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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Add your face to calling for Global Arms Treaty

There are approximately 639 million small arms in the world today.

Eight million new weapons are produced every year.

Nearly 60 per cent of small arms are in civilian hands.

The annual number of bullets produced is more than double the world's population.

Every year roughly half a million men, women and children are killed by armed violence - that's one person every minute.

So take a minute. Have a look at the Control Arms campaign ... and if you want to - add your face to the petition.

I imagine this is in Detroit alone.
I have always been wondering about the American laws on firearms. I have never understood the concept of wanting it to be legal for all adults to own weapons. It's BS that it's people and not weapons that kills. Certainly one needs a person behind the gun to kill, but would that person have killed if he/she didn't have access to a gun??
It's just to take a look at the statistics... Compare the numbers between people killed by firearms in USA vs Canada/UK/any other European country...
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This is really interesting, Gary. I know that when I moved to the southern US I was shocked to learn that most people down here are armed. In fact, most of the males here own mulitiple weapons and love it that GWB allowed the ban on assault weapons to expire. People here think I'm crazy because I don't own a gun. In fact, they evey expect you to be able to identify guns by the sound of the shots. I called the cops once because I heard gunshots outside. When they got here they asked, "What kind of gun was it?"

I was thinking how the hell should I know but told them I didn't know. I think they thought I was weird. A friend of mine told be I should have just told them I wasn't from here & they would have understood. Down here people think that they have some sort of divine right to firearms.

I have also heard that one of the Japanese generals in WWII said the reason why Japan didn't invade the US mainland is because we have an armed populace. An interesting point.
Nerdine, there are lots of studies on this - here's a recent sample below. (By the way, I think the high crime and murder rate in the US is due to a lot of factors, guns only one piece... and apparently it's declined in recent years.

"Whenever the U.S. murder rate is compared with that of other countries, as it often is, the figures reveal a far greater frequency of gun-related deaths in the U.S. than elsewhere. In 1996, for instance, 30 people were killed with handguns in Great Britain, 106 in Canada and 211 in Germany. In the U.S., 9,390 died this way. In Japan,15."

This might be more data than you want, but this is interesting too (and you'll see that New York is safe!)

Hi Gary, thanks for bringing our attention to all these interesting sites and causes! While I do peruse the Net daily, I find myself wandering into pages other than news! :)
Added mine twice but it seems to have gone twilight zone again..
I thought I'd read those kinds of numbers myself once. I find those numbers frightening! I know it's not just the guns that kills people, but I do believe that if they weren't so easy to get hold of, a lot less people would be killed. It seems I often read and hear about kids getting killed after playing with guns found in their house.
If dads or mums treat the guns as toys, it's likely the kids will think of them as toys.
I am concerned with keeping guns out of Germany.
I'm very waffly about this one. I don't especially like guns, but I think I like the lack of personal freedom in Japan even less. (The police can haul you in without a warrant, etc.) Also, I understand that the various states have different gun laws, and I'd be interested on what bearing that has to the state-by-state gun-death rate. (Sorry about the poetry, unintentional that time!)

Also, I can't help but think that women in the Sudan would be a lot safer if they were armed.

Like I said, I'm very waffly.
I imagine many people living on ranches and such would need guns for self preservation. They would only shoot humans for saving the lives of their own family.

Gun crimes in America are primarily black on black crimes in major cities such as Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc.

People in Alberta or Montana don't run around like lunatics killing each other just because they live in the country and they own a few rifles or shotguns. Law enforcement would probably prefer civilized people protecting themselves when police presense is not immediate.
Good points all - this is always a good discussion.

I'd love to see any evidence of a well-armed citizenry being safer or having less violence.

For example, women in Sudan would not be safer with guns because the creeps in Darfur would be better armed (helicopters, vehicles etc) and would reign. What is needed in Sudan is an army to get between these guys and their victims. Sudan won't do it and so far, the rest of the world has been pretty slow to do much.

I grew up with guns by the way and the comments on ranchers and rural folk make good sense to me.
In Poverty, corrupt government, anarchy, power struggle in third world is where guns are being used, and people are needlessly being killed.

Many places in the world, especially in Africa, have a hard time getting out of the rut they are stuck in. Naturally violence takes hold.

The West should help in ways more than throwing money at the problem.
Many of these people need someone to teach them how to fish. Fishermen are not killers.
When are you going to update? I'm not trying to rush you or anything, but I'm curious. You always have something interesting to offer. Thanks for that.

Is it only small arms you're opposed to, Gary?

At least the women in Sudan would have a fighting chance with some sort of weapons. I keep remembering in Schindler's List when the Nazis rolled right over the Jews, and the latter were completely defenseless. I was so frightened by those scenes!

Have you ever watched Bowling for Columbine?
More good points. Yes, I saw Bowling for Columbine - portrayed the gun problem (in America) but clearly tied it to the 'fear'and race problems too.

The campaign that started this post is about stopping the trade in small arms (more than domestic use for hunting or protection). Nations like France, Belgium, Russia and US provide small arms to groups who then put them to horrible use (as Bohemian alludes to above).

So yes, I suppose if I'm a woman in Darfur, I wouldn't mind being armed and trying to protect my kids. However, who is arming the Janjaweed, the militia doing the killing? Where did thos guns and vehicles come from. Who armed the guerillas in Sierra Leone or the right wing paramilitaries in Columbia. Bottom line for me - small arms control (in trade and distribution) is a worthy goal. Tables turn too - who provide Saddam and the Taliban their weapons - the US and UK.

Guns may defend (sometimes), but they certainly aren't going to be the source of peace, good government and social justice that' needed.
"Tables turn too - who provide Saddam and the Taliban their weapons - the US and UK."

Yeah, some of us aren't so happy about that.

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