ABC News: Mexican Drug Violence U.S. Constitution's Fault

April 22nd, 2008 8:55 PM

True to the liberal penchant for blaming every ill in the world on the USA, ABC News has produced a "report" claiming that the increasing number of guns and drug cartel violence in Mexico is all the fault of... the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That's right, it isn't the drug dealers and killers in Mexico that are at fault, it's James Madison and the Founding Father's fault! Now, before you imagine that I am employing hyperbole in my introduction, just look at the title of their piece: "U.S. Guns Arming Mexican Drug Gangs; Second Amendment to Blame?"

ABC wrote that "U.S. gun stores and gun shows are the source of more than 90 percent of the weapons being used by Mexico's ruthless drug cartels," but then noted that "It's virtually impossible to buy a firearm in Mexico as a private citizen." To anyone really thinking about it, this fact sort of confirms the pro-gun bromide that "if you make owning a gun a crime, only criminals will have guns," doesn't it?

Regardless, ABC allows the Mexican attorney general to present Mexican criminality as the fault of the U.S. Constitution.

Mexico's strict gun laws are being subverted by the easy availability of weapons in the U.S., the Mexican attorney general, Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza, told ABC News. "The Second Amendment," said the attorney general, "is certainly not designed to arm and give fire power to organized crime abroad."

If that same Mexican government wasn't so rife with corruption, weakness and crime, our laws here wouldn't be such a problem for them there. Here is the thing, if Mexicans had the same God-given right to self-defense as Americans, all their guns would be purchased right at home. But, Constitutional right or no, the same violence would be happening in Mexico as the violence is not the fault of gun laws. It is the fault of Mexican corruption and drugs.

Further, the Mexican drug cartels are powerful and flush with money. If they really wanted guns and the USA didn't offer an easy mark to obtain them, they'd merely go elsewhere. Certainly we should try harder to assure that our Constitutional rights don't interfere with the laws of a neighboring nation, but to assume we are the sole cause of their ills is poppycock.

Naturally the ABC piece bandies around the term "high-powered assault weapons" as if it were a meaningful phrase instead of a kitchy and misleading term as used by anti-gun advocates, but the piece is also misleading with its claim of "cop killer" bullets in the newly popular Belgian-made pistol dubbed by Mexican gangs as the "mata policia." ABC reports the power of the Belgian FN pistol as if its round was especially powerful and is perhaps a new and rising threat to standard police bullet proof vests. However, this is misleading in the fact that the "mata policia" isn't any more dangerous than most rifle rounds, including the 7.62x25 round of many handguns made in Eastern Europe and China. In other words, its popularity isn't because it is more dangerous than any other weapons, but as much out of a sort of fad as anything.

Additionally, the ABC piece also slings around the name "AK47" quite a lot. Where this is misleading is that the AK47s sold in the USA are not automatic weapons. They are not machine guns. Yet the ABC piece leads the reader into imagining that they might be. If machine guns are being used by Mexican gangs they are certainly not coming from the United States because machine guns such as the proper AK47 are illegal here.

But a telling item came from ABC's first posting of this story on-line. Here was one of their original paragraphs:

The drug cartels' weapons of choice include variants of the AK-47, .50-caliber rifles converted to automatic firing capability and a Belgian-made pistol called the "cop killer" or "mata policia" because of its ability to pierce a bulletproof vest.

Yet, hours later the paragraph was altered to read this way:

The drug cartels' weapons of choice include variants of the AK-47, .50-caliber sniper rifles and a Belgian-made pistol called the "cop killer" or "mata policia" because of its ability to pierce a bulletproof vest.

Notice what's missing (from my bold in the first version)? You see, you cannot make a civilian style .50 cal. rifle fire in automatic mode.

It should also be noted that the straw-man purchase is already a federal crime. So, if people are buying large lots of guns for someone else, that is already against the law. This is also a matter of our government not enforcing current laws. New laws aren't needed but we aren't even enforcing many of the laws we do have on the books already.

But, this whole story also points to a support for something else that doesn't get mentioned: building the border fence. If we had better border control, we wouldn't have American guns so easily crossing the boarder to kill the Mexicans that Mexican guns don't want to kill. Build a fence and we'd certainly make it harder to smuggle guns.

Still, the lawlessness of a neighboring nation is no reason to destroy a Constitutional right here.