A Swell Argument for Gun Control
Every 15 minutes, someone in Brazil dies from a gunshot wound, according to the United Nations. Yet the world’s first ever referendum on banning civilian guns in this country failed to pass this past Sunday.
Instead the proposed ban went down to a resounding defeat with almost two thirds of the population voting no to the question: "Should the sale of all types of guns and ammunition be banned nationwide for everyone except the police and the military?"
Earlier this year, support for the ban had been running as high as 80 percent, but in recent weeks, the pro-gun lobby -- arms makers and various activist groups -- played on fears about the crime rate and the public swung dramatically against the proposal.
But maybe the public's fears are rational--especially given the fact that not all criminals are civilians.
"It is not a coincidence that the victims of violence are the same victims as always in Brazil: the poor black and segregated. And mostly under the age of 25," says Luis Mir, a Sao Paulo emergency room surgeon and author of "Civil War- State and Trauma."
The battleground of this hidden war is the slums, or favelas, of the bigger Brazilian cities. "The favelas are concentration camps," says Mir. "There is no health, no education, and they are encircled militarily. If you leave and you are a suspect you are shot."
Well! That certainly makes me want to give the police and the military a monopoly on the means of armed force. If you can't trust uniformed thugs like these to do right by a totally disarmed population, who can you trust?
Seriously, though, it sounds like an awful lot of those people who die of gunshot wounds were murdered by the police and the military--the very groups these friggin' goo-goos want to give a monopoly on firearms. And that's not even getting into the question of how many others died of gunshots at the hands of their intended victims.
I've never figured out the liberal busybodies who complain that "guns are only designed for one purpose--to kill people!" ...and then insist that only the police and military should have them. By that line of reasoning, it's perfectly OK for firearms to be used to kill people; but the only people qualified to decide who needs to be killed are the police and military. Apparently, a uniform and government credentials elevate you to a different order of humanity. Personally, I think some of these uniformed demigods are the very people we need guns to defend ourselves against.