Mexico honored by Arms Control Association over lawsuit

AP Photo/Marco Ugarte

The country of Mexico filed a lawsuit against a number of US firearms manufacturers because the nation blames the companies for its problems with violent crime. It’s a hefty lawsuit and one that I don’t really see how Mexico can win, but it’s still a thing.

Unsurprisingly, the usual suspects are supportive of Mexico in their lawsuit, ready to blame the United States for anything and everything.

Now, Arms Control Association has named the nation and its foreign minister their “person of the year.”

Mexico’s foreign minister, Mr. Marcelo Ebrard, and the government of Mexico were selected as the 2021 Arms Control Persons of the Year through an online poll that drew thousands of participants from dozens of countries. The annual contest is organized by the independent, nongovernmental Arms Control Association.

Mr. Ebrard and the government were nominated for their lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers and distributors that takes a novel approach to combat illicit weapons trafficking from the United States into Mexico that is fueling violence and criminal activity.

The lawsuit, filed in a Massachusetts federal district court, alleges that several major firearms manufacturers and wholesalers “design, market, distribute, and sell guns in ways they know routinely arm the drug cartels in Mexico,” and that contributes to a decline of life expectancy in Mexico. It said the named companies sell about 340,000 of an estimated half-million guns that illegally flow each year from “Massachusetts and other U.S. states to criminals south of the [U.S.-Mexico] border.”

“The Mexican Foreign Ministry’s lawsuit against the U.S. firearms companies represents an important new way to hold rogue actors accountable for their role in the violence caused by small arms trafficking across international borders,” according to Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

“The Arms Control Person(s) of the Year contest is a reminder of the diverse and creative ways that dedicated individuals and organizations from around the globe can contribute to meeting the difficult arms control challenges of today and the coming decades,” he said.

This year, eight individuals and groups were nominated by the Arms Control Association staff and board of directors. “All of the nominees demonstrated extraordinary leadership in raising awareness of and advancing effective arms control solutions for the threats posed by mass casualty weapons during the course of 2021,” Kimball said.

Now, understand that all these guns are transported to Mexico in violation of federal law. Additionally, there’s no evidence that the manufacturers had any clue these weapons would end up in cartel hands.

Further, as noted in this piece over at The Truth About Guns, Mexico has plenty to answer for itself.

Mexico is going to have to answer a few basic questions when their lawyers finally step in front of a judge to claim that U.S.-based manufacturers are somehow responsible for their own lack of law enforcement on their side of the border.

First question: where are all the firearms that went missing from the Mexican military? That would be those firearms supplied by U.S. manufacturers pursuant to U.S. State Department approved export licenses to meet foreign defense contracts but have somehow walked off Mexican military bases.

Mexico has just one firearm retailer in the entire country. That’s in the heart of Mexico City and is encamped in the middle of a military base. Still, guns are being recovered and it turns out that Mexico’s military is a source.

Mexico’s Army is losing approximately 30percent of their firearms purchased from U.S. manufacturers. Those firearms are being recovered in crime scenes across the country. Firearms manufactured in the United States and sold lawfully through military contracts aren’t the only ones. Other firearms from manufacturers based in Australia, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Romania and Spain are also being recovered at crime scenes.

The fact that these firearms are being “lost” by the Mexican Army is worth noting, since it is only the Mexican Army that can purchase these firearms.

But Arms Control Association didn’t look at that. It didn’t acknowledge that fact at all.

I’ve been saying for a while that the lawsuit is nothing more than Mexican politicians trying to deflect from their own failures. The cartels didn’t rise because of American gun laws. They rose because of Mexican corruption. That just made it easy for the cartels to rise.

Now, I’m not deluded. I know they smuggle guns into the country from the United States, just as I know they also obtain firearms from the Mexican military and police. I’ve never tried to pretend the smuggling doesn’t happen.

I do argue about the scale of such smuggling, but I agree it’s happening.

However, the problem with Mexico’s lawsuit is that it’s attacking manufacturers who weren’t the sellers.

Then there’s Arms Control Association’s decision to honor such a corrupt regime simply because they’re attacking US gun manufacturers. They’re ignoring Mexico’s own role in arming criminal gangs simply because it’s far more fashionable to attack the US.

If this is how the group is going to honor people, then such honor becomes largely bereft of any real meaning, if it had any, to begin with.