U.S. efforts to limit gun purchases are winning approval in Mexico as President Barack Obama considers measures to stem violence that could also restrict weapons access for drug cartels south of the border.
Eduardo Medina Mora, Mexico’s incoming ambassador to Washington, said last week that there’s a link between the end of the U.S. assault-weapons ban in 2004 and the arming of cartels whose war with the government has left more than 58,000 dead since 2006. The comments echo those from former President Felipe Calderon, who left office last month after a six-year term in which he repeatedly blamed U.S. guns for the surge in Mexican violence.
Medina Mora, who served as Calderon’s attorney general and ambassador to the U.K. before being confirmed as President Enrique Pena Nieto’s envoy to Washington last week, said he hopes last month’s school massacre in Connecticut will spur the U.S. to overhaul gun regulations.
The shooting “opens a window of opportunity for President Obama,” Medina Mora said at a press conference last week. “The Second Amendment and the regulation adopted in the U.S. is not, never was and never should be designed to arm foreign criminal groups.”
Obama said today at a White House news conference that he’s reviewing a list of proposals to reduce gun violence and plans to begin announcing the specifics of his plan later this week. He listed strengthening background checks, banning assault weapons and limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines as initiatives that “make sense.”
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