Archive for May, 2013
A Daily Telegraph online poll has revealed that over 80 percent of Brits would rather a repeal on the hand gun ban over various other “new law” choices
Last Friday the Daily Telegraph, Britain’s most widely read broadsheet newspaper, issued an online poll asking members of the public which proposal they would like to see introduced as a Private Members’ Bill in the UK’s Parliament.
Private Members’ Bills are introduced by Members of Parliament or Peers who are not government ministers.
The choices include term limits for Prime Ministers, a flat tax, a law to encourage the ‘greening’ of public spaces and the repealing of Britain’s hand gun ban. Following the Dunblane massacre in 1996, in which 16 schoolchildren were killed, Parliament passed The Firearms Act of 1997, which essentially banned handguns for the atrocity.
But Britons seem unconvinced by the law. The proposer, known as “Colliemum” asked, “…why should only criminals be ‘allowed’ to possess guns and shoot unarmed, defenceless citizens and police officers?”
While the poll continues, so far over 80 percent of the 11,000+ respondents have told the Telegraph that they want to see the handgun ban repealed. The news comes as America contemplates its own new laws on gun ownership, with British talk show host Piers Morgan claiming to back a UK-style ban for the United States.
While gun crime soared after the British ban in 1997, rates of gun violence have fallen, especially in British cities, following more spending by police forces into tackling gun crime. Police in England and Wales recorded 5,911 firearms offences in 2011/12, a reduction of 42 percent compared with nine years earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics.
But statistics from the United States show that guns are used by citizens to defend themselves around eighty times more often than they are used to take a life. A recent study published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy concluded that there is a negative correlation between gun ownership and violent crime in countries internationally, that is, “where firearms are most dense violent crime rates are lowest, and where guns are least dense violent crime rates are highest.”
British versus American statistics perhaps displays nothing more than one country investing more in the government response to criminality, while the other maintains a citizen-based response.
Two other options were presented in the Telegraph poll, which were the closing of the child maintenance loophole and a banning of spitting in public. The full results as of 01:36am on Wednesday 29th May, can be seen on the right.
For an up to date look at the poll, click through to the Telegraph’s website, here.
By Leticia Pineda | AFP – Wed, May 22, 2013
Farmers wearing bulletproof jackets and toting assault rifles ride in pick-up trucks emblazoned with the word “self-defense” to protect this rural western Mexico town from the Knights Templar drug cartel.
The federal government deployed thousands of troops to the state of Michoacan this week, but in some towns like Coalcoman, population 10,000, vigilantes are refusing to put down their weapons until they feel safe again.
“We won’t drop our guard until we see results,” Antonio Rodriguez, a 37-year-old avocado grower and member of the community force, told AFP.
Last week, Coalcoman residents packed the main square to give their support to the 200-strong vigilante patrol, making it the latest Michoacan town to take up arms in recent months to fight off the extorsion and violence perpetrated by gangsters.
The town lies in a region called Tierra Caliente, or Hot Land, known as a hotbed of cartel activity.
The vigilantes carry handguns and hunting rifles, but a few were seen Wednesday roaming around with AR-15 semi-automatic rifles. In other towns many wear masks to protect their identities.
“We got tired of paying the quota,” said Adriana, a 32-year-old woman working in a pharmacy.
The “cuota” is extorsion money charged by the Knights Templar every week or month from business owners, farmers, taxi drivers and even mayors.
“The one who didn’t pay would be kidnapped and ‘bang, bang,’ they’d kill him,” said Adriana, squeezing her finger as if pulling a trigger.
In recent months, the self-defense groups detained people they accused of working with the cartels and clashed with drug traffickers. The gangsters responded by besieging towns and preventing food deliveries.
Michoacan was the first state to see troops when then president Felipe Calderon deployed soldiers and marines across the nation to crack down on cartels in 2006.
But gang violence surged throughout Mexico, leaving 70,000 people in its wake by the time Calderon left office in December, and a powerful new cartel, the Knights Templar, emerged in Michoacan.
The government of President Enrique Pena Nieto sent around 4,000 soldiers and marines this week along with 1,000 federal police, vowing that they would stay until peace is restored in the troubled state.
Military surveillance planes fly over towns while soldiers man checkpoints in Tierra Caliente. But self-defense groups still staff their own road blocks in some parts despite the military presence.
“They should first disarm organized crime, then the people,” said a young man wearing a bulletproof jacket and a white T-shirt inscribed with the words “self-defense group” in the back.
Late Tuesday, a vigilante patrol detained one man they accused of being a thief in Coalcoman. He was beaten and paraded in the town square with a bloody face in front of residents a dozens of federal police.
The road linking Coalcoman to the village of Buenavista is littered with the charred remains of buses and other vehicles that were used by the Knights Templar to block the delivery of food, medicine and other goods.
At the entrance of Buenavista, a sign greets drivers with the words: “Welcome to the village of Buenavista, free of quotas and Knights Templar.”
A checkpoint was installed on a white altar with a red cross that was built by the Knights Templar on the side of the road in honor of Nazario Moreno, alias “El Chayo,” a drug lord that the government believes was killed in a clash in 2010.
His body was never found and the religion-inspired Knights Templar revere him like a saint. The words “Saint Nazario” are painted on the Buenavista altar, which is riddled with bullet marks.
Buenavista’s vigilantes said the area became safer once they took up arms. They just want the authorities to get rid of the cartel.
“If they want, we’ll take them to the town, street, gully or lair where they’re hiding,” said one of the armed civilians.
The Knights Templar cartel has accused the vigilantes of being backed by their enemies, the Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartel, which is linked to the Sinaloa syndicate led by Mexico’s most wanted man, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
The cartel, which is an offshoot of the faded crime syndicate La Familia Michoacana, describes itself as an “insurgent” group. Its members must follow an honor code based on the group’s interpretation of religion.
The self-defense militias deny any links to narco-traffickers, but Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos suggested on Tuesday that some were getting support from dubious groups.
by James C. Fulmer | Past President, NMLRA
The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. Founded in 1933 during the Great Depression, the NMLRA has grown and changed with the times, moving into the 21st century while holding on to the past. The NMLRA continues to promote this country’s firearm heritage through shooting, hunting and competition with muzzleloading rifles, pistols and shotguns. Last year during the September NMLRA Board of Directors’ meeting the directors voted in the first woman president of the NMLRA, Becky Waterman. She was born into an NMLRA family and grew up living and breathing muzzleloading firearms and American heritage.
During the 2013 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, as newly elected president of NMLRA, Becky met with Tom Mason, secretariat of the World Forum on Shooting Activities in America (WFSA).
The NMLRA is an associate member of the WFSA and has worked with them in the past. Here the NMLRA again offered to give any assistance to the WFSA.
The WFSA is an association of hunting, shooting and industry organizations.
For over 15 years the WFSA and its member associations have attended every major UN conference affecting hunting or sport shooting. The WFSA is an official United Nations Non-governmental Organization (NGO) recognized by the Economic and Social Council of the UN General Assembly. It is one of the few NGOs in the world to be invited to speak before one of the five committees of the UN General Assembly.
When the WFSA asked the NMLRA to speak at the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty on March 21, the NMLRA didn’t hesitate to represent and defend the muzzleloading shooting sport at the world level.
NMLRA President Rebecca Waterman and NMLRA Managing Director Morgan Mundell made the trip to the UN in New York City. Here late Thursday afternoon with many other members of WFSA the president of the NMLRA presented the following remarks before the UN: “Mr. President, I am Rebecca Waterman, President of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, an association member of World Forum on Shooting Activities. Our primary membership is in the United States, but I believe I speak for the many, many users of antique and muzzle loading arms in other jurisdictions.
“Mr. President, I will be extremely brief. I wish to address the question of the inclusion of antique firearms and their replicas, which most muzzleloaders are, within the scope of the ATT.
“Mr. President, there is no need or justification for the inclusion of antique firearms within the category of small arms. There is substantial international commerce in antique firearms and their replicas, but by no stretch of the imagination are they some kind of threat that should be included within the ATT.
“Mr. President, examining the record, we have not found one mention of antique firearms and their replicas being perceived as a threat.
“Mr. President, subjecting the international commerce in antique firearms and their replicas to an ATT will be an unjustified and unnecessary burden on that commerce.
“Indeed, Mr. President, this very issue was addressed during the drafting of the UN Firearms Protocol.
Article 3 (a) excludes antique firearms from the Protocol. It says, and I quote, ‘Antique firearms and their replicas shall be defined in accordance with domestic law. In no case, however, shall antique firearms include firearms manufactured after 1899.’ “Mr. President, we have submitted a version of this Firearms Protocol language to effectuate the exclusion of antique firearms and their replicas from the ATT.
“We sincerely hope that you and this body will follow the precedent of the Firearms Protocol.” The UN Arms Trade Treaty was followed by the media. The Shooting Wire, The Outdoor Wire, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and many, many others including this publication. They all gave excellent coverage to the treaty in many press releases. The sad part about all this is why would the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association even have to attend? Why has common sense become so un-common? In the treaty itself it reads, “This Treaty shall apply to all conventional arms within the following categories: Battle Tanks; Armored combat vehicles; Large-caliber artillery systems; Combat aircraft; Attack helicopters; Warships; Missiles and missile launchers; and small arms and light weapons.”
Why would it be so hard to separate out antique or replica muzzleloading firearms from other modern military small arms and light weapons?
The Treaty will be talked about and discussed by everybody over the next few weeks. The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Senior Vice-President and General Counsel Lawrence Keane stated, “We hope that the Members of the US Senate are closely watching the White House abandon its principles and promises in the rush to ramrod the flawed treaty into effect.
Not only will they later be asked to ratify this attack on our constitution and sovereignty, but they will also be lavished with new promises from the administration in its drive to push a broad gun control agenda through the US Senate when it returns from recess. They would be right to question those promises strongly.”
What this all means to the reader is be informed! Read, watch, listen, get your facts and act. I am sure in the next few weeks you will be asked to contact your state senator. Do it! This is not about letting the other person do it; you are the other person. If you are reading this and don’t vote, change that: get registered—your vote counts. Talk to everybody you know, and if they are not registered to vote, get them registered. It is time for common sense. It is time for action.
Italian IAPCAR member group FISAT, has sent an important call to action.
Attempts are underway by the European Union to further restrict the right of civilians to have certain firearms.
It is vitally important to the firearms rights community stand together internationally.
There are three important things we can each do:
1. Read the alert from FISAT below and follow the instructions to participate in the EU survey.
2. Post this alert on your website and send it to all of your members and supporters.
3. Ask all your supporters to send this call to action to all of their friends.
I personally want to thank all of you for your unwavering support of civilian arms rights. It is a privilege to work with you.
– Philip Watson, IAPCAR Executive Director
[Important Message Below Via FISAT President Simone Ciucchi]
Dear friends and gun rights activists,
Joining the call of British Shooting Sports Council we ask to IAPCAR and all gun rights association in its organization, to participate to the online survey organized by European Union Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom.
The menace to semiautomatic firearms in private hands is IMMINENT, as the online survey maliciously suggests a possible link between private possession of firearms and their use for criminal or terrorist purposes, being nothing else than another attempt to disarm honest citizens for the sake of added “firearms security”.
The questions are utterly misleading.
Question C.2 suggests that the list of prohibited firearms should be extended (it is understood that the Commission is referring to semiautomatic rifles and possibly also to semiautomatic shotguns and handguns).
Question C.4 pursues the mandatory use of locking devices in firearms (imagine the impact if this was made retrospective).
Question C.7 would provide a justification to introduce compulsory mental health tests and suppress the current derogation that allows people under the age of 18 to hunt and sport-shoot if they have parental permission or guidance.
We can expect for sure that the various anti-gun EU associations will take action to orchestrate a deliberate number of answers resulting in a public call for tighter gun control.
Deadline for participation is June 17th 2013.
This can’t happen and we ask you to take part to the online survey in the following steps:
Please follow the following steps:
- Go to: http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ipm/forms/dispatch?form=ReduceFirearmsRisk
- Choose your language in the icon that is in the upper right part of the screen.
- Indicate your country, whether you are an individual or an organization and your name or the name of your organization.
- Answer the questions by clicking on option “1” for each one of them. You do not need to answer the optional questions that request additional comments (questions B.4, C.11, D.5 and E.6).
- After having answered the questions, as a security measure to avoid computer-generated replies, you will have to type in the numbers and/or letters that will be displayed in your screen and validate them.
- Your answers will have been submitted by then. You can view them and/or save them as a PDF.
All of the European associations, especially Swedish ones, can contact the proposer of this survey in the person of European Commissioner Ms. Cecilia Malmstrom which can be contacted at these sites, possibly to explain her that firearms of private honest citizens are not to be confused with the ones of criminals and terrorists:
Swedish citizens in particular can also contact her party, Folkpartiet liberalerna (Liberal People’s Party), to let them know what you think, at the following site and email:
While EU citiziens can contact Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (A.L.D.E.):
Asking their respective national parties NOT to support Maelmstrom initiatives, you can find various parties members of ALDE at the following page:
We thank you for your help, immediate action is necessary for the protection of our common gun rights.
Simone Ciucchi – FISAT President
—Additional Message Below Via BSSC President David Penn—
EU Public Consultation on firearms
This EU Consultation Document on a common approach to reducing the harm caused by criminal use of firearms in the EU can be found on http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/ipm/forms/dispatch?form=ReduceFirearmsRisk
It is one part of a number of EU firearms-related initiatives, including the ratification by the EU of the UN Vienna Firearms Protocol, the much-publicised comments by EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström suggesting a link between legal ownership of firearms and illicit trafficking, the preparation of a report by the Commission on possible further amendments to the EU Directive 91/477/EEC on control of the acquisition and possession of weapons and of course the EU’s active role in the UN’s recent adoption of a text for an Conventional Arms Trade Treaty.
The intention of this consultation is to obtain some appearance of legitimacy for further restrictions on the legal ownership, use and acquisition of firearms by civilians. We may anticipate that organisations opposed to recreational firearms use, hunting or gun collecting will orchestrate large numbers of replies. It is therefore essential that shooting organisations and their individual members complete and submit responses to provide an effective counter-argument and counter-weight. If the majority of responses are supportive of our interests, it would be difficult for the Commission to use public opinion as a reason for seeking further restrictions.
The deadline for replies is the 17th June 2013.
All the questions have at least some relevance to legal ownership. Most of the questions are biased and are written in a way that seeks to pre-determine the response and push the respondent into agreeing that some EU action is needed even though national legislation on all issues addressed in the questions already exists.
Question C.2 suggests that the list of prohibited firearms should be extended (it is understood that the Commission is referring to semiautomatic rifles and possibly also to semiautomatic shotguns and handguns).
Question C.4 pursues the mandatory use of locking devices in firearms. Imagine the impact if this was made retrospective.
Question C.7 would provide a justification to introduce compulsory mental health tests and suppress the current derogation that allows people under the age of 18 to hunt and sport-shoot if they have parental permission or guidance. This derogation was hard-won with Britain taking a leading role in negotiating it. If this were lost it would be a severe blow to the future of our sport.
Question C.8 aims at requiring that all firearms and ammunition be subject to authorisation, which would have negative implications not only in countries where there is a formal distinction between authorisation and declaration of firearms but also in countries where there are flexible arrangements for certain hunting firearms. In Britain, it could result in the introduction of tighter controls on shotguns and shotgun cartridges.
Question D.2 could result in a general requirement to store firearms in an approved safe. What would happen if the EU specification for a gun cabinet exceeded the British Standard currently the norm in Britain?
It is not necessary to answer the optional questions that request additional free-text comments (questions B.4, C.11, D.5 and E.6). It is necessary to click on Option 1 in response to all the multiple choice questions. While this may seem extreme in some instances, the questions are biased and are designed to elicit your agreement that action by the EU is necessary.
If you do decide to make further comments, you may wish to consider referring to the EU principle of ‘subsidiarity’, enshrined in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. This is the principle whereby the Union does not take action (except in the areas that fall within its exclusive competence), unless it is more effective than action taken at national, regional or local level. Civilian firearms control is most appropriately dealt with at national level, given the variety of shooting and hunting traditions among the member states.
Please follow the following steps:
2.Choose your language in the icon that is in the upper right part of the screen.
3. Indicate your country, whether you are an individual or an organisation and your name or the name of your organisation.
4. Answer the questions by clicking on option “1” for each one of them. You do not need to answer the optional questions that request additional comments (questions B.4, C.11, D.5 and E.6).
5. After having answered the questions, as a security measure to avoid computer-generated replies, you will have to type in the numbers and/or letters that will be displayed in your screen and validate them.
6. Your answers will have been submitted by then. You can view them and/or save them as a PDF.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to this consultation.
Secretary, British Shooting Sports Council
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) global map of homicide rate shows lower rates in countries with higher gun ownership.
Bene Barbosa, of Movimento Viva Brasil, criticizes the Disarmament Statute and blames impunity for the high levels of violence in Brazil
In an interview to the journal A Tribuna, he talked about the raise in the number of homicides, impunity and the total failure of civil disarmament.
He pointed out that the 2013 Brazilian Violence Map demonstrates that in a 30 year period, the deaths involving firearms went up by 346%.
Most of the firearms used in crime are not registered with the government, which alone raises questions about the effectiveness of the Brazilian Disarmament Statute, which will have its 10th anniversary this year.
A TRIBUNA – How do you evaluate the 2013 Brazilian Violence Map, recently made available?
BENE BARBOSA – The Map shows a significant increase in the number of homicides, largely influenced by impunity and drugs. This demonstrates that the national public security policy, based soley on civil disarmament measures, has failed in combating the issue of violence.
A TRIBUNA – What effect does the Disarmament Statute have in relation to public security and violence?
BENE BARBOSA – Absolutely nothing. The Disarmament Statue is totally ineffective when it comes to reducing the violence levels. In fact, we have recently been in Brasilia to propose a new piece of legislation which guarantees the Brazilian Citizen’s right to defend himself. If the criminals are able to use guns, why not the honest citizens? It is not fair to preclude the working man or woman to keep and bear arms to defend himself and his family, when the police is not able to provide security 24 hours a day.
A TRIBUNA – Why did the murder rate go up after the Disarmament Statue was enforced, instead of going down?
BENE BARBOSA – Because the Disarmament Statute guarantees more safety to criminal activities. If a bandit invades a house, the chance he will face armed resistance is much smaller, creating an incentive for all types of criminal activities. The Disarmament Statute only targets the legal firearms, bought by honest, law abiding citizens. Our current gun law has disarmed the working man and woman, but has not affected the criminals, whom carry on buying their guns on the streets, without any restrictions.
A TRIBUNA – What is the main cause for the increase in homicides?
BENE BARBOSA – Certainly, impunity. Of every 100 murders, only 8 are punished. This is the greatest incentive for criminals, who know that in Brazil, they can kill and get away with it.
A TRIBUNA – What is needed to reduce the murder rate in Brazil?
BENE BARBOSA – First of all, we need a large investment in the investigative departments of our police forces. There are numerous measures needed to reduce the Brazilian impunity issue, ensuring that crimes are adequately investigated and punished. For instance, Brazil currently has 350 thousand prison warrants that have not been enforced.
A TRIBUNA – How about ostensive policing? Does Brazil currently have adequate policing on the streets?
BENE BARBOSA – It is not sufficient. We currently have a too smaller Military Police personal. This gives the people a sense of insecurity, and the criminals a sense of the opposite. The State Governments have to invest a lot more, and it is the Federal Government’s duty to provide more funds.
A TRIBUNA – Do you agree with the proposition that fewer firearms in the hand of civilian will represent fewer homicides in the country?
BENE BARBOSA – I don’t agree in the slightest. The basis for that is that 10 years of disarmament policies have only contributed to a large increase in the levels of gun crime.
A TRIBUNA – In what measure do disarmament policies contribute to public security?
BENE BARBOSA – They don’t. There is not one single case of a country that has put forward this kind of restrictive legislation that has experienced any positive results.
A TRIBUNA – So disarmament is a false solution for public security issues?
BENE BARBOSA – Civil disarmament is a false promise. Those who pushed it forward know this, and used the measure to provide a false response to the peoples claim for a safes society.
A TRIBUNA – Are you familiar with the public security status of the Sate of Espirito Santo?
BENE BARBOSA – I know it is one of the most violent States in Brazil. It has recently been superseded by the State of Alagoas, but must still hold the 2nd or 3rd position in the national ranking. The State of Alagoas in currently the most violent and is also the champion in all the civil disarmament campaigns. The population of Alagoas largely adhered in the civil disarmament campaigns and has since experienced a significant increase in their violence levels, making the state into the most insecure of the country. Just one more piece of evidence that civil disarmament doesn’t work.
A TRIBUNA – Why does a small State like Espirito Santo have such high violence levels?
BENE BARBOSA – Because of the same factors that exist in the rest of the country. Impunity, drug use, organized crime, among others, all contribute to a more violent society.
The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) announced today that Brazilian gun rights group Movimento Viva Brasil has joined the international coalition of 25 groups in 16 different countries dedicated to the preservation and defense of civilian firearms rights.
“Our international alliance of like-minded civilian arms rights groups has a strong representation in Brazil now,” IAPCAR’s Executive Director Philip Watson said. “Movimento Viva Brasil brings another voice to the movement for civilian arms rights.”
Movimento Viva Brasil was involved in the coalition that defeated the nation-wide gun control referendum in 2005 with 64% of the voters casting their ballot against the measure.
Bene Barbosa, president of Movimento Viva Brasil, stated that their organization wants to help “visualize the true and utter failure of the gun-control measures enforced in Brazil, as well as contribute to the strengthening of a worldwide effort to protect civilian gun-rights.”
IAPCAR co-founder Julianne Versnel praised IAPCAR’s newest group for their accomplishments and hard work. “Their record speaks for itself. They’ve been effective and unwavering in defending the rights of Brazilians to defend themselves.”
As a representative to the United Nations, Versnel, who is also the Second Amendment Foundation’s Director of Operations, submitted testimony to the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) meeting in March objecting to the exclusion of civilian arms rights from the ATT. “Nothing that is in an Arms Trade Treaty should affect a woman’s right to defend herself,” Versnel told the delegates.
The IAPCAR gun rights coalition is focused on opposition to the ATT, which has passed the UN General Assembly and will be available for countries to sign on June 3. The ATT does not acknowledge or protect civilian arms rights or recognize the right to self-defense in its enforceable language.v
Movimento Viva Brazil may be accessed on the Internet via: (www.mvb.org.br/)
The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (www.iapcar.com) is the only worldwide political action group focusing on the human right to keep and bear arms. Founded in 2010, IAPCAR has grown to 25 major gun-rights organizations and conducts campaigns designed to inform the public and promote the right of self-defense and gun-ownership.
When Movimento Viva Brasil was founded, in August 2004, it represented not only the wishes but also the hopes of a group of idealists who had always fought for their civil rights, especially the right to bear arms.
Lead by Bene Barbosa, a mid-school teacher, dedicated defender of people’s civil rights and individual freedoms for more than 10 years, Movimento Viva Brasil started a serious discussion about the lack of effective national security policies, which was being masked by some people with a Disarmament Campaign of the law abiding citizens.
Movimento Viva Brasil was founded with the objective of showing and informing the Brazilian population about what in fact was behind the Disarmament Campaign, brought forward by the Disarmament Statute, and to put an end to the fallacies suggested by the anti-gun supporters, in defense of the Referendum and the Prohibition Campaign.
The battle that took place in the National Congress was long and hard. Always present in Brasilia, Movimento Viva Brasil followed all the steps to the MP’s voting that approved the referendum. It also worked together with the few politicians that questioned the Disarmament Statute and the absurd idea of taking gun-rights from the people.
On several occasions, the national and regional coordination of Movimento Viva Brasil tried to arrange a meeting with Senator Renan Calheiros, President of the Brazilian Senate, to discuss the Disarmament Statute, the campaign and the Referendum, but was never received by the Senator.
At the House of Representatives however, Movimento Viva Brasil was received by the then President of the House, Severino Cavalcanti, together with many other entities and associations for human rights, families of victims of violence, people of the countryside, sporting shooters (of which Brazil once won a gold medal in the Olympic Games), and several others, determined not to lose their right to purchase firearms and ammunition.
It was one of the most remarkable moments in our fight. The banner “Disarming the citizen is not the solution” was printed on T-shirts of all those who were present at the Cabinet of the House of Representatives President.
It had always been part of Movimento Viva Brasiil’s policies to inform the population about the facts of the Referendum, but it had a lot of difficulty in getting the necessary ink and airtime, due to the posture of the mainstream media, practically made up by people willing to defend the more “politically correct” position. Unfortunately a large part of the Brazilian press was not interested in listening to what Movimento Viva Brasil had to say, despite all the information and statistics that were offered for journalists to analyze.
However, thanks to an excellent communication strategy, Movimento Viva Brasil conquered space in the regional communication channels and in the Internet, from where broadcasted information reached the population and opinion-makers.
Movimento Viva Brasil gradually gained visibility as a sound source of information and had a positive participation in a series of interviews and debates on television and radio.
Parallel to that, various other idealists from different regions of the country gathered together and joined the fight. Movimento Viva Brasil managed to gather some voluntary regional coordinators in different States, being then able to create a solid information web. The president of Movimento Viva Brasil himself, traveled around the country, participating in interviews and debates, public audiences, visiting trade unions and institutions.
The Parliamentary front
A lot of effort had to be directed towards the Members of Parliament during the Referendum’s approval process, unfortunately not enough to avoid the Referendum itself. A great mass of government’s allies in the Congress, together with NGO’s financed by foreign money, put all their effort into the approval of the Referendum. And it was the Brazilian population, eager for realistic and effective measures towards public security, that had to pay approximately R$ 600 million to go to the polls.
In March 2005, even before the Referendum was approved by the Congress, Movimento Viva Brasil and Alberto Fraga MP created the Non-partisan Committee for Self Defense Rights (Comitê Suprapartidário Pela Legítima Defesa), which later became the Parliamentary Front for Self Defense Rights (Frente Parlamentar pelo Direito à Legítima Defesa), supporting the “NO” Vote campaign, against prohibition.
Opinion polls started to show the voting intentions of the population. Some sectors of the media however, with the clear intention of confusing the electorate about their vote, misled the population into believing that the election was about Disarmament, and that if Prohibition was passed, the crime levels would have a considerable drop. For some time, these lies succeeded, and voting intention polls indicated that 80% of the electorate tended to vote “YES” (in favor of the prohibition).
The turning point
We would have to be very efficient in informing the electorate about the realistic information about what was really behind the Referendum, so that they knew exactly what they were voting for, or against. Our PR, Chico Santa Rita, was in charge of all campaign publicity matters and was determined that the arguments should focus on civil rights and individual freedom. From then on, the lies, fallacies, fake numbers, and manipulated statistics used by the anti-gun campaigners started to be exposed. Quickly, most citizens had realized what the Referendum was all about, and were determined not to give up their rights, particularly when their right to make choices was at stake.
It was then that we had what could be called the “turning point”. Opinion polls started to show that voting intentions were now on an equal basis, and the media could no longer continue to manipulate the facts. By then, Movimento Viva Brasil had become a sound source of information for journalists covering the event. The “NO” Vote was starting to gain strength, especially after the free TV and radio campaigns were under way.
After only twenty days of free national TV and radio campaign and two days before the voting, opinion polls indicated that 49% of the electorate already intended to vote “NO” towards prohibition, against 45% tended towards the “YES” Vote.
During the days that preceded the election, there were no end of demonstrations and protests, clearly showing what a great part of the Brazilian population intended to vote for on the 23rd of October.
Brazilians were prepared to say one big “NO” to the prohibition of the legal sales of firearms and ammunition – 64% of the population did so.
Original Story Via: Zeenews.India.com
New Delhi: India abstained from the Arms Trade Treaty adopted by the United Nations and the government will take all measures to ensure that it does not impact national interest, the Lok Sabha was informed on Monday.
In a written reply to the House, Defence Minister A K Antony also said India’s position in this regard has been placed on record at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
“India abstained from the draft Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which was adopted at UNGA session on April 2, as it does not meet out requirements,” he said. The ATT aims at regulating the international trade in conventional arms, from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships.
Antony said the government will take all necessary measures to ensure that the Treaty does not adversely impact the national interest.
In reply to a question on import of defence items, he said procurement is made from various indigenous as well as foreign sources, including the United States, in accordance with the Defence Procurement Procedure.
“Defence equipment has been imported from various countries, including Russia, USA, Israel, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Poland. The imports cover various types of weapon systems and platforms,” he said.
Some of the recently concluded defence deals with foreign vendors are for Konkurs Missiles, UBK Invar Missiles, Basic Trainer Aircraft, MI-17 V5 helicopters, Sonobuoys, Torpedoes and Surveillance Radar Systems, Antony said.
On steps taken to prevent spying activities of China, Antony said, “BSF has been continuously monitoring and gathering intelligence inputs relating to all Chinese activities along Indo-Pak border and sharing the same with other Indian intelligence agencies concerned for appropriate preventive measures.”
Replying a question whether neighbouring countries, including China, have constructed roads in Indian territory, he said, “No construction of roads by neighbouring countries has taken place in territory under possession of India.”
Answering a query on cyber security, he said, “While threats of cyber attacks have increased, adequate safeguards to protect systems through air gapped computers and intranets have been undertaken.”
He also said the Defence Services have established Cyber Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) to prevent and react to cyber attacks.