George Orwell wrote a lot of important things, and in those works, you can find many excellent quotes. Perhaps the most important words he ever penned were these, “That rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.”
Orwell subscribed to mild socialism for the majority of his life, but his personal experience with extremists and dictators forced him to eventually see the light. He knew, perhaps better than anyone of the era, that socialist dictators were dangerous, and that they would always try to disarm the populations they aimed to control.
We don’t have to go back 60 years to prove him right. Venezuela is living evidence that Orwell figured it out long ago.
Before the world was finished making Mayan calendar Jokes, Venezuela was hard at work on new gun laws. Hugo Chavez was still in power, and he was dealing with the fact that violent crime had risen precipitously during his reign.
Venezuela already had fairly strict gun laws in play. Citizens had to have a state permit to be able to purchase firearms. More importantly, the firearm industry was nationalized. The government had full control over who could buy weapons.
Despite that, Venezuela was one of the most dangerous countries in the world. So, under the guise of protecting the people, Chavez championed complete gun control. He passed a law that did away with citizen firearm permits. Only state-sponsored groups could access weapons (namely the police and military). The nation cheered this change. They genuinely believed that it would stop crime and make things better.
Was it Worth It?
We’ll get to Maduro in a minute. First, it’s important to review the efficacy of Chavez’s gun control. From 2012 to 2019, gun control remained extreme. Gun ownership among civilians steadily dropped. At the same time, murder, homicide and gun-crime rates only grew. By some estimates, the homicide rate doubled in that time span. Caracas went from one of the most dangerous cities in the world to the most dangerous by a landslide. Gun control very clearly failed to achieve its goals.
Well, that’s not entirely correct. Gun control failed to reduce murder. Chavez stated another goal when he championed the gun ban. He clearly proclaimed that he wanted to disarm the population. This goal was achieved to the bane of the current population of Venezuela.
You know where this is going. Nicolas Maduro is a mad despot. The socialist dictator has forced starvation upon his people. When innocent civilians tried to accept foreign aid so they wouldn’t starve to death, Maduro ordered the military to open fire on them. He has absolute control over a country that openly claims his rule is a violation of their constitution and laws.
He’s a merciless dictator, and the Venezuelan people have absolutely no hope of ending his rule. They can pray that either he will step down or foreign powers will intervene. In either case, the future of Venezuela is not in the hands of the Venezuelans.
George Orwell was right.
It’s too late to spare Venezuela from the consequences of their decisions. We can hope that foreign intervention will find a way to resolve the issue as peacefully as possible, but at this point, the most we can do is learn from their mistakes.
The situation in Venezuela went exactly how every single conservative in the United States predicted. Socialism destroyed the economy and bankrupted the nation. It led to mass starvation, the nationalization of every industry, the disarming of the people and an immovable tyrant.
Despite this clear and obvious example, the left still champions Venezuelan policy. They still want socialism, nationalized industry and complete gun control. There are many important political fights in our country, but protecting the 2nd Amendment matters the most. The left might be able to institute devastating policy and destroy our economy.
As long as we keep a rifle on the wall of every home, the left can’t instill an immovable tyrant. The most important way to protect our future and prevent the United States from becoming the next Venezuela is with the right to bear arms. Don’t let the media circus distract you. When we disarm our population, we lose all hope.