Photo Jonathan Blair

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

The Brazilian gun lobby's er... dysfunctions

A funny one from my favourite Brazilian magazine, although, unfortunately, gun proliferation in Brazil is a sad, very serious and, literally, deadly problem.

Let me explain this one because, although the analysis may look a bit vulgar and simplistic, it is dead on about the whole gun lobby, whether in the US, in Canada, or in Brazil.

The Lula government has recently introduced a decree revising the extremely liberal regime of access to weapons that his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro had adopted, and which had led to a huge increase in the number of guns in circulation in Brazil. In many ways, it is very little, very late, and it is not even clear that it will survive congressional resistance. Given the government's weakness in congress, what little there is there probably is as much as can be done. The Congressional Gun Lobby ("a Bancada da Bala") has 267 members, out of 513 deputies in total, and it is predictably going to war over this. The government may still win, but they will literally have to buy votes to do so--freeing money for the pet projects of enough deputies.

The key is, most people affected already have guns, piles of them, and in may cases, they have bought a huge number of additional ones under Bolsonaro: the number of registered weapons went from 83,000 to 280,000 between 2018, when he was elected, to 2021, one full year before he was finally thrown out of power.

That's the context.

Now the text itself (revised Google translation):

"To compensate for restrictions in gun ownership, the Gun Lobby is negotiating a decree on penis enlargement.

TOMA LÁ DÁ CÁ [A Brazilian expression meaning patronage]– The system of checks and balances of democracy continues to function normally. Dissatisfied with the presidential decree that radically reduced the CACs' right to own and carry weapons [CAC stands for Caçadores, Atiradores e Colecionadores/Hunters, Sharpshooters and Collectors], the Gun Lobby obtained compensation from the federal government. In the next few days, Lula should sign a new decree to provide penis enlargement via SUS [Brazil's public health system], in addition to discounts on Ferraris, Porsches, pickups and SUVs for all CACs.

The solution was celebrated by federal deputy Alberto Fraga, from the PL [Bolsonaro's Liberal Party], who presides over the Bancada da Bala. “I had already been complaining that the restriction on the sale of 9mm pistols would cause a crisis in trade and a feeling of deep insecurity in the masculinity of the Brazilian shooter”, explained Fraga. “That consolation will be welcome.”

Taurus [a large Brazilian gun manufacturer] has already announced that it intends to change the production of rifles for that of penis enlargers, projecting a record profit for the next quarter."
[About the picture: Sildenafil is the generic version of Viagra, and C.A.C. stands for Hunters, Sharpshooters and Collectors].

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Canada's review of its Cannabis legalization policy

 [This short comment marks the return of the Little Crocodile, exceptionally, with Canadian content, but only because it is about drugs and drug policy. I am letting go of administrative responsibilities and will be posting more regularly from now on]

Cannabis legalization was to be reviewed after three years, that is, in 2021. The process was launched a year later and is still underway.

Like many things this government does, it is shrouded in secrecy. What would we do without nosy journalists (in this case from the Marijuana Business Daily)?

The report will be prepared under the direction of Morris Rosenberg, former head of the Trudeau Foundation and author of the recently published report on foreign threats to the 2021 elections, which, to say the least, was thin. 

Here is Andrew Coyne's take on it: "The report on foreign interference in the 2021 election by former Trudeau Foundation CEO Morris Rosenberg was even worse. O'Toole says Rosenberg did not interview any senior Conservative official for his report. Yet the report leaves the strong impression he did... The report says “[t]here was an opportunity to meet with representatives of major political parties” without saying who, refers to “interviews with party representatives” without saying which, even states  “party representatives were pleased with the thoroughness of briefings..."

Is there really no one else available for these things in Ottawa?