On Wednesday, Dr. John Lott testified before Mexican Senate and House Constitution Committees on Reforming Mexican Gun Laws. Lott’s 55-minute discussion on gun laws was shown live by Mexico’s two largest television networks, as well as the Mexican equivalent of C-SPAN. Lott then responded to comments from critics. This was the first legislative hearings on gun control in Mexico since the 1972 law, which greatly restricted gun ownership in Mexico, was enacted.
Lott’s testimony was discussed by the Mexican press in dozens of news stories. It received thorough coverage in major national newspapers such as Milenio, El Universal, Excelsior and about 95 news outlets in the first 24 hours after the event, but there has continued be additional stories after that (others include Almomento, PanAm Post, El Expres, El Diario, digitall post, 24 Horas, Noticias MVS, e-Tlaxcala Periódico Digital de Tlaxcala, Entorno Intelligent, and Sipse.com).
Senator Jorge Luis Preciado convened the forum to consider the effects of reforming the 1972 Federal Law on Firearms and Explosives, which set in place many strict gun control measures. Homicides had been falling from 1960 to 1972, but began to rise just as the 1972 law took effect. Preciado is seeking to gain insight by looking internationally at the effects of gun control. He is advancing initiatives to allow guns not only in homes, but in vehicles and businesses.
Gun control advocates argue that all Mexico needs is better police training and ending corruption. The corruption problem may be particularly difficult to solve, but Lott pointed out that even if these problems can be solved, police officers simply can’t be there all the time to stop crimes. He testified that even though the US doesn’t have these problems like Mexico, U.S. police officers understand that they still virtually always arrive on the crime scene after the crime has occurred and they thus understand the importance of private gun ownership.
Lott pointed out the similarities between Mexico and the US in terms of drug gangs. He discussed how difficult it is to stop drug gangs from getting either drugs or the guns that they need to protect their drugs and their turf. Lott argued that these gun laws primarily disarm law-abiding Mexicans, not the gangs.
Here is a rough English translation from the beginning of Milenio’s article:
Criminality in the country and the absence of a guarantee of security for citizens place Mexico at a good time to analyze the legal porting of weapons for self-protection, said John Lott, an American political analyst and advocate for the use of weapons.
In an interview with MILENIO, the author of the book More weapons, less crimes, explained that it is natural that there is a debate about allowing the population to carry weapons in their businesses or vehicles; However, recommended that the discussion focus on analyzing successful experiences in other countries, eg the United States.
“It’s easy to talk about what could go wrong in the arms control debate, but you do not have to guess, there are many experiences in a number of countries that can be considered.
“For example, if it has worked in the United States, why not believe that in Mexico too? Since the system has not worked they may not do so as a federal law, but by states and see how it is resulting. Some states may be allowed to experiment, local laws are enforced, some states have high levels of criminality, it is obvious that the system failed, what can they lose if they give people the opportunity to defend themselves? “He asked.
Lott is a member of the forum invited by Senator Jorge Luis Preciado to analyze the use of weapons, titled “Analysis of the reform initiative to the Federal Law on Firearms and Explosives. In self-defense, “to be held today at the Senate.
The US researcher said that in his country there were people who opposed the carrying of weapons for self-protection on the grounds that permits would cause people to shoot each other, accidental shots and suicides, however, he said, that does not occurred.
He stressed that there can be no police for every citizen and warned that the initiative would benefit the population in extreme poverty, women, as well as other vulnerable groups.
Although Mexico and the United States have different historical processes, Lott warned, strict regulation in our country has not proven to be the solution, since crime levels remain and it does not allow good people to protect themselves.
“If you look at the history of Mexico from 1960 to 1972 the homicides descended on the country, in 1972 began to increase and was just when a very strict regulation began. . . .”
Here is another quote from the newspaper Almomento Noticias:
In favor, the American specialist, John R. Lott, author of the book “More weapons, less crime,” showed that in the countries where the use of weapons is prohibited, the rates of homicide are higher, one of them Mexico.
“People say that in the United States, because they have so many weapons, they have a lot of mass shootings. They have not realized that since 1950, more than 98% of the mass shootings in the United States have been carried out in Areas where citizens are not allowed to carry weapons, where residents can not have weapons, “he said. . . .
Lott explained: Even with a quick response from the police, as it happens in the United States where they take eight minutes to reach the scene of crime, it is impossible to avoid tragedies or crimes, so a weapon can make a difference for citizens. “A woman who is to be raped, can she tell the rapist to wait for while she calls the police? If you are being robbed, can you tell the thief to wait while you call the police? That’s impossible.” The police are important, but even if you have a big budget and there are no serious problems and massive corruption as in the United States, you still have a benefit from letting people defend themselves, he said.
The rest of the article is available here.