- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Mexico’s Calderon urges Obama, Congress to tighten gun laws
After listening to Mexico’s president lecture about the need for Washington to ban assault weapons, President Obama said Monday that the U.S. has an obligation to combat gun smuggling that he said is fueled increasingly by drug addicts in rural communities.
Saying drug addiction in the U.S. “traditionally was very urban,” Mr. Obama said at a White House news conference that is changing, owing to the demand for drugs from Mexico’s cartels.
“You go into rural communities, and you’ve got methamphetamine sales that are devastating, you know, young and old alike,” the president said. “And some of that is originally sourced in Mexico. We recognize that we have a responsibility to reduce demand for drugs, that we have a responsibility to make sure that not only guns, but also bulk cash isn’t flowing into Mexico.”
His comments came after Mexican President Felipe Calderon again called on Congress to renew a ban on assault weapons.
“The expiry of the assault-weapons ban in the year 2004 coincided almost exactly with the beginning of the harshest period of violence we’ve ever seen,” Mr. Calderon said. “We have seized over 140,000 weapons in four years — and the vast majority of these weapons were sold in gun shops in the United States. Along the border of the U.S. and Mexico, there are approximately 8,000 weapons shops.”
The Mexican president spoke at length during a Rose Garden news conference about what is an uncomfortable subject for Mr. Obama, whose administration is under investigation by Congress over the notorious “Fast and Furious” program.
Organized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and overseen by the Department of Justice, the program sent thousands of weapons to Mexican drug cartels via straw purchasers, or people who legally purchase guns in the United States with the intention of illegally trafficking them somewhere else.
At least 300 people in Mexico have been killed with weapons provided by Fast and Furious, and at least one killing in the U.S., the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, has been blamed on the program.
Neither Mr. Obama nor Mr. Calderon mentioned Fast and Furious in public Monday. Mr. Obama said stopping the flow of illegal guns into Mexico is a “difficult task.”
“We’ve actually put into practice efforts to stop illegal gun trafficking north to south,” Mr. Obama said. “We will continue to coordinate closely with the Mexican government because we recognize the toll that it’s taken with respect to families and innocent individuals inside of Mexico.”
Mr. Calderon said he appreciated the “administrative effort” being undertaken by the Obama administration to stop gun trafficking.
“We’ve seen a much more active effort in this sense than in any other time in the past,” Mr. Calderon said.
But the Mexican president added that, unless the U.S. enacts a ban on assault weapons and clamps down on gun registration, “We are never going to be able to stop the violence in Mexico or stop a future turning of those guns upon the U.S.”
He also ridiculed the state of Texas for recommending that college students avoid traveling to Mexico for spring break, saying young people were ignoring the warning.
“There are hundreds of thousands of young Texans who go to Mexico, enjoy it, and … we haven’t seen one single incident with U.S. ‘spring-breakers’ in Mexico this past spring,” Mr. Calderon said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at email@example.com.
- Obama engages in Ukraine diplomacy from Fla. resort as Russia digs in
- Obama continues push for minimum wage hike that CBO says will cost 500K jobs
- Obamas, Bidens jetting off to warm resorts for mini-vacations
- Obama, first lady to promote access to student loans
- CPAC 2014: McConnell works to reassure conservatives
Latest Blog Entries
- Obama and Boehner congratulate U.S. men's hockey on win over Russia
- Americans say income gap will shrink if government butts out, poll shows
- WH spokesman Jay Carney recognizes beard's 'insufficiency,' shaves it off
- Obama misses deadline again on budget
- Biden burns rubber in driveway, laments road restrictions
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- 'Blarney Blowout' near UMass results in 73 arrests; 4 officers injured
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Vietnam says it may have found door of missing Malaysian jet as intel look into stolen passports
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again