Sunday, October 23, 2005

Brazil rejects gun ban

South America: This ban had 80% approval rating about a month ago and was rejected 64-36%

With more than 92 percent of the votes counted, 64 percent of Brazilians were opposed to the ban, while 36 percent backed it, said election officials, giving the 'no' position an insurmountable lead. The proposal would have prohibited the sale of firearms and ammunition except for police, the military, some security guards, gun collectors and sports shooters. It would complement a 2003 disarmament law that sharply restricts who can legally purchase firearms and carry guns in the street. That law, coupled with a government-sponsored gun buyback program, has reduced deaths from firearms by about 8 percent this year, the Health Ministry said. But the referendum backfired for proponents. Earlier this year, support for the ban was running as high as 80 percent. But in the weeks before the referendum, both sides were granted free time to present their cases on prime-time TV, and the pro-gun lobby began to grow. Analysts said the pro-gun lobby benefited from equal time on television in the final weeks of the campaign and that they cannily cashed in on Brazilian skepticism of the police. "They ask the question: 'Do you feel protected and do you think the government is protecting you?' and the answer is a violent no," said political scientist David Fleischer of the University of Brasilia. The combination of Brazil's high gun-death rate and the nature of the debate over the right to gun ownership has drawn parallels to the gun debate in the United States. "The whole campaign (against the ban) was imported from the United States. They just translated a lot of material from the NRA," said Jessica Galeria, a Californian who researches gun violence with the Viva Rio think tank, referring to the National Rifle Association. "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." NRA public affairs director Andrew Arulanandam called the proposal's defeat "a victory for freedom." "It's a stunning defeat for the global gun control movement. They poured millions of dollars and millions more man hours trying to enact this gun ban and they failed. The aim of this gun ban movement was to use Brazil as the rallying point to enact gun bans in the United States. We're happy they were defeated," he said.
Okay, let me smack Peter Muello of the AP for citing people like Jessica Galeria as just a researcher helping out some local "think tank".
What is IANSA? The International Action Network on Small Arms is the global network of civil society organisations working to stop the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons (SALW). World attention is increasingly focused on the humanitarian impact of these weapons, and IANSA brings together the voices and activities of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and concerned individuals across the world to prevent their deadly effects. Founded in 1998, IANSA has grown rapidly to more than 500 participant groups in nearly 100 countries, with representation from many gun-affected regions. IANSA is composed of a wide range of organisations concerned with small arms, including policy development organisations, national gun control groups, research institutes, aid agencies, faith groups, victims, human rights and community action organisations. Jessica Galeria (IANSA Regional Coordinator, Rio de Janeiro), Google search on Jessica.

The people did not buy the pie in the sky nonsense the gun grabbers like Jessica and others were pushing.

"I don't like people walking around armed on the street. But since all the bandits have guns, you need to have a gun at home," said taxi driver Mohammed Osei, who voted against the ban. ....Some Brazilians said they resented the referendum because they feel the government is ducking its responsibility to keep the peace. "It's immoral for the government to have this vote," said Pedro Ricardo, an army officer in Sao Paulo. "They're putting the responsibility on us, but ... the way to cut down on violence is to combat the drug trade and patrol our borders." ....``I turned in my gun (during the gun buyback) but what I don't want is the government to take my gun away from me. Voting 'yes' would open the door to another 'yes' that one day could limit my right to a car, to property'' said retiree Vicente Martinelli.
This vote also showed a incredible lack of confidence in the government and the police force when it comes to take care of the violent crime problem. They are tired of the violence, but they are not stupid enough to give up the best means to protect themselves just because the government says trust us. Update# Via Reuters who along with AP seem unhappy by the result.
Only 36 percent supported the ban, even though some 36,000 people were killed by guns last year in Latin America's largest country. Full results were expected on Monday. "We didn't lose because Brazilians like guns. We lost because people don't have confidence in the government or the police," said Denis Mizne of anti-violence group Sou da Paz.
You lost because people did not buy into the thinking "take the guns away and violence will die down." The lack of confidence in the government and the police is a part of the reason, not the only reason. Update#2 This is an irritating quote.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his wife Marisa Leticia both voted for the ban. "I think that for an ordinary person to have firearms is not going to give security, so I voted 'Yes,'" Lula said.
I don't think an "ordinary person" has the option of not carrying a gun and having bodyguards like you do to protect them 24/7. Update#3 This was pointed out on Instapundit and Volokh but this vote at the very least slowed down an international gun grabber movement.
Bloomberg: ``In the sad situation that the ban is not approved, we will be wasting a precious opportunity to take arms out of circulation,'' said Denis Mizne, executive director of Sou da Paz institute, in a phone interview before the balloting. ``A victory of the ban would be helpful to accelerate a world agenda on disarmament.''

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