The natural right to bear arms enshrined in the Second Amendment was previously reflected in the English Bill of Rights (which also saw it as a preexisting right). That right was written down after Kings and Parliaments disarmed their opposition and raised their own militias to quash political foes.
It looks like Venezuela’s socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro is trying to play from that despicable centuries-old playbook, arming up his loyalist militia to put down the citizens his nation has disarmed.
Embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced plans Monday to expand the number of civilians involved in armed militias as tensions in the crisis-wracked South American nation continued to rise.
Maduro said he hopes to expand the number of civilians involved in the Bolivarian militias created by the late Hugo Chavez to 500,000, up from the current 100,000, and provide each member with a gun.
Speaking to thousands of militia members dressed in beige uniforms gathered in front of the presidential palace to mark the force’s seventh anniversary, Maduro said it is time for Venezuelans to decide if they are “with the homeland” or against it.
“Now is not the time to hesitate,” he said.
The announcement comes as Maduro’s opponents are gearing up for what they pledge will be the largest rally yet to press for elections and a host of other demands Wednesday.
Thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets since the Supreme Court stripped the National Assembly of its last vestiges of power nearly three weeks ago, a decision it later reversed. At least five people have been killed, dozens hurt and more than 100 detained in the demonstrations.
Tyrants have always disarmed the general citizenry to protect their own power bases, and have built their power bases by co-opting the military. In many instances, they’ll also form militias out of their cult followers, using them as a force to either cancel-out the military if they think military leadership may oppose them, or in cases where they don’t want dirty tricks linked to the government directly, they use these militias to tyrannize the citizenry into compliance with the fig leaf of having plausible deniability.
In Venezuela, it appears Maduro is going straight Third World strongman, and is using his militia to terrorize his citizens into compliance, even as his socialist policies destroy one of the richest nations in South America (in terms of natural resources).
Intelligent citizenries with a sense of history will never listen to governments that demand they disarm “for the common good.”
The “common good” is always abused by dictators and tyrants.
Demonstrations are turning bloody in Venezuela even now, and a teenager was murdered by one of Maduro’s armed militiamen in Caracas today.
He will not be the last to fall, in a nation that unwisely listened to the government’s demand to disarm.