“The right to bear arms” While Arming Mexican Drug Cartels

I find the Second Amendment / “right to bear arms” argument incredibly weak when it comes to the issue of gun ownership in America. Contrary to misguided belief the Constitution is not set in stone and has been changed several times since it was written.

There are too many guns, including assault rifles (that can easily be converted into machine guns), on the streets of our cities. In 1994 Congress banned assault rifles – hunters don’t use them and note the word “assault” in what they’re called – but it was a pathetically weak law that only lasted for ten years. And once the GOP took over Congress and the great “Decider” was pretending to actually be a president the last thing they were going to do was anger their NRA / gun-nut campaign contributors by extending this law. Unfortunately it’s no longer in effect (and I’m certainly aware that plenty of Democrats also take money from the NRA – for more on the problem of campaign contributions see AIG – Always Into Giving).

When the Constitution was written assault rifles didn’t exist. The Crips, Bloods, Latin Kings, Yakuza, Islamic militants and White Supremacists didn’t exist (and while I loathe political correctness how’s that for covering violent gangs based on race!) Fourteen-year old boys weren’t turning their schools into shooting galleries. Disgruntled employees weren’t walking into offices and slaughtering coworkers. Unhinged college students weren’t – I think you get the picture. If all of this did exist in Colonial America I think you’d see a drastically different Second Amendment.

As for those assault rifles, many are winding up in the hands of the incredibly violent, murderous Mexican drug cartels. According to U.S. Stymied as Guns Flow to Mexican Cartels – N.Y. Times 4-14-09 the drug thugs send straw buyers into American shops who purchase “semiautomatic AK-47 and AR-15 rifles, converting some to machine guns, investigators in both countries say. They have also bought .50 caliber rifles capable of stopping a car and Belgian pistols able to fire rifle rounds that will penetrate body armor.

Federal agents say about 90 percent of the 12,000 pistols and rifles the Mexican authorities recovered from drug dealers last year and asked to be traced came from dealers in the United States, most of them in Texas and Arizona.”

The article notes how Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the NRA, and gun dealers argue the Mexican drug cartels have the money to “easily obtain weapons on the black market in other countries” if they couldn’t buy them here. 

This is another lame, weak argument. Let’s consider a hypothetical situation. I’m a thug in a Mexican drug cartel and need twenty assault rifles. I can go to Houston, which isn’t far at all from my home base in Mexico, or say to a country across the ocean we’ll call Redneckistan that allows the sale of such weapons. Let’s say Texas and / or the U.S. do something intelligent and ban the sale of assault rifles. They’re still readily available in Redneckistan, but that’s an ocean away. What do you think I would rather do, take a quick jaunt across the border or a long, laborious trip across an ocean?

We unfortunately recently marked the tenth anniversary of the Columbine High School (Littleton, CO) massacre. Two mentally unstable students shot to death twelve fellow students and one teacher. One of their accomplices, acting as a straw buyer but with the two killers at her side, bought two shotguns and a 9-mm semiautomatic carbine from three private, unlicensed dealers at a gun show.

These unlicensed “private sellers” are allowed to sell weapons at gun shows and also don’t have to run background checks on customers. According to Gun Dealers Rejected Columbine Killers – The Rocky Mountain News, the two high school murderers were turned away by dealers at a show so they returned the next day with a friend, Robyn Anderson.

“It was too easy,” Anderson told the newspaper. “I wish it would have been more difficult. I wouldn’t have helped them buy the guns if I had faced a criminal background check.”

She’s then quoted as saying: “I think it was clear to the sellers that the guns were for Eric and Dylan (the two killers). They were the only ones asking all the questions and handling the guns.”

Anderson, by the way, was 18 at the time and three days prior to the massacre attended the prom with one of the killers. She was also a student at Columbine.

It is pathetic and grossly socially irresponsible to allow unlicensed dealers to sell murderous weapons at gun shows and, on top of that, they don’t even have to run background checks on customers.

Congress needs to act sensibly for once, and not for the benefit of their NRA / gun-nut campaign contributors, and ban the sale of assault rifles. Congress also needs to stop allowing unlicensed “private sellers” from operating and background checks should be conducted on everyone who wants to buy a gun in this country.


One Response to ““The right to bear arms” While Arming Mexican Drug Cartels”

  1. […] And please don’t give the incredibly lame, outdated Second Amendment “right to bear arms” argument. American gun shops are arming the murderous Mexican drug cartels. Is this what our country’s founders meant with the Second Amendment? (For more on this see “The right to bear arms” While Arming Mexican Drug Cartels.) […]

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