The latest from Fox News seems to fall under the “no kidding, Sherlock” banner. In a recent report studying the cartel crimes in Mexico and a potential correlation to the country’s strict gun laws, Fox News seems to have realized perhaps those laws – gasp – help the criminals. You see, in Mexico there’s only one place in the entire country to buy a gun and the wait time and restrictions are ridiculous. As a result, most guns are owned by criminals (shocker).
Fox News reports on basic numbers and asks a rather obvious question:
In pre-pandemic times, the store sold an average of just 38 firearms a day – yet Mexico remains awash with illegal weapons – almost all in the hands of cartels and criminal operatives.
As violent crime surges across the nation of 126 million, activists are raising the question: Is it time to loosen firearms restrictions so ordinary people can better protect themselves and their families?
So, what does buying a gun in Mexico entail currently?
Despite Mexico’s constitutional mandate, citizens are only allowed one handgun and up to nine long arms – all priced well above U.S. market value – provided they can show proof of belonging to a hunting or shooting club.
There are no gun shows and private sales are outlawed, with a gun owner only allowed to sell their firearm back to the government, which oversees all transactions.
Background checks can take more than 6 months. For most people, the high cost of guns and licenses, as well as travel to Mexico City, make gun ownership a luxury they can’t afford. A separate permit is required to carry a concealed weapon and, by most accounts, are nearly impossible to obtain.
It sounds like the massive disparity in who does and does not own guns un Mexico isn’t exactly an accident, either:
“Over past decades, the country has been going through a process of systematic disarmament – classic buyback schemes and anti-gun campaigns,” said Ed Calderon, a former Mexican federal law enforcement officer and cartel expert. “And in some places, there is absolutely no security, no police presence.”
Calderon argues that easing the route to gun ownership for the Mexican people would “make things better” in terms of self-defense, but stressed that the army – which controls the process – does not want to see groups of armed citizens rise up. As it stands now, all weapons must be registered and approved by the armed forces.
So, how many people are dying in Mexico? According to the World News those numbers just keep climbing:
Mexico’s homicide rate remained at historically high levels of 29 killings per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the National Statistics Institute.
By comparison, there were about 5 murders per 100,000 people in the United States in 2018, the latest year for which comparable data is available.
Adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, David Kopel, thinks things are about to get worse both for Mexico and for those of us here in the U S of A:
Kopel expects the incoming Biden administration will make cartel violence south of the border a key foreign policy concern.
“Trump’s approach has probably made things better by improving border security. And, of course, the Trump administration – unlike the Obama and Bush administrations – didn’t allow ATF to mastermind gun-smuggling operations into Mexico, for the purpose of later “finding” the crime guns and using the finding to bolster the argument for gun control in the U.S.,” Kopppel said, referring to the 2006-2011 “Fast and Furious” program.
But he said there’s little chance the U.S. will support expanded Mexican gun rights.
“Biden will likely return to the Obama policy of using Mexico’s problems as a pretext to push for restrictions on gun owners in the United States.”
Mexico has long been a fantastic example of what happens when corruption runs rampant in government, trickling down through all levels and factions. You might like to vacation there – hard pass for me – but you’re probably pretty grateful to live in the United States, right? Try to keep in mind that things happening so close to home to indeed affect us. Also remember Mexico and the fact their Constitution does include the right to bear arms. Technically they do allow it, they have just restricted to the point where only the rich can do it (and the rich tend to hire armed guards instead).
What do you guys think, could Mexico’s predicament ever happen here?