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‘The Pentagon as a Global NRA’

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.’

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2 Responses to ‘The Pentagon as a Global NRA’

  1. Cujo359 January 17, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    Yes, very few of us have mentioned this irony, though I don’t know why. Very few of us have mentioned that we don’t seem to have much of a problem killing other peoples’ kids, either, as long as they’re someplace far away and maybe someone they know might have something to do with terrorism, or at least, maybe they know someone who doesn’t think terrorism is a bad thing, or something. That used to bother progressives, but then we got this progressive President, and it isn’t a problem anymore.

    And, hey, we’re at war! Those Al Qaeda carrier task forces could be off our shores any day now, bombarding us with who knows what kinda WMDs, and then swimming ashore with their scimitars in their teeth so they can behead us in our sleep.

    I’m told I don’t take this War On Terra thing seriously enough, but I take it no less seriously now than I took it when Bush was President. So, hey, let’s sell the governments in their neck of the woods as much weaponry as they can afford, and then loan them money so they can buy more. After all, giving up our freedoms didn’t make them stop hating us, so maybe giving them some more weapons will do the trick., Besides, you know there’s never a downside to having lots of weaponry lying around. where angry and fearful people can get hold of it

    • Joyce Arnold January 17, 2013 at 8:51 am #

      Well said :)

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong