Mexicans and Latinos on Gun Control/Gun Ownership

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary There are two different things going on with regards to the debate on gun ownership and gun control. In the case of Mexicans in Mexico, most are against guns and gun proliferation. The perception is that the number of guns coming from the United States is responsible for all of the violence in that country. Some Mexicans see the country’s poverty, corruption in the courts and high places in government, and the lack of opportunity for many of Mexico’s people for why the drug cartels and criminals are able to commit and get away with so much violence. However, the general perception is that most Mexicans see the guns coming from the United States as the chief culprit for the violence in their country. Mexico has some of the toughest gun laws in the Americas.

Meanwhile, a record of Latinos are buying guns in the United States. They cite two reasons for why they are buying guns at an increased rate. First, many Latinos fear crime and gang violence. The bad economy has driven many people to commit crimes, and too many Latinos are feeling the authorities are not doing enough about it. Hence why so many Latinos are now looking to buy guns. Another reason is the fear that the U.S. government itself will not only ban military assault rifles but also ban handguns and all other firearms. With so many Latinos fearing crime, and many seeing the U.S. government as trying to play the part of “Big Brother” under U.S. President Barack Obama, many Latinos fear that they will become victims of a Big Brother government that wants to take away their guns. In this capacity, Latinos are no different from mainstream America.

So here we have Mexicans in Mexico and Latinos (which includes Mexicans) here in the United States running in two different directions—one for gun control, and the other side for virtually unlimited gun ownership. The Mexicans wish for a gun ban in the United States, hoping for less guns being on the streets in their own country. To the contrary, Latinos fear that the guns will be taken away, and in that sense feel like many Americans who want to keep the current gun laws in the United States the way they are. It is amazing how two neighboring countries can have such diametrically opposing views on an issue. This seems to hold true even with people whose origins are similar (Mexicans and Latinos).

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