I haven’t written anything really opinionated in a couple of years, but I am rather taxed by irrational, emotionally driven rhetoric out there in response to the Orlando shooting, that “we need to take all the guns away.” I let this cook for few days, but finally decided to put this out there.
We go with what we know, and let me speak from experience. I love Brazil, and I love Brazilians. I could have retired in the USA close to my family but I chose to continue living and working in Brazil. Nevertheless, I live everyday with the constant awareness of the violence. Now, I want to be careful to not appear to be bashing Brazilians. The problem with Brazil isn’t the average Brazilian. Brazilians are, as a people, warm, loving and generous. I’ve never met anyone as quick to do whatever they can to help another person, and if they thought you really needed it, they would give you the shirt off their back or their flipflops in a heartbeat. If I meet a Brazilian who is eating an APPLE, they will offer me a bite! Seriously!
But ask the Brazilians about whether they feel safe, and who has made it so that they are not safe. The past two weeks I’ve been speaking at conferences in rural Brazil–not in Rio–and I heard repeatedly that the people in rural Brazil live in constant fear of being molested, robbed and murdered, and decry the fact that they have no way to protect themselves, because the government took their guns away.
So, let’s go with the facts about ALL murders (not just gun deaths–I couldn’t find those statistics for Brazil), as published by the UN for Brazil and by the FBI for the USA:
Murder rate in Brazil: 32.4 per 100,000
Murder rate in the USA: 4.5 per 100,000
Murder rate among crazy Nebraskans, with open carry permits on demand: 2.9 per 100,000.
Brazil has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, and yet the murder rate is 700 percent higher than in the USA as a whole, and 1,100 percent higher than Nebraska. And yet someone wants to tell me we should implement a policy which has been aggressively imposed on Brazilians, with such horrific results? Really???