On April 7 a gunman walked into the Realengo school in Rio de Janeiro, opened fire and killed 13 students and wounded 16. He was a former student named Wellington de Oliveira Menezes who then turned the gun on himself.
Reports surfaced that Menezes was a Muslim, even Al-Aribaya on this translated page states his half-sister said he had “Muslim tendencies.” However Jamel El Bacha chairman of the National Union of Islamic Entities in Brazil states that he definitely was not.
Whatever the case, Brazil’s Senate President Jose Sarney has put the wheels in motion for a referendum which would totally disarm Brazil. He presented to the House his plans which are welcomed by Minister of Justice Jose Eduardo Cardozo.
To Cardozo, the discussion of disarmament is of vital importance to Brazil. On Monday, he announced the anticipation of the national disarmament campaign for May 6. “Whenever we can make good campaigns, the level of violence falls. The Congress will lead to (a proposal for a new referendum) according to their autonomy and the way it deems appropriate that the Senate president’s proposal,” he said
Gun laws have supposedly been extremely tough in Brazil and the minimum age to carry is 25. But then only within a residence. Laws make it pretty impossible to get a permit to carry outside because of the huge tax levied on people in this third world country.
ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY
As a four-time visitor to Brazil, once to Rio, I fear this “analysis” will be longer than the “news” section.
Brazil is a country already “loaded” (pardon the pun) with guns. All shapes, sizes and kinds. Corruption is rampant throughout the country even high up and through the government. Since this is a Catholic country, there is no death penalty so prisons are overcrowded with significant riots which result in many deaths both to inmates and guards.And yes, they still manage to get weapons into the prisons.
Street gun battles are common. I recall several years ago a gun battle between police and drug lords in Rio which lasted several days. Rio is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Almost 18 million people in a city nestled between the sea and mountains with hills interspersed as well. The street layout is confusing, convoluted and congested, not in anyway a grid pattern, which makes it highly difficult for police to chase down any perpetrators or those brandishing weapons.
Brazil also makes firearms. They may say they are exported, however the rampant corruption makes it easy to sell to those within the country. I wouldn’t even want to hazard a guess about how many “illegal” weapons are in Brazil.
So the legislature may have good intentions, however, this writer believes while on paper this looks good but reality is a totally different story. Mass shootings have occurred in countries all over the world. It’s impossible to “ban” weapons anywhere. History and reality tells us bans on weapons never work. Those who wish to commit violence can always get their hands on them.
Foreign Policy tells us Brazil ranks 75th in the world with the number of guns per capita, however FP I must respectfully disagree. You are living on Fantasy Island. If you want to go down there and try and count the number of weapons, make sure you take your AR with you.
Unfortunately those who wish to use weapons for their own defense are always those who are left out in the cold.
Crossposted at Unified Patriots News
Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks