Letter to the Editor: Arms industry at root of gun culture
Saturday, May 19, 2018
The debate about gun violence/control in our society rages on as each side put their views forward. Policies to curb the free sale and accessibility of arms to all are the main solutions seen by people aﬀected by the continued spate of gun violence,
It seems to me that what is missing is not looking at the root cause of gun culture — the arms industry. The production, sale and promotion of weapons is a huge proﬁt-making industry growing ever more exponentially each year as greater social and political unrest rocks our world. Modern weaponry is a terrible waste of resources and energy for humanity. Current armaments have no use-value to humanity except to maim, kill and dominate. The deadly arms race forces countries to regularly replace their weaponry even if they are not engaged in open warfare..
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2012, the combined arms sales of the top hundred companies amounted to about $395 billion, and by 2018, the total global military expenditure is a mind-boggling $1.7 trillion. The United State ranks ﬁrst in the arms industry, including having the most nuclear weapons in its stockpile. This country is engaged in global weapon sales and servicing, military technology, research and engineering and maintaining a large standing military as well as 800 military installations around the globe. The most heavily armed civilians in the world are in this country, averaging about 88 guns per 100 people. Other Western countries come nowhere near this number. And we wonder why gun violence seems unstoppable here?
This country has a long history of violence of all kinds starting with the bloody and violent displacement of the First Nations, followed by the importation and use of slave labor. All of which required armed enforcement. The U.S. is now using the same strategy for continued world domination.
Gun control policies can only be a temporary measure if attainable at all. In reality, if we truly want to stop gun violence, we need to uproot an economy based on the weapons industry and the cultivated ideological mindset of accepting and even promoting gun violence. What we need is production of materials and services actually used for human advancement and progress, globally. And to build a culture of care for our neighbors. Our resources and ingenuity must not be so heartlessly squandered to cause death and destruction for proﬁts.
Dr. Kim E. Koo