Venezuelan Gun Destruction Shows Danger of ‘Just Following Orders’ Culture
“Venezuela crushes 2,000 guns in public, plans registry of bullets,” Reuters is reporting. “Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the event marked the renewal of efforts to disarm Venezuelans, through a combination of seizures and a voluntary program to swap guns for electrical goods.”
Don’t “electrical goods” need to be plugged in to work? For a country with an “electricity crisis” marked by rolling “planned blackouts,” and with continuing food shortages forcing Venezuelans across the border into Bolivia to purchase something to eat (with drastically devaluing currency to the point of worthlessness), what good does a toaster do someone with no working outlets, and no bread if he did have any? Assuming the government can actually deliver appliances any better than they can anything else besides crushing Marxist tyranny…?
It should surprise no one that Reverol has been indicted in the U.S. on drug-trafficking charges, or that drug money fuels much of the criminal violence plaguing Venezuela. Nor should it surprise us that socialist President Nicolás Maduro calls a Marxist Spanish professor “the Jesus Christ of economics.”
So is anyone surprised a tyrant, desperate to hold on to power, demands a monopoly of violence? Or that such an imbalance in power results in a murderous military/police state?
Killings by security forces are a chronic problem. According to the most recent official statistics, law enforcement agents allegedly killed 7,998 people between January 2000 and the first third of 2009. In July 2013, military officials opened fire at a car in the state of Falcon, killing the driver and one of her daughters, and injuring her two other children. After the case received widespread media coverage, prosecutors charged 10 military officials for their alleged responsibility in the killings. However, impunity remains the norm.
Such a state requires agents to carry out the orders. The “officers” destroying the guns at Reverol’s obscene demonstration of impotence (the number of “illicit” guns in Venezuela significantly dwarfs the number of registered guns) know the public showing was pure theater. Some of them actually make money supplying guns to gangs.
This is the kind of corruption made inevitable by out-of-control control freaks, restrained by nothing but how far they dare push their savage impulses. Assuming they can keep food in the bellies of their minions and their families, “loyalty” of the troops, such as it is, will be assured – unless a better deal, making betrayal worth the risk, comes along.
The enforcers destroying guns do so knowing it will have no impact on Venezuelan violent crime, and know the most violent criminals are the ones in government who will brook no competition. You wonder, of the 2,000 firearms reported destroyed (out of an estimated 3.25M “licit and illicit” civilian guns) how many have been sold by the “authorities” instead, and how high up the payoffs went.
What’s not hard to infer, when assessing enforcers for a corrupt socialist regime (is there any other kind?) is that there’s probably literally no order they won’t obey. What are they gonna do, say “No” and get shot on the spot? They, like the populace they coerce, don’t have Constitutional protections that mandate limited, lawfully-delegated powers, and put enumerated and unenumerated rights and powers off limits.
That’s why, while we still have the semblance of such a system in place, it’s important our military and police understand those rights and powers, and their obligation to uphold their oaths. And that’s why it’s incumbent on all citizens who believe in freedom to defy and resist collectivist politicians who disparage our right to keep and bear arms, and to refuse to submit to unlawful orders infringing on that right.
We expect those in command chains to invoke “I will not obey” when that happens. The rest of us have an equally sacred obligation to keep faith with “I will not comply.”