U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Bolsonaro ramped up Brazil’s gun culture. Can Lula reign it in?” Al Jazeera asks in its introduction to “The Take” podcast about policy changes the new government will be trying to implement. “In the past four years, the number of privately owned guns in Brazil has more than doubled to nearly 2 million.”
The reaction of some U.S. gun owners may be to ask “Who cares what a Qatar-based ‘news’ organization criticized for ‘reflexive anti-American bias’ has to say about guns?” But in this case, it’s useful to pay attention, if only to note how closely it parallels the reflexive biases of U.S./Western media.
“After winning the Brazilian election, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will once again become the country’s President in January, more than 10 years after he last held the position,” the introduction elaborates. “But his victory was narrow and current President Jair Bolsonaro still won more than 49 percent of the vote. Lula, as he is known, will now attempt to roll back many of Bolsonaro’s right-wing policies – including the loosening of Brazil’s gun-control measures, which led to the number of guns in private hands doubling since 2018. But how easy will that be?”
In the podcast that followed, “freelance journalist” Azade Pesmen interviewed Melina Risso. research director for The Igarape Institute, who makes no secret of how she feels about armed citizens. As was to be expected, no guest representing opposing views was included—instead, the “pro-gun” side was articulated by the same guest setting them up to knock them down.
Early on the discussion focused on criminal acts of violence, that is on criminals, doing what criminals do and ignoring all laws. Risso herself noted the Bolsonaro government’s relaxation of restrictions primarily affected three groups, hunters, shooters, and collectors. It did not seem to register with her or Pesman that those are not the groups committing the crimes. Evidently, a free market making things more affordable to all is the culprit.
The same impulse to price firearms out of the reach of the less affluent is one seen in the U.S. ever since the days of the Black Codes, and later through taxes, permit fees, and the like (one reality of so-called “smart guns” is that adding electronics can add hundreds of dollars to the price of a firearm.)
Next up was the scarcely concealed disapproval of many Bolsonaro supporters being “evangelical Christians.” Also subject to dismissal where you could almost see their eyes rolling was Bolsonaro’s contention that “Only enslaved people do not own arms. Armed people will never be enslaved.”
For all their evident distaste, Pesman and Risso offer no evidence that such is not the case, because, of course, it’s true: Slaves are not allowed to own guns. Otherwise, they’d resist and fight to free themselves. And again, as a further illustration that they’re following a well-worn playbook, consider how “progressive” seculars are smearing “Christian Nationalists” in the U.S. as a fascist threat.
It’s no surprise they once more contradict themselves when they reflect on how gun clubs are also social organizations where the whole family comes for lunch and gets training through course instructions and practice, that is, through real “gun safety.” How they segue that into the growth of the “gun culture” being “unsettling” because of the “violent society” is a bit of ideological contortion they seem to make effortlessly because who are you going to believe, them or traditional families passing on traditional values?
Much of the discourse about rights, liberty, and protecting yourself is “imported from the U.S.” we are told, because in Brazil, “people don’t have that right.” Of course, they do, anyone with a proper understanding of where rights come from could tell them, they’re just not recognized by the totalitarian-minded who demand to control all guns.
“70 percent of the people” are against guns, Risso maintains, with Pesman chiming in on how the election “vindicated” that contention. If that’s the case, why Lula didn’t win 70-30 is conveniently left unexplored. And Lula, of course, being an old socialist, is against guns, but Congress may stand in his way. No problem though, because we’re told he can put in place by decree “what Brazil had before.”
By diktat. Who does that?
As a side note, the mania for central control by those who would control it all is universal. Isn’t it interesting that they characterize those opposing and promoting federalism, separation of powers, and a Bill of Rights culture for all as fascists? For supposed champions of the proletariat, it’s instructive to note they oppose the most egalitarian power-sharing arrangement ever conceived, the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
No matter, their next tactic is accusations of voter fraud and “political violence,” comparing it to what Donald Trump supporters are being accused of here. That narrative is being parroted everywhere, with the UK’s Daily Mail referring to Bolsonaro as “the Trump of the Tropics.”
With votes separated by less than a percentage point, Bolsonaro has not conceded but has signaled his cooperation with the transfer of power. With things that close, it would be irresponsible not to validate results and make sure the election was legitimate, and you can bet the Lula camp would not just roll over had they emerged on the short end.
A lot can happen between now and January 1. What Brazilians need to be on guard for is what will happen afterward. Because the one thing the Al Jazeera gabfest completely ignored is how things were not too long ago before Bolsonaro’s leadership increased gun ownership. From my June 2006 GUNS Magazine article:
“Brazil’s police ‘execute thousands’” the BBC headline declares. “You couldn’t really investigate complaints because you knew there was this curtain of silence that was always present,” former police ombudsman Professor Julita Lemgruber claimed, adding, “that she had personally dealt with cases in which summary executions had happened.” “A lot of these killings are quasi-executions, with shots to the head and the heart,” a representative of the human rights group Global Justice told The Houston Chronicle, which reported “police in Rio and its suburbs … have taken the lives of more than 4,000 people in the past five years … In the worst massacre in Rio’s history, police officers gunned down 29 men, women and children on the night of March 31.”
I encourage AmmoLand News readers to set aside half an hour and listen to the podcast:
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.