A quick thought regarding gun ownership and regulation as related to the role of the U.S. in the global arms trade. This has long been a part of the national conversation (if what we usually do can be called something that thoughtful), but with all the familiar arguments about gun regulation being made again, it’s worth repeating. Earlier this week, Tom Engelhardt did just that.

At Common Dreams, The Pentagon as a Global NRA: For Washington, There Is No Arms Control Abroad:

So here’s a question: while the administration is pledging to try to curb the wholesale spread of ever more powerful weaponry at home, what is it doing about the same issue abroad where it has so much more power to pursue the agenda it prefers? …

As a start, it’s worth noting that no one ever mentions the domestic gun control debate in the same breath with the dominant role the U.S. plays in what’s called the global arms trade. And yet, the link between the two should be obvious enough. …

Here’s the strange thing in the present gun control context: no one … 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. …

I think there are those who see the “contradiction,” as I think there are those who do, in fact, make connections between the national “gun control debate” and the leading role the U.S. plays in the “global arms trade.” Nevertheless, Engelhardt is correct in pointing these things out. It isn’t that they’re never mentioned, but the mentions are infrequent, at least looking at what the Electeds label as “important,” and so what much of the media “reports.”

Back to Englehardt:

… (T)he 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.’