Venezuela bans civilians from private gun ownership

posted at 9:41 am on June 4, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Venezuela has major crime problems — we hear a lot about the systemic violence in Mexico, but by at least one count, Venezuela’s murder rate is four times higher than that of Mexico’s and the highest in all of South America. As such, violent crime is one of the most dominant political issues in the socialist nation, and will factor hugely in their upcoming October elections.

And so, in a typically misguided move to cut down on crime, the government has decided to ban the commercial sale of firearms and ammunition. How and why making it illegal for lawful citizens to own firearms is supposed to make anyone feel more “secure,” I’ll never comprehend.

Until now, anyone with a gun permit could buy arms from a private company.

Under the new law, only the army, police and certain groups like security companies will be able to buy arms from the state-owned weapons manufacturer and importer. …

Besides the health of President Chavez, security is the main concern for voters ahead of presidential elections in October.

While voters don’t seem to hold Mr Chavez responsible for the insecurity, the situation has worsened throughout his 13 years in office. …

Hugo Chavez’s government says the ultimate aim is to disarm all civilians, but his opponents say the police and government may not have the capacity or the will to enforce the new law.

Huh. A corruption-riddled dictatorial regime wants to deprive its citizens of the means of popular resistance. (Where, oh where in history have we seen this type of thing before?) I happen to believe that a government should always fear its people, but I can maybe understand why communist totalitarians might not be so into that idea.

And besides, you know — effectually cementing the indomitable power of the national government — this is just another classic case of thoughtless bureaucrats using cheap band-aids to attack the symptoms instead of the disease. More guns means less crime — when will they learn?


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