Don’t Blame Our Second Amendment for Mexico’s Murder Problem

Don’t Blame Our Second Amendment for Mexico’s Murder Problem

Security forces inspect the area where at least 11 police officers were killed in an ambush by criminal groups in Coyuca de Benitez, state of Guerrero, Mexico, on Oct. 23, 2023. (Francisco Robles/AFP via Getty Images)

John Seiler

John Seiler

4/2/2024

Updated: 4/3/2024

Commentary
It used to be anthropology meant digging up old bones and pottery shards to help us understand the past. Now it’s used to attack our Second Amendment “right to keep and bear arms.”
A new book from the University of California Press is: “Exit Wounds: How America’s Guns Fuel Violence Across the Border,” by Ieva Jusionyte. According to her biography, “Ieva Jusionyte is an anthropologist and associate professor at Brown University interested in the roles of law and violence in contemporary states. After growing up in Soviet-occupied Lithuania, she moved to the United States and has spent more than a decade in the field researching the borderlands of Latin America.”
Her upbringing is curious because the Soviet communists imposed strict gun control to suppress the freedoms of the 300 million people of the USSR. Including those in Lithuania and other “captive nations,” as Cold Warriors like me called them until they gained independence.
The book isn’t out until April 16. But Ms. Jusionyte recently wrote a summary as an op-ed titled, “The border crisis factor no one talks about: American guns.” She began, “When President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump visited Texas at the end of February, each spoke about migration and border security.
“Biden called for restricting asylum. Trump engaged in fear-mongering, blaming migrants for crime.” Well, she should travel to New York City. Last month former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey wrote, “Criminals posing as asylum seekers are turning American cities into war zones.
“The Venezuelan gang Tren de Aragua, feared for how it tortures its victims, is setting up shop in New York City, police sources revealed to The Post.
“Gang members recruit migrants from shelters and as they come off buses from Texas, putting them to work in retail theft rings or on mopeds grabbing phones and handbags and roughing up pedestrians.”
Buses drop off large groups of illegal immigrants in San Ysidro, Calif., on Feb. 29, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Buses drop off large groups of illegal immigrants in San Ysidro, Calif., on Feb. 29, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Back to Ms. Jusionyte, who said neither Mr. Biden nor Mr. Trump “mentioned one of the main reasons the border has drawn so many migrants and asylum seekers—the flow of guns from the U.S. into Mexico.
“This link between our guns and the people who seek safety at the border is particularly clear in Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott’s hard-line approach to stopping migrants from crossing completely ignores the state’s role as a main source of weapons for criminal groups and violence in Mexico, which is a result of its loose gun regulations. It’s no wonder that Mexicans are the largest national group among the hundreds of thousands who try to cross the U.S. southern border each year.”
Actually, Mexico is just across the border and has 127 million people, more than any other country in the Western Hemisphere after the United States and Brazil.
But why is it our problem Mexico can’t seal off its own border to guns?

Mexico’s Strict Gun Controls

She continued, “Criminal violence is a problem throughout Mexico. In 2023, more than 110,000 Mexicans were officially listed as disappeared. Close to 90% of all crimes are never reported and 9 in 10 homicides go unpunished. In some parts of the country, law enforcement works with organized crime groups. The families I met did not have an option to go to the police. They packed what they could carry, hoping to find safety once they crossed the border.
“It’s not only people that are affected by the proliferation of guns. The criminal organizations forcing families to flee are often also running the Mexican drug trade. When fentanyl is smuggled across the border, usually through ports of entry and often by U.S. citizens, it wreaks havoc in our communities. But the drugs would not be coming north in such large numbers if not for our guns flowing south.”
That last is doubtful. The profits still would be there. Again, why can’t Mexico solve its own problems?
Federal police officers stands guard outside the ranch where gunmen took cover during an intense gun battle with the police, along the Jalisco-Michoacan highway in Vista Hermosa, Michoacan State, Mexico, on May 22, 2015. (Hector Guerrero/AFP via Getty Images)

Federal police officers stands guard outside the ranch where gunmen took cover during an intense gun battle with the police, along the Jalisco-Michoacan highway in Vista Hermosa, Michoacan State, Mexico, on May 22, 2015. (Hector Guerrero/AFP via Getty Images)

Next, she even actually provided a clue to the real problem, as well as the solution, when she wrote: “One reason that American guns have such an outsized role in Mexican crime is because unlike the United States, Mexico has very strict gun laws. There are only two gun stores in the country where vetted citizens can purchase a limited number of relatively small-caliber weapons. But in Texas and Arizona, states that share the longest border with Mexico, there are more than 7,000 federally licensed gun dealers and pawnbrokers.”
That’s because this is a free country. I have a saying: Second Amendment, first freedom. Just look at Canada and the European countries, which supposedly guarantee freedoms of speech and assembly, but routinely violate them. Their citizens are disarmed and can’t defend those rights.
The solution is right there before Ms. Jusionyte, but she doesn’t see it: Mexico should adopt its own Second Amendment. Let honest, law-abiding citizens also acquire guns, ad libitum, and defend themselves. When a cartel thug shows up to kidnap a family member, the response would be like Steve McQueen in “The Magnificent Seven” when confronting the bandit Calvera: “We deal in lead.”

Mexican Lawsuit Against Gun Makers

She then brought up something I wrote about last September in The Epoch Times, a case in U.S. federal court, “Estados Unidos Mexicanos v. Smith & Wesson Brands Inc., et al.” If this lawsuit succeeds, it would shut down all gun production and sales in the United States; the Second Amendment effectively would be revoked.
In that September article I decried California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s announcement in which he explained he was “filing an amicus brief supporting the Mexican government’s lawsuit against gun manufacturers to hold them accountable for their contributions to gun violence in Mexico.” Outrageously, he was siding with a foreign government, and a notoriously corrupt one, as Ms. Jusionyte even concedes, against companies in his own country. He also seems to think California is a country with its own state department, himself.
The case was thrown out of court. But in January, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, according to the Justia summary, “found that Mexico’s lawsuit plausibly alleges ... that the defendants knowingly violated federal and state statutes applicable to the sale or marketing of firearms, and that this violation was a proximate cause of the harm Mexico suffered. The case was remanded back to the lower court for further proceedings.”
However, given the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 Bruen decision affirming a personal Second Amendment “right to keep and bear arms,” it’s unlikely the Mexican lawsuit will prevail. Unless President Biden is reelected and appoints new justices more inclined to the view on guns of the Soviet Union than that of the United States.
A boy holds a gun as a community police force teaches children how to use weapons in the village of Ayahualtempan, Guerrero State, Mexico, on Jan. 24, 2020. The vigilante group trains children as young as five so they can protect themselves from drug-related criminal groups operating in the area. (Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images)

A boy holds a gun as a community police force teaches children how to use weapons in the village of Ayahualtempan, Guerrero State, Mexico, on Jan. 24, 2020. The vigilante group trains children as young as five so they can protect themselves from drug-related criminal groups operating in the area. (Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images)

Conclusion: Naiveté and Reality on Guns

Ms. Jusionyte insisted, “It is a vicious circle of violence. Without the river of firearms flowing south, the northbound flow of drugs would diminish.”
Is she that naive? If the cartels couldn’t get guns from the United States, they would get them from the same place they get the fentanyl—communist China. A new book was published on Feb. 27 by one of our best investigative journalists, Peter Schweizer, “Blood Money: Why the Powerful Turn a Blind Eye While China Kills Americans.”
The Daily Mail’s summary of the book noted, “Switch devices are small and cheap, and allow handguns to fire continuously with a single squeeze of the trigger. Many are produced in China, although they can be made on 3D printers. ...
“Far from being a side-effect of China’s rampant growth and manufacturing strength, the export of deadly devices is part of a deliberate strategy, writes Schweizer.
“The idea is modeled on what Chinese propagandists call ‘the Century of Humiliation,’ when the West tried to weaken the country by supporting different factions and arming warring parties.”
Mr. Schweizer himself wrote: “In the same way that it flipped the Opium Wars of the nineteenth century and created the Fentanyl Wars of the twenty-first century, Beijing now works to create a Century of Humiliation and weaken the United States by fomenting division by putting weapon-enhancing technologies into the hands of felons and criminal gangs, but also fueling social division on U.S. streets.”
If the U.S. courts system upholds the Mexican lawsuit, American families could be left defenseless—just as Beijing is working gangbusters to arm the cartels and other criminal gangs.
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John Seiler

John Seiler

Author

John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. Mr. Seiler has written editorials for The Orange County Register for almost 30 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran and former press secretary for California state Sen. John Moorlach. He blogs at JohnSeiler.Substack.com and his email is writejohnseiler@gmail.com

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