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La Prensa, Nicaragua

The Sale of Arms

By Cirilo Antonio Otero

Translated By Sara Hunter

8 January 2013

Edited by Natalie Clager

Nicaragua - La Prensa - Original Article (Spanish)

On the morning of December 14, 2012, a massacre occurred in a primary school in Connecticut, 70 miles from New York City. Citizens of this hemisphere are familiar with this case of social violence that resulted in the deaths of many American children. And, we ask: Why do these events, which seem more typical of backward societies, ignorant of human rights and ignorant of the right to life, occur in a rich, industrialized society with such high levels of income?

It is said that in the 21st century, the inhabitants of this planet should be different: intelligent, tolerant, peaceful and more compassionate. We should live in harmony and in peace — without arms, without hatred, without violence. But we must center our commentary on a determining factor for these deplorable, toxic and repugnant events: the sale of arms.

Certainly the sale of arms places them in human hands. And necessarily, we must ask: Why are these arms even manufactured? And necessarily we arrive at the conclusion that they are made to kill, to take another life, either animal or human. There is no other explanation.

The other serious aspect of the possession of arms is deciding to whom they should be delivered. The delivery of arms to individuals only contributes to the growth of the vortex of weapons and death. In the world today we find the great trade of the Russians, of the French, of the Koreans, of the Spanish and of the Americans, among others, who are precisely the producers of arms, the arms trade and the promoters of the same. Paradoxically there are countries with high incidences of poverty and inequality where governments prefer to buy and sell arms, enriching themselves with the market of death: the sale of weapons.

Therefore, modern industrialized society must not be hypocritical and must search for the explanations and reasons for these events in areas other than the facilitation, the trade and the delivery of these arms to human hands. The weapons should not exist; humans must be thinkers, calm, humane. The absence of weapons in world trade would be a practical expression and concrete step against violence. It is hypocritical to say that we are against violence and, at the same time, be producers of arms and importers of arms. The arms are a symbol of violence. Make no mistake: We are violent when we buy, import and sell weapons.

The event in the United States was not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last. While humans with the power and ambition to build wealth dedicate their riches and resources to the production of arms, they will, at the same time, be dedicated to the production of violence and the production of death.



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