Gun Referendum In Brazil

A referendum to comprehensively ban gun sales in Brazil appears to have been defeated. Click here for link to article.
Partial results in a referendum show a clear majority of Brazilians have voted against a ban on gun sales. With 90% of the votes counted, 64% rejected the ban and only 36% wanted firearm sales to the public outlawed. The proposal to ban gun sales was backed by the government and the United Nations, in a country where there were 36,000 gun-related deaths last year.

The "No" camp made a late surge, saying a ban would leave Brazilians defenceless against armed criminals.

"We didn't lose because Brazilians like guns. We lost because people don't have confidence in the government or the police," Denis Mizne, of anti-violence group Sou da Paz [which means "I Am For Peace"--Joffre], told Reuters news agency.

[Anti-gun campaigners] also accused gun makers and lobby groups such as the US National Rifle Association (NRA) of manipulating people's fears.

Maria, a shantytown resident whose sister was gunned down by an ex-boyfriend, said disarmament would make little difference. "If I had the money, I would have a weapon to try to protect myself and my family," she told the BBC. "The police are never going to arrive in time and if they do, they may kill you."
Interesting that "anti-gun campaigners" are mad at the NRA and gun makers for "manipulating people's fears." The U.N. is so involved in developing countries that people don't even notice their intrusion anymore.
Also, if you visit the BBC article I linked to above, notice the section for recent headlines on-topic with the linked-to article. They'll change as time goes on, so here's what I see as I write this:

The Australian: Majority vote to keep their guns - 1 hr ago
Reuters: Brazilian voters strongly reject gun ban - 1 hr ago
GrandForksHerald.com: Brazilians vote on banning gun sales - 3 hrs ago
AlertNet: Violence-torn Brazil votes on gun ban - 10 hrs ago
Guardian Unlimited: Brazil votes on deadly obsession with guns - 45 hrs ago

"AlertNet" is Reuters. Notice the difference in the headlines coming from the U.S. and Australia, and the ones written in Britain (Guardian and Reuters).

UPDATE: It's a landslide. Brazilian newspapers are saying that this is a vote of no-confidence in the ability of the state to protect its own citizens. The sign in the picture to right says "The Disarmament of the People Is a Farce." The middle class was said to be overwhelmingly against the proposal. "Yes" votes were higher than the median in places that had voted for the current "Worker's Party" president, Lula. Meanwhile, places that are heavy on cowboy, like Acre in the north and Rio Grande do Sul in the south, voted overwhelmingly "no."

President Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva said (click here), "I think that a common person with a weapon in his hand doesn't make for safety. That's why I voted 'Yes.' Now, the will of the people is sovereign." Darn tootin'. Trust the state with all the guns, eh?

Remember when all those stories about police "death squads" in Rio de Janeiro hit the world scene ten years ago? Jumping out of the Brazilian internal debate for a bit, let's be honest about something. The same euros and U.N.ers who will be so upset about this result were wringing their little hearts dry when those stories came out. The real problem for them, of course, is that guns exist at all. Quick, close Pandora's box!

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