Mexico isn’t a great place to visit. Not right now, anyway. After all, much of the country is gripped by violence as the drug cartels do battle with one another and the government. Especially since they’re powerful enough to challenge the government, even.
We have seen a lot of good, innocent be slaughtered because the cartels didn’t like them. Anyone from journalists to missionaries is fair game in these thugs’ minds, and they don’t mind reminding everyone of this fact.
Frankly, the average citizen of Mexico is sick of it. Now, they’re starting to ask for the means to fight back.
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?
“Let’s fight to regain our peace of mind. Today Mexico needs you,” the Official Mexican Association of Firearms Users A.C. said on Facebook. “We must ensure the existence of our rights and a good future for our children.”
The group has garnered more than 200,000 followers since it started its social media campaign in 2011, routinely posting updates on security and related policy issues in Mexico, but has yet to win over lawmakers despite the rise in crime.
For crime victims like Julian LeBaron, the right to self-defense has become a top issue. LeBaron, a Mexican-American, is part of an offshoot Mormon community that lost several family members last November in a cartel ambush. In a tragic case of mistaken identity, gunmen killed 14 women and children.
“We come from a long tradition from the U.S., where we believe our human rights don’t come from the government but come from the right to life, liberty and personal property. Once people claim to represent you, they claim powers to do things that you are forbidden to do,” he told Fox News. “Every person should have the means to defend themselves, especially if authorities don’t have the power to stop the crimes – especially organized crime. It becomes a vicious cycle.”
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.
It’s important to remember that Mexico only has one legal gun store and that you have to file tons of paperwork just to gain access to the store. Getting a gun lawfully there isn’t exactly easy.
It also hasn’t slowed down the cartels in the slightest.
They have been getting guns aplenty, breaking whatever laws are required and there’s no reason to believe that’s likely to change. While American anti-gunners want to blame the United States for Mexico’s violence problem, the real issue is that law-abiding citizens there are essentially disarmed by their government.
Yes, this despite having their right to keep and bear arms preserved in the Mexican constitution.
Let’s also remember that there are people here who would like to see the United States restrict guns to such an insane degree.
Regardless, opening up firearm ownership would do a lot to help curb Mexican violence. The cartels know that people can offer little resistance and what they can is ineffectual and mostly symbolic. There’s no reason to take it seriously.
Put guns in those people’s hands and suddenly, they have a problem. The people they want to prey on aren’t prey anymore.
My hope is that this movement in Mexico grows and we see them gain access to guns in a meaningful way. Then we’ll be watching the end of the cartels.