September 02, 2021
By Mark Chesnut
As America’s current leaders try to drag us closer and closer to their imagined “socialist utopia,” those living under ultra-restrictive governments have a better understanding of how things really work in that situation.
One important truth many of them—including Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro—understand is that widespread gun control and confiscation is an important section along the road to tyranny. Last week, Bolsonaro, who ran on a platform of loosening the country’s strict gun laws and has largely followed through on those promises, called for all of his countrymen to arm themselves.
“Everybody has to buy a rifle, damn it!” Bolsonaro told a supportive crowd outside his office, according to a report at telesurenglish.net. “Armed people will never be enslaved.”
Before Bolsonaro’s election, guns were very difficult to purchase for everyday Brazilians. Over just the last few years, the number of privately owned guns has nearly doubled, going from about 700,000 to over 1.2 million since 2018.
Now, Bolsonaro is sick and tired of those who go to a lot of effort to convince citizens they shouldn’t be buying firearms—Brazil’s version of American anti-gun advocates.
“An idiot says: ‘Ah, what you have to buy is beans,’” Bolsonaro told reporters. “If you don't want to, don't buy the rifle. But do not come to disturb whoever wants to buy it.”
Since Bolsonaro has taken office, and despite setbacks caused by anti-gunners in Congress, Brazilians have regained much of their firearms freedom lost under Bolsonaro’s predecessors.
In 2019, Bolsonaro raised the number of firearms that civilians can own to six and up to 30 guns allowed for hunters and 60 for sport shooters. He also greatly expanded who could own a firearm. Many can even own some of the same firearms that U.S. President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress seek to ban.
"For a long time, it was the state that decided who had the right or not to defend themselves, their family and their property,” Bolsonaro said after signing the decrees permitting more firearms ownership. “Today, we give Brazilian citizens the right to decide.
“Upstanding citizens can now be at peace in their own homes.”
Of course, everyone in Brazil hasn’t been ecstatic about the newfound firearms freedom. The country’s Socialist Party (PSB)—Brazil’s version of the American Democrat party—has filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court challenging four of Bolsonaro’s decrees that greatly relaxed firearms ownership.
“Bolsonaro's decision will encourage citizens to possess real arsenals, which will lead to an increase in violence and mortality,” the PSB warned, sounding exactly like the American anti-gun advocates constantly quoted on the nightly news.
In the end, despite hard economic times, Brazil’s citizens are a freer people than they were before Bolsonaro became president. His views on gun ownership are refreshing, given the exact opposite views of many American politicians.
Bolsonaro was once quoted as saying, “More than safeguarding someone's life, firearms safeguard the freedom of a people.” American gun owners can only hope that someday those at the highest level of our government will again understand that important nugget of truth.
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.