I took this picture 3 years ago at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The smaller purple script beneath reads: “Peace and Security.”
After the destruction of the second world war, more than 60 years ago now, it may have been pretty obvious that the world needed to be rid of guns, bombs, missiles, military equipment. They were reminders of the painful damage that humans could cause to each other, using these very tools, and people realized overall, that the world was better off without them. The escalation of arms world wide since, fueled mainly by the 40 year Cold War, has left the world in a worse state than it was at the time when everyone wanted demilitarization. Today, from the original 2 nuclear powers, 7 more have developed. Every possible international relations or political problem needs to be solved via military action. And we have moved so much in the opposite direction to disarmament that the ‘most efficient’ way to rid Iraq of non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction is to destroy the country with weapons that cause almost as much destruction, to leave it in shambles for years and encourage it’s own citizens to kill each other with the same weapons.
It seems, because of the healing of time, and the lack (thank God) of another total and global war since 1945, that the world is forgetting the importance of disarmament, since only such wars ever take the fighting to the rich, powerful countries of Europe and North America. But we don’t need another globally devastating war to show it to us. Civil Wars - where people kill their own people, the undying conflicts in the middle east and even everyday gun crimes are proof that firearms are evil. If bomb blasts and shootings kill almost a 100 people in Norway - a country so peaceful the maximum jail time for the offender by law is 21 years because such crimes are unimaginable - then it’s obvious that we need to get rid of arms. People argue for guns, as tools for self defense. ”Guns prevent people from getting shot.” And people argue for nuclear weapons as tools of restraining and self defense. ”Nuclear weapons prevent the other party from using theirs for fear of a totally destructive war.” Perfectly sound arguments. But someone can loose their cool. Loss of life (one or several) is already TOO MUCH destruction. Weapons are not worth the risk.
Firearms may be the worst effect of humanity’s technological advancement over ages. I hope that humans, smart enough to create them, will be smart enough to realize that they are harmful, unnecessary risks. It’s unlikely every firearm will ever be removed from the planet. In fact, I don’t even think that’s a good idea and besides the Spartans still went to war without them. But there were reasons for all the advocacy for disarmament when the memories of the worst war were still fresh and raw, and we need not forget them so that we will need another reminding.
(P.S Sorry, I know I have written about something similar before but I saw the picture and needed to)
- akrofikoram posted this