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Brazil scores a magnificent goal!

Despite the urging of much of Brazil’s ruling classes to support the measure, the world’s first national referendum which put the proposition to ban the sale of firearms was smashed decisively by a 2:1 margin.

The people who are baffled why so many common people in a murder wracked country like Brazil would oppose such a measure need to realise that it is precisely because the country has such problems with violent crime that people need the means to protect themselves.

As I have said on other occasions – the right to keep and bear arms: it’s not just for American anymore.

Maybe more Brazillians in London should be armed as well…

20 comments to Brazil scores a magnificent goal!

  • GCooper

    What’s so sickening is that if it were put to the vote here, the British have become so cowed by collectivist thought that they would almost certainly vote for greater prohibition.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    In the light of what happened to an innocent Brazilian man shot dead in the wonderfully gun-free nation of Britain by the UK police, Brazil’s referendum result is rich in irony.

  • Bernie

    This is great to see and also interesting that I had to come here to find out about it.

    I wonder what would happen here if it were put to a vote. I’m nowhere near as convinced as GCooper that our population is so cowed. The BBC and other media like to think of themselves as the voice of the people but they would wouldn’t they.

  • xj

    And it is especially sweet that this slap in the face to the tranzi agenda should have come just in time for the sixtieth birthday of the UN…

  • Perhaps the Brazilians learnt from the British experience of banning guns.

  • RPW

    “Perhaps the Brazilians learnt from the British experience of banning guns.”

    Well, given that Brazil has a fireams murder rate something like 100 times that of Britain and the only decline they have seen in the last 20 years or so has been a 10% drop in the period since 2003 when some controls at least were introduced, then I’d say apparently not.

    Look, I think Britain’s current regime is absurdly draconian and people should have a rate of self defence, but saying there’s no connection between the easy availability of firearms in a society and the murder rate is just silly.

  • but saying there’s no connection between the easy availability of firearms in a society and the murder rate is just silly.

    Quite so, but it is the (non)availability of guns for legitimate defence I am concerned about, not the right of street gangs to keep and bear arms to murder each other.

    All blanket bans do is ensure that only predatory criminals and governments are armed, neither of whom are groups of people who can be trusted to be the only ones with the means of violence at their disposal.

  • llamas

    RPW wrote:

    ‘but saying there’s no connection between the easy availability of firearms in a society and the murder rate is just silly.’

    Saying things like this – is just silly. Because a cool look at global statistics will easily show that there is no hard-and-fast connection between ‘the easy availability of firearms in a society’ and the murder rate. The data are, quite literally, all over the map.

    Some nations with widespread firearms ownership and availability will have a (relatively) high murder rate (examples, the USA, several Latin American countries) – some will not (examples, Switzerland, Finland, France.) Some nations with low firearms ownership and availability will have a (relatively) low murder rate (examples, Japan, Taiwan), some will not (examples, the UK, several Latin American countries).

    The straightforward, simple connection which you claim – simply does not exist. Statisticians have struggled for years to prove this correlation, and have been signally unable to do so, because it simply isn’t there. The only way that a glimmer of hope can be sometimes found for this proposition is when it is applied strictly and solely to murder rates. If we apply the proposition to rates of violent crime against the person, the exact opposite conclusion is much-more strongly evident – that nations which have high rates of firearms ownership and availability generally have much lower rates of violence, and vice-versa. The UK, for example, has a very low rate of firearms ownership, but an appallingly high rate of crimes of violence – much higher than the US, for example.

    As always – don’t take my word for it – look it up, the data are widely available. You just make yourself look silly when you make such a blanket statement which is so far at odds with the truth.

    llater,

    llamas

  • RPW, The question of whether murder rates tend to go up or down after gun bans is separable from the question of what makes them high or low in the first place. In Britain it certainly went up. In principle it would be quite possible to concede your apparent argument that widespread gun availability caused a high murder rate and still think that a ban would make things worse, by leaving guns in the hands of criminals and taking them from honest men.

    In fact, however, I do not concede your argument. You cite Britain’s low murder rate. It was lower still – much lower – in the first half of the twentieth century when guns were freely available.

    Alas, I am unlikely to be near a computer for the next few days so I must bow out of the argument at this point.

  • RPW

    Llamas,

    I was wondering how long it would be before someone mentioned Switzerland. But at the risk of sounding “silly” again – “The UK, for example, has a very low rate of firearms ownership, but an appallingly high rate of crimes of violence” What do you think the UK murder rate would look like if the people responsible for the “appallingly high” rate of crimes of violence could easily get hold of firearms? How many muggings and assaults would become murders (you even acknowledge yourself that murder rates may provide some support for gun control)? An unanswerable question I know, but it seems strange to just assume the answer is going to be zero.

    Natalie – “I do not concede your argument. You cite Britain’s low murder rate. It was lower still – much lower – in the first half of the twentieth century when guns were freely available. ” Right observation but wrong, I think, correlation. It was with the abolition of the death penalty that the murder rate in Britain really started to go up. I think this is much the more significant factor.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the current ban is absurd and authoritarian. I do think however that it should be at least as difficult to legally own and use a firearm as it is to, say, legally own and use a car.

  • llamas

    RPW wrote:
    “I was wondering how long it would be before someone mentioned Switzerland.”

    The reason I mentioned it – among other examples – is that it disproves your original contention. Do you now agree that your original contention is but marginally supported by actual data, and positively contradicted by examples such as the ones I cited?

    “But at the risk of sounding “silly” again – “The UK, for example, has a very low rate of firearms ownership, but an appallingly high rate of crimes of violence” What do you think the UK murder rate would look like if the people responsible for the “appallingly high” rate of crimes of violence could easily get hold of firearms?”
    Well, I don’t think there’s any question – based on the skyrocketing rate of firearms violence in the UK, as widely reported – that the people responsible for violent crime already have pretty easy access to firearms.
    “How many muggings and assaults would become murders (you even acknowledge yourself that murder rates may provide some support for gun control)? An unanswerable question I know, but it seems strange to just assume the answer is going to be zero”

    A fair question. I ask you, in return, to consider my question, which is this – how many muggings and assaults (and burglaries and robberies and rapes and so forth) would not occur in the first place if the average, law-abiding UK citizen were allowed to own and carry the means of self-defence, and if the law were so formulated as to allow the use of force in defence of the person?
    “Don’t get me wrong, I think the current ban is absurd and authoritarian. I do think however that it should be at least as difficult to legally own and use a firearm as it is to, say, legally own and use a car.”
    I agree, and look forward to the day that the average law-abiding UK citizen can buy and keep a firearm with no more difficulty than they can buy and keep an automobile. That is, broadly speaking, how it is in the US, with concealed-carry (in those states which permit it) being perhaps somewhat-more-difficult than registering and driving an automobile. I remind you that US rates of virtually all violent crimes, including murder, are falling steadily and have been for almost a decade.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Julian Morrison

    RPW: <<What do you think the UK murder rate would look like if the people responsible for the “appallingly high” rate of crimes of violence could easily get hold of firearms?>>

    Well, duh, they already can. That’s why it’s “appallingly high”. It’s easy to get a gun – you just have to be a crook. if you’re law-abiding, it’s much harder. AKA “victim disarmament”.

  • Jaime Raúl Molina

    It turns out Brazilians are not as stupid as their government and the UN thought!

  • Paul Marks

    Before the First World War there were very few restrictions on firearm owernship in the United Kingdom and millions of people owned firearms.

    The murder rate was one of the lowest in the world and the police went unarmed. Indeed in one of the few armed robberies in the period police (whilst in hot pursuit o fthe robbers) requested help from armed members of the public who happened to be passing by.

    Of course most British people do not remember the above, it has gone down the memory hole. Such knowledge will not be found in works on “social history” (which, instead, are about race, class and gender) and only slips through in old fiction that has not yet been eliminated.

    I wonder who many children ask their parents “how is that Dr Watson carries a gun, why do the police not arrest him?”

    About as many as ask “why do the police not arrest the Baker Street detective for using drugs” – there were no “war on drugs” laws either.

    I do not favour the compulsory ownership of firearms, but in Switzerland it has been compulsory for a very long time and common before that. And (at least till the rise of the modern Welfare State) the murder rate was very low indeed.

    Laws do not prevent criminals having firearms, and evil folk do not need firearms to murder people anyway. See the hundreds of thousands of people who have been murdered in Africa (in Rwanda and other nations) by bladed tools.

    The killers often had guns as well – they just liked chopping people up. These people having no firearms with which to defend themselves.

    The idea that the liberation theology types who talk endlessly about criminals being “victims” and about “captialism is the real criminal” in Brazil gave a fig about the victims of crime is indeed “silly”.

    The “gun control” people in Brazil did not care about the victims of crime – rich or poor. Afterall these “activists” are (as pointed out above) the very people who spend their lives supporting the criminals (sorry “the real victims”). Finally two thirds of the population saw through these activists (some in the Church, the athiest “liberation Christians”, and some non Church collectivists).

  • Brian

    I am an honest, law-abiding citizen. Therefore I can be trusted to behave responsibly with firearms. Therefore, according to the government, I am forbidden from owning them.

    However, if I am a criminal, I may carry whatever weaponry I please.

    This appears to be the prohibitionist position. If I am mistaken, could someone please correct me?

  • Kim du Toit

    There are several factors involved with high murder rates: immigration rates, poverty, tribalism / population homogeneity and national culture, to name but some.

    In Zululand in the 1960s-1970s, for example, the homicide and violence rates were appalling, even though it was almost impossible to obtain firearms (machetes and clubs were therefore the weapons of choice). Most of the violence came from faction fighting (think: 1990s Yugoslavia for a comparison with regard to firearms).

    America’s historically-high violence rate is because we’re a nation of immigrants with more of a laissez-faire culture.

    Compare this with Japan’s low violence rates (suicides excepted), with their homogenous society and culture of submissive conformity.

    Britain’s low violence rate in the early 1900s had little to do with the availability of firearms, and everything to do with the fact that her population was quite homogenous. When the Russian Anarchists began to filter in, violence began to increase (eg. Sydney Street), and anti-gun laws began to increase. As Britain has become more a nation of immigrants, the violence rates have grown despite the restrictive gun laws.

    Brazil’s problem is a soaring birthrate, high poverty and overcrowded cities. If you could magically make all guns disappear, the violence would not end because, if I may use the cringe term, the root causes are still there.

    Guns help the fatality rates, of course, because by and large a gunshot would is more dangerous than, say, a slash or a stab.

    Just remember, however, that the Kray Brothers only ever shot a couple of people; their favorite method of dispatch was knives, beatings and cutlasses.

  • John_R

    KDT,

    You left out another factor for the difference in homicide rates, different methods of compiling the stats:

    The difference in the US and UK figures can also be explained by the manner in which they are compiled. The US figure is based upon the Uniform Crime Reports compiled by the FBI. The FBI is solely responsible for classifying crimes and no matter what the subsequent criminal case becomes it is not changed. On the other hand homicide in the UK reflects only those crimes resulting in a criminal conviction for murder, manslaughter or infanticide. The US figure represents a gross estimate of homicide whilst the British estimate reflects a more conservative figure. The difference in methodology would tend to suggest that the difference between the US and the UK is not as pronounced as some gun control advocates would have us believe.

    Link(Link)

  • karl rove

    RPW – good luck. Stick to your guns mate.

  • llamas

    What Kim du Toit said. What John_R said.

    The reference to the Krays is interesting, because it reflects the exact experience in the US with organized crime. (For US readers, the Kray brothers headed a notorious London organized-crime operation in the 1960′s and early 1970′s, famous for its violence and ability to corrupt law-enforcement. Ronnie and Reggie Kray learned from the US model of organized crime and applied it with a vengeance. To get an idea of the Krays and how they worked, rent ‘The Long Good Friday’, starring Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren). In both cases, while there was easy access to firearms, they were/are in fact very seldom used by organized criminals, because they don’t produce the desired result. You don’t shoot a man who isn’t keeping up with the vig, because then there’s a good chance you’ll never get your money back. As Sollazzo observed to Hagen, ‘I’m a businessman, Tom. Blood is a big expense.’ Firearms are generally only used in internal matters.

    I’m old enough to remember when Harry Roberts was on the run after shooting a policeman, and the daring days of the late 60′s and early 70′s when heavy mobs armed with sawn-off shotguns made the headlines when they robbed a bank or an armoured car – and the outrage these things caused, and the intensity of the law-enforcment response. Be it remembered that the Great Train Robbers, who pulled off a stunningly huge robbery in 1963 (more by luck than skill, but who’s counting?) did what they did without firearms, and they still got 30 years apiece because they beat up Driver Mills when they did it.

    As KdT observes, firearms crime is generally the preserve of petty criminals and tribal groupings. The heavy mobs are generally very little threat to Joe Average Citizen. The larger threat is from the criminal loser, the drug dealer or the turf-gang soldier, and those are the very threats which the armed individual is best-placed to resist or deter. As the US experience shows.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Verity

    llamas – what an absolutely interesting post!