Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Monday pushed for a revival of a ban on assault weapons in the U.S., arguing that the ban’s expiration has led to the spread of guns across the border and a spike in violence in Mexico according to LA Times.
“The expiring of the assault weapons ban in the year 2004 coincided almost exactly with the beginning of the harshest — the harshest — period of violence we’ve ever seen,” Calderon said, through an interpreter, at a White House news conference on Monday.
The Mexican leader was in Washington to meet with President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for a summit on economic cooperation and trade among the three countries. But the ongoing drug war in Mexico largely overshadowed those conversations.
In remarks to reporters in the Rose Garden, Calderon urged the U.S. to do more to tamp down on gun trafficking and emphasized that the drug cartels are operating on both sides of the border. He claimed a direct connection between the weakening of gun laws in the U.S. and deaths in his country.
“I know that if we don’t stop the traffic of weapons into Mexico, if we don’t have mechanisms to forbid the sale of weapons such as we had in the ’90s, or for registry of guns, at least for assault weapons, then we are never going to be able to stop the violence in Mexico or stop a future turning of those guns upon the U.S.,” he said.
Obama, whose administration has not pushed to reinstate the ban, did not respond to the Mexican president’s statement directly. Democrats largely have called a truce when it comes to advancing new gun control legislation, a political calculation based on the party’s attempts to appeal to more rural and Western voters.
The Mexican society experiences gun homicide at a higher rate than many other nations. Mexico has also given the federal government complete jurisdiction and control to the legal proliferation of firearms in the country; at the same time, heavily limiting and restricting the legal access to firearms by civilians.
In other words, Mexico has extreme gun control laws severely limiting access to citizens, yet still experiences gun homicide at a higher rate than many other nations.
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