Presidency spokesman reminds that school tragedy has nothing to do with the flexibilization of weapon possession laws, but opposition defends the need for more control
The shooting incident at a Suzano (SP) school, which left eight people dead, as well as both shooters, on Wednesday (13), had repercussions in the political world. The tragedy was used as a political podium for politicians from several spectrums to express their positions on the freedom to have guns, both defending and opposing the issue.
Senator Major Olímpio (PSL-SP) said the massacre could have been avoided if school employees had guns. “One can only face armed demons like these with similar instruments. If Brazil’s legislation allowed gun possession, an upstanding citizen in that school, whether he was a teacher or an employee, could avoid the tragedy, preventing them from continuing their march of death,” he said.
Also a senator, Flávio Bolsonaro (PSL-RJ) used the tragedy to criticize the disarmament and the age of penal majority. “My condolences to all family members of the victims who were cowardly murdered in the Suzano school. Another tragedy perpetrated by minors, attesting the failure of the ill-fated disarmament statute, still in effect,” he said.
For vice-president Hamilton Mourão, the flexibilization of weapons possession, authorized by president Jair Bolsonaro, has no relation to the tragedy, since the guns used by the shooters, according to him, were probably not legal.
“I don’t see this issue [flexibilization]. Do you think the gun they were using had been purchased legally? That has nothing to do with the subject,” he said, denying that the episode also weakened the debate to change current gun possession rules.
Criticism of the flexibilization of the Disarmament Statute
Former president Dilma Rousseff (PT) stated an opposite point of view. “The unrestricted possession of weapons, widely liberated to the whole population, will provide instruments for these mass murders to become endemic and mundane. The anticrime law by minister Moro is a date with tragedies such as the one in Suzano,” she wrote on Twitter.
Federal deputy Marcelo Freixo (PSOL-RJ) wrote on the same social network about the responsibility of this debate. “Tragedies like this show us how the debate on gun control needs to be made with more responsibility.”
In a message sent from prison, in Curitiba, ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva expressed his solidarity to the students and employees of the Suzano school, and criticized those who defend the arming of the population.
“May those who are encouraging the culture of hatred and violence understand that we don’t need more guns, to prevent massacres like the one in Suzano from becoming commonplace in our country. Brazil needs peace,” says the text written by Lula, released by his advisors.
São Paulo mayor Bruno Covas (PSDB) followed along the same lines. “We deeply regret what happened at the Professor Raul Brasil State School, in Suzano, which killed eight people as well as the perpetrators. We must be responsible in this debate about gun control. Our solidarity and prayers are with the family members and the school community in this sad moment.”
Attack has no relation with the flexibilization of gun control, says government
Presidency spokesman general Otávio Rêgo Barros said the attack in the Suzano school has no relation with the decree which flexibilizes gun control in Brazil.
“The episode in São Paulo has no direct relation with the projects proposed by our president in his government program after his inauguration, supported also by his Ministry of Security,” said Rêgo Barros, when asked whether there is any relation between the measure which made it easier to carry guns and the attack in a Suzano school on Wednesday.
The spokesman was also questioned on whether the government needs to implement any measure through the Ministry of Education. “We are naturally in great commotion after this event, and are imagining how we can act so that similar episodes never happen in our country. But, at the moment, the government has no way of proposing, or even had any time to think on possible campaigns or similar things,” he answered.
Vice-president Hamilton Mourão remembered the Realengo (RJ) massacre, and commented on the frequency of such cases. “It is very sad, and we have to reach the conclusion about why this is happening. These things never happened in Brazil,” he said. “My point of view is that we are seeing now kids addicted to videogames. And violent videogames. That is all they do,” he added. “I have grandchildren, and I often see them immersed in these things. We must be concerned about these things,” he said.
“An extremely sad scene,” said Dória
The manifestations of condolences extrapolated the gun debate. São Paulo governor João Dória (PSDB), who attended the crime scene, classified the massacre as the saddest scene he ever saw.
“With deep sadness, I am very impacted on what I have seen today in this school. An extremely sad scene. Above all, I express our solidarity to the victims, to the parents of these children, to the family members of the employees of this school. The saddest scene I have ever seen in my whole life. I am very sad that an episode like this happened here in Brazil, and in São Paulo,” he said.
President Jair Bolsonaro reacted six hours after the attack. In a message posted on social networks, he defined the tragedy as a monstrosity and a cowardly act, and expressed his condolences to the family members of the victims of the shooting.
“I express my condolences to the family members of the victims of this inhumane attack happened today in the Professor Raul Brasil School, in Suzano. A monstrosity and an immense cowardly act. May God comfort the heart of everyone,” he wrote.
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Porta-voz da Presidência lembra que tragédia em escola nada tem a ver com a flexibilização da posse de armas, mas oposição defende necessidade de haver mais controle