|From the 24 August 2009 Lockport Union Sun and Journal (Lockport, NY)|
GUN CONTROL AND THE MEXICAN EXCUSE
Two weeks ago President Obama met with Mexico’s Felipe Calderon and Canada’s Stephen Harper in Mexico for a get-together of North America’s leaders. Since the inception of this annual meeting during the Bush presidency in 2005 many have rightly believed that the heads of state have used this powwow to sell-out the rights of their peoples in an effort to foster North American unity while forsaking national sovereignty.
This year’s meeting was no different.
Barack Obama, never the fan of our Second Amendment, said for the umpteenth time that the US must assume responsibility for the weapons that have accounted for 4,000 murders so far this year in Mexico. He believes, as does Calderon, that the vicious Mexican drug cartels are outfitted solely with American guns and by controlling guns in the US the federal government can control the violence in Mexico.
So committed is he to this far-fetched pursuit that, following the leaders summit, Obama directed Homeland Security’s Janet Napolitano to sign an agreement indicating the US will work hand-in-hand with Mexican law enforcement to, among other things, track the guns, even going so far as to share information which includes state handgun registries.
This is a disturbing development. Sharing gun ownership information with a foreign entity is unprecedented if not illegal. Data about who owns guns in the United States should be none of Mexico’s business. Quite frankly, it should be none of our government’s business either. The gun owner should be the only one who knows what he owns.
Our leaders have been so willing to deny our privacy because they have succumbed to false statistics. Popular ATF and media reports indicate that 90 percent of all guns used by Mexican cartels come from the United States. This number is only partially correct: in one study 90 percent of all traceable guns (taken from a managed statistical sampling no less) lead to the US. Not all guns - especially long guns - are traceable. The only weapons that are truly traceable are handguns from states with pistol permits.
Most of the guns used by the cartels are not of American origin. This is a fact, not heresy, according to a detailed analysis conducted by ATF agent William Newell. He found that just 17 percent of guns confiscated by the Mexican government are actually from the US. The remaining 83 percent of the cartels’ firearms come from Mexico’s southern neighbors as well as the Mexican government itself – many of them are assault weapons that came with the more than 15,000 one-time Mexican military men who have jumped ship to the higher-paying cartels.
Nevertheless, Obama and the gun-control lobby don’t see it that way and, when their statistics fail, they prefer to use fear-mongering anecdotal stories about Mexico’s violence spilling over into the streets of America. Take the guns off our streets and you’ll take them off Mexico’s streets, which, in turn, will keep them off our streets, they say. They believe that restricting the ability of an individual to buy guns is the best way to curb this violence. When President Obama was Senator Obama he constantly trumpeted this cause (even without Mexico in the equation), calling for strict limitations on who can buy guns and ammunition and how much of both.
He and his followers fail to understand that you can never regulate lawbreakers. Gun control does not work. Mexico is proof positive of this. Among the North American countries it has the strictest gun laws and, of course, it has the highest percentage of gun crimes because the gun-toting predators have the advantage over their straight-laced weaponless prey. Gun control (against the law-abiding) is so rigid in Mexico that there is only one gun store in the entire country of some 109 million people and it is run by the Army. Only a few very lucky souls are licensed to own a gun and they face limitations on how much ammo then can buy and where they can take their firearm. This has done absolutely nothing to curb violence: 14,000 Mexicans have been murdered since Calderon took office in 2006.
Taking all of this into consideration, we cannot allow ourselves to be duped by the Mexican myths that are used by the Left to foster support for gun control. Mexico’s gun problem is Mexico’s gun problem. Not ours. We as the United States have a long history of being a freedom-loving people who believe in the natural right to self-defense. Our nation was created from that right. We cannot allow a neighboring nation to directly or indirectly strip that right from us.
RETURN TO GREATER NIAGARA EDITORIALS