Why the US isn't an ally in Mexico's lawsuit

AP Photo/Marco Ugarte

Mexico has problems. Lots and lots of problems. They seem to believe that they can address at least some of those problems by taking aim at American gun manufacturers. The problem with Mexico’s lawsuit is that it ignores the systemic issues in that nation that allowed the problem to grow in the first place.

Now, the Mexican consul in Seattle seems to think the US should be working with Mexico in their lawsuit.

In a world rife with challenges, cooperation between Mexico and the United States is more important than ever. The growth in our relationship has meant that trade has increased exponentially, and we were able to successfully meet the challenge of sustained international trade during the COVID-19 pandemic. The closeness between our nations, however, means that there will always be challenges as we seek to navigate important issues that affect us both.

Mexico’s lawsuit against 11 U.S. gun manufacturers and distributors — among them Smith & Wesson; Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Beretta USA — is an attempt to hold these companies accountable for their negligent, complicit behavior. It is important to emphasize that this lawsuit does not name the U.S. government, nor is it in any way an attack on the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Rather, it seeks to hinder the arming of criminal organizations. The flow of weapons into Mexico has become a river of iron that directly benefits international criminal organizations and gives them the firepower they need to become a threat to society.

It is currently estimated that 500,000 guns are trafficked into Mexico via the United States annually, which makes up between 70% and 90% of all weapons used in criminal actions in our country. Gun manufacturers have become so brazen in arming criminal corporations that they now release weapons that seem designed to fit the tastes of criminals. This represents a significant threat to Mexican gun laws.

Except those weapons are actually designed to fit the tastes of lawful American gun buyers.

See, the problem in Mexico isn’t that American gun manufacturers sell guns that end up in Mexico. No, the problem is that Mexico has a long history as a corrupt, third-world craphole that directly aided the rise of the Mexican cartels.

Mexico’s lawsuit is premised on the idea that none of their problems are their fault. That means the entire lawsuit is premised on an outright lie.

“But we’re trying to hold these manufacturers accountable,” they claim. However, what they’ve failed to do is illustrate just how in the hell these manufacturers are responsible for what happens in a completely different country.

As it stands, it’s illegal in both countries to buy a gun in the US and to take it into Mexico. As such, how would companies like Beretta, Ruger, or Smith & Wesson have any reason to believe the firearms they make and sell would end up there?

I’ve followed this story ever since Mexico’s lawsuit was first announced, and what I haven’t seen is any evidence that these manufacturers have done anything wrong.

Not illegal, even, just wrong.

“But people are buying guns to transport them south of the border!”

Yes, I’m aware. It’s illegal to do so, but criminals don’t obey laws. What I’m still not getting is how are these companies responsible for that. It’s not like they’re selling these weapons illegally, nor are the gun stores that actually conducted these sales so far as I’ve been able to learn, so how are they responsible.

Mexico’s lawsuit is nothing more than the country trying to deflect their own failures onto us because Mexican politicians value their jobs too much to admit that it’s their fault.

That’s all the lawsuit is, and as such, why should the United States rally behind such a lie?