By: Teresa Mull

Most of Venezuela is now starving and suffering horribly from the effects of Socialism. Ninety percent of people in the country are living in poverty, and an astonishing 2 million have fled, creating a humanitarian crisis in countries accepting refugees.

Venezuelans have learned the hard way the deadly price of gun control and have a dire warning for the rest of us.

Javier Vanegas, a Venezuelan exile, told Fox News:

“Guns would have served as a vital pillar to remaining a free people, or at least able to put up a fight. The government security forces, at the beginning of this debacle, knew they had no real opposition to their force. Once things were this bad, it was a clear declaration of war against an unarmed population.

“Venezuelans didn’t care enough about it. The idea of having the means to protect your home was seen as only needed out in the fields. People never would have believed they needed to defend themselves against the government. Venezuelans evolved to always hope that our government would be non-tyrannical, non-violator of human rights, and would always have a good enough control of criminality.”

‘Disarm All Citizens’
According to Fox, “Under the direction of then-President Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan National Assembly in 2012 enacted the ‘Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law,’ with the explicit aim to ‘disarm all citizens.’ The law took effect in 2013, with only minimal pushback from some pro-democracy opposition figures, banned the legal commercial sale of guns and munitions to all – except government entities.”

After a guns-for-electrical-goods trade program failed, Chavez instituted gun seizures, confiscating more than 12,500 firearms by force. Homicide rates, of course, subsequently rose in Venezuela.

“The punishment for illicit carrying or selling a weapon now is 20 years behind bars,” Fox reports.

Vanegas’ words of warning are ominous and should make every apathetic American gun owner – whose government has already begun confiscating citizens’ guns – sit up and pay attention:

“If guns had been a stronger part of our culture, if there had been a sense of duty for one to protect their individual rights, and as a show of force against a government power – and had legal carry been a common thing – it would have made a huge difference.”

The Fox News report on the fallout from Venezuela’s gun ban ("Venezuelans regret gun ban, ‘a declaration of war against an unarmed population’") is shocking, heart-breaking, and a must-read.

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at