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Ever since I began covering the gun violence in Mexico, I’ve been banging on about two elements of the conflagration. First, the drug thugs are armed with weapons funneled from U.S. government-approved law enforcement and military sales (not Bob’s Gun Store). Second, arming the Mexican populace is the only possible “solution” to the cartels’ reign of terror . . .

The first point was pretty obvious, what with the cartels throwing grenades at each other and spraying rivals with lead from fully automatic rifles (not commonly available stateside). As I reported yesterday, the mainstream press is finally starting to “get it”—although I wouldn’t expect a CBS investigation into U.S. military sales to Mexico anytime soon.

And now the second point—the importance of arming Mexican civilians—is finally getting some play, albeit buried in this AP report about a “just another day at the office” execution in Acapulco:

The mutilated body of a man was found inside the trunk of a vehicle along a federal highway, police said on Monday. Officials also reported finding the bullet-riddled body of a 20-year-old man with his feet and hands tied in a residential neighborhood. Police gave no motives or identities of the men killed.

Ramon Almonte, the Guerrero state police chief, said on Monday he will ask the federal congress to make it easier for common citizens to get permits for weapons to defend themselves.

Almonte’s brother was killed on Jan. 1 in a rural town in Guerrero by unidentified gunmen. The state has been plagued by such executions.

“When you fight someone and at least you have a ‘piece,’ the person who is attacking you might think twice,” Almonte said. “We cannot go on the way we are.”

Mexicans have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Article 10 of the 1857 document states:

Todo hombre tiene derecho de poseer y portar armas para su seguridad y legítima defensa. La ley señalará cuáles son las prohibidas y la pena en que incurren los que las portaren.

The only limitation, then, is the type of weapons allowed. In theory. In practice, the Mexican government shuttered all the country’s gun shops and vested sole gun and (crucially) ammunition sales with the military. The process of obtaining a new firearm or bullets for an existing gun is extremely difficult. And expensive.

At present, Mexico’s constitution allows citizens to have one or two low-caliber guns in their homes, but they must get a permit from the Defense Department and the process is complicated. Almonte did not give specifics on how he would make it easier.

“Having a weapon should be a right, because the bad guys are few and we, the good guys, are many, so we can’t allow ourselves to be held hostage by the few,” Almonte said.

At the risk of seeming both cynical and pessimistic, how long before the cartels take out the Guerrero state police chief?

In any case, agitating for Mexican gun rights is the single most effective thing the NRA and other gun rights groups could do to counter our federal government’s effort to blame U.S. gun laws for Mexico’s horrific crime wave.

Reestablishing Mexicans’ right to armed self-defense would also save the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. And, perhaps, restore the rule of law to a country run by criminals.

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  1. It is the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms. Mexicans are people, too.

    The PEOPLE declared their own rights in our respective Constitutions, because it was always their right to have any means of needful defense, and their right to declare how it would be governed when they formed a government. The declaration of it is merely a reminder of that fact. Prohibiting a right, in fact or by law, is not to govern it — it is simply abdicating its government to those outside the law. Exhibit 1 — look south.

    And if we stand by while this natural right be abused and its consequences should destroy the Mexican people and their own sovereign nation, which also exists in order to to secure their rights, then our rights are in precisely the same jeopardy.

  2. This should be pointed out:

    The Mexican constitutional guarantee covers poseer y portar armas— both possession (poseer) AND carry (portar). Penalties for prohibited arms (las prohibidas y la pena) is legally allowed ONLY as to “those that bear them” (que las portaren.) In other words, while carrying ( i.e. — in manner to be readily used as such) an automatic rifle may be prohibited, possessing one may not be. This is merely the actual grammar, of course — and not the political manipulation of meaning that we currently see.

    Cuanto más cambian las cosas, más siguen el mismo.

  3. Doesn’t matter what the constitution says. Once the lawmakers have passed gun- or gun-owner licensing laws, it’s no longer a right.

    Which is why it’s forbidden here, except for those states like IL, CA and NY who aren’t part of the United States.

    • KIM Du TOIT!!!! My favorite gun blogger!!!!! I thought you died . . . or something worse. Like moved to IL!!

      I certainly miss your web wisdom, musings and ranting. Hope
      you and Connie are doing well.

      Once again you’re right on the money.

      • Kim it’s been far too long, many miss your blog. Sounds like its simpler to get rifles up here in the great white north then Mexico right now.

  4. No such thing as “gun violence”, a gun is a tool, for good or bad. It’s not capable of violence, it’ like saying “automobile drunk driving” or “Big Mac obesity”.

    • Violence using a gun. Gun violence. Surely we shouldn’t let the push to arm the innocent founder on the shoals of pedantry.

      • No flounder is innocent! They’re ALL guilty, with their nasty migrating eyes! DEATH TO FLOUNDERS!


        • Is it founder? I always thought it was founder. And then someone upbraided me. This time, I even Googled the damn thing. The problem being Google eats misspellings as well as the good stuff. In fact, TTAG had an enormous influx when I misspelled the Hutaree militia.

  5. I do work down in Mexico and I have discussed at length with some of the Mexican-based employees.

    My concept is to arm all citizens age 14 and older with a rifle, a shotgun and 100 rounds for each firearm. If you’re 18, you get a handgun and 100 rounds for it. Male and female.

    Yeah, there’s the concern that people will start shooting each other over what we would consider to be petty slights. But, as the saying goes, an armed society is a polite society. They will learn to be polite, just like we here in the USA did. The hope is that they also learn to collectively defend themselves from the bad guys. And yeah, that includes those who carry a badge, try cases, and, legislate and enforce the laws.

  6. The saying, “when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have them” is a FACT.

    Mexico is just the latest proof. Many of the military are corrupt. Many of the police are corrupt. And now the whole country of Mexico is awash with gangs.

    Go look at communist Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea, etc…. Go look at dictatorial countries like Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, etc… Mao was right,, political power does come from the barrel of the gun. Take the guns away from the citizens and they effectively have no power. They are little better than serfs.

  7. The Mexican people have gotten the government they deserve- as have we.
    If we- or they- want something better, we have to make the politicians fear our votes.

    • Unfortunately, you are correct.

      The biggest problem facing Mexico – and has been for many, many decades – is a *cultural* acceptance of corruption. I used to spend a lot of time in Mexico; generally speaking the people are wonderful, they have a set of resources and natural geography that is fantastic, and it has always been heartbreaking to me how messed up their civilization is. There is far too much poverty for such a resource-rich nation (including the “human” resource)… but it is their own culture that creates it.

      Until Mexicans change their own innate way of thinking, change their culture, they cannot succeed as a country. What is sad is that they have, literally, EVERY ADVANTAGE right there in front of them – but old, perversely cherished beliefs cause them to self-destruct, time and time again. They don’t even have the excuse of living in a resource-poor nation like some in Africa where even arable land is scarce. It’s entirely and completely the human factor that causes Mexico such misery.

      I have been praying for Mexico to “wake up” and change their attitude for 30+ years now… largely futilely. 🙁

      -Mr. Jest

  8. Yeah, right. Not going to happen. The Mexican elites and government are afraid that those weapons would be turned on them first.

  9. As a resident of Mexico I can assure you that the solution to the drug violence is simple: arm everyone that desires a gun with freedom to carry a concealed weapon, institute a mandatory death penalty for criminal acts committed with a weapon, set up a tip-line with loads of cash and a witness protection program outside the country…bingo, it will all be over in a fortnight. But it won’t happen. The far left in Mexico is perfectly happy with the chaos and stands to inherit if it continues.

  10. Methinks that the powers that be there need an incentive. They need to fear that if they don’t quickly effect change, that the people would be armed up from an external power, and the revolt would be like Liberia’s. The executions took place at the shore with the politicians tied to telephone poles.

  11. Everywhere in the world the government and the elites fear an armed rabble (which is how they view all but their fellow elitists). They are not against gun possession and carrying. They are against YOU possessing or carrying a gun. They love guns. They are very good for shooting the rabble with if they get too unruly. Being rich and powerful, they usually hire one of US to carry those heavy old guns for them. There are always plenty of the sons of the rabble who will take money to shoot their own, and to get to hang out with their superiors.

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