MSNBC: The people in Venezuela have no guns, and so therefore no power

How long have I lived? Long enough to see a mainstream media outlet other than Fox News make a core Second Amendment argument. And guess who it is?

All right, all right, MSNBC didn’t know they were making a core Second Amendment argument. They were just reporting on the captivity of Venezuelans by a socialist regime that made sure to ban gun ownership. Six of one, half-dozen of another, says the Free Beacon:

MSNBC reporter Kerry Sanders unwittingly made the American case for the Second Amendment during a report Tuesday on the political upheaval in Venezuela.

Anchor Andrea Mitchell introduced Sanders for his report by commenting on the surprising ability of Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro to stay in power, despite the pressure on him to step down.

“Not only hanging on but he appears to still control the military,” Sanders said. “You have to understand, in Venezuela gun ownership is not something that’s open to everybody. So if the military have the guns, they have the power and as long as Nicolás Maduro controls the military, he controls the country.”

Yes, indeed he does. And it’s not just that gun ownership isn’t open to everybody, it’s that it’s not open at all. The Hugo Chavez regime banned private gun ownership in 2012 after a rapid rise in gun violence, mainly in Caracas. The ostensible reason for the ban was to respond to public outrage over the increased crime, but eventually the regime would have found a way to ban people from possessing firearms, with this very day in mind.

People in the US scoff at this argument from gun-rights advocates, mainly because we’re not Venezuela and the threat here is entirely theoretical. And that’s a fair point, although Rep. Eric Swalwell’s threat to remind people that the US has nukes makes it seem slightly less theoretical. However, it’s also a chicken-egg argument: do we have a responsive government which poses no threat in spite of gun ownership, or because of gun ownership? Most days it may seem like the former. On days like today, with Venezuelans unable to resist tyranny despite having a First World government and economy a little over a decade ago, it looks a little more like the latter.

Today is about much more than gun control, of course, and be sure to read John’s most recent post on today’s events in Venezuela. But as MSNBC itself acknowledges, gun control and seizure by the state is certainly playing a role in keeping civilians imprisoned by the socialist Maduro regime today.