About 45,000 Brazilians are murdered each year, perhaps 85% by unregistered firearms and the rest mostly by knives, blows, strangling, poison and whatnot. Government is by nature a monopoly, so in a sense it is not surprising that the failure of government to carry out its basic responsibility to provide for public safety has led the Brazilian Congress to the remarkable decision to make it illegal for the people to provide for their own safety. It will now be a crime for ordinary law-abiding Brazilians to own guns. An estimated 20,000,000 handguns will remain on the black market at the disposal of criminals, unaffected by the legislation except through a possible slight increase in their market value.
The Brazilians are of course not the first gun nuts of this kind. Most Anglophone countries have gone the same route, even though a recent study from the Fraser Institute in Vancouver shows that if anything gun control increases violent crime. Here and there glimmerings of reason are found, for example in the Kansas town that recently got fed up and decided to fine the antisocial eccentrics who refuse to own guns. Still, the situation is better represented by the 71-year-old Florida man who was arrested for firing a .22 pistol at 3 men beating up his 63-year-old friend, and the 77-year-old English war veteran who hanged himself rather than stand trial for the “offense” of using a toy pistol to scare off the thugs who had been tormenting him.