Monday, October 24, 2005

Brazilians say "no" to gun ban

Faced with intense pressure from gun control groups and a host of international organizations, Brazilians went to the polls to vote on a referendum asking whether or not private citizens should be allowed to own firearms. The measure was solidly rejected with 64% of voters there voting "no."

::::::::Brazilians soundly rejected a proposal to ban the sale of guns in a national referendum Sunday, striking down the bid to stem one of the world's highest firearm murder rates following a campaign that drew parallels to the U.S. gun control debate.

Brazil (search) has 100 million fewer citizens than the United States (search), but a staggering 25 percent more gun deaths at nearly 40,000 a year. While supporters argued that gun control was the best way to staunch the violence, opponents played on Brazilians' fears that the police can't protect them.

"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.

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.

And, again, you see the AP's biases showing. "[O]pponents played on Brazilians' fears that the police can't protect them." That's like saying south Florida officials played on resident's fears of being killed in a hurricane in order to get them to leave before Wilma showed up. One doesn't "play on" another's fears when those fears are well justified. Brazilian police are clearly unable to protect law abiding citizens from those who will use guns to kill them in the commission of a crime. All the UN programs to outlaw private gun ownership in the world won't negate that truth to the people who live there.