Christiane Amanpour’s recent video report on the violence in Mexico because of the drug war includes a calm and rational interview with Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Sarukhan. At the 5:25 mark in the video, Sarukhan makes a reasoned assessment of the controversial 2nd Amendment in the U.S. Constitution and its intention by stating:
Every time there’s a gunfight at the state and local level, we have to call in our 7th Calvary, the armed forces, because they are being simply overpowered by the firepower that these thugs are wielding. What I am convinced of is that the Founding Fathers did not draft the 2nd Amendment to: A) allow international organized crime to illicitly buy weapons in the United States, B) to cross them over international borders, and C) to allow individuals who should not be buying weapons in the first place to acquire those weapons.
His concerns are valid and the reality that these things are happening is indisputable at this point. We are well aware of the 70,000 guns seized by Mexican law enforcement the ATF traced back to U.S. sellers so one fact needs to accepted: our ridiculously lax gun laws have created a war zone in Mexico. The level of brutality has increased over time and some of the most gruesome acts make headlines in the U.S., such as the 49 mutilated and decapitated bodies found a couple of weeks ago or the 23 people murdered roughly a week prior to that. If this is what it takes to make the headlines in the U.S., imagine how much doesn’t make it.
The fact there is little compromise in the debate on this issue is really an impressive feat by the gun lobby. They have been so successful at their propaganda campaign that even the slightest restriction on firearms is seen as an extreme act. Case in point, a fact from one of the articles linked above:
U.S. gun store owners in southwestern border states sued to overturn an Obama administration requirement that they report to the ATF when customers buy multiple high-powered rifles within a five-day period. A federal court upheld the requirement.
Why is this unreasonable? Remember, this isn’t stopping the purchase of the military weapon. It’s just trying to alert officials to potential gun smugglers yet policies like these are portrayed as if the government is bringing about the apocalypse.
Our nearly non-existent gun laws have been a significant factor in creating a war zone in Mexico and their government officials are appalled by the fact over 50,000 of their people have died in six years because of it. The sad part is the people contributing to the sale of these military weapons are too busy making money to care.