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Small Arms, Mass Destruction

November 8, 2011 | Troy Oxford


  1. Swiss Observer says:

    I’m in Geneva and studying at the Graduate Institute here. This is the academic home of the Small Arms Survey, and the source of most of your statistical facts on guns in your report. I attended a talk last month by the Small Arm Survey’s senior researcher Mr. Nicholas Florquin. His presentation involved many of the stats you cited above but was challenged by a director of executive education here regarding the nature of the small arms among civilians. Mr. Florquin acknowledged a clarification was needed in the Small Arms Survey, which PBS apparently relied upon exclusively for reporting and for the graphics above.

    In short, PBS and the Small Arms Survey WRONGLY suggest that fully automatic belt-fed machine guns and RPGs around he world are mostly in civilian hands. This is false and not supported by data or news media observation. These kinds of weapons are actually classified as “light weapons” by the Small Arms Survey, but were lumped into an imprecise catchall “small-arms” term in a way that grossly mischaracterizes the nature of civilian ownership of “small arms.” In in conflict zones, where the scourge of “light weapons” such as machine guns and RPGs is greatest, such weapons can be observed in the hands of irregular combatants, militias of various sorts, or state militaries. These groups by definition are NOT civilians. The guns that are mainly in the hands of civilians around the world can be more accurately clarified as “ordinary” rifles, pistols, or shotguns.

    For illustrative purposes, just take a look at pictures of the guns that are being “bought-back” from civlians or confiscated by UN sponsored programs in Africa. These are single shot hunting guns or self defense guns, not machine guns and RPGs. The UN’s disarmament agency and its partner advocacy organizations’ websites show these pictures with evident pride.

    If I were an American gun-owning viewer, I’d be a bit alarmed by your reporting as it suggests support for national gun ownership registries followed by gun-bans in America. These are the kinds of things the UN and partners of the Small Arms Survey are vigorously advocating around the world through a proposed Arms Trade Treaty (scheduled to be negotiated in the summer of 2012).

    Please wake up American gun owners and sportsman! You don’t want to end up like many law abiding gun owners in the UK (they only woke up after participating in a national registry and then being sent a letter by their government to turn-over their previously legal sporting guns). The UK is a primary sponsor nation promoting/advocating for the Arms Trade Treaty.

  2. Moussa Isman Gafaneh says:

    Bonsoir chére Amie excuse-moi je m’appelle Moussa Isman Gafaneh,Coordinateur National de la Société Civil Djiboutiennes ( PFCAD )

    bien a vous


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