Tales from the Trail

Mexico’s Calderon admires Second Amendment, but wants U.S. gun control

May 20, 2010

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has no problem with the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — the right to bear arms — he just wants the weapons flowing across the border into his country stopped.

MEXICO-USA/That’s what he told a joint session of the U.S. Congress, an honor not given to every foreign leader. And the way Congress received him — lengthy standing ovations — showed that Calderon was not just any foreign leader to speak from that podium but an especially close ally.

And perhaps it was the knowledge of that friendship between the two neighboring countries that allowed the Mexican president to fearlessly enter the lion’s den with red meat in hand.

“I fully respect, I admire the American Constitution. And I understand that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to guarantee good American citizens the ability to defend themselves and their nation,” Calderon said.

“Many of these guns are not going to honest American hands, instead, thousands are ending up in the hands of criminals,” he said.

Calderon then went on to say that the rise in violence in Mexico coincided with the lifting of the U.S. assault weapons ban in 2004.

 ”I also fully understand the political sensitivity of this issue,” he said, and asked Congress to consider reinstating the assault weapons ban. (That statement coincided with many Republicans staying seated, while many Democrats rose and clapped). 

The meaning and intent of the 27 words of the Second Amendment have been debated incessantly for years — “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” MEXICO/

During a visit to Mexico in April 2009, Obama said he would urge the U.S. Senate to ratify a long-stalled arms trafficking treaty aimed at curbing the flow of  guns and ammunition to drug cartels in Latin America. So far it hasn’t moved.

The National Rifle Association is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States and firmly fights any threats to gun ownership. Its members have been concerned that Obama would fulfill promises to seek a permanent ban on assault weapons – essentially military style semi-automatic rifles.

 There are no signs of this issue making any headway during this midterm election year. Do you think the assault weapons ban should be lifted?

Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Calderon addresses joint meeting of Congress), Reuters/stringer Mexico (gold plated rifle seized in raid in Mexico)

Comments
5 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

“Mexican President Felipe Calderon has no problem with the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — the right to bear arms — he just wants the weapons flowing across the border into his country stopped.”

No problem, we will work on it. In the mean time we want your people who are flowing over the border into our country stopped. You wanna work on that for us?

Nope, you would rather tell us how to run our country. F*cking hypocrite.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive
 

“Many of these guns are not going to honest American hands, instead, thousands are ending up in the hands of criminals,” – who are these criminals (Mexican nationals?), where are these criminals coming from (Mexico?), and why is it so easy for them to cross the border (lax enforcement of the border on both sides?).

Posted by cmitchby | Report as abusive
 

I would really love to see Reuters or some other national news org do a story on just how many guns have been confiscated at the border. I live in Laredo, and I will tell you, not many have been. Which leads me to believe that no where near the 20,000 guns a year are going to Mexico across the US border. Another Mexican diplomat spoke in Laredo and said there was 10,000 gun stores along the US and Mexico border. Laredo, a large city on the border has 6 gun stores. 9,994 left to identify. Also, for a country with such strict gun control (you can go to prison for just having a single round of ammunition in your possesion) you would think (if you are a liberal) that there would be no gun violence. Nope, the poor folks of Mexico are under siege by a well armed criminal base who get the majority of their “automatic” weapons and grenade launchers from their own government sources. Last I checked, even in Laredo gun stores, I could not buy an automatic weapon, or grenade launcher. PS, Pres Calderon, the drug violence has been going on forever in your country. The assualt weapons ban end has nothing to do with your problem.
YOu want to protect your people, have faith in them and let the quailified carry firearms to protect themselves and thier families. Then you might see a reduction in crime. Opps, then you might see some of your corrupt cops killed when they try to rob a person on the highway. Maybe you are right. Mexico should not trust its people. Send em north.

Posted by swlaredo | Report as abusive
 

I am certain that Mr. Calderon is happy to see the millions of US dollars flowing into his country because of the lax border policies on both sides. And I for one would be happy to keep those guns in honest US hands.

Why is it that when the Republican party controlled the government we couldn’t put a stop to this gaping security hole, now that the Democratic party controls the government we can’t put a stop to this gaping security hole, and no matter which of the two major parties control anything we the people just keep making the same bad choices. Reminds me very much of a seemingly nice young lady I once knew who wailed “Why do I keep getting involved with losers?”.

Posted by older_than_dirt | Report as abusive
 

Hey, just build a fence from your side. That would solve both country’s problems.

Posted by Mike_Nub | Report as abusive
 

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