Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lax U.S. Gun Laws Make Canada and Mexico Less Safe | World |

Lax U.S. Gun Laws Make Canada and Mexico Less Safe | World |

Looming over the aftermath of the Aurora shooting is the long-standing and largely fruitless American debate over gun control. My colleague Alex Altman wrote lucidly about the paralysis that grips many U.S. politicians on both sides of the aisle when forced to account for a tragedy of this magnitude. More stringent controls could have thwarted the shooting suspect from spending months undetected while he amassed an arsenal of assault weapons, heavy ammunition and body armor. But the strength of the gun lobby in Washington — and the necessity for politicos there to embrace, with great piety and few questions, a more than two-century-old document — means that a real national conversation around gun control is a nonstarter.

Lost in the bluster and political gamesmanship is the fact that, whether Americans want to do something about the guns in their midst or not, their lax laws are hurting other countries, especially the neighbors to the north and south. Sure, Canada and Mexico are two vastly different polities, with different problems and with police forces in considerably different states of preparedness. But both countries can rightly point the finger at the U.S. for the prevalence of gun-related homicides on their side of the border.

“The stubborn [American] refusal to link the worldwide availability of American-supplied semiautomatic weapons, accessories and ammunition to tragedy after tragedy is a black mark.”

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