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Illegal Arms

Page history last edited by Ryan Str 11 years ago




Description of Problem



     There are more than 640 million firearms in the world (AI). Many countries own dangerous weapons that are used in causing deaths to other citizens living in this country. These weapons may ultimately lead to genocides, which have occurred in many counties throughout the world (Smith). These weapons can range from simple hand guns to the use of biological weaponry.

     This is not the only problem with weapons in the world. Also, the left-over landmines, cluster bombs, etc. that are left behind after war can cause post-war deaths to the countries citizens. Even biological weapons can cause death to civilians during the wars and can lead to permanent damage to these civilians after. Many people believe that these weapons should not be able to be used during wars, as biological weapons have already been outlawed in war (Carrell), due to the thousands of deaths that they cause after the war has ended.


(Taken from wired.com)            (Taken from it.uu.se)                               (Taken from areopagit.com)



Reason For Problem



     Dictators, minority of majority groups want complete power over their country which can ultimately lead to genocide. They use weapons that are illegal to use outside of war. These weapons, which are mostly small arms, have caused tens of millions of civilian deaths since the end of the second world war. There are more than 550 millions small arms that are being traded in the world at this moment (Bergman).

     Military forces use weapons, such as landmines and cluster bombs, during wars with other countries. Not all of these weapons are completely effective, and do not always detonate. This can lead to random, post-war deaths of civilians living where wars once were. Also, during war, children may not be able to read posted signs that warn them of the presence of a landmine. This can also create civilian deaths.






     There are a very large number of banned assault weapons. This list includes small arms such as the Uzi, rifles such as the M1 Carbine, and shotguns such as the Streetsweeper (Jorgensen). Along with the illegal weapons, there are the people deal these weapons to people around the world. These are called illegal arms dealers (Bergman).

     An example of one of the world's largest arms dealer is Jean Bernard Lasnaud, who deals arms in the south Florida area. Lasnaud dealt missiles, tanks, and rocket launchers from his condo in south Florida (Bergman).

     Another large arms dealer is Leonid Efimovich Minin, from the Ukraine. He was arrested in 2001 for arms charges. He will possibly be in prison for 12 years, for smuggling and distributing illegal weapons into Italy (Bergman).

          An example of a genocide using illegal arms and biological gas is the one that took place in Iraq. The country was divided into two ethnicities, the Arabs and the Kurds. The leader of the country, Saddam Hussein, believed that the Kurds were a threat to the country's survival in the future. In 1988, Hussein used Halabja poison gas to kill over 5,000 Kurdish civilians. Including these 5,000 deaths, 182,000 total people were killed (Head).




   (Uzi Pistol, taken from remtek.com)                              (M1 Carbine, taken from wwiiguns.com)



(Streetsweepers, taken from lakesideguns.com)            (Kurdish poison gas victims, Taken from 2space.net)






     The United Nations has placed arms embargoes on many countries. An arms embargo prohibits countries from trading illegal weapons. These embargoes have three general ambitions:

  1. Signals disapproval of behavior by a certain actor (dictator)
  2. Maintains neutral standing in ongoing conflict
  3. Hopes to limit resources an actor has to inflict violence on others


     These embargoes have been sanctioned, or punished, by the United Nations. Although these embargoes are not 100% effective, they allow certain states to show their opposition towards these weapons to help protect the citizens of these states (Smith).






“Arms Trade” Amnesty International USA. Retrieved from http://www.amnesty.org/en/campaigns/control-arms


Bergman, L. (2002, May). Gallery of International Arms Dealers. Frontline/World. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/sierraleone/breakingnews.html


Carrell, S. (2003, February 16). US Plans to Use Illegal Weapons. Independent/UK. Retrieved from http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0216-02.htm


Fruchart, Damian, et.al. (2007 November). United Nations Arms Embargoes: Their Impact on Arms Flows and Target Behaviour. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Retrieved from http://books.sipri.org/product_info?c_product_id=356#authors


Head, T. (n.d.). The War Crimes of Saddam Hussein. Retrieved from http://civilliberty.about.com/od/internationalhumanrights/p/saddam_hussein.htm


Jorgensen, C. (2009, February 15). Partial list of new banned weapons. Retrieved from http://www.resistnet.com/forum/topics/partial-list-of-new-banned


Smith, S. (2003, November). Arms Embargo. Beyond Intractability. Retrieved from http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/arms_embargo/



Comments (1)

Kori Atwood said

at 11:11 am on Sep 25, 2009

First, have someone read your text to you out-loud - you need to do some rewording.
Second, The focus of your examples should be illegal weapons (and instances when they were used) NOT genocide. Most of the killings in Rwanda were carried out with the use of machetes which are not illegal. Focus on biological weapons (which you haven't mentioned) leftover landmines, cluster bombs, etc.

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