Dr. John Lott had a new piece in the Wall Street Journal this week about Mexico’s extremely high murder rate despite its strict gun control laws.
The figures Lott quotes are staggering: with almost six times as many murders per 100,000 people as in the U.S., Mexico has a serious problem.
By all accounts the problem may be of their own making. As highlighted in the Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Mexico’s strict gun control measures began in 1972 ostensibly to control violence. Presently only 1% of Mexicans possess a license to own a firearm, obtaining a permit to legally carry a pistol is unheard of and private sales are for all practical purposes forbidden yet since 1972 the murder rate has doubled!
While addressing how many of Mexico’s crime guns come from the U.S., Dr. Lott explains why the 70% figure cited by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is grossly exaggerated. He points out that number is a select subset of a select subset and the actual number may be closer to 17%.
Furthermore, it appears evident the bulk of Mexico’s crime guns, often fully-automatic, are cartel supplied and originate in Central and South America or other international locations. Once again, it is evidenced that when strict gun control laws leave the general population unarmed, vulnerable, and powerless, criminals will feel emboldened. Layer onto this a history of military and police corruption along with a powerful cartel presence and you have the perfect recipe for out of control criminal violence.