Children Openly Brandishing Guns in Brazil

Images from a section of Rio de Janeiro known as the “Corner of Fear” have been published by undercover journalists. Even in Brazil, where crime is rampant, the pictures have sent shockwaves through the citizenry:

A boy steps boldly into the night traffic and waves a gun to bring the cars to a halt, clearing a path for a motorcycle which screeches into the intersection. Riding pillion is another boy, brandishing a machinegun.

Later two teenagers, also riding pillion on motorbikes, flash their guns at other motorists; nearby, a boy can be seen taking aim with a rifle equipped with a telescopic sight. Other youths wander the street smoking crack.

For residents, the junction between the busy Dom Helder Câmara and dos Democráticos, in North Rio de Janeiro, has become known as the Corner of Fear — and video footage of daily life there has shocked a nation already familiar with guns and violence.

Criminals thrive in this nation that has some of the most draconian gun laws in the world — it is ranked 20th in the world for homicides. And then there’s this from US Overseas Security Advisory Office:

The criminal threat for Rio de Janeiro is rated by the U.S. Department of State as critical.  The Brazilian police and the Brazilian press report that crime continues to increase.  Violent crimes such as murder, rape, kidnapping, carjacking, armed assault, and burglary are a normal part of everyday life. . . .

The Government of Brazil (GOB) continues to be locked in an intense struggle against drug gangs for control of large areas of the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area.  The drug gangs control and in essence serve as parallel governments in the majority of the poor areas of the city known as favelas.  The drug gangs are obtaining increasingly sophisticated weapons and are demonstrating a willingness to use them in order to maintain control of the areas they occupy.  The determination of the government to wrest control of the favelas from the drug gangs has resulted in violent confrontations between the GOB security forces and the drug gangs.

Our loose gun laws lead to this kind of behavior. Wait, they don’t? Isn’t there a lesson there?

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Posted February 26th, 2010 Filed in International, Second Amendment