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].