Mexico is a violent hellhole these days. The drug cartels have such a hold on parts of the country that the entire nation is descending into failed state status at an alarming rate. The violence down there is sobering and staggering.

And, to hear the left tell it, it’s all our fault.

People forget that the Obama administration did their part to arm Mexican drug cartels through Operation Fast & Furious.

Now, though, the American people–in particular, our refusal to give up our Second Amendment rights–is once again being blamed for violence in Mexico.

The army-run store on the outskirts of Mexico City embodies the country’s cautious approach to firearms, and a visit here illustrates the dramatically different ways two neighboring countries view guns, legally and culturally.

Like the 2nd Amendment in the United States, Mexico’s Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, but it also stipulates that federal law “will determine the cases, conditions, requirements and places” of gun ownership. For many Mexicans, even those who love guns, the thought of an unfettered right to owning one is perplexing.

Yet on this issue, like so many aspects of life in Mexico, the influence of its powerful neighbor to the north is keenly felt: Each day the army gun store sells on average just 38 firearms to civilians, while an estimated 580 weapons are smuggled into Mexico from the United States.

That paradox is increasingly relevant given Mexico’s unprecedented levels of gun violence, which have claimed more than 100,000 lives over the last decade. Last year was Mexico’s deadliest since the government began releasing homicide statistics in 1997. This year, it is on track to surpass that record.

American firearms are directly driving the violence, although U.S. appetites for drugs and rampant corruption among Mexican officials also play a role. About 70% of guns recovered by Mexican law enforcement officials from 2011 to 2016 were originally purchased from legal gun dealers in the United States, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Once again, we see that our refusal to give up our rights is to blame for Mexico being a third world craphole.

No, Mexico is having problems for a lot of reasons, and yes, part of that is the American demand for illegal drugs. That’s a huge factor, one I won’t remotely disagree with.

However, there’s another part of the equation that the L.A. Times missed completely, despite being so close. You see, Mexico has exactly one legal gun store. One. As they noted, just 38 guns are sold per day in that one store. No other legal firearms are sold throughout the country.

Which means the cartels can act with impunity because they know there’s almost no one to stand up to them. They have the police bought throughout the country. Those who aren’t bought are too afraid to do anything.

Meanwhile, the people have no choice. They have to sit there and live like that because there’s no other option. They have to either play along with the cartels or else they die. They can’t even die while defending themselves. They just get murdered. Brutally.

Why don’t we have cartels pulling this stuff in our country? There are corrupt police departments here, unfortunately. There are large areas of land that could be used to grow drugs. So why isn’t this happening here?

Maybe because trying that crap here will get you shot, and not necessarily by the police.

The proliferation of guns in America isn’t the problem. It’s the lack of proliferation of guns in Mexico that’s at least partly to blame.