My Dad used to do business in Caracas. The Caraqueños were incredibly hospitable. I never worried about his safety. These days, Venezuela has one of the highest per capita murder rates in the world. Like Chicago, the gangsters behind Venezuela’s “gun crime” nestle in the bosom of a dictatorship. OK Hugo Chavez’s peeps are worse. For now. But the wider point remains: where civilians are not allowed to defend the rule of law through force of arms no such rule exists—or only as much as dictators decree. And so, on Friday, Nicolas Maduro’s supporters watched as the Venezuela President signed a gun control law that banned civilian firearm ownership. Unlike the American news orgs, aljezeera.com was all over it . . .
The bill will allow sentences of up to 20 years in prison for any civilian convicted of illegally carrying or selling a firearm.
It also restricts the sale of ammunition to civilians, and bans weapons from being shown in public places.
“Any arm that is confiscated will be destroyed immediately … the sales of weapons and ammunition also ends,” said National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello.
There are some exceptions: people are allowed to use weapons to protect their property and themselves when in danger, and security personnel can use them when transporting valuable items.
The bill was promoted by late president Hugo Chavez, a leftist-populist in power since 1999 who died on March 5.
The ruling socialist party, or PSUV, and two opposition parties approved the bill.
In the first quarter of 2013, there were 3,400 murders. That followed another year of bloodletting that saw about 16,000 homicides nationwide in 2012, according to government data.
No to mention the human rights abuses we mentioned the last time we mentioned the Venezuelan move to [greater] civilian disarmament. The only question now: will the resulting surge in “extra-judicial” government killing replace gangland/drug cartel slaughter or co-exist with it? Watch and learn.