Soldaderas of the Mexican Revolution.
The other day I was doing an interview with a Mexican journalist and pointed out that the Mexican Revolution would have been impossible without American firearms. I also postulated that the solution to Mexican violence, where only the government and criminals have firearms, is to arm the Mexican people with Kalashnikovs and 300 rounds per to start -- especially the women -- as a counterbalance to both. She was shocked at the proposal. There was a recent debate at NBCLatino that applies to this subject.
First, Raul A. Reyes argued that Latinos were the key to gun control in the future.
While our political leaders worry about getting on the wrong side of gun control debate, Latinos are very progressive on the issue. An April report by the Pew Center found that Latinos are more likely to favor strict gun control laws that either whites or African-Americans. Similarly, a 2011 poll done by the bipartisan Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition found that 86 percent of Hispanic voters support requiring background checks on all gun sales. Sixty-nine percent believe the laws governing the sale of guns should be stronger. Perhaps in the future, as our numbers continue to grow, Hispanics will demand laws to limit the possibility of senseless gun violence.Yes, the Second Amendment guarantees all Americans the right to have and bear arms. But let’s take a look at its actual words: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The key words here are “well regulated.” Our founding fathers clearly recognized that there might be a need for regulation of citizens and their firearms.A good starting point would be to revive the ban on assault weapons. No one needs a semi-automatic for hunting, self-defense, or to protect their home. These are weapons designed for war. They are the weapons of choice for drug cartels and traffickers throughout Latin America, and they come from the U.S. If Holmes had not had an AR-15 assault rifle, surely we would not have seen so many casualties in Aurora.Right now, Americans must call upon Congress and our candidates to fully discuss gun control.
Stephen A. Nuňo answers effectively with "Gun control is people control, with racist implications."
Some think that Latinos may lead the way to gun control in the future because they are more likely to favor strict gun control than others. Well, let’s hope not. Or at least, before Latinos enter into this debate, let’s hope they enter it with as much information about gun control than what they are learning from their liberal counterparts.Last week’s tragedy in Aurora, Colorado has reset the debate over gun control with renewed hope by anti-gun advocates that Latinos may give them the electoral heft they need to increase the power of the gun control lobby.First, let’s get one thing out-of-the-way. The right to keep and bear arms has nothing to do with hunting, collecting or sporting. The sensibilities of liberals’ anti-gun attitudes do not need to be assuaged as a prerequisite to owning firearms. The right to own firearms is a fundamental right recognized by the Constitution. It is not a privilege. It is a right just as voting, free speech or, dare I say, privacy is.Second, the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, not a collective right. It is not a State right. To say that a State can regulate firearms under the pretense of regulating a militia ignores the fundamental reason the 2nd Amendment exists, the connection between an armed citizenry and a free society.This does not mean there should be zero regulations on guns, but the political standoff over gun control is fundamentally about mistrust. Gun owners simply do not trust the government or anti-gun folks to impose any regulations on gun ownership, and when gun control advocates create false justifications for the ownership of guns, such as hunting, gun owners are justified in that distrust.Third, we should understand the historical connection between gun control and racism. Simply put, gun control is people control, and this has had deeply racist implications in the past. The roots of gun control in California are tied to white anxiety over Mexican-Americans and Chinese-Americans at the beginning of the 20th century.Gun control gained renewed vigor in California after the Black Panthers armed themselves against white police officers intent on keeping their boots on the neck of the black community. Gun control in the South was explicitly designed to keep guns out of the hands of black communities who used firearms to defend themselves against the Ku Klux Klan. . .
Finally, the idea that Latinos are more disposed to gun control for any cultural reason is patently false. Mexico, where a majority of U.S. Latinos come from, is one of the few countries besides the United States to have its own version of the 2nd Amendment. Article 10 of the Mexican Constitution recognized over one hundred and fifty years ago that “every man has a right to have and carry arms for his security and legitimate defense”.Unfortunately, Mexico’s recognition of the right to keep and bear arms included a direct avenue for government suppression of that right, with tragic results we don’t need to rehash here.Latinos should acknowledge the greater historical context and meaning of the right to keep and bear arms before making a decision about gun control. Most important is the relationship between the people and the government. The government may indeed desire a less armed citizenry, or fewer armed Latinos, but Latinos’ answer to the government should be, fine, you first.