“In the world’s most murderous country, gun control is starting to lose its appeal,” bloomberg.com reports. “Desperate Brazilians are wondering whether they’d be better off armed, given that around 60,000 of their compatriots are killed each year. Polls show support for gun ownership gaining ground. In an election year, politicians are paying attention.” Did you catch that . . .
The story comes to us from billionaire anti-ballistic bully boy Michael Bloomberg’s own financial media. As you can guess, scribe David Biller had to find someone, anyone to oppose the idea. And so he did. But before we got there, there’s this:
One of the candidates leading the field for October’s 2018 presidential election — hardline conservative Jair Bolsonaro — has promised to allow law-abiding citizens to arm themselves, a popular pledge in the nation with by far the most homicides of the entire world.
Even before then, Congress may debate legislation to overturn the “disarmament statute,” a law that effectively bans civilian gun ownership, except in rare circumstances. The proposal would allow Brazilians with clean criminal records who pass psychological and firearm exams to buy up to six weapons.
“Everyday, everywhere you look, the criminal is armed with a high-powered weapon as the citizen tries to hide,” Rogerio Peninha Mendonca, the lawmaker behind the proposal, said in an interview. “What we want is for the citizen to be more capable of defending himself.”
The idea runs counter to recent calls in the U.S. for greater gun control, as well as the global trend towards restricting access to firearms that’s seen Australia, the U.K, Canada, New Zealand and Germany tighten their laws in recent decades.
That’s the windup. Here’s the pitch . . .
The “overwhelming” global tendency is toward more restriction for civilian gun ownership, and studies show that for every 1 percent increase to the number of firearms in circulation in Brazil, the homicide count would rise by 2 percent, according to Robert Muggah, research director at Rio-based security thinktank Instituto Igarape.
“Brazil’s pro-gun politicians are playing with fire. Rather than dismantling existing firearm legislation, they would be much better served by improving and enforcing existing laws,” Muggah said. “There is a very real danger that gun violence will escalate if the disarmament statute is repealed.”
Sure. I believe that. But only because I lost my power of reasoning for a moment. I’m better now. And Brazil will be too, once its citizens regain their right to keep and bear arms.
Which is, at least in this country, an individual right that does not depend on questions of social utility.
Anyway, the real money shot’s in the middle of the piece, from Brazilian lawmaker and former Army captain Jair Bolsonaro (labelled “right wing” by the press): ““Dictatorships only take root after disarmament programs.”
Você acertou. As wikipedia.org reminds us:
The Brazilian military government was the authoritarian military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from April 1, 1964 to March 15, 1985. It began with the 1964 coup d’ état led by the Armed Forces against the administration of the President João Goulart, who had assumed the office after being vice-president, upon the resignation.
But of course it couldn’t happen here, right?