Venezuela: A Case Study on Gun Control

Introduction

Citizens disarmed in Venezuela.

At the heart of the divisive issue of gun control is how one reads the Constitution. Many people are of the opinion that the very words of the 2nd Amendment, “shall not be infringed,” speak for themselves as far as the legality of government gun control. While, by definition, the Constitution is a “living document,” some attack this philosophy by reading into the intentions of the framers, taking a spirit-over-letter approach. Regardless, it is important to take a long, hard look at the facts of other nations that have attempted to control civilian gun ownership in order to fully understand the question at hand, and form an opinion that reflects the real goings on in places like Venezuela.

What is going on in Venezuela?

A case study in the result of banning civilian gun ownership is the unrest currently playing out in the nation of Venezuela. President Nicolás Maduro’s socialist state is facing massive backlash from starving, poor citizens living in a nation with inflation rates surpassing 1,300,000 percent. While upset Venezuelans, led by political challenger Juan Guaidó, have attempted to rise up against their oppressive socialist government, they have been met with sharp resistance from Maduro-backed troops, who also happen to be the only people in the nation allowed to possess guns of any kind. These issues in Venezuela are a part of a disturbing pattern of gun control being a tool of oppression. One common comparison drawn is with that of Adolf Hitler’s rule over Nazi Germany, and his support for disarming citizens in order to maximize government control. While Hitler did not, as is often mistakenly thought to be the case, disarm all German citizens, he did create a registry to disarm groups that opposed his political and societal targets, namely Jewish people. In fact, much like Maduro, Hitler weaponized fellow Nazis by allowing them to own guns, setting them against his opponents. While Hitler’s plan involved arming private citizens, and Maduro’s support is coming from already established armed forces, the idea of taking the means of defending against oppression away from the oppressed population is eerily similar.

History of Venezuela’s gun control policies

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