There are plenty of people who point to countries with fewer guns as models for the United States. However, there are few who take notice of Brazil, a country with far fewer guns that still manages to have much greater gun violence and death.No one seems to take note, but the numbers are there for those who want to see them.
The conclusion is likewise obvious: fewer guns do not necessarily mean fewer deaths by guns.According to UN statistics cited by the BBC of Brazil, Brazilians own 15 million firearms compared to 270 million held by Americans. Yet American deaths by guns in 2010 numbered 9,960, while Brazil listed close to 36,000 such deaths in 2009. It is also interesting to note that the population of Brazil is nearly 200 million while the United States has over 310 million.
Put more simply, America has an 18 to one advantage over Brazil in the number of guns, yet proportionally, Brazil suffers six times more deaths by guns than America.
Why the difference? Brazil has something America does not have: gun control.
In Brazil, all firearms must be registered with the state. Minimum age for owning a gun is 25 and restrictions make it virtually impossible to have a carry permit. Owners must pay a $40 tax every three years. As a result of these and other restrictions, it is very difficult to own a gun in Brazil much less carry one.
Brazil also has gun control advocates. In 2003, the government passed legislation calling for the voluntary surrender of arms. Since that time 612,000 firearms have been surrendered.
The anti-gun mania reached such a point that in 2005, Brazil held a referendum seeking to ban the sales of all guns and ammunition. Against all expectations, the gun-ban was defeated with over 63% of the voters opposed.
The fact is that the overwhelming majority of gun deaths in Brazil are committed with unregistered and illegal guns, especially high caliber guns. Meanwhile law-abiding citizens who wish to defend themselves suffer.
Obviously the facts from Brazil give proof that more guns do not necessarily equal more gun deaths. Yet the universal gun control mantra, “more gun control will stop gun deaths,” drones on.