Sunday, December 16, 2012

On the Other Hand...

Being an American in a place that's not America while everyone in the world is pointing out how fucked up America is is a strange experience.  Despite the fact that we 100% agree with any critique about America's gun culture (and have been very vocal about it in other forums), there's some inexplicable jingoism reflex that kicks in - one that's entirely absent when we're on the other side of the Rio Grande.

After ten or 12 of our Mexican friends posted this famous old (Really old; "West Germany"?  Seriously?)  Handgun Control, Inc. ad - which we'd proudly displayed on our wall in college, by the way - we were compelled to look up a few statistics, and would just like to note for the record that the Homicides by Firearms rate in the US is 2.7 per 100,000, while in Mexico it's 9.8, so callate, amigos.

But again, this isn't a post about guns - we agree with you entirely! (Another way to look at that stat is through the prism of the NRA's "If everybody's armed, nobody gets shot" argument.  Most of the victims in Mexico were probably shooting back at the person who shot them.  We've always said that if conservatives want a real-world laboratory for their stupidest ideas, look no further than Mexico.)  No, this is a post about how even the staunchest, most vocal critics of US policy can sometimes find ourselves going, "Now wait just a damn minute here..." when hearing the same thing from non-Americans outside of America.

We never said Americans were rational, you know.


Mexfiles said...

OTOH, the homicide rate was dropping in Mexico UNTIL... and you can define the day it began to "shoot up" exactly ... 13 September 2004, when the U.S. Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired. It really took off with implementation of the U.S. sponsored "Plan Merida" idiocy.

Burro Hall said...

Wholeheartedly agree. I don't believe the argument that the people, not the guns, are the problem - but the guns do require people willing to use them, and it does appear that, if guns are available, Mexicans are just as likely (actually, 4 times as likely) to use them as gringos.

I still love them, though.

Mexfiles said...

But, at least they shoot people for rational reasons... like being paid for it, or control of the commodities market or because they don't want to pay the labor. In the U.S., people shoot each other because they can.