MEXICO — We recently reported on Mexico’s placement of “more than 8,000” members of their military on or near beaches and other places tourists pass through to protect the well being of vacationers.
In doing so, the Mexican government has unwittingly made a fantastic case for responsibly-armed citizens carrying in public.
Mexico has a serious crime problem.
That’s neither new or secret. However, recent incidents with tourists being murdered and just flat-out left on the ATVs they were driving on and Americans being kidnapped and murdered simply for being at the wrong place at the wrong time have recast the spotlight on the issue.
The Council on Foreign Relations termed Mexico’s problems with drugs, crime, and their notorious cartels as “Mexico’s Long War.”
For any other issues Mexico has, one can’t fault their effort to keep tourism running smoothly, at least on paper.
Mexico deployed these reported 8,000~ troops to presumably ensure the continued flow of vacationers and much needed foreign currency.
Global Firepower estimates that the Mexican military is comprised of 415,000 members, 250,000 of those being active. We should take that number with a huge grain of salt.
I can’t readily find their research methodology, and that’s never a good look.
Let’s pretend that number is legitimate, though. That’d mean that the military is deploying right around 2% of its available manpower to protect its beaches from its own people.
On top of that, Defense Minister Luís Cresencio Sandoval announced that “six helicopters, 755 patrol cars, 377 pickup trucks, 10 speedboats and 45 all-terrain vehicles” would also be deployed to assist these troops, according to El Pais.
What they might need to fix their problem, however, is something they have thus far refused to commit to: arming everyday citizens.
The Second Amendment as It Relates to Mexico’s Crime Issue
According to the Mexican constitution, citizens do actually have the right to keep arms.
“The inhabitants of the United Mexican States have the right to keep arms at home, for their protection and legitimate defense,” it reads according to a translation provided by Constitute.
But that “right” comes with a major caveat. That caveat is “the exception of those prohibited by the Federal Law and those reserved for the exclusive use of the Army, Navy, Air Force and National Guard. Federal Law will state the cases, conditions, requirements and places where inhabitants can be authorized to carry weapons.”
In other words, Mexican citizens have the right to keep firearms in whichever cases Mexico thinks it makes sense.
This leads to gun laws “among the least permissive in the world,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
The same source states that Mexico has only one gun store. That store is “behind a fortress-like wall on a heavily guarded military base,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
That store reportedly sells 38 firearms to civilians a day. The fact that the aforementioned 2018 Los Angeles Times article is titled “There is only one gun store in all of Mexico. So why is gun violence soaring?” tells you all that you need to know about how that level of regulation is going.
It turns out criminals don’t play by the rules.
The Mexican government, of course, blames the United States, even going so far as to sue various companies of the United States firearm industry. That lawsuit was dismissed (read: tossed out on its ass) Sept. 30, according to the NRA-ILA.
It’s true — illegal importation from the United States is a real problem. Blaming law-abiding citizens for that is nonsense. Bad people are getting their hands on firearms, which is why good people need them.
Whether or not it intended to do so, the government of Mexico has acknowledged both its failings in controlling violent crime and communicated its understanding that lawfully-armed individuals are required to preserve the protection of their country.
Mexico can continue to send out members of their armed services to try to prevent crime, or they can invest the trust required to take their country back from criminals by putting firearms in the hand of citizens.
It’s time for their government to recognize that which we already do: a bad guy with a gun is best countered by a good guy with a gun, and a government can’t militarily occupy portions of its own country forever, no matter how benevolent that occupation is.