The N.Y. Times reports that Mexican President Felipe Calderón, in addressing Congress, issued an impassioned plea for the United States to renew its ban on assault weapons. Calderón reportedly decried the new Arizona immigration law as well.
Although Calderón’s struggles containing the horrific drug war in Mexico have been relatively well-publicized, the problem is largely considered to be a Mexican problem with only spillover effects on the United States. However, Calderón correctly notes that most of the weapons captured from Mexican cartel soldiers have been produced in and smuggled from the United States.
On the gun question, Mr. Calderón said: “We have seized 75,000 guns and assault weapons in Mexico in the past three years, and more than 80 percent of those we have been able to trace came from the United States.”
He said it did not seem coincidental that violence in Mexico had begun to grow in 2006, not long after the weapons ban expired in the United States. Drug-related killings are estimated to have approached 23,000 since Mr. Calderón began a war on trafficking that year.