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In America, we are a lucky breed of human.  We created an entire missive and mission predicated on the idea that we would always hold freedom above all else.

This has meant some growing pains along the way, of course, and certainly more heartache to come, but that hasn’t deterred the nation from growing into a worldwide leader is just about everything outside of rice and kangaroos.

Lately, our nation has been struggling with the idea that we are free to possess and carry firearms somewhat openly.  The left side of the debate has long been pushing for a total ban on “assault” rifles or guns in general, and believes that this is a freedom worthy of either repressive legislation or wholesale repeal.

On the other side are the patriots; true believers in the power of the right to bear arms, who have been amassing massive social and cultural examples of the power of such freedom.

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Now, these men and women of the Second Amendment have yet another example to use when the left is on the attack, saying that we should outlaw guns.

Since April 2017, at least 163 pro-democracy protesters in Venezuela have been murdered by the Maduro dictatorship. Venezuela serves as an example of how gun prohibition can sometimes encourage gun crime.

In 2012, the communist-dominated Venezuelan National Assembly enacted the “Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law.” The bill’s stated objective was to “disarm all citizens.” The new law prohibited all gun sales, except to government entities. The penalty for illegally selling or carrying a firearm is a prison sentence of up to 20 years. Despite criticism from the democratic opposition, the bill went into effect in 2013.

Ostensibly, the motive for gun prohibition was Venezuela’s out of control violent crime. In 2015, Venezuela’s homicide rate was the world’s highest, with 27,875 Venezuelans murdered that year. More broadly, the Bolivarian Republic is the only South American nation with a homicide rate that has steadily risen since 1995. In the year prior to Maduro’s disarmament initiative, the Venezuelan capital of Caracas had a homicide rate of 122 per 100,000 inhabitants, nearly 20 times the global average of 6.2.

By comparison, the U.S. homicide rate in 2015 was 4.9; the U.S. gun homicide rate was 3.03 (based on calculation from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports).

Remember, when guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns.  Now, what happened after the legislation went into effect?

There are an estimated six million firearms (registered and unregistered) in Venezuela. However, voluntary surrenders were close to nil. For example, in 2013, only 37 firearms surrendered, while 12,603 were confiscated. More importantly, the national homicide rate rose from 73 per 100,000 in 2012 to 90 per 100,000 in 2015. The real figures are likely higher as the Maduro regime is well known for purposely undercountingcrime.

One effect of gun prohibition has been the increase of lethal violence against law enforcement. Venezuelan law enforcement are targeted specifically for their firearms with 252 officers being killed in 2015.

This is the purest form of the “outlaws” argument that we’ve seen since Chicago finally ended their nonsensical handgun ban in 2014.

 

 

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