A while ago I wrote an article on gun control in Peru. Although it has trailed off a little bit, this still remains a hot topic in the US with people being almost as unreasonable about gun control conversations as they are about discussing religion or politics. Personally, it’s not something I take all that seriously. When I talk about gun control, it’s mainly in the form of a provocative post to make a couple specific people livid on Facebook (for example the other day I posted that the 2nd amendment doesn’t say anything about the right to own ammo–and that 2nd amendment defenders should start adding “right to own ammo” to their advocacy).
However, the other day a comment breathed new life into the issue, at least as far as “Streets of Lima” is concerned. I’d like you to read it and then we’ll discuss it. Here it is:
I am an American living in Lima Peru. I have a full carry concealed permit. I can carry throughout the whole country of Peru. I have never even had to pull out my weapon. I had it for over a year. They do a Interpol check, Peru background Check. Go see a shrink. Then a shooting target test. Then if you pass it all, after a few weeks, you get your permit. Now to make this straight. If you shoot a person in self-defense, it’s all good. I have asked the police many times. You must have a good reason to have a gun here. All the bad guys have guns in Lima.I never leave the house without my weapon, ever.
So, to be clear, this is exactly how the comment appeared on my blog except that I corrected a couple minor grammatical and spelling issues.
The first half of the comment is actually pretty interesting as it details what you have to do to get a gun permit in Peru.
I guess the part where I start getting confused is when he says, “If you shoot a person in self-defense, it’s all good. I have asked the police many times.”
That sounds great when it’s tough talk on the internet, but my guess is that in real life, they dig into it a little bit deeper. For example, I bet they do a toxicology screen on you if you kill somebody. I mean, that seems pretty reasonable right? I’d also guess–although I don’t know–that it’d be frowned upon to have any alcohol in your system if you ended up in a shooting. So, taking that line of thought a little further, if you’re carrying a gun in Peru, you can’t go out drinking.
So when the guy says, “I don’t leave the house without my weapon, ever” it means he can never go out and drink in public. To me, that would make Peru a pretty miserable place to live. I mean, if you are a single guy and you don’t have the right to go and have a couple adult beverages with attractive ladies, what’s the point of living (I mean…really). Although, I suppose people don’t start thinking about this when they get excited about their guns, the same way people forget they can’t go on 3 month vacations when they buy a dog to take care of.
Also, the comment “all the bad guys have guns” is inaccurate. I’ve been robbed by people who didn’t have guns, so I know that one for a fact (it isn’t “all”).
The thing about a gun is that it changes your perspective I suppose. I lived in Lima for 10 years and never needed a gun, despite what this guy says. Sure, there were a couple times when I wished I had one, but it turned out that I didn’t need one, and I think the gun would have just made things worse–based on how the scenarios turned out.
I guess the part that is the deal breaker for me is my assumption that carrying a gun around means you aren’t allowed to drink. Too bad the guy didn’t put that into the original comment. I think every time you mention having a concealed weapon permit, you should probably also mention that you can’t take any alcohol or drugs (prescription or otherwise) while carrying the weapon. I bet that would crack down the enthusiasm for carrying concealed weapons…but who knows, maybe that’s not the law?
I had a friend in the US who was always a pain in the ass because he couldn’t go out for a margarita because he always had a weapon on him. I guess it all goes to show, nothing is absolutely free, everything has a cost.
The cost of giving up my ability to drink a pisco sour whenever I want is too high–no matter what I get in exchange for it.
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