ANOTHER VICTORY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: DESPITE MASSIVE GOVERNMENTAL AND INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT, a gun control referendum has failed in Brazil, and by a rather sizable margin:

More than 64 percent of voters favored keeping arms sales legal, the electoral court said with 75 percent of the expected 122 million votes counted.

Only 35 percent supported the ban even though some 36,000 people were killed by guns last year in Latin America’s largest country, where bloodshed and violence are a daily concern for many citizens. [Yeah, it’s a Reuters story, so you have to expect asides like that.] Full results were expected by midnight (0200 GMT).

“We didn’t lose because Brazilians like guns. We lost because people don’t have confidence in the government or the police,” said Denis Mizne of anti-violence group Sou da Paz.

This may be true — but one might say the same about many civil rights, of course. As Dave Kopel suggests, this looks like “a stunning repudiation of the international gun prohibition movement.”

The next question is when gun rights activists will stop playing defense against gun-control efforts and start promoting the right to arms as an international human right.

UPDATE: Reader Joe Rega emails:

Hi Glenn, I live in Brazil and believe me, you don’t know the half of it. The level of propaganda from the pro-ban side, which included the current government, the Church, the Globo television network (think CBS, ABC and NBC combined) and the arts/intelligentsia crowd was beyond the pale and clearly directed at the less fortunate. In other words, it was presented as a class vote. The margin of victory indicates that Brazilians of all classes voted against this ridiculous referendum. It is a sure sign of the steady but certain maturing of democracy in this country.