March 6, 2012
With an annual murder rate estimated as high as 67 homicides per every 100,000 inhabitants in his country, Hugo Chavez is about to show the world that he’s tough on crime. At least, the non-governmental kind.
Chavez’s government claims that 98% of the homicides in Venezuela involve firearms. His solution? Restrict firearm ownership.
In recent remarks to the Latin American Herald Tribune, Venezuelan Interior and Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami announced that the government will begin suspending firearm importation, effective this month. Furthermore, local gunsmiths will no longer be able to market or sell firearms and ammunition.
According to El Aissami, “As of March, every last gun shop remaining in Venezuela – and there are less than 80 – should be closed. That is to say, in Venezuela, the perverse chapter of the commercialization of firearms and munitions is over.”
That ought to fix the problem. Murderous criminals obviously have no means of acquiring firearms illegally. And hapless victims clearly prefer to defend themselves with soup spoons and Tae Bo lessons.
Apparently Hugo Chavez is simply unwilling to accept having only the 4th highest murder rate in the world. In disarming his people, Chavez is clearly shooting for the top spot and absolutely will not stop until Venezuela surpasses its rivals. Watch out, Ivory Coast, El Salvador, and Honduras!
With a command of typical government logic– borrow your way out of debt, spend your way out of recession, fudge the statistics to fix unemployment– Chavez has now managed to disarm innocent people in order to ‘fight crime.’
This is not the first time Chavez has tried to disarm his people. The stated goal of his 2006 ‘National Weapons Control Plan’ was disarmament and weapons control– reducing the number of weapons, both legal and illegal, in Venezuela.
29 separate programs followed, including bribery, snitching incentives, and new monitoring initiatives. The UN obsequiously applauded the moves.
Then, as now, they said that it’s for the safety and well-being of the people… to protect the population. Just like molesting children at airports, authorizing military detention of citizens, and bathing travelers in radiation.
Needless to say, the political establishment, whether a dictator like Chavez or the ruling kleptocracy up north, doesn’t give a damn about protecting people. They care about protecting themselves, their interests, and the status quo. Curtailing gun sales in the name of ‘fighting crime’ is a means of achieving those goals.
Historically, disarmed populations seldom make too much trouble. Regardless of where you personally stand on firearms, the idea that police and government agents should be the only folks toting weapons ought to sound the alarm bells for any reasonable individual.
It is, perhaps, not entirely coincidental that Chavez is rumored to be suffering from terminal cancer (having just announced another malignancy), and the spectre of revolution is once again rising in Venezuela. If something happens to Chavez, they’re expecting trouble– and taking steps to seize the advantage now.