"My daughter was raped and abducted,"
said a Mexican farmer.
President Obama says,
"What's different in America
is it's easy to get your hands on a gun."
The village warriors of Guerrero
AYUTLA DE LOS LIBRES, Mexico -- There on the cement town plaza, villagers led the two presumed extortionists over to government police. A band of farmers with old hunting rifles and machetes made sure the pair didn't get away
Three hundred eyes watched as the detainees were led to a truck. A wind was picking up and the official overseeing the handover wanted to leave quickly before the tropical storm. But the men in ripped shirts and worn sandals blocked his path and yelled, one by one. Why could the government not stop drug gangsters? How could he allow organized crime?
"The Mafia demanded 500 pesos ($50) a week from me," said a mechanic in a stained straw hat.
"My daughter was raped and abducted," said a farmer who had sold his wedding ring to pay ransom. "She was 17. You’re not doing your job."
The official looked down at his feet, which, unlike the ones around him, were shod in shiny leather. Mumbling, "Si, there are some bad people," he spotted an opening in the crowd and sprinted to the waiting truck. The driver hit the gas. A crimson-faced man bellowed after them, "You better not free them. We don't allow criminals here.''
Across Mexico, civilians like those in this southern town are taking the law into their own hands, fed up with the terror sown by organized narcotics groups. Peasants are riding shotgun in pick-up trucks. They chase SUVs with tinted windows, and lock the occupants in dank rooms. It's estimated nearly half of Mexico's 31 states have seen some form of citizen militias, from up toward the border with the U.S., and down to the Pacific coast.
More at Aljazeera and make certain to check out the photos.
Guns are Illegal in Mexico
Don’t bring firearms or ammunition across the border into Mexico.
Don’t carry a knife, even a small pocketknife, on your person in Mexico.
You may become one of dozens of U.S. Citizens who are arrested each month for unintentionally violating Mexico’s strict weapons laws.
If you are caught with firearms or ammunition in Mexico...
You will go to jail and your vehicle will be seized;
You will be separated from your family, friends, and your job, and likely suffer substantial financial hardship;
You will pay court costs and other fees ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars defending yourself;
You may get up to a 30-year sentence in a Mexican prison if found guilty.
If you carry a knife on your person in Mexico, even a pocketknife . . .
You may be arrested and charged with possession of a deadly weapon;
You may spend weeks in jail waiting for trial, and tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees, court costs, and fines;
If convicted, you may be sentenced to up to five years in a Mexican prison.
Claiming not to know about the law will not get you leniency from a police officer or the judicial system. Leave your firearms, ammunition, and knives at home. Don’t bring them into Mexico.
At a Nation’s Only Gun Shop, Looking North in Disbelief
MEXICO CITY — Juan García relinquished his cellphone, walked through two metal detectors, registered with a uniformed soldier — and then finally entered Mexico’s only legal gun store.
Article 10 of Mexico’s 1857 Constitution declared, much like the American Second Amendment, that “every man has the right to bear arms for his security and legitimate defense.” But since then, the country has veered from the American model.
The 1917 Constitution written after Mexico’s bloody revolution, for example, says that the right to carry arms excludes those weapons forbidden by law or reserved for use by the military, and it also states that “they may not carry arms within inhabited places without complying with police regulations.”
The government added more specific limits after the uprisings in the 1960s, when students looted gun stores in Mexico City. So under current law, typical customers like Rafael Vargas, 43, a businessman from Morelos who said he was buying a pistol “to make sure I sleep better,” must wait months for approval and keep his gun at home at all times.
His purchase options are also limited: the largest weapons in Mexico’s single gun store — including semiautomatic rifles like the one used in the Aurora attack — can be bought only by members of the police or the military. Handgun permits for home protection allow only for the purchase of calibers no greater than .38, so the most exotic option in the pistol case here consisted of a Smith & Wesson revolver selling for $803.05.
At Navy Yard service, Obama rails against 'routine' of gun violence
But he also railed against lax gun laws that he blamed for murder rates in the United States that are three times higher than in other developed nations.
"No other advanced nation endures this kind of violence. None," he said.
"What's different in America is it's easy to get your hands on a gun," he said.
I appreciate the President's rhetorical use of unspecified "advanced" and "developed" nations for comparison of murder rate. We do know that he isn't referencing the gun laws or murder rates in Switzerland.
Maybe when blaming lax gun laws for murder rates President Obama would like to compare the murder rates of New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. with other advanced or developed American cities that have not stripped citizens of their 2nd Amendment rights? No, probably not.
Clearly, violence in Mexico is actually worse than in the USA, probably because it is easier to get your hands on a gun in the USA to defend yourself, except in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. I think I know what the Guerrero farmers would say.