Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gun Rights

It turns out you can have a constitutional right to bear arms, but if the Government Bureaucracy, which includes the Police, are against you having a gun, they can make it darned difficult for you to own a gun—and in some parts of the world defend yourself against violent criminals.

Remember, the Police do not have a duty to protect you.  Further, their guns are to protect themselves.  In these United States it all seems to work out OK.  In Mexico not so much.

The Mexican Constitution apparently has an Article (Article 10) on the right to keep and bear arms.  Wikipedia is a little confusing on this issue, with two different translations of the Article.  As I don't speak or read Spanish I have to rely on the kindness of translators, but here is the link to the Mexican Constitution, which seems to state:
Citizens of the republic may, for their protection, own guns and arms in their homes. Only arms sanctioned by the Army may be owned, and federal law will state the manner in which they can be used (Firearms are prohibited from importation into the Republic without proper licensing and documentation. Foreigners may not pass the border with unlicensed firearms; the commission of such act is a felony, punishable by prison term.).
Here is the quote from the Wikipedia article on gun ownership in Mexico:
The inhabitants of the United Mexican States have a right to arms in their homes, for security and legitimate defense, with the exception of arms prohibited by federal law and those reserved for the exclusive use of the Army, Navy, Air Force and National Guard. Federal law will determine the cases, conditions, requirements, and places in which the carrying of arms will be authorized to the inhabitants.
Notwithstanding this right, gun ownership in Mexico is limited, due to the legal impediments to gun ownership.  It ends up the usual thing, the criminals have the guns—and those guns are not all (or mostly) coming from the US.

This from Mr Robert Farago andThe Truth About Guns.  Mr Farago refers to an AP Article in the Denver Post with this quote from a Mexican State Police Chief:
Ramon Almonte, the Guerrero state police chief, said on Monday he will ask the federal congress to make it easier for common citizens to get permits for weapons to defend themselves.

Almonte's brother was killed on Jan. 1 in a rural town in Guerrero by unidentified gunmen. The state has been plagued by such executions.

"When you fight someone and at least you have a 'piece,' the person who is attacking you might think twice," Almonte said. "We cannot go on the way we are."
The drug violence in Mexico is out of control.  When thousands are being shot and killed each year, when individuals are being tortured as a warning to others, there is an indication that the old methods are not working.  It is time to try something new, or maybe something older.  Maybe even give full run to the Constitution.

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Well, except in Arizona, where a SWAT raid on some home resulted in a guy getting shot 60 times.  That is bad Police interaction with a citizen.

1 comment:

nealcroz said...

Armed men kill unarmed men with monotonous regularity. While one can only theorize (and others decry and debate), VT who have the most liberal gun laws in the nation also have the lowest violent crime rate in the nation. In almost every state with relatively liberal gun laws, there is a corresponding depressed number of violent crimes per capita. There are many who will argue that the statistic is based on purposely skewed data or doesn't account for "other" factors, but, in fact, the end state sure seems to be in favor of gun ownership as a deterrent.

In re the argument that gun violence is no pathway to security and social harmony, and thus, since "guns kill and without guns there will be no killing" I would only counter that guns don't kill, people kill and given the desire to do so, they will always find a way. In an legally disarmed society, only the criminal element will possess the firepower necessary to subduing the rest of the population. Ask the average Mexican how that works.

There IS a dilemma for the average American who owns a gun and that revolves around its use. With overwhelming frequency, a citizen who defends himself or herself against a perceived threat is generally charged with a crime and required to defend him or herself one more court. Often, the apologists and sympathizers will ensure a conviction for "wrongful death" or "manslaughter" and will, in addition to jail time, garner the defender a civil lawsuit by family members looking to cash in on the tragedy.

Thus, even in a bona fide life or death situation, a citizen's "rightful" use of a weapon is quite literally a "life changing" event...and one that can't be taken lightly. That the vast majority of gun owners seek extensive training and are extremely responsible in their use of weapons is generally speaking no defense against those who desire the law abiding citizenry to be unarmed.

BTW, the stories of gun ownership spawning a return to "the wild wild west" are without any historic foundation and are rather typical hyperbole from the anti-gun factions of society.

That many people are injured or killed by gun violence is without question. The real issue is, however, whether strict gun laws would have prevented the crime. I would suggest that it would not.