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Guns; the Us Threat

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Submitted By karlakis
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Weinberg, Bill. "Guns: The U.S. Threat To Mexican National Security. (Cover Story)." NACLA Report On The Americas 41.2 (2008): 21-26. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Apr. 2012.

THE VIOLENT STRUGGLE BETWEEN MEXICAN Drug cartels for supremacy over the multibillion-dollar narcotics trade is starting to look like a real war. With local police outgunned, President Felipe Calderón began his term in the final days of 2006 by' deploying the army to fight the cartels The violence, simmering for more than a decade, exploded in 2003 in Nuevo Laredo, a crucial crossing point to U.S. Interstate 35. when Gulf Cartel kingpin Osiel Cardenas was apprehended. Seeing a strategic vulnerability, the rival Juarez and Tijuana cartels started moving into Nuevo Laredo, traditionally a Gulf Cartel stronghold.( n1) The Zetas--the Gulf Cartel's paramilitary force, thought to be composed of former military personnel--began a reign of terror to protect their turf Several Nuevo Laredo police officers were killed by presumed Zeta assassins in the opening months of 2005, prompting then president Vicente Fox to flood the town with 700 federal agents and army troops in what he dubbed "the mother of all battles" against the drug trade.( n2)
Yet the Mexican state's armed response has done little to solve the problem. In 2007, drug-related killings surpassed 2.500, up from 2,100 in 2006.( n3)
A crucial part of the problem lies in the cartels' firepower, which now rivals even that of the regular Mexican army Both the cartels and the Mexican state get their arms from the United States.During Fox's administration, an astonishing 2,000 guns entered Mexico every day. overwhelmingly from across the northern border, according to official Mexican estimates. This "iron river" of guns, as it has been called, has swollen since the U.S. Congress allowed the federal ban on assault weapons to expire in 2004.( n4) Mexican authorities confiscated an unprecedented 10,579 smuggled weapons in 2005, and they say 90% of them came from the United States.( n5)
"The arms the narcos use are the most sophisticated that you can imagine," says Luz Maria González Armenta, leader of Defense and Promotion of Human Rights-Emiliano Zapata (DEPRODHEZAC), which has been monitoring violence from the often overlapping narco gangs and police alike in the city of Matamoros since 1994 "The 9 mm cuerno de chivo, or AK-47, continues to predominate But they use fragmentation grenades, shotguns, grenade launchers" Spectacular shoot-outs in the border city, which is the nerve center of the powerful Gulf Cartel, sometimes make headlines.--but discrete executions are more common, Gonzalez says "Bodies are frequently found with signs o| torture and the famous tiro de gracia," or final death shot, she says.
And she has no doubts about where the weaponry originates. "Considering that Mexico Is a country, that does not produce arms, and yet the narcos have access to arms far superior to those used by the police forces, we presume these arms come from the United States." she says "It is very close, and with the corruption In customs, an elephant could pass undetected."
The arms intercepted on the border are likely a small fraction of those that make It through In December. the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) raided a Phoenix storage locker and seized 42 weapons. including AK-47s and Belgian FN handguns; just weeks earlier. BATF agents in Phoenix had seized more than 60 AK-47s. other assault rifles, handguns, and an Uzi. In both cases, bureau agents said most of the weapons were purchased at gun shows and were bound for Mexico.( n6)
Seizures across the border have been even more dramatic In August, a single raid at the Nogales crossing yielded 163 weapons, and in February 2007 the Mexican army seized a tractor-trailer loaded with some 2.0 M-16s. M-4 carbines, and grenade launchers--along with an armored pickup truck--in Matamoros. A federal agent revolved in the raid was killed the following day by AK fire.( n7)
A new AK-47 sells for less than $1,000 in Mexico, and an AR-15 starts at $825.( n8) According to a 2005 government estimate, U.S. guns are recovered in 80% of crimes in Mexico.( n9)
In a strange case of role reversal, Mexican officials are increasingly taking the United States to task for failing to stop the guns from entering their national territory--echoing their counterparts in Washington. with their continual criticism of Mexico over the northward flow of drugs. In his first published interview with the foreign press after becoming Mexico's president. Calderón told the Financial Times: "The United States is jointly responsible for what is happening to us.… In that joint responsibility the U.S. government has a lot of work to do. We cannot confront this problem alone."(n10) Mexican prosecutor general Eduardo Medina Mora put it succinctly: "We have done our part; we hope the United States will do its part." Medina added that about $10 billion in drug cash flows south each year, and that gun stores in border states sell twice as many weapons as outlets elsewhere in the United States.( n11) Mexico's "drug czar." the assistant secretary of public safety, and the head of the Mexican army's northeastern drug operations have all made similar comments.( n12)
Just how will the U.S. government "do its part"? The answer is to be found in the Mérida Initiative. a $550 million military aid package now being considered in the U.S. Congress.
IN JUNE, THE CALDERON GOVERNMENT FORMALLY REQUESTED military aid from the U.S. Congress. saying such assistance was necessary to defeat the cartels The request was made at the U.S.-Mexico Inter-Parliamentary Meeting held in Austin and was revealed to the Mexican daily La Jornada by Representative Silvestre Reyes (DTX), leader of the House Intelligence Committee.( n13) The resulting Merida Initiative was named after the Mexican City where the presidents of Guatemala. Mexico, and the United States held meetings in March 2007. when the idea was first discussed U.S. representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Tom Lantos (D-CA) complained that Congress had not been involved m---or even notified of--the proposal's development.( n14)
The Bush administration calls the Mérida Initiative "a new paradigm" of bilateral cooperation in the war on drugs and terrorism, and says the $550 million will be but the "first tranche" of a $1.4 billion.multiyear "security cooperation package."( n15) Some 40% of the funds are slated for new helicopters and surveillance aircraft for the Mexican army; $60 million is earmarked for the Prosecutor General of the Republic (PGR), Mexico's justice department, to beef up forensic capabilities, digitize intelligence, and train federal police About $30 million would go to Mexico', National Migration Institute. for stepped-up enforcement on the southern border with Guatemala.( n16) A total of $50 million would go to the military and police forces of the Central American republics.( n17)
The Mérida Initiative also includes a "Southwest Border Initiative," which calls for greater cooperation between the BATF and Mexican authorities to interrupt arms smuggling.( n18) But some Washington policy watchers doubt this will be effective as long as arms are so freely available north of the line.
"Because of how loose the gun laws are here, anyone can walk over, buy large quantities of arms, and go back and use them to kill a presidential candidate," says Bill Hartung of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation. (In fact, the 38 Special used in the 1094 assassination of candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio in Tijuana was traced to a gun sale In Arizona.( n19) "If we had some kind of gun control here, if we didn't have these kitchen-table dealers. if there were limits on how many weapons you can have--it would prevent people from buying a lot of guns and bringing them in by the shopping bag to Mexico or Colombia."
Hartung's critical first step is closing the "gun show Loophole." While licensed dealers are required to check purchasers' ID and to perform background checks, private sellers at gun shows are not subject to these requirements under federal law, allowing many purchasers to evade scrutiny The question is left to the states, 17 of which have passed legislation closing the loophole Among those that have not are the border states of Arizona. New Mexico. and Texas.( n20)
About 40% of U.S. gun sales are in the "secondary gun market," according to Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California-Daws. The secondary market thrives especially in Arizona and Texas. which Wintemute calls a "gun runner's paradise." He notes three varieties of illegal sales at gun shows: In the first, the buyer Is prohibited from purchasing--for instance, someone from out of state--"and the seller knows not to ask questions " Second are "straw purchases," in which a legitimate purchaser serves as a surrogate for someone barred from purchasing from a licensed dealer. In the third, "a licensed or unlicensed dealer knows sale is prohibited and turns a blind eye."
Assault rifles like the AK-4.7 remain high on the Mere. can cartels' shopping list, despite the fact that any weapon more powerful than a hunting rifle is outlawed in Mexico for use outside the military or law enforcement. The sturdy AK-47. ironically designed by the Soviets as an asset to guerrilla forces in the third world, is today produced by several U.S., companies, including Arsenal of Las Vegas and Armory USA of Houston.( n21) Arizona is a major producer of firearms. In 2004, 11 companies in that state produced more than 100,000 weapons, according to the most recent BATF data. Red Rock Arms of Mesa makes a variety of high-powered rifles; Bushmaster Firearms of Lake Havasu City produces AR-15 parts; Sturm, Ruger & Co. of Prescott manufactures pistols.( n22)
"In effect, we allow military-style weapons to Ix readily available." says Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (and former mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana) "They'll check you out when you get on an airplane, but you can show up at a gun show and walk out with an AK-47."
Federal gun laws have followed a paradoxical trajectory, actually getting looser since the post-9/11 obsession with "security." after decades of getting tighter. The first was the National Firearms Act in 1934, which required fully automatic weapons to be federally licensed, essentially barring them from civilians. The Gun Control Act of 1968, passed in the wake of that year's political assassinations, set up prohibited purchases---including to convicted felons, the dangerously mentally ill, and undocumented immigrants. In 1993, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (named for White House press secretary Jim Brady, permanently disabled in the 1981 attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan) instated a criminal background database called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Then came the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which was allowed to sunset--just as the Patriot and Homeland Security acts were coming into force.( n23)
In December. Congress passed the NICS Improvement Amendments Act in response to April's Virginia Tech massacre. The law imposes a cut of federal law enforcement funding to states that do not turn records over to the NICS, but it still does not address the gun show loophole.( n24)
Wintemute says the BAIT has abdicated its responsibility to crack down on gun smuggling, having been starved for funds by a pro-gun Congress and pressured to turn a blind eye. He points to a series of BAIT stings at gun shows in Richmond, Virginia, in 2004 and 2005 that resulted in the confiscation of several firearms. Afterward, Wintemute says, the agency was "grilled" by Representative James M. Sensenbrenner (R-WI) in hearings of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.
Perhaps must surprisingly, given the U.S. government's commitment to fighting the "war on terror," the National Rifle Association has urged the Bush administration to withdraw its support of a bill that would prohibit people on terrorism watch lists from buying firearms, In an open letter to the Justice Department. NRA director Chris Cox said the bill "would allow arbitrary denial of Second Amendment fights based on mere 'suspicious' of a terrorist threat." Yet current law already denies sales to "illegal" immigrants--and the NRA has no problem with that.( n25)
This comes amid ominous signs of a resurgence of right-wing militia activity in the United States--this time in reaction to the supposed immigration crisis. In early May 2007, just as Cox issued his letter, the BAIT announced the arrest of five members of an "Alabama Free Militia" in that state's DeKalb County, and the seizure of 130 grenades, a grenade launcher, a machine gun, a short-barrel shotgun, and 2,500 rounds of ammunition. The men were denied bail after BATF agents said they bad been planning attacks on Mexican immigrants.( n26)
The U.S. gun lobby's obstructionism takes a global toll, Helmke adds. "The U.S. is the world's biggest importer and exporter of guns. There's no limits on the amount or type you can buy, no limits on the amount of ammunition We're the marketplace of choice for drug gangs and dealers around the world."
The NRA did not return numerous phone calls requesting comment for this story
WHILE U.S. DOMESTIC GUN LAWS MAY BE AT THE root of the problem, foreign policy critics worry not only that the Mérida Initiative's arms-trafficking provision will do little to stem the flow of guns into Mexico---but also that its aid to the Mexican army and police agencies will only escalate the violence For this reason, La Jornada dubbed the initiative "Plan Mexico"; a persistent criticism of Plan Colombia has been that U.S. military aid indirectly supports the army-linked paramilitary network whose long litany of atrocities in well-documented (and whose very leaders are wanted in the United States on drug charges).( n27)
U.S. and Mexican officials avoid such analogies. Andrew Selee. director of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Mexico Institute. told the BBC: "The idea of comparing this package with Plan Colombia generates resistance in both countries. At least in the U.S., more and more voices question the effectiveness of the help that was given to Colombia."( n28)
But Prosecutor General Medina implicitly endorsed the analogy on a trip to Bogota in 2006. Mexican law enforcement, he said. should "learn through an exchange of Information with Colombia about the best way to combat organized crime" Meeting with his Colombian counterpart Mario Iguarán. Medina hailed President Alvaro Uribe's "democratic security" program as "a comprehensive, integrating vision." He noted that the two governments in 2003 formed the High-Level Security and Justice Group, a joint effort to fight narcotics and arms trafficking.( n29)
Evident interpenetration of Mexico's drug cartels and security forces suggest this dynamic experienced in Colombia is poised to repeat itself. [n his congressional testimony in support o[ the Mérida Initiative, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas A. Shannon said cartel operatives have infiltrated municipal and state law enforcement in Mexico. "substantially weakening these governments' ability to maintain public security and expand the rule of law."( n30) Bringing the Mexican army massively to bear in drug enforcement may only make it easier for thecartels to infiltrate the military.
The violent contest for Nuevo Laredo exemplifies the risks of military involvement in the cartel wars President Fox's 2005 deployment of army troops to the town only seemed to escalate the violence.That summer, a clash broke out between Zetas and their rivals with machine guns, grenades, and rocket launchers Residents of the city's Colonia Campestre district reported hearing several rounds of shots and explosions at a local home. When authorities arrived, the house was empty but damaged by machine-gun fire and rocket blasts. Federal agents discovered three AK-47s. two 9 mm handguns, a hand grenade, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition Agents also found two grenade-damaged vehicles on a nearby street. In response to the incident, the United States temporarily closed its consulate in Nuevo Laredo.( n31)
After Alejandro Dominguez, a veteran agent of the federal prosecutor's office, was gunned down hours after he was sworn in as Nuevo Laredo's police chief in June 2005, more federal agents were sent in to investigate his slaying--and got into a shoot-out with city police three days later, leaving one federal officer wounded.( n32) Army troops took control of the city. suspending the local police force's powers.( n33)
If Zeta co-optation of the municipal police was evident, it is less clear whether the federal forces were attempting an even-handed crackdown or were themselves collaborating with the Gulf Cartel'srivals In any event, the federal presence did nothing to de-escalate the violence. "The army is here and the federal police are here," said Raymundo Ramos, president of the Nuevo Laredo Human Rights Committee in the summer of 2003. "But the thugs carry on killing with impunity."( n34)
Another indication of the drug-smuggling industry's penetration of local law enforcement is the access that the cartels seem to have to official (or at least very official-looking) Federal Agency of Investigation (AFI) uniforms. In May 2007, federal army troops exchanged fire with 20 gunmen equipped with AR-15s. bulletproof vests, and AFI uniforms at a checkpoint in Michoacan.( n35) In Chiapas, presumed Zetas dressed in AFI uniforms opened fire on a state police patrol with AR-15s. leaving one dead and two wounded.( n36) In Coahuila, four men in AFI uniforms kidnapped the state's chief anti-kidnapping investigator, Enrique Ruiz Arevalo, in Torreón.( n37) The cartels also evidently have access to army uniforms In February 2007. gunmen armed with AK-47s and dressed as federal soldiers attacked two police stations, killing seven, in Acapulco.( n38) The cartels' use of rocket launchers may also indicate friends in the Mexican military.
In Colombia as well. the US has been complicit in arming violent outlaws. Human rights groups have repeatedly accused the United States of supplying arms to Colombian military units that collaborate or even overlap with the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). the country's most powerful right-wing paramilitary organization, which is officially listed by the United States as a terrorist organization. Despite official efforts at "demobilizing" illegal armed groups in Colombia, paramilitarism has exploded in the eight years Plan Colombia has been in effect---and has survived the official disbanding of the AUC.( n39) While noting some modest improvements. Amnesty International's 2006 year-end report on Colombia found that "serious human rights abuses remained at high levels, especially in rural areas," and that "abuses by paramilitary groups continue despite supposed demobilization."( n40)
U.S. complicity in arming Colombia's paras evidently extends beyond military aid to co-opted army units. The Colombian government has announced that it will seek the extradition of eight unnamed persons affiliated with the U.S. banana giant Chiquita Brands International for their involvement in the company's payments to illegal right-wing paramilitary groups In March 2007, Chiquita pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court to making payments to the AUC, and agreed to pay a 525 million fine.( n41) An Organization of American States study into the affair found that thousands of AK-47s bound for the AUC--which is held responsible in thousands of killings and massacres--entered Colombia through Chiquita's private banana port of Turbo, The largest shipment was apparently brokered by Israeli dealers in Panama, with the weapons pirated from the Nicaraguan police force.( n42)
The Brady Campaign's Helmke expresses some reservations about weapons falling into the wrong hands under the Mends Initiative "You want to make sure they're being used for the purposes they're intended to be used for." he says "I've read enough about how weapons in Iraq have wound up missing. People like guns for a lot of different reasons, not just the official business."
But the dilemma may ran deeper than that. even if the nightmarish violence on the southern border finally prompts Congress to buck the gun lobby and seriously crack down on the arms trade.Prohibitionist solutions have dramatically failed to halt the illegal drug trade and may be no more likely to work for arms Guns may be harder to hide than drugs, but their capacity to co-opt military and law enforcement--the mort fundamental issue, ultimately--is likely the same. By providing further firepower and intelligence capabilities to military and police forces that are themselves infiltrated by (or collaborating with) the cartels, the Mérida Initiative could fuel Mexico's violence, upping the ante in the war for narco-supremacy.
Footnotes
(n1.) Jason Trahan et al . "Drug Wars Long Shadow." Dallas Morning News. December 13, 2005.
(n2.) Ioan Grillo and Zeke Minaya, "Unafraid. Mexican Lawmen Pays With His Life." Houston Chronicle, Juno 10, 2005, "Mexican Soldiers Take Over City." BBC News, June 14. 2005.
(n3.) Alfredo Corchado and Tim Connolly. "U.S. Anti-drug Aid Proposal Could Heighten Violence in Mexico." Dallas Morning News, January 2, 2008.
(n4.) Sam Logan, "Guns The Bloody US-Mexico Market," ISN security Watch (Zurich), October 31. 2007.
(n5.) Chris Hawley and Sergio Solache. "U.S. Guns Pour Into Mexico," Arizona Republic. January 18, 2007.
(n6.) Chris Khan. "ATE Says More Guns Sent Illegally South of the Border," Associated Press, December 27. 2007. "Aft Seizes Guns Destined for Mexico and LA gangs." KNXV-TV (Phoenix). December 3, 2007.
(n7.) Manuel Roig-Franzia. "U.S. Guns Behind Cartel Killings in Mexico." The Washington Post. October 29, 2007; "The Coming Fight for Control of Matamoros?" Bahia de Banderas News (Puerto Vellarta), February 2007: Logan. "Guns The Bloody US-Mexico Market."
(n8.) Prensa Latina, "Crime in Mexican Capital Escalates," October 10, 2007.
(n9.) Charlie Gillis, "American Guns. Canadian violence," Maclaens, August 10, 2005.
(n10.) Quoted in "Calderón More Help Needed From U.S. Government," El Universal, online English edition. January 19, 2007.
(n11.) Catherine Bremer, "Mexico Needs US Help to Crush Drug Gangs." Reuters. December 10, 2007.
(n12.) Mark Stevenson. "Gonzales US Eyeing Gun Flow Into Mexico." Associated Press. May 18. 2007; Marion Lloyd, "Five Severed Heads Thrown Onto Crowded Dance Floor," Houston Chronicle, September 7, 2006; Laura Stars, "Does the Mérida Initiative Represent a New Direction for US-Mexico Relations." Courted on Hemispheric Affairs. December 14, 2007.
(n13.) Andrea Becerril. "Calderón pidió a EU mecanismo similar al plan Colombia, revelan," La Jornada (Mexico City). June 9, 2007.
(n14.) Starr. "Does the Mérida Initiative Represent a New Direction for US-Mexico Relations?' Tina Marie Macias, "House Panel Criticizes Latin America Anti-drug Plan." Los Angeles Times, November 15, 2002.
(n15.) Guy Taylor," 'Merida Initiative' Would Provide Counter-Drug Aid to Mexico. but Congress Remains Skeptical." World Politics Review. December 13, 2007. Thomas A Shannon. assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs, testimony before Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, November 15, 2007.
(n16.) Stars. "Does the Mérida Initiative Represent a New Direction for US-Mexico Relations?"
(n17.) Shannon testimony.
(n18.) "The Merida Initiative: United States-Mexico-Central America Security Cooperation." U.S. State Department fact sheet. October 22, 2007.
(n19.) Manuel Roig-Franzia. "U.S. Guns Behind Cartel Killings in Mexico."
(n20.) "Gun Shows Arms Bazaars for Terrorists end Criminals," online fact sheet, www.bradycampaign.org.
(n21.) List of US manufacturers on trade Web site http//AK-47 us.
(n22.) Hawley and Solache. "US Guns Pour into Mexico."
(n23.) "Assault Weapons Threaten Public Safety," online fact sheet, Brady Campaign, Washington.
(n24.) Elizabeth Williamson. "Congress Passes Bill to Stop Mentally III From Getting Guns." The Washington Post. December 20, 2007; "President Signs Bill to Strengthen the Brady Background Check System." Brady Campaign press release. January 8, 2008.
(n25.) "NRA Faults Bill Targeting Gun Sales." Associated Press, May 4. 2007.
(n26.) "Agent: Alabama Militia Planned Attack off Mexicans," Associated Press, May 1, 2007.
(n27.) "Truenan congresistas contra gobierno de EU por plan México," La Jornada. November 14, 2007; Laura Carlsen. "Plan Mexico," Foreign Policy in Focus, October 30, 2007.
(n28.) "Doubts Over Bush Plan on Mexico Drugs," BBC Newt. October 22, 2007.
(n29.) "Mexico to Learn From Colombia." El Universal, online English edition. January 27, 2007.
(n30.) Shannon testimony.
(n31.) Sergio Dhapa, "Violence Prompts Consulate Closure in Nuevo Laredo," The Brownsville Herald, July 30, 2005.
(n32.) Grillo and Minaya, "Unafraid. Mexican Lawman Pays With His Life."
(n33.) "Mexican Soldiers Take Over City," BBC News.
(n34.) Grillo and Minaya, "Unafraid, Mexican Lawman Pays With His Life."
(n35.) Mirna Servin, "Enfrentan 20 hombres armados a soldados en Michoacán," La Jornada. May 21, 2007
(n36.) "Atanan Zetes a la AEI," Cuarto Poder (Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas). May 28, 2007.
(n37.) "Deja 15 sicarios muertos enfrentamiento en Sonora," El Universal, May 16, 2007.
(n38.) "Gunmen Posing as Soldiers Slay 7 in Acapulco," The San Diego Union-Tribune. February 7, 2007.
(n39.) "Annual Report for Colombia." Amnesty International, 2006.
(n40.) Amnesty International Report 2007.
(n41.) Eoin O'Carroll, "Colombia Seeks Eight in Chiquita Terrorist Scandal." Christian Science Monitor online edition, March 22, 2007
(n42.) Eric Jackson. "Going Through the Motions About AUC Arms." The Panama News (Panama City), August 17-September 8, 2003.
PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): The bodies of Mexican federal police officers. thought to be killed by drug cartels. In Cancún, 2004. The country's drug-related violence, usually concentrated along the northern border, is moving south.
PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): A sign on the way to Mexico from El Paso, Texas
PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): Looking at guns during a 1995 NRA convention in Phoenix. Arizona, home to a number of arms manufacturers. Gun shows in Arizona and Texas are thought to be a key source of the weapons fuelling the Mexican drug cartel wars.
~~~~~~~~
By Bill Weinberg…...

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...could make the argument that stricter gun control laws will make society safer. That a decrease in crime, injury and death will make society safer. Now let us assume that hostile individuals seeking to commit crimes or harm others often use a gun to carry out their destructive objectives. One could argue that gun control laws would prevent hostile individuals from acquiring guns, and if we assume that these individuals would be less of a threat if they did not have a gun, then stricter gun control laws would make society safer. Now, let us assume that less strict gun control laws would result in more people carrying guns. It would then result in more criminals carrying guns because they feel that this is a necessary measure in order to adequately defend themselves from vigilante justice. If we say that more people and criminals carrying guns would result in more frequent gun-related deaths and injuries, then stricter gun control laws would again result in a safer society. Guns can be mishandled by their owners, which may result in the injury or death of the gun :owner or an unsuspecting, innocent individual. Statistics show that there is a correlation between the laxity of a country's gun laws and its suicide rate. Let’s say that individuals would be less successful in committing suicide if they did not have access to a gun, and that stricter gun control laws will make guns more difficult for individuals to obtain, and then stricter gun control laws would make society safer...

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...debated at all. The point of gun control is that it is common sense that your average person should not have the ability to kill another person. The fact of the matter is that the US keeps guns in the people’s pockets because of the right to bare arms, but when this collides with the right to not be killed why do the guns always win? This is somewhat the largest problem, if someone has a gun and you don’t you don’t feel safe, you go off and buy a gun. This is sort of like children in a park going around and hurting other children with a stick, and giving the other children sticks to defend themselves. This is basically the US way of thinking. When looking back in history you don’t have to look far to find a case where the US’s gun control (or lack of) has come back to bite them in the ass. In 2012 in Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 26 were killed with 20 of them being children. A 20-year-old male criminal who was dressed in a military vest and heavily armed with at least 3 weapons was responsible for the shooting. This was the 15th mass shooting in the US in 2012 alone. Without the guns he would have just been a lunatic but with the guns he was a danger to anyone and everyone. But surely the United States of America would not allow a ‘lunatic’ to get a gun? He stole the legally purchased guns from his mother after he killed her. Simply because he had easy access to guns twenty-six had to die. How many massacres will it take for the US to realise that maybe it’s......

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Gun Control

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Gun Control in the Us

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Gun Control

...Alexander Welch Personal Value & Ethics Professor Sandra White September 22, 2015 Week 5 On this day in the US, around thirty people will be killed with a gun, not including suicides.  Many more will be wounded.  I can safely predict this number because that is the average number of homicides committed with a gun in the US each day.  Such killings have become so routine that they are barely noticed even in the local news.  Only when a significant number of people are murdered, particularly when they include children or are killed randomly, is the event considered newsworthy. Yet efforts to regulate the possession of guns in the US are consistently defeated. The case for gun rights rests primarily on two claims, one about facts, the other about moral principle.  The claim about fact is that members of society as a whole are safer when more of them have guns, since potential aggressors are likelier to be deterred the more reasonable it is for them to believe that their potential victim is armed.  The claim about principle is that each person has a right of self-defense and that this right entails a further right not to be deprived of, or prevented from having, the most effective means of self-defense.  These claims are independent.  Most of those who assert them think the second would be true even if the first were false. Advocates of gun rights usually defend the claim about fact by appealing to statistics for example, those that suggest that when a......

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Why Gun Control Laws in the Us Are a Necessity

...America has the highest amount of gun related deaths each year in the world. “In Germany 381, in France 255, in Canada 165 in the United Kingdom 68, in Australia 65, in Japan 39 and in the United States, 11,127” (Moore Michael, 51:15-51:48). Since the United States has the highest number of deaths, it is important to have gun-control laws that restrict people from owning dangerous firearms like machine guns. Gun-control laws should support both sides of the debate. Of course, both sides will not be completely happy with the laws created, but America should have a balance. In 2008, a poll was taken stating: “Adult poll respondents’ views on the meaning of the Second Amendment; An individual’s right to bear arms: Republican 51% and Democrats 41%” (The History of the Right to Bear Arms). Today, the United States is more divided on gun-control than it has ever been. The Second Amendment states: “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”(Milestones in Federal Gun Control Legislation). Unless the Second Amendment is changed, we cannot take the right from others to own guns. However, the government should regulate the types of gun Americans can own and who can own a gun because times have changed and American’s mental health system is broken. Decades ago, the United States was once a country where a gun was considered to survive and protect. “As Americans civilized the......

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Gun Control

...According to the Second Amendment in the Constitution, the citizens have the right to possess and bear arms. But, this has remained an important issue since decades. Issues such as gun control and gun rights have remained a matter of debate and have been lobbying around in the Congress meetings. It has been depicted that the Congress is forced to draft a specific legislation in order to come up with a strict law against unlawful use of arms, and only possessing them for safety purpose. The following paper gun control and gun rights in the United States of America; I want to talk about the economy, necessity, and legitimate use. Due to unfortunate and very violent gun crimes involving deadly shootings, recent action by the Federal Government has acted to begin serious debate and possible reform in support of major gun control laws. Several enactments such as a ban on assault rifles, and a ban on regular and extended magazine clips have been a huge topic of debate. Such reform can have a huge affect on businesses and the United States economy. Recently there has been a great surge in sales and revenue for gun manufacturers and firearm store-fronts and businesses as spooked consumers fear stiff gun control laws are soon to come. However, if a firearm ban is to be the final result of government gun reform, these same manufacturers and store-fronts will most likely close their doors for good. According to the National Sports Shooting Foundation, the firearm industry......

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Guns

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