In the world’s most murderous country, gun control is starting to lose its appeal.Desperate Brazilians are wondering whether they’d be better off armed, given that around 60,000 of their compatriots are killed each year. Polls show support for gun ownership gaining ground. In an election year, politicians are paying attention.One of the candidates leading the field for October’s 2018 presidential election — hardline conservative Jair Bolsonaro — has promised to allow law-abiding citizens to arm themselves, a popular pledge in the nation with by far the most homicides of the entire world. Even before then, Congress may debate legislation to overturn the “disarmament statute,” a law that effectively bans civilian gun ownership, except in rare circumstances. The proposal would allow Brazilians with clean criminal records who pass psychological and firearm exams to buy up to six weapons.“Everyday, everywhere you look, the criminal is armed with a high-powered weapon as the citizen tries to hide,” Rogerio Peninha Mendonca, the lawmaker behind the proposal, said in an interview. “What we want is for the citizen to be more capable of defending himself.”
“Self-defense can be an important crime deterrent,”says a new report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The $10 million study was commissioned by President Barack Obama as part of 23 executive orders he signed in January.
“Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies,” the CDC study, entitled “Priorities For Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence,” states.
The Inspectorate of Constabulary said a quarter of forces in England and Wales were often "overwhelmed" by demand.
The annual review found instances of police taking days to respond to calls that should be acted on within an hour.
Police chiefs said increases in demand had put policing under "real strain".
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services' (HMICFRS) annual assessment of police effectiveness said most police forces were doing a good job and keeping the public safe.
However, the report said it was concerned that vulnerable victims were "too often" not getting a prompt emergency response.
Thousands of 999 calls assessed as requiring action within 60 minutes were not dealt with for hours or, in some cases, for several days - mainly because officers were not available to respond.
In Cambridgeshire, for example, inspectors found the average time it took for police to respond to a 999 call during September last year was 15 hours.
Victims 'at risk'
Inspectors said they were concerned by the findings because it showed the system was "under severe strain and in some forces the cracks are showing".
Zoe Billingham, the Inspector of Constabulary, told Radio 4's Today programme that some callers, such as domestic abuse victims, were being "put at risk".
But she said the report needed to be put into context, highlighting last year's terror attacks and a significant increase in calls from victims of domestic abuse as factors in a "massive increase in demand" on forces.
Out of 43 police forces, only Durham Constabulary was ranked as outstanding.
It found that "life and limb" and "crime in action" cases were generally dealt with quickly.
But the report criticised the standard of investigations into crimes such as robbery, burglary, car theft and assault.
It said officers frequently failed to carry out house-to-house enquiries, gather CCTV evidence and use their body-worn cameras.
The National Police Chiefs' Council said it was working with forces to boost their detective numbers and specialist capability.