By Tyler Bauer
Nowadays, many people think that the Second Amendment – and gun rights in general – are outdated. “Do we really need to worry about a tyrannical government? Besides, do we need guns to keep the government in check? Voting is just as effective,” they say. Turns out they’re wrong.
Now more than ever, the people of Venezuela are regretting the law which banned the sale of weapons and ammunition to all private persons and groups. This law was passed in 2012 took effect in 2013, and was followed by a long period of amnesty where the Venezuelan government offered to buy guns surrendered by citizens. Only thirty-seven guns were voluntarily surrendered in 2013, while a whopping 12,500 were seized by force. (If you’d like to read coverage from 2012 when the law was passed, click here.)
Fast forward to today, and the people of Venezuela are regretful. According to Fox News, one Venezuelan said, “Guns would have served as a vital pillar to remaining a free people, or at least able to put up a fight. The government security forces, at the beginning of this debacle, knew they had no real opposition to their force. Once things were this bad, it was a clear declaration of war against an unarmed population.” He then added, “People never would have believed they needed to defend themselves against the government. Venezuelans evolved to always hope that our government would be non-tyrannical, non-violator of human rights, and would always have a good enough control of criminality.”
Much like the Venezuelans who trusted their government to not be tyrannical, it’s easy to have a similar faith in our government. It’s easy to look at our Second Amendment – written over two hundred years ago – and think it’s outdated. It is old, but it’s by no means obsolete. The government has been attacking gun rights for years, and appears to be doing so more often recently. (Click here, here, and here for more).
I hope we can look at Venezuela and learn a valuable lesson about the importance of the right to bear arms. If we don’t preserve our right to bear arms, we aren’t too far away from the government killing Americans in the streets for making our voices heard. It sounds like a bit of a stretch, but Venezuela proves that it’s possible.