Puerto Vallarta and Guns
This past weekend we had the occasion to watch a rousing televised sports event in Puerto Vallarta with a group of acquaintances and a handful of people we’d never met, some tourists. One new visitor to our lovely city proudly displayed her recently obtained NRA card and also her permit to carry in the States, although she was sans gun. She was quite chuffed and excited but most at our table were interested in participating in the football game on the several overhead televisions. A small amount of head-shaking was all that ensued… and back to the game.
Guns are essentially illegal in Puerto Vallarta, as they are in all of Mexico. Private gun ownership is limited to the type and caliber permitted by law and allowed only within one’s place of residence. Open and concealed arms carry in Mexico are grounds for immediate arrest. Gun control in Mexico is so strict that there is only one store in the entire country where firearms can be purchased and it is owned and regulated by the military branch of the government. (This doesn’t mean that guns aren’t smuggled over the border from the US.)
The Mexican Revolution was only a hundred years ago, not a lot of time in the great scheme of things, and the Cristero War (basically church vs. state) was less than that. The post war era brought about amendments to the constitution that disallowed citizens from owning weapons. Some will argue that this doesn’t let a citizenry protect themselves from a corrupt government. So be it.
The morning after our gathering on October 2, 2017, the world awoke to the news of the most massive shooting of people in United States of America’s history. One lone gunman opened fire on concertgoers in a Las Vegas venue that, to date has left 59 people dead and several clinging to life. This darkens the brief conversation we had last night with an American citizen who pompously was willing to show off her newly obtained concealed weapon permit. Why would an ordinary citizen feel the need to possess a gun and the desire to have it with them at all times? We are baffled. Statistics have proven beyond question that this type of protection is unwarranted and ineffectual.
We won’t be able to defend ourselves from a government invasion if that were to ever occur in Puerto Vallarta; very unlikely, we’d surmise. Once again, we’ve found ourselves feeling safer in Puerto Vallarta than in our homeland. Our hopes and prayers are aligned properly with those who suffer, and also those who live in fear.
Que es cómo es.
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