Thursday, October 20, 2005

Poll shows Brazilians would vote against gun ban

South America: Yeah, it may have been 80% for a while ago, but you start thinking about it, people realized this is kinda dumb.

Some 52 percent of nearly 2,000 people surveyed in 11 cities would vote "no" to the ban and 34 percent "yes", the poll by Toledo and Associates said. A further 10 percent were undecided. The survey shows a swing away from sentiment in favor of a ban in this country where bloodshed and violent crime is a daily worry for many citizens. Some 36,000 people were killed by guns last year. Just two months ago polls showed 80 percent of voters would opt for a prohibition of guns and ammunition sales in Sunday's nationwide referendum. About 120 million people in Latin America's largest country are expected to vote. Supporters and opponents have waged fierce campaigns on radio and television and in the press. Those wanting to see gun sales banned say it will contribute to cutting down the violence that has given Brazil an annual death toll from firearms that is higher that many war zones. Opponents, similar to the gun lobby in the United States, say it is a citizen's right to carry a gun and that criminals will still be able to get their hands on weapons anyway. Conservative legislator Alberto Fraga, head of an anti-ban lobby group said: "We knew it would change because people are realizing that the right to legitimate defense is an essential right. That's the crux of the question." Sociologist Josephine Bourgois, of the pro-ban human rights groups Viva Rio, said that the "no" lobby was gaining because of lavish funding on publicity by the gun-making industry. "The "no" campaign began to manipulate the real fears of Brazilians about insecurity," she said.
Manipulating them by saying if the government takes the guns away from you, criminals will still have their own? HORRORS!
Gun violence pervades Brazilian society from the beaches of Rio de Janeiro to the remote Amazon jungle. Heavily armed drugs gangs control the slums of Rio and other big cities. Motorists stuck in urban traffic jams are often robbed at gun point, while in the vast interior land disputes and other scores are settled by hired gunmen known as "pistoleiros". The situation is not helped by a police force that is widely derided as ruthless, corrupt and inefficient. If Brazil votes in favor of the ban, all sales of guns and ammunition will halt although police, judges, military personnel and private security firms will still be able to buy them.
If its not the criminals, its the police. But the exceptions who will be allowed guns dovetails into this piece in Bloomberg.
The referendum's backers include rappers, stars such as Oscar-nominated actress Fernanda Montenegro and actors from soap operas on TV Globo, Brazil's most-watched channel. They've been joined by private groups and international voices including 10 Nobel Peace Prize winners, among them Desmond Tutu, who signed a joint statement urging Brazilians to vote for the ban. Opposition comes from farmers, some lawmakers with police experience and even crime victims who say the law would deprive Brazilians of their right and ability to defend themselves.
Which group can afford the private security firms? The farmers or the rappers,actors and actresses? What does Tutu's opinion matter, does he live in Brazil year round? No. Classic case of the haves telling the "little" people to go screw.

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