Venezuela is following a predictable pattern of dictators as they feel threatened. They disarm the general population, while allowing or insuring that their loyalists are armed. It is a pattern as old as history. The English did it by disarming the Irish, then the Catholics. Responses to the later disarmament brought about the English Bill of Rights, which served as the base for our Second Amendment. The British did it again in India, after the mutiny/revolt in 1857.
Hitler did it, building on the base that the Weimar Republic built in the late 1920s. If you were in the SS or SA, you could buy guns. Jews were forced to surrender their weapons. Only persons of "undoubted reliability" who "demonstrated need" were allowed to obtain "firearms acquisition permits or firearm carry permits". (page 59, translation, Gateway to Tyranny)
The English gun laws in the 20th century were based on the desire to disarm "unreliable" elements, and give the guns to those in support of the ruling government.
Saddam Hussein gave out guns and gun permits to his supporters.
Venezuela enacted stricter and stricter gun controls over the period of the Chavez/Maduro regime. Venezuela banned the commercial sale of guns and ammunition in 2012. The murder rate in Venezuela has become one of the highest in the world. Police are routinely murdered for their guns.
But making guns illegal for most of the people is only half of the equation. As Venezuela is falling apart, unable to feed its people or to keep crime under some control, the dictator Maduro has decided to arm those he thinks are loyal. From foxnews.com:
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he will expand the number of civilians involved in armed militias, providing guns to as many as 400,000 loyalists.Many have noted a glaring inconsistency. There are only about 100,000 Bolivarian militiamen at present. They do not have arms in the pictures. We are to believe that there are another 300,000 "loyal" Venezuelans that the Madura regime is willing to arm? It seems a bit unlikely. Even strongholds of Chavista are showing scenes of discontent with the regime.
The announcement came as Maduro's opponents are gearing up for what they pledge will be the largest rally yet to press for elections and a host of other demands Wednesday.
The Bolivarian militias, currently at approximately 100,000, were created by the late Hugo Chavez to assist the armed forces in the defense of his revolution from external and domestic attacks.
Speaking to thousands of militia members dressed in beige uniforms gathered in front of the presidential palace, Maduro said that vision remains relevant as Venezuela continues to face "imperialist aggression."
"A gun for every militiaman!" he cried.
I look forward to seeing pictures of those brown ( or is it tan) shirted militiamen walking around the streets of Caracas, armed.
A brutal dictator who disarms his people, and is willing to keep the blood flowing in the streets and concentration camps, can stay in power.
Leftist dictators have demonstrated the ability to do so, again and again.
But today, everyone has digital cameras. Venezuela has shown that it does not have the ability to control the flow of information with the ruthlessness and effectiveness of North Korea. Venezuela does not have a Walter Durante who is willing to lie about the reality of a Soviet enforced famine to a complicit New York Times. That may make a difference.
As an aside, is the left handed salute a Venezuelan innovation? Do other countries use it?
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.