Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: In the wake of a gun ban, Venezuela sees rising homicide rate.
Since April 2017, at least 163 pro-democracy protesters in Venezuela have been murdered by the Maduro dictatorship. Venezuela serves as an example of how gun prohibition can sometimes encourage gun crime.
A once-prosperous, democratic country is no longer either. What do they do to assert control over the populace?
In 2012, the communist-dominated Venezuelan National Assembly enacted the “Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law.” The bill’s stated objective was to “disarm all citizens.” The new law prohibited all gun sales, except to government entities. The penalty for illegally selling or carrying a firearm is a prison sentence of up to 20 years. Despite criticism from the democratic opposition, the bill went into effect in 2013.
The transparent rationale for passing the civilian disarmament law was to…that’s right…fight violent crime. But only two short years after disarmament . . .
In 2015, Venezuela’s homicide rate was the world’s highest, with 27,875 Venezuelans murdered that year. More broadly, the Bolivarian Republic is the only South American nation with a homicide rate that has steadily risen since 1995. In the year prior to Maduro’s disarmament initiative, the Venezuelan capital of Caracas had a homicide rate of 122 per 100,000 inhabitants, nearly 20 times the global average of 6.2.
Before the disarmament law was passed, all firearms in Venezuela were registered. That should have meant gathering up the guns would have been easy. Only a funny thing happened on the way to Bolivarian utopia. Venezuelans didn’t really want to give up their guns.
There are an estimated six million firearms (registered and unregistered) in Venezuela. However, voluntary surrenders were close to nil. For example, in 2013, only 37 firearms surrendered, while 12,603 were confiscated. More importantly, the national homicide rate rose from 73 per 100,000 in 2012 to 90 per 100,000 in 2015. The real figures are likely higher as the Maduro regime is well known for purposely undercounting crime.
And since it’s impossible to legally obtain firearms . . .
One effect of gun prohibition has been the increase of lethal violence against law enforcement. Venezuelan law enforcement are targeted specifically for their firearms with 252 officers being killed in 2015.
It’s the same old story. Authoritarian government grabs the guns in order to suppress any dissent.
In 2014 and 2017, many Venezuelans took to the streets to protest the Maduro regime’s looting of their economy and destruction of their democracy. In response, the dictatorship employed asymmetric warfare. Heavily-armed state officials and pro-government groups used lethal force against protesters who could defend themselves only with improvised arms such as rocks, fireworks, and giant slingshots that launched jars of paint and human excrement.
Those “pro-government groups” were armed by, yes, the government. Or . . .
In other words, the Maduro regime stripped Venezuelans of their right to self-defense and then transferred the confiscated firearms to its loyal thugs.
When the public is disarmed, ordinary criminals have greater impunity to rob and murder the innocent. So do criminal governments.