Sen. Barrasso gets it right in El Paso

— More gun control not the answer to border violence
by John Velleco

Wyoming Senator John Barrasso took a strong stand for the Second Amendment during a recent visit to the border city of El Paso, Texas.

Sen. Barrasso, who was looking into the drug cartel violence along the Mexico border, called the issue a “serious security challenge that we cannot simply ignore.”  But he was also critical of U.S. politicians who join the Mexican government in blaming guns from the U.S. for the current border troubles.
“Some have suggested that we need to ban semi-automatic assault weapons to curb the violence,” said Senator Barrasso.  “I don’t understand the rationale behind disarming law-abiding citizens. Why would you disarm someone when they potentially could get caught in the crossfire?”

Indeed, officials here have been quick to use the border violence to push for sweeping new gun control laws.

According to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, “[T]here are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons.  I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.”

President Obama also wants to make the “expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.”  And Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the original sponsor of the gun ban that was signed into law by Bill Clinton, is among those in Congress pushing for its reconsideration.

On its face, it is absurd to blame semi-automatic firearms for the violence in Mexico.  The weapons used by the drug gangs are, as has been widely reported, mostly machine guns, grenades, anti-tank rockets and other arms.  These are not semi-automatic firearms.

More importantly, it is outrageous to blame, disarm and punish, U.S. gun owners for problems of violence and corruption in a foreign country.  Office holders in this country swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.  Banning semi-automatic firearms — which are owned by millions of law-abiding Americans — is repugnant to that oath of office.

Senator Barrasso vowed to fight the renewal of the Clinton/Feinstein gun ban.

“I will not allow our Second Amendment rights to be sacrificed.  Additional gun control in the United States will not change the U.S. – Mexico border violence and smuggling problem,” Barrasso said.