When Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the other day he will issue guns to thousands of loyalists, it came just eight months after the highly-publicized public destruction of thousands of seized firearms, perfectly summing up the ultimate concern about gun control.
Back in 2012 when the BBC reported that sales of new firearms and ammunition were banned in the country in the name of gun control and crime reduction, the proverbial writing was on the wall. Now, with civil unrest in Caracas against his regime, Maduro obviously wants to cling to power, which for many people translates to tyranny.
Last year’s gun destruction was reported by Business Insider. That publication quoted another publication, Riverol, which reported at the time that more than 17,600 guns had been seized. Rifles, pistols and shotguns were all destroyed.
Nothing could better underscore the danger that gun confiscations represent then Maduro’s announcement while his government and that of his predecessor have worked feverishly to disarm the general populace.
As the saying goes, when guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns.
According to TIME, the protests are continuing today. Because of Maduro’s plan, this situation does not appear to have a good ending over the horizon.
Fox News reported that Maduro’s plan to arm loyalist civilians involves as many as 400,000 people. That amounts to something of a private army.
Called the “Bolivarian Militias,” these loyalists were originally organized by the late Hugo Chavez, according to Fox. Their mission was to “assist the armed forces in the defense of his revolution from external and domestic attacks.” They wear beige uniforms.
When the effort began to halt gun and ammunition sales to the civilian population, the law was changed to allow only police and the military and certain security firms, to be armed. At the time, the government claimed that the action was necessary to curb murder and violent crime.
There was a gun amnesty program prior to imposition of the new regulations.