Venezuela will probably end 2012 with more than 19,000 murders which will give it a murder rate of 73 per 100,000 population. By comparison, the U.S. murder rate for 2011 was 4.2 per 100,000 even though Chicago, Detroit, and Baltimore have homicide rates near 50 per 100,000. In nearly 80% of murders in those cities, both the killers and the victims are African American.
Caracas, Venezuela had a murder rate in 2011 of 98 per 100,000.. The global average murder rate is 6.9 per 100,000.
Until last June 1st, citizens of Venezuela were permitted to own only .22 rifles and shotguns. Even for those, a permit was needed and a strong need had to be shown. Only a minority of citizens held gun permits, which had to be renewed every 3 years. It has long been the law in Venezuela that no handgun of any kind is legal for citizens to possess. Beginning last June 1st, all firearms are illegal to citizens. I’m not clear on whether existing .22 rifles and shotguns have been or will be confiscated.
80% of Venezuela’s 19,000 murders in 2012 were nevertheless committed with handguns.
Venezuela’s government is a military dictatorship. Citizens may be, and often are, imprisoned and held for long periods without the right to appear before a judge or be charged with a crime. If Venezuela cannot get guns out of the hands of criminals, how do liberals in the U.S. think that any law they pass is going to make the slightest dent in the arsenal of criminals?
Think of this: there are only four (4) possible scenarios of gun possession in the entire universe, They are:
1. All people potentially can possess guns;
2. Only police and military possess guns;
3. Only police, military and good people possess guns; or
4. Only police, military and criminals possess guns.
Once it is recognized that no country in the world has ever successfully prevented criminals from possessing guns, it is immediately seen that two of the four possibilities are not possible after all. Both numbers 2 and 3 in the above list are illusory. Criminals will always have guns. We are left with only numbers 1 and 4. All people can potentially posses guns, or only criminals and cops posses guns.
All empirical evidence tends to show that scenario number 4 is a disaster for law-abiding citizens who become vulnerable to criminal predation. The police will always be minutes away when seocnds count. In Newtown, Connecticut the police took 20 minutes to respond after they were called. That’s not a rip on the police. They do the best they can. Sometimes they might arrive much sooner, but 20 minutes in not out of line. In some parts of this country a 20-minute response time would be considered lightning fast. Citizens in rural areas are sometimes an hour or more away from law enforcement. The shooter at Newtown was able to finish his mission in the 20 minutes it took the police to get there. Even if those officers had arrived in one-half the time, 10 minutes, the shooter would still have accomplished most of his mission.
Option number one is the only one that makes sense to any sensible person. Perhaps in some utopian vision of the left there is a camelot society somewhere that has such a low percentage of criminals that option two might actually exist. For now, no such country exists on this earth.