10/05 Brazilians Say No To Gun Ban

Brazilians Say No To Gun Ban
Larry Pratt

Brazilians voted on October 23, 2005 against a government-endorsed gun ban. It was not even close; the final vote was about two to one against the ban.

At one time, with the media and the government all pushing for the ban, the referendum had 80 percent of the voters in favor of it. But in the end, defeat for the gun banners was everywheree — in all 26 of Brazil’s states plus its federal district of Brasilia.

The proposal would have banned all gun and ammo sales except to security firms, sport clubs, and of course, the government.

Then a law requiring free air time for both sides of a referendum kicked in and the 80 percent support in the polls became 34 percent of the voters on election day. This swing occurred during a mere thirty days prior to the election.

A political scientist, David Fleischer of the University of Brasilia, commented on the opposition campaign: “They ask the question: ‘Do you feel protected and do you think the government is protecting you?’ and the answer is a violent no.”

The anti-ban campaign used images of Tianamen Square and the Berlin Wall to link owning a gun with freedom. One unhappy wannabe banner, a carpetbagger from California, Jessica Galeria, had this complaint: “Now, a lot of Brazilians are insisting on their right to bear arms. They don’t even have a pseudo right to bear arms. It’s not in their Constitution.”

Notice what Ms. Galeria is saying about our own Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. By calling it a “pseudo right,” she believes that the amendment does not apply to individuals. And to the extent that folks like her concede there is some sort of right that is being protected, they believe it is one established by the Constitution (read: the government) which means that it could be withdrawn by government.

A Brazilian proponent of the ban, Denis Mizne, of the anti-self defense group, Sou da Paz, was more honest about what happened. “We didn’t lose because Brazilians like guns. We lost because people don’t have confidence in the government or the police.” This distrust was all the more intense because the socialist President of Brazil, Luiz Inancio Lula, is up to his eyeballs in scandal. Interesting, no? Corrupt, socialist politicians such as Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin in the United States are some of our most vocal proponents of domestic disarmament.

It turns out that some two thirds of the folks in Brazil understand why the U.S. has a Second Amendment — the American colonists did not “have confidence in the government or the police.” Seems like the average guy in Brazil has a lot more on the ball than most of the U.S. Congress and nearly all of the politically correct types of academe.

One development in Brazil points to an important similarity with the United States. President Lula marshaled many of the stars of the entertainment industry on behalf of disarming the people. Looks like these stars better not give up their day jobs. Hopefully their U.S. counterparts will learn from the experience of Brazil.

Moral of the story? Buy a gun. Enrage a corrupt, socialist politician who rightfully does not trust the people with guns.