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On Tuesday, in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexican Marines discovered 74 dead bodies, including 14 women, in an open gravesite. In May, authorities found 55 dead bodies outside of a mine and another 51 bodies in a garbage dump. More than 20,000 people have been killed by gunfire since President Filip’e Colder’on declared war on the Mexican mafias. In 2009, Mexico’s homicide rate was 10 out of 100,000 citizens. In contrast, Brazil’s homicide rate was 25 per 100,000. By comparison, Mexico’s murder rate seems less threatening. But the smoke rising from our neighbor’s cities to the south is beginning to make the American people nervous. And when Americans become afraid, our politicians begin to say and do stupid things in pursuit of the issue that will launch them to “Politico Rock Star” status.

News correspondents have already begun reporting that America’s illegal weapons are responsible for the bloodshed—completely ignoring Venezuela’s role in aiding this instability and Mexico’s own corrupt piers. Liberal politicians are wetting their lips in anticipation, ready to use the massacres to limit law-abiding American citizens’ rights to purchase arms. Like poor marksmen, the pols keep missing the target. And in this election season, the liberals don’t want to antagonize a voting public already displeased with their socialist agenda.

‘‘Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.’’

— Jefferson’s “Commonplace Book,” 1774-1776, quoting from On Crimes and Punishment, by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764

The answer to the death of the innocent in Mexico is simple enough. And America does can play a positive role.

First, everything must be done to repeal the strictest gun laws in the world. Mexico must honor and return to “The Right of Every Citizen to Possess Arms,” as guaranteed in Article 10 of the Mexican Constitution. Second, America must work in cooperation with the Mexican Government to arm every citizen in the country and train them in the safe use of that firearm.

Most liberals run, as they did during The Cold War, to the childish adage that, “If you are nice to mean people then they won’t hurt you.” Or better yet, ”Presenting a challenge is forcing a confrontation and that would be unwise.” Really? And how well did that liberal approach work for the 20,000 people dead today?

Even a hard-core Chicago liberal would have to admit that the 55 people described above would more likely be alive today if they legally possessed firearms. Of course my liberal friends back home would counter, “Well, what if the bad guys came back with 60 people? Now what are you going to do, huh?” May I suggest target practice and making friends with the village next door. To paraphrase our Secretary of State, sometimes it takes a neighboring village,

Lastly, to cut directly through the political/media smokescreen, the NRA, ATF, FBI and every law abiding gun owner in America must make it their business to report, investigate and tirelessly prosecute anyone connected with any illegal arms sale. The surest way for us to lose our liberty: if we fail to be diligent in the responsible practice of it.

‘‘Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? … If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?’’

Patrick Henry

[Kenton Pelletier is writer and the editor of]

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