Police in Venezuela just did what America’s gun prohibition lobby would like cops in the United States to do: On Wednesday, they “crushed and chopped up nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols,” according to Reuters.
The news agency reported:
Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the event marked the renewal of efforts to disarm Venezuelans, through a combination of seizures and a voluntary program to swap guns for electrical goods.”
But Reuters tossed this in for good measure:
President Nicolas Maduro promoted Reverol this month, days after the United States accused the former anti-drugs tsar of taking bribes from cocaine traffickers.”
The report quoted Reverol stating, “We are going to bring disarmament and peace.”
There may be a problem with that, however, according to the Washington Examiner. That news agency reported that Venezuela’s gangs “have a history of bribing (police) officers for weapons and ammunition.” In an apparent attempt to head that off, the Venezuelan government will begin using laser technology to mark ammunition, to track the sources.
The Washington Examiner noted that Venezuela “boasts the second-highest murder rate in the world.”
Business Insider quoted Reverol, who claimed that authorities in the crime-ridden nation have seized more than 17,600 firearms this year. The take includes rifles, shotguns, handguns and homemade firearms. Guns have been confiscated and others have been surrendered in exchange for “electrical goods.”
Private gun ownership was outlawed in 2012. But according to a November report in The Guardian, Venezuelan cops are being murdered for their firearms.
Reuters said the firearms were destroyed Wednesday by various methods while some people watched. Some guns were drilled, others were cut with saws and still others were “crushed in truck-mounted presses.” The report said onlookers may have been outnumbered by people dancing nearby to salsa music.
The South American country has high rates of poverty, crime and inflation, and a history of government corruption. Profits from the nation’s oil exports have allegedly been squandered on “social engineering” programs. Earlier this year, according to a detailed profile of the country on Wikipedia, Maduro essentially took over the government.