have found that personal political views are often passionately held, and that it is somewhere between difficult and impossible to have a productive conversation between positions varying but a few degrees along the political spectrum. This is especially so where the forum is the internet.

      Having said that, I’ll give it a go. To my thinking the Tea Party represents a traditional conservative position. To put it another way, it’s the Libertarian Party without legalizing drugs.

      Personally, I am drawn to the Tea Party because the entrenched Republican establishment is too far from my ideal, and the Democratic establishment is a long way further still.

      You seem to be saying that the Tea Party is forcing a divide in our society. I think that is entirely incorrect. I think it is revealing a divide. I also think that those whom the Tea Party threatens love to foment the notion that the Tea Party is subversive and causal of the popular pull toward political conservatism. When in truth is it has merely given a platform and a voice to those who are reacting to the damage liberalism is doing and has done to our nation–deficits, nanny statism, developing a constituency of the poor and those here illegally (with the attendant incentive to increase the numbers of each), and so on.

      It should not be shocking that those who’s power is threaten by this movement would attack it. The truth is that the Tea Party is threatening to both the left and the establishment right. Keep that in mind when forming an opinion about how the Tea Party is likely to be portrayed. I have no doubt that there are ugly elements in the Tea Party, but I like the idea of small government, and am sick of the intrusion which has become the norm. Given this, where am I going to go to find a political home? It’s not in the current middle, I can tell you that.

      1. avatar Jamie says:

        Keith, I couldn’t have said it better.

      2. avatar Luke says:

        “Extremely moderate” means that I hold views on topics and issues that would be considered in the mainstream of both current GOP thinking and current Democratic Party thinking. My views vary from topic to topic, and are as passionately held as anything. I don’t totally agree with either of the current parties, thus it’s pretty hard to categorize myself. Call me purple, just don’t call me late for dinner. As has been pointed out, political beliefs are hard to quantify in a forum like this.

        I guess I would agree that it’s pointing out a divide. My criticism, if it was that, is not restricted to the Tea Party. I see bad elements on both sides of political fence. There are small numbers of folks on both sides with big mouths and bad attitudes that are making their respective groups look bad. In face to face conversations with people on both sides of the spectrum it’s pretty clear that there is a lot of genuine frustration out there. Everyone is finding a different way to express it.

        I worry, though, that the rhetoric on both sides is just fueling the further opening of that divide. Civility and respect for the opinions and beliefs of others seems to have gone out the window. All of it just fuels the endless campaigning of politicians who don’t seem all that interested in working together to solve problems.

        No one ideology is fully to blame for the mess we’ve found ourselves in as a country. Each side has been declaring the other morally bankrupt for 230+ years, and it’s nothing but distraction and obfuscation. The real root cause is the sheer laziness of the political class and the fact that they are more concerned about winning elections than working hard and leading. Running a big, complicated country like this takes a lot of negotiation and hard work. It’s pretty tough to put in that work when all you’re concerned about is satisfying the narrow majority on either side that actually shows up to vote you in for another term.

        But this is a gun blog, and I’m interested in my point about firearm ownership being turned into a wedge issue or something that only conservatives are interested in. When did it become an ideological issue and who made it that way? I may be pleading ignorance here as a 32 year old, but I really don’t understand it. Both of my grandfathers, who were about as far apart as two men could be politically, owned, used and treasured their firearms. It just wasn’t the issue then that it seems to be now. Why?

        1. avatar Keith says:

          Based upon what you’ve written, I think we could work together. I, too, often wonder about how guns have come to divide left from right. (Among many other issues.) It might have something to do with the cities being more liberal while also suffering most from criminal use of firearms.

          As for the acrimony that characterizes the political landscape right now, I think the antidote is citizen-to-citizen discussion, taken with a large dose of civility. We’ve all been flamed in various internet forums. It’s hard to put ones views on display without getting at least a little bit prickly in anticipation of the response.

          If nothing else, most of us can agree on at least on major idea: we don’t like where we’re heading as a nation. We can start there.

  2. avatar ExurbanKevin says:

    Umn, how ’bout a warning next time? Some of us surf with family nearby if we’re home, or cow-orkers nearby if we’re in the office.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      How would I do that?

      1. avatar Derek says:

        Perhaps with a link to the graphic content instead of it plastered on the homepage.

      2. avatar Andrew Wiggins says:

        By giving a warning before the jump and putting the image after the jump. I’m not squeamish, but the lady on my couch is.

      3. avatar Tony Heaton says:

        You shoudn’t need to give a warning. This is true life for the people of Mexico. It will likely be true life for America in the near future. Much worse was the daily life for Jews in Europe of the 1930’s and 1940’s. After the attempted extermination of the Jews, we as a people said “never again.” It appears, as with most cowardly people, we didn’t really mean it.

    2. avatar KW says:

      I’m not bashing you for requesting a warning before viewing graphically violent scene, but… Isn’t it nice to live in a society where such a request can be made and granted? A lot different than having it inflicted on you as you walk out your door or drive down your street. I’m sorry but the average American does not know how good they have it, or the heavy price that has been paid for them to have it that way. And as I think RF is saying here, if they continue to languish lazily in those freedoms it will result in their eventual disappearance (the freedoms).

      1. avatar ExurbanKevin says:

        Yes, yes it is. I’m one of those foreigners who moved to the U.S. by choice, and I friggin’ love the Bill of Rights.

        Why? Because it has something in it to tick off everyone in the political spectrum. This tells me that the Founding Fathers got it right, that they didn’t just create a document that would force America to become the country they want, the Bill of Rights forces America to become (in theory) the kind of country that Americans want

        1. avatar Tony Heaton says:

          The Bill of Rights forces nothing. It is just a useless piece of paper if people don’t have the courage to uphold and defend it. It has become increasingly obvious that as long as there is beer in the fridge, sports or other mind numbing crap on the television and gas is under $20 per gallon, people just don’t care.

    3. avatar Jamie says:

      Frickin nut up, good grief!

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    “But I believe there is such a thing as hard-working, God-fearing, moral Mexicans.”

    That would be almost every Mexican who is not a government employee, street criminal or member of a cartel. Unfortunately, the corruption is Mexico is so extreme that it makes Providence look like Father Flanagan’s Boys Town.

    1. avatar CUJO THE DOG OF WAR says:

      Why don’t we send a flaming liberal down there to talk them into submission with their broad, sweeping generalities?

  4. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    The pictures are very graphic and sickening, but people need to see this to realize just how bad it truely is out there. You got the point across very well, but now how can it be fixed. Hitler tried to pass off the concentration camps as a nice place for the jews, but we all know how horrific they really were and the world allowed it to happen for years.

  5. avatar John Fritz says:

    The photograph is apropos to the story being discussed. I say even necessary because it illustrates the terrible violence citizens of Mexico are being forced to contend with. That truth can be extraordinarily disturbing but it’s a tale which needs to be told.

  6. avatar James Felix says:

    “… I fear that the Tea Party is turning off a lot of moderates and conservative Democrats. Much of the rhetoric that starting coming out of that camp last summer, and the political positions that have been constructed around it, is extremely off-putting for moderates like me who do see a very legitimate (if limited) role for government.”

    What rhetoric / positions are those, exactly? And are you sure you’re referring to the actual Tea Party movement, and not a caricature thereof presented by the NY Times?

  7. avatar Homobangbangamus says:

    Predation and barbarity knows no racial barrier, comes in all colors and genders. Their victims never change either. There is only one way to have peace and freedom, and that is because they will never give it to you willingly. You always become too profitable and they always have too much fun abusing you. They always teach your children to be good slaves too.

  8. avatar Pete says:

    Another hopeful sign for the country (in addition to the Supreme Court stating that self-defense is a “fundamental human right” [DUH]), is the sweeping success of the “shall issue” concealed carry movement. I KNOW – “we don’t need no stinkin’ permit to carry a gun”, but think about where we were 30 years ago when Marion Hammer got the shall issue laws passed in Florida. The unanimous media and political propaganda was “Guns are eeevil, only nutcases would want to carry them, trust the gummint to protect you, call 911 and let the professionals handle it, don’t get involved, IT’LL BE DODGE CITY OUT THERE!!, yadda yadda…” In spite of that leftist cultural propaganda, we now have “Vermont carry” (no permits required) in 4 states, and “shall issue” laws in about 40 states. The only holdouts are the states owned by the left – NY, CA, IL, Minn, and the urban NE. The general population of the US has decided, through their state legislatures, that being able to protect yourself is a PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, not the gummint’s job, and that the best way to protect yourself is with a gun.

    This is a MASSIVE cultural shift in 30 years, and it came about in spite of the unrelenting propaganda effort against guns waged by the media and the Democrat Party (plus the indifference of the RINOs). I would also point out the fact that FBI NICS background checks on firearms purchases have gone from about 9 million a year in 1998 to 15 million a year since 2008. I believe that total for gun sales from 1998 to the end of 2010 is around 125 million. Yeah, there is not a 1 for 1 correspondence between NICS checks and guns sold, but it’s pretty close.

    The American people have made a pretty strong statement about owning guns, and that is a major shift in the “popular culture” the lefties always yap about. I know it is unfashionable to be optimistic, but 125 million gun sales tend to warm the cockles of my politically incorrect heart.

    1. avatar Tony Heaton says:

      All the Heller and McDonald decisions did was to further push the belief that “reasonable restrictions” trump “shall not be infringed. Jump up and down all you want about Heller and McDonald but they were a step backwards, not forwards.

  9. avatar Mike the Limey says:

    Blaming the Mexican military is hitting the wrong target; it’s the police & politicians who constantly fail the Mexican people.
    In virtually every case where the military are involved, the bad guys lose & the citizenry are protected from harm.
    M16 rifles recovered from criminals are mainly those supplied to the police, as is ammunition, grenades & communications equipment.

  10. avatar BambiB says:

    Much of the violence in Mexico is the fault of America’s “War on Drugs”. When profit margins on drugs exceed 10,000%, the richest and most powerful segment of the society will be the one controlling the drug trade. The American lust for drugs and its anti-drug policies create both the market and the huge profit margins.

    Eliminate the war on drugs and profit margins drop to the 50%-100% level and the drug cartels lose 99% of their funding.

    We’ve seen this before on a smaller scale. When prohibition was in force, drive-by shootings, massacres of rival gangs and innocents caught in the crossfire were commonplace. But with the repeal of prohibition, profit margins fell and there was no longer any reason to wage war to sell beer.

    America may not be 100% to blame for photos like the one above. But the murders were carried out by those who are driven by the desire of Americans to buy drugs and a policy that ensures that smuggling drugs will remain hugely profitable for as long as it is in place.

    America should legalize drugs now, and offer therapy for any who want to kick their habit.

    In addition to crippling the criminal gangs in Mexico, we would eliminate a large portion of the street crime in this country. Consider that a cocaine addict in America with a $3000 a week habit is most likely to get the money to buy cocaine by committing crimes. And yet, if legalized, the same amount of drugs would cost on the order of $30 per week – an amount the addict could earn working a minimum wage job for one day a week.

    If you consider all the resources dedicated to the “War on Drugs”, expanded police departments, courts, judges, public defenders, prosecutors, the cost of incarceration, the entire DEA – the savings to America of ending the “War on Drugs” would exceed $300 billion a year. In addition, much of the alleged purpose of government surveillance of American citizens would evaporate, and we would all be freer.

    Take another look at the picture. If you use drugs, if you support the “War on Drugs”, you helped kill those men. How does that make you feel? Isn’t it time for a change?

  11. avatar E. Zach Lee-Wright says:

    “But I believe there is such a thing as hard-working, God-fearing, moral Mexicans.”

    Amen.

    My in-laws lived in Mexico City. A daughter of theirs (my sister in law) lives in Laredo, Texas. I would travel in Mexico twice each year on average. Americans have a hard time believing this but until ten years ago almost all crime rates were lower in Mexico than here. It really was a safer country. A bunch of other “quality of life” categories sucked buy the crime rates were low.

    I don’t go across the border at all any more. Not one foot. Sorry, the frontier (border region) is too dangerous. I pity those who have to live there during this crime wave. We need to control our borders (both north and south) with fencing. Those who say it can’t be done are those who don’t want it done.

    When I meet a new person who is Mexican I assume they are decent, and usually I find out that I am right. Sort of like every other nationality I meet. To quote President Reagan, I “trust but verify”.

  12. avatar Federale says:

    But clearly most Mexicans are not God-fearing and law abiding, nor do they vote for politicians who believe that people have the right to own guns. You get the government you vote for and the Mexicans, as in the words of the Sage of Baltimore, are getting it good and hard.

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