About a year ago, I remember getting into a discussion with some other gringo about the best countries of Latin America to move to.
We went through various factors to consider.
One of those factors being gun ownership.
Which I agreed that being able to own a gun for self-defence or even just hunting is something preferable to have in whatever country you prefer to move to.
Unfortunately, just about every Latin country (if not all of them) are not as liberal as the US when it comes to allowing gun ownership.
Though that could change some day!
As you can see in this video here, there’s been discussion in Brazil to allow greater gun access.
President Bolsonaro relaxes gun laws in Brazil
And, as you can see in these screenshots I took here on Twitter, some random folks think that greater gun ownership in Mexico is needed also.
In both cases, the argument being to tackle insecurity.
To allow normal civilians in both countries to better defend themselves when confronted by criminals.
In Mexico, that’d be normal criminals to actual drug cartels, right?
In Brazil, I suppose mostly just normal criminals and gangs.
Anyway, it is a question that I’ve pondered rarely also as I have encountered the rare local down here who believes in expanding gun access in Mexico.
For example, when I was at some house party in Roma months ago, I remember talking with some Mexican dude named Vicente.
We talked here and there occasionally since then.
One of the topics brought up was extra gun rights.
Granted, he’s from northern Mexico closer to the border where maybe American culture is stronger there if I had to imagine.
But he did like the idea of expanding gun access for your average civilian.
The idea being, as I said, to allow civilians to better defend themselves against criminals.
Like this video here of some dude at a restaurant in Mexico City shooting at a criminal.
Intentan asaltarlo en un restaurante de la CDMX y les responde a balazos
On the flip side though, I have met the rare local who is against the idea also.
And I say “rare” for both cases because, as you can imagine, I don’t go around asking everyone in Latin America if they want a gun.
However, when I was in Buenos Aires of Argentina, I became friends with a dude named Thal who was from Brazil.
He genuinely didn’t like the idea of visiting the US because, from what he saw on the news, he thought everyone was crazy up there.
Mostly because of the school shootings he saw in the news in Brazil.
Thinking the US is some “crazy wild west.”
Which is funny to think about when you see all these videos like this one here of criminals being shot back at in Brazil.
I couldn't post the video here due to age restrictions but you can find the link above to it. Titled: "Brazilian Off Duty Fends Off Supermarket Robber" by Active Self Protection Youtube Channel.
Like in that video above, those same criminals being shot back at by normal civilians!
Regardless, I suppose you could expand my question to the rest of Latin America.
That question being “should the locals have easier access to guns?”
Of course, every Latin country is different with its own set of circumstances.
And, in the case of Mexico or Brazil, you do have more narco or gang violence.
While I have more confidence in a Brazilian fighting off 2 or 3 thugs, I have less confidence for the Mexican shooting off the Sinaloa Cartel.
One is different from the other.
Still, despite all of that above said, I’ll just shoot from the hip here and say the thoughts that have always come to mind whenever I thought of this topic.
So let’s get to it.
Not Entirely Anti-Gun
It should be said first that it’s inaccurate to say that every Latin country is anti-gun.
You can legally get a gun in quite a few countries down here from what I’ve heard.
However, from a practical standpoint, it is harder.
A lot harder.
In Mexico, for example, they only have one gun store in the entire country as you can see here.
Look Inside Mexico's Only Gun Store
And, as you can read in this Wikipedia article here, gun regulations in Latin countries tend to be relatively strict compared to the US.
Here’s some quotes from that source by country.
For Argentina: “Carry permits for licensed handgun owners are extremely difficult to obtain, and require appearing before the ANMaC board to make their case. Carry permits are renewed yearly to re-examine their "clear and present" danger, and the permit is usually revoked immediately if this danger is removed. Those dealing in money or valuables or in private security may be issued a business carry permit.”
Chile: “In Chile, the 103rd article of the Constitution declares gun ownership as a privilege granted in accordance to a special law. Firearms are regulated by the police. Civilian gun ownership is allowed by law but discouraged by authorities, with regular press statements and campaigns denouncing the dangers of possessing firearms … A self-defense permit allows carrying a firearm for protection against specific human threats. Such permits are valid for one year, but as the police commander can deny applications without stating a reason, they are very rarely issued. Automatic firearms are forbidden for civilian use.
Colombia: “In 1993, Colombia legislated gun ownership, effectively establishing a government licensing monopoly. In 2016, president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos signed an executive order suspending civilians from carrying firearms, with some exceptions including security details, hunting, private defense and collection. It was extended in 2018 by newly elected president Ivan Duque, albeit with the added stipulation: "for reasons of emergency or security [...] taking into consideration among other factors, the particular circumstances of each application". A legal challenge to this modification has been prepared.”
Honduras: “In 2003, a ban on certain “assault rifles” was passed, restricting citizens from possessing military-style rifles such as the AK-47 and the M-16. In 2007, an additional decree suspended the right to openly carry a firearm in public, and limited the number of firearms a person can possess.”
Venezuela: “In 2012 Venezuela banned private sales of firearms and ammunition hoping to lower crime rates. The Army, police, and certain groups trusted by the government (colectivos) are exempted from the ban and can buy firearms from state-owned manufacturers. In 2013 Venezuela stopped issuing new firearm licenses. In 2017 government banned carrying firearms in public places.”
Uruguay: “Uruguayan law allows for firearm possession on a shall-issue basis. These firearms must be of a caliber smaller than .50 BMG. Carry permits are issued on a may-issue basis, which in practice is no-issue except for people working as private security guards. Policemen and military can carry their firearms while off-duty without the need for a licence. The legal carrying of firearms must always be in a concealed manner, no open carry is allowed. In recent times, politicians from the governing coalition have expressed their intentions of allowing the issuing of concealed carry permits to civilians. With approximately 35 civilian firearms per 100 people, Uruguay is the eighth most armed country in the world and most armed in Latin America.”
So on and so on!
Similar to Uruguay above, Mexico and Brazil are actually not as restrictive from the descriptions of that Wikipedia article provided before.
Well, not as restrictive compared to the rest of Latin America anyway.
So the point being that Latin America as a whole doesn’t ban gun ownership but does make it relatively harder to get when compared to the US for example.
Let’s move on anyhow.
If I can find it, I will share it here.
It was an article I cited in one of my some odd hundred articles before.
In which some dude close to Guadalajara reported having his family home stolen by some cartel.
The home was in a very rural area.
Of course, it’s unlikely that this dude would be able to shoot off the cartel all on his own.
However, when it comes to some random criminal not connected to anyone else, then sure!
And that’s the argument anyone makes for gun ownership.
That being that rural folks without any police nearby have a greater need for gun ownership than city folks given the lack of authority nearby.
If you are living in a relatively rural area of anywhere in the world, I’d say that you should have a gun on person.
No point in waiting a long ass time for the police to show up when the criminal will do what they want in the meantime.
But what if the criminal is a narco?
Could you possibly fend them off?
Communities Fighting the Cartels
You sometimes hear this argument by folks in the US against gun ownership.
“Oh cmon, you couldn’t possibly fight off the government with your silly guns! You’d lose!”
Like Joe Biden talking on the topic here with his mention of how “WE GOT NUKES!”
President Biden on 2nd Amendment and Zero Tolerance Policy for Gun Dealers
Yeah OK Joe, you going to nuke America. Bring it, bitch.
Anyway, I’m sure the same people would say that it’s impossible to fight off the cartels and corrupt government officials.
Though, as we see in these videos here, that’s not entirely true!
There have been communities that have fought off the cartels in Mexico.
They joined together, got their guns and kicked out any corrupt officials and cartels from the area.
Though I haven’t been to these areas to be fair, there has been plenty of reporting online of communities in Mexico pulling this off.
So, on a community wide basis, it does seem beneficial to some areas.
Giving control back to the people of the communities.
Of course, most of Latin America isn't dealing with cartel violence in the rural or urban areas.
And it’s not just folks in rural areas that might need this.
As you can see in this video here, robberies in combis of Mexico are all too common.
Sube ladrón... se bajan de la combi
Though, in that video above, you can see the folks of the combi fighting back and kicking the ass of the dude who tried robbing them.
Though, as you can see, they did technically do it without guns.
But it took a whole village to kick his ass.
It’s must easier for the individual to convince himself to stand up against crime when he has a gun versus not having a gun where he doesn’t know if the other passengers will work with him to fight the criminal.
You don’t know if they will fight with you.
But you do know that a bullet in your possession makes the criminal cease from existence in about a second.
So I see the benefit here.
But let’s address the other side of the coin.
That’s an argument!
Aren’t you scared of school shootings?
Being honest, I get it.
When I was in middle school, we had some girl named Shelby who wrote a threatening message in the bathroom stall about how she was going to bomb the school on a particular day.
She was identified quickly as the person who wrote that message and no bomb was ever set off
Not likely she had a bomb anyhow.
But, as an American, I will say that it is a fair point to bring up.
We are notorious for our school shootings since Columbine basically.
Before that? I have no idea if they had school shootings as common as we do but Columbine is what I remember as the earliest example anyhow.
Still, I don’t believe that access to guns is the only contribution to these events.
For one, I’d blame the media for giving fame to the shooters.
Love him or hate him – Marilyn Manson said it best when he said “he wouldn’t say anything. Just listen to the victims” as you can see here.
Bowling for Columbine (2002) - Marilyn Manson Talks About Fear Scene (7/11) | Movieclips
Not glorify anyone involved. No sharing of photos like the media does.
And it is a question of what makes someone want to kill random people?
Is it like the Joker who killed Murray in this video here?
Joker Kills Murray - Ending Scene (HD)
A fictional character but one that people can relate to actually!
What is it that makes people snap like this?
I’d say that it’s not necessary to take away gun ownership. Obviously put in regulations to make it harder for the kids to access the guns from their parents.
But I see it more as a media issue and, more importantly, a mental health issue.
Either way, as you can see here, school shootings make up such a small percentage of all gun violence in the US.
"Gun violence against other persons is most common in poor urban areas and is frequently associated with gang violence, often involving male juveniles or young adult males. African American populations in the United States experience high amounts of firearms injury and homicide. Although mass shootings are covered extensively in the media, mass shootings in the United States account for only a small fraction of gun-related deaths. School shootings are described as a "uniquely American crisis", according to The Washington Post in 2018. Children at U.S. schools have active shooter drills. According to USA Today, in 2019 “about 95% of public schools now have students and teachers practice huddling in silence, hiding from an imaginary gunman."
Of course, it's not JUST an "American crisis" as school shootings have happened, though much less frequently, in other countries as this video shows here of a school shooting in Brazil.
I couldn't post the video here due to age restrictions but you can find the link above to it. Titled: "Gruesome Video Of A School Shooting In Brazil" by Active Self Protection Youtube Channel.
Anyhow, they shock the emotions of many given the craziness of it all and how the media exploits it for ratings but they make up such a small percentage of the violence.
So I wouldn’t sacrifice the individual’s rights to gun ownership due to these events.
Fighting the Government?
Oh Latin America….
It has a long history of guerrilla and rebel groups trying to fight the government already despite the gun regulations.
Be it the Zapatistas in Mexico.
Or the FARC in Colombia.
The Shining Path in Peru?
Granted, two of those groups above benefit from drug profits that allow purchasing of nicer guns.
Anyway, this is the argument you here in the US about why gun ownership is needed.
To fight the government if needed.
If it ever becomes tyrannical.
Well, in Latin America, despite the gun restrictions, rebel groups get the guns anyway!
And maybe some bombs as well.
Also, if you look at this source here, here and here, you'll see that many revolutions do not succeed or have a very difficult time achieving their objectives even if they do overthrow the government (relatively few do).
On top of that, given that not every rebel or guerrilla group is a force for good (FARC, Shining Path), I don’t always have a positive view of this idea of “overthrowing the government.
It’s like any armed conflict.
Look at Syria outside of Latin America – you have radical Islamic groups trying to overthrow the government of Assad. Assad isn’t a good guy but I don’t want to be under the rule of crazy Islamic radicals either.
So on and so on.
But I do get the argument of allowing normal civilians to work together to overthrow the government if it becomes tyrannical.
I just caution against it slightly given that said armed groups can be tyrannical also (Castro trying to overthrow Batista before he took power).
Anything to Contribute?
These were the main things I thought of commenting on when it comes to this topic.
If you have anything to contribute, let me know below in the comment section.
Would love to hear any opinions (in favor or against what I say). Open ears!
Of course, as I said in the beginning of this article, we also have cultural differences between each Latin American country regarding if gun rights should be expanded or not.
Meaning lesser regulations and maybe more vendors who can sell them.
I’d say it makes sense to expand them a little bit.
Of course, I don’t want restrictions lifted so much that any mentally deranged person can get one.
Some restrictions are appropriate obviously.
Reminds me of an old debate they had in the US about how to handle school shootings.
One idea, as you can see here, was to give every teacher in the US a gun.
I can think of a few teachers I knew who definitely did not need a gun.
“JIMMY!!! ARE YOU CHEATING ON THE TEST?!?! WELL, YOU JUST CHEATED YOURSELF OUT OF LIFE, YOU LITTLE SHIT!!!”
“NO, MR. ANDERSON, NOOOOO!!!!”
Anyway, while I don’t agree with loosening restrictions too greatly, I can see benefit to loosening them somewhat to allow the average citizen to defend himself more in cases like we saw above.
That’s all I got to say for now anyhow.
if you have any comments, drop a comment below in the comment section.
Follow my Twitter here.
And enjoy this funny video here by Steven Crowder on getting a gun in the US.
HIDDEN CAM: "Gun Show Loophole" Exposed!
Thanks for reading.