Brazil: Disarmament Failed

Veículo: A Tribuna / Veiculação:

Bene Barbosa, of Movimento Viva Brasil, criticizes the Disarmament Statute and blames impunity for the high levels of violence in Brazil

“Disarmament is a false promise“, says the Barbosa, a specialist in public security and President of Movimento Viva Brasil.

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.