Mexicans Sidestep Rigid Gun Control to Arm Themselves

“Americans look at Mexico and see a country of relentless bloodshed, where heads are rolled into discos, where mutilated bodies show up a dozen at a time and where more than 60,000 people have been killed since the government began its assault on drug traffickers in 2006,” reports Damien Cave for the New York Times.

However

… Mexicans see their northern neighbor as awash in violence, too. They look with amazement at the ease with which guns can be purchased in the United States and at the gory productions coming out of Hollywood, and they shake their heads at the mass shootings last year in Tucson and last week in Aurora, Colo.

But

Many Mexicans acknowledge that Mexican violence would not disappear even if American laws were more restrictive.

Turns out guns can’t be legally purchased with ease in Mexico. In fact, as Cave reports, only one licensed gun store exists in the entire country, as opposed to 49,762 in the United States. In light of all the violence in Mexico, who would have guessed?

In fact, the Mexican citizenry may be at least as well armed as America’s. Besides from the United States, guns are illegally imported from Europe, China, Russia, and South America. Who are the gun traffickers in Mexico?

At the Guardian, Chris McGreal reported last December.

“The United States is the easiest and the cheapest place for drug traffickers to get their firearms, and as long as we are the easiest and cheapest place for the cartels to get their firearms there’ll continue to be gun trafficking,” said J Dewey Webb, the special agent in charge of pursuing weapons traffickers in Texas at the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

That’s right: the drug cartels not only import guns for themselves but to sell.