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Ukrainians demand gun rights as Venezuelans remain silent on issue

Will Ukrainians demand recognition of their right to keep and bear arms as a non-negotiable concession from their government? Will Venezuelans?
Will Ukrainians demand recognition of their right to keep and bear arms as a non-negotiable concession from their government? Will Venezuelans?
(L) Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images (R) Joe Raedle/Getty Images

In the wake of public unrest where the government used deadly force against protestors, the Ukrainian Gun Owners Association has proposed an amendment to the nation’s constitution, Townhall.com News Editor Katie Pavlich reported Monday.

"Everyone has the right to freedom of owning a firearm to protect their life and health, housing and property, life and health of other people's constitutional rights and freedoms in the case of usurpation of power, the encroachments on the constitutional order, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the proposed amendment reads. “Exercising the right to free possession of firearms is governed by applicable law and may be limited only by the court on the individual."

Citing the entry categorizing Ukrainian gun laws as “restrictive” at GunPolicy.org, a Sydney School of Public Health project providing an online compilation of global gun statistics and law summaries, Pavlich notes gun ownership is licensed by the state, and that “genuine reason” to own a gun must be approved.

That’s still much better than the situation in Venezuela, where, thanks to edicts set in place by dead dictator Hugo Chavez, “Only the state may possess 'weapons of war', including: cannon, rifles, mortars, machine guns, sub-machine guns, carbines, pistols, and revolvers, be they automatic or semi-automatic. Civilians are only authorized to hold .22 rifles and shotguns (repeating and hunting).”

The result of such “progressive” restrictions, which include licensing, registration, and all the other “gun safety laws” we’re promised by the Bloombergs and the Bradys will stop the violence? Besides unchecked socialist tyranny?

In Venezuela, the annual rate of firearm homicide per 100,000 population is 2009: 39.0.

By comparison, using the most recent available statistics, the armed-to-the-teeth United States had a rate of 3.6 in 2011, despite our civilian population having hundreds of times more firearms and about 10 times the gun ownership rate.

Whether Venezuelan freedom activists make similar demands as protestors in the Ukraine remains to be seen.

“What is your position on firearms rights?” this correspondent asked Voluntad Popular (Popular Will), the “centrist” Venezuelan political party, widely recognized as the primary opposition to the Nicloas Maduro regime, via Facebook message. “What changes would you make to current Venezuelan law?”

No reply has been forthcoming at this writing.

Still, it’s interesting to note, as so often is the case with tyrannical regimes, that more peaceful means of obtaining redress are being cut off as well. Not only is the government blocking off means of communications, but trying to access the state-owned CANTV telephone and internet provider’s website has been resulting in connection time-outs all morning. Unsurprisingly, the government is blaming outages on opposition "attacks" as it rallies beholden workers to conduct a sanctioned "protest" of their own.

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Despite all those blood-curdling screams coming from those haunting the halls of politics, the true chilling threat is to our rights. My latest GUNS Magazine "Rights Watch" column is online, and you can read it well before the issue hits the stands. Click here to read "Ghost Guns.”