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America: Arms Dealer Inc.

By Daphne On January 17th, 2013 at 1:35 am

In light of the intense discussion and bipartisan hysteria over impending gun regulation in the wake of America’s latest mass shooting there has been no mention of America as the world’s largest purveyor of arms.


Between them, the White House and the Pentagon — with a helping hand from the State Department — ensure that the U.S. remains by far the leading purveyor of the “right to bear arms” globally.  Year in, year out, in countries around the world, they do their best to pave the way (as the NRA does domestically) for the almost unfettered sales of ever more lethal weapons.  In fact, the U.S. now has something remarkably close to a monopoly on what’s politely called the “transfer” of weaponry on a global scale.  In 1990, as the Cold War was ending, the U.S. had cornered an impressive 37% of the global weapons trade.  By 2011, the last year for which we have figures, that percentagehad reached a near-monopolistic 78% ($66.3 billion in weapons sales), with the Russians coming in a distant second at 5.6% ($4.8 billion).


Mark the irony of this administration’s current rhetoric on American gun control versus the reality of how they deal with the rest of the globe.


Here’s the strange thing in the present gun control context: no one — not pundits, politicians, or reporters — seems to see the slightest contradiction in an administration that calls for legal limits on advanced weaponry in the U.S. and yet (as rare press reports indicate) is working assiduously to remove barriers to the sale of advanced weaponry overseas. There are, of course, still limits on arms sales abroad, some imposed by Congress, some for obvious reasons.  The Pentagon does not broker weapons sales to Iran, North Korea, or Cuba, and it has, for example, been prohibited by Congress from selling them to the military regime in Myanmar. But generally the Obama administration has put effort into further easing the way for major arms sales abroad, while working to rewrite global export rules to make them ever more permeable.

In other words, the Pentagon is the largest federally licensed weapons dealer on the planet and its goal — one that the NRA might envy — is to create a world in which the rights of those deemed our allies to bear our (most advanced) armaments “shall not be infringed.”  The Pentagon, it seems, is intent on pursuing its own global version of the Second Amendment, not for citizens of the world but for governments, including grim, autocratic states like Saudi Arabia which are perfectly capable of using such weaponry to create Newtowns on an unimaginable scale.


This is one of many serious discussions the American people aren’t having amidst the current sound and fury in the aftermath of Sandyhook. Maybe it’s time to broaden our perspective regarding who we are as a people and the arms policies we sanction through our government.


Excerpts taken from The Pentagon as a Global NRA
For Washington, There Is No Arms Control Abroad
by Tom Engelhardt.



Bushmaster .223

By Daphne On December 15th, 2012 at 2:10 am


This is one of the guns used by Adam Lanza to murder 20 five year old children and six adults this afternoon.

I wouldn’t shed a single tear if every semi-automatic rifle was taken off the market tomorrow. A quick search of “Bushmaster .223″ turned up the following quote in a review: “With the mild-recoiling .223 in this semi-auto action, a shooter could fire twenty rounds without lifting his head off the stock.”

Why do we need this? I don’t care about them, and I have no patience for people who think they’re essential to democracy.

As a responsible gun owner who takes full advantage of gun safes, trigger locks and professional instruction for all members of my family, I have no problem arguing for stronger legislation to eliminate weapons like the Bushmaster and the closing of loopholes that allow nearly 40% of all gun sales, predominately traded at gun shows, to bypass federal background checks and mandatory waiting periods.

I’d go a step further and require a strenuous certification class for all potential gun owners before they’re permitted to buy a weapon.

America is a gun saturated country, 300 million by best estimates, and there’s no way we’re going to impose Bloomburg type prohibition measures any time in the foreseeable future but there are a few sensible steps we can take as an enlightened people to reduce the 33,000 yearly deaths caused by guns.

Conservatives need to to take a proactive stand, stop mouthing NRA/gun industry talking points and offer reasonable solutions to reduce the statistics of an ongoing national tragedy that we stubbornly tend to sweep under the carpet.

Otherwise we’ll end up futilely arguing with voices like this one;

Guns don’t kill people – people do. By the same token, planes don’t kill people – people flying them into buildings do. And yet, I recall that we immediately and decisively worked to keep deranged people from gaining possession of planes when a handful of those people used them as tools of mass murder; indeed, we made it much more difficult for the overwhelming majority of peaceful, law-abiding citizens to board a plane.