Op-ed blames US for another country's gun issues

Op-ed blames US for another country's gun issues
(AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

The United States has long been blamed for gun issues in other nations. We’re a convenient scapegoat, after all, since we don’t restrict firearms nearly as heavily as other nations do.

Mexico, for example, has enjoyed blaming us for their own problems, usually without acknowledging the corruption that led to entire swaths of the nation coming under cartel control.

Now, we’re being blamed for Haiti’s issues.

There is an exploding humanitarian disaster playing out 800 miles from the coast of Florida, with effects that are likely to wash onto United States shores and affect countries around the world. It’s disaster is largely a result of another international crisis: the refusal of the United States to rein in the gun industry.

In Haiti, armed gangs are in control of much of the capital city. Hundreds have been killed. Communities are terrorized. Waves of migrants are already taking the perilous sea voyage to the United States to flee for safety. Many within Haiti and the world have called for international action to quell the crisis. Other countries in the Caribbean fear that the chaos will spread, and U.S. taxpayers and peacekeepers could potentially bear the cost of security intervention.

There are several causes for the crisis, but none may be more significant than the reckless practices of the gun industry and weak gun policies of the United States. Gangs are able to exert their reign of terror because they are heavily armed with firearms that they get largely the world’s gun supermarket — the United States.

Exporting guns to other nations without express permission from the State Department is illegal already, so just what is the problem?

Well, it seems that criminals are buying guns illegally here, then putting them on a boat and heading to Haiti.

The author claims our weak gun laws allow criminals to cross the border and buy guns here, only to transport them back to their home nation–and yet, that’s somehow the fault of the gun industry.

However, there’s an issue with this claim. Namely, visitors from other countries can’t lawfully buy guns here. They can rent them, shoot them, handle them, all of that, but they can’t actually buy one. For that, they need someone who lives here legally to make the purchase. That person would be breaking the law in order to do that, though.

So it sure sounds like all reasonable steps are being taken to try and prevent this from happening, but criminals are sidestepping those laws. I know, the idea of criminals not obeying the law is shocking, but here we are.

What about Haiti’s issues, though?

Look, Haiti has a lot of issues, but most of them stem from failures of the government itself. Armed gangs control much of the capital city? Well, why is it that such a thing happens in Haiti, supposedly because of America’s lax gun laws, but it’s not happening here where that laxity is so much easier to capitalize on?

Haiti has long been classified as a “fragile state,” but some believe it’s now more of a failed state. The government is ineffective and unstable, thus creating an environment that allows anyone with enough strength to grab control of at least small sections of the nation.

That’s not the fault of the United States and our gun laws.

After all, shouldn’t Haiti’s strict gun control laws be sufficient? They’re not because criminals don’t follow the law.

That’s not the US’s fault, and it would be nice for folks to stop pretending it is.