No, Mexico Isn't Right To Sue US Gun Makers

Miguel Tovar

Mexico is suing American gun manufacturers. This isn’t exactly news. We’ve covered in here at Bearing Arms already, of course.

However, it’s unsurprising that some here in the US actually applaud the move.

What’s also unsurprising is just how bad some of the arguments in defense of this lawsuit actually are.

Researching a book on gun trafficking, I asked an export broker in the legal part of the arms trade if he was concerned that his assault rifles could end up in the hands of murderers. He said he wasn’t worried about getting in trouble; his sales, he assured me, followed national and international laws. I asked again: Even if he wasn’t nervous about legal consequences, was he bothered ethically if his weapons ended up on the wrong trigger fingers? He was silent for a moment before answering with a confident “no.”

Why would he be?

Not being worried about something is hardly the same thing as wanting that thing to happen. I’m not worried about a meteor landing on my house. Does that mean I’m actually hoping for it to do just that? Of course not.

Not being worried about guns ending up on the “wrong trigger fingers” when a company is complying with all relevant laws is normal. After all, aren’t those laws–including laws against exporting weapons without proper licenses–supposed to prevent that? If laws work, why should he be worried?

If laws don’t work, why are so many still trying to push them as the solution to everything?

I’ll give him credit for his honesty. But this same attitude, perhaps expressed with less vehemence, can be found among many in the weapons industry. The argument is that if producers, importers, and sellers obey the law, then it is not their responsibility what is ultimately done with their pistols, rifles, or bullets.

It’s not.

When someone gets behind the wheel of a car drunk and kills someone, is it Jack Daniels’ responsibility? Is it Toyota’s? No, it’s the responsibility of the jackwagon who drove drunk.

So no, gun makers don’t feel responsible for what someone they likely never dealt directly with in the first place does with one of their weapons. Why should they?

This concept, however, has just been challenged by an unprecedented lawsuit filed by the Mexican government on Aug. 4 in a U.S. federal court in Massachusetts. The complaint names key companies in the U.S. firearms industry and argues they are complicit in a vast iron river of guns flowing over the southern U.S. border and wielded by Mexican cartel gunmen to commit mass murder there. The companies, the lawsuit argues, deliberately marketed and distributed their products to meet the gangsters’ preferences for certain types and specifications of guns.

Which is bull. They deliberately marketed and distributed their products to meet the preferences of the American gun-buying public. There haven’t been enough guns trafficked for it to make sense for companies to actively seek to market to thugs and criminals compared to the American market.

The Mexican government estimates more than two million firearms have been trafficked over the Rio Grande in the last decade. In that time, there have been more than 250,000 murders in Mexico, with more than two-thirds of them involving guns. The violence also includes firefights between hundreds of cartel thugs and soldiers, resulting in mass graves with hundreds of corpses. Thousands have fled the bloodshed to seek asylum in the United States.

And yet, if the guns were the problem, why is Mexico the almost failed state and not the United States, which has a whole lot more guns. I mean, 2 million guns? That’s a lot…except California, one of the states least friendly to gun ownership, has ten times that number.

Mexico is looking for someone to blame for their own failures. They strictly control guns but weren’t able to strictly control the cartels out of existence, so they’re looking for someone else to blame so they don’t have to accept their own responsibility.

Frankly, I’m sick of the media pretending that Mexico’s problems are all of our making, especially while ignoring Mexico’s role in our border crisis.