The Mexican government filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking $10 billion in damages from two American gun makers. The suit alleges that it is illegal to manufacture and sell the weapons in Mexico because of a 1968 law, which outlaws importing firearms that do not bear the mark of approval from the Mexican army`s Directorate of Defense Industries.
The suit was filed by Mexico`s attorney general against Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., of Springfield, Mass., and Colt Manufacturing Co., of West Hartford, Conn. It also names as defendants the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, Nevada and Texas.
The suit seeks $3 billion for each year since 1968 that those companies failed to obtain government permission before exporting weapons to Mexico. The suit also asks for an order declaring current law unconstitutional along with whatever damages a court might determine.
The attorney general`s office filed the suit in federal court in Washington, D.C., where Smith & Wesson is based, and a spokesman said Wednesday that it would file a similar complaint later in U.S. courts for five other states named as defendants.
Mexico has long pushed the U.S. to restrict guns sold to drug traffickers, who routinely use them to commit crimes south of the border.” (AP)
“The suit alleges that it is illegal to manufacture and sell the weapons in Mexico because of a 1968 law, which outlaws importing firearms that do not bear the mark of approval from the Mexican army`s Directorate of Defense Industries.” What an interesting statement! Let me see if I understand this correctly: guns sold in Mexico must have the government stamp of approval or they are illegal? The reason for such a law seems obvious: if it didn`t exist, then someone could just buy a gun over the counter at any old store. We don`t want that now, do we? That would be bad. It would mean anybody could buy a gun without having to put up with all those pesky background checks and waiting periods; what if children got hold of such a dangerous weapon? That would mean that anyone could get his hands on a gun in Mexico, even if he had no intention of using it for hunting or self-defense. No way! Obviously the government has a responsibility to protect its citizens from these weapons and so must outlaw them as much as possible.
This is all very interesting because this month we`re going to be talking about the 1968 Gun Control Act (GCA) and what rights were granted by it. The question I ask myself is: how would things have been different if this law had not come into effect? Would people on both sides of the border be safer? If so, wouldn`t that make one wonder why a similar law hasn`t been passed nationally in America? How would the Mexican drug cartels have changed? Would they be more or less powerful if they couldn`t get their hands on American guns as easily as they can now? What about America`s Second Amendment right to bear arms? Would that still exist in its current form? How would it differ from the 1968 GCA? And how do we feel about free trade between the United States and Mexico, when only one of those countries has some fairly restrictive gun laws?
Let`s not forget: despite all but banning private ownership of military-grade weapons, Mexico is still a very violent place. The war on drugs hasn`t gotten better since the late 20th century. Murders by firearms per 100,000 people are higher than Canada`s and are even higher than the United States`, which is a country that has much more lax gun laws. Despite these facts, Mexico still wishes to regulate even more of its citizens` rights under the guise of protecting them from “bad people who don`t follow the law”. This makes me wonder whether or not America`s more liberal gun control policies have made us safer. I think it might be time for another look at our Second Amendment.
What do you think? How would guns in Mexico have been different if they had no 1968 GCA? What about America? Have we been made safer – or less safe – by having some level of gun control? Should this mark change with new evidence and information, or should the Second Amendment stand firm?
– Contributed by TX