By now, you may have seen pictures or watched the video (very graphic, you have been warned!) of the woman who took out a would-be mugger here in Brazil last week. To summarize, off-duty police officer Kátia da Silva Sastre was leaving a Mothers Day celebration with her young daughter, when she and other mothers and children were accosted by a mugger, waving a gun. Ms. Sastre took a step back, coolly withdrew her firearm from her purse, and shot the man point blank. Watching the video, one sees the shock register on the bandido’s face as he realizes that his “soft target” was not quite so soft.

A few takeaways:

1. The reaction from the general population here in Brazil has been overwhelmingly positive. The general populace of Brazil is tired of being constantly terrorized by these drug-addled street muggers. The image below is indicative of the general mood. It shows a screenshot of the video from the scene, and in flowery, feminine script is written “Happy Mothers Day! Congratulations to all our Great Heroines!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The woman has strongly defended her action. Her statement: “These [criminals] get out of control easily. I did not know if his reaction would be to shoot the kids or the mother or the guard at the school door. I just thought about defending mothers, children and my own life and my own daughter.”

3. The governor of São Paulo has given her a reward. In a special Mothers Day ceremony, governor Márcio França gave her special honors. This is an indication of just how popular this woman’s actions are here.

4. This has seriously damaged the “anti-gun” movement here in Brazil. Unlike the US, anti-gun forces have successfully disarmed the rank and file, law-abiding Brazilian. In fact, the only reason Ms. Sastre had a firearm in the first place was because she is a cop. The inescapable conclusion is that, had there not been an armed person present – as happens all too often – Mothers Day could have very well ended in the funeral of a mother or a daughter.

5. None of this has kept the anti-self-defense people from trying. A couple of the scare headlines about the event: “Right next to children, police officer mother reacts to a mugging and kills the mugger in São Paulo“, and “Governor contradicts the police in honoring officer who shot a criminal.

6. But Brazilians are not having it. Here is just one collection of tweets and memes in support of the courageous mother and her actions. My favorite:

The Portuguese reads “Happy Mothers Day to you, warrior woman and protector, who in your own way struggles for a better world for your child.”