Monday, September 18, 2006

The Sputtering NYT Sputters On

This is from the "Idea Lab" section of the NYT Sunday Magazine (you may have to register):
Brazil has the most gun deaths annually of any country, and last October it held a referendum on a nationwide gun ban. In the run-up to the vote, polls suggested that more than 70 percent of Brazilians supported the ban. Then the Brazilian gun lobby, which previously had emphasized the desirability of gun ownership, began running advertisements that instead suggested that if the government could take away the right to own a weapon (though Brazilians have no constitutional right to bear arms), it could steal other civil liberties.

This argument took gun-control advocates by surprise, and on voting day, 64 percent of Brazilians voted against the gun ban. “We gun-control groups failed to anticipate this idea of focusing on rights,” admits Denis Mizne of Sou da Paz, a Brazilian public-policy institute. As a report in Foreign Policy revealed, the National Rifle Association lobbyist Charles Cunningham had traveled to Brazil as early as 2003 to impart strategy to local gun advocates, teaching them to emphasize rights instead of weapons.
Shocking, isn't it? Even multi-generational peasants can understand something that baffles even the brightest liberal — sometimes, the goverment is not your friend.


Anonymous said...

Although you must be commended by your research, I must take exception to the "multi-generation peasants" moniker attached to the unavoidable conclusion. It reeks of arrogance, stupidity and conceit, traits that I had yet to read into your posts.

That much aside, it is simply wrong and quite preposterous to deem Mr. Cunningham's efforts as the milestone upon which the Gun Ban was repealed. In fact, the struggle to resist against the UN's, IANSA's and powerful Brazilian NGO's efforts plus the MSM barrage -not to forget the government itself- went back several years before the referendum ever took place.

Be as it may, we won but a battle for the war rages still. There is much to do yet, I fool you not.

Do carry on the good writing; we non-multi-generation peasants enjoy it highly!

Michael Bane said...

Mr. Torres;

You are correct and I was wrong. My apologies. And, indeed, the battle still rages, in the U.S. as in Brazil.

Michael B

Anonymous said...

Dear Michael,

Please allow me to demonstrate my sincere appreciation for your honest and noble response by addressing you by your first name.

I never doubted that you would reply as such and indeed, no further apologies are needed. Your honest and straightforward reply was more than enough, actually.

If you ever come to Brazil, please let me know. It will be a pleasure to meet you, sir.

Warmest regards,

Marcello G. Torres