Mali, Algeria and the Arms Trade Treaty: A Parable for US Security?

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© YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images

© YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Could the NRA’s opposition to an arms trade treaty have consequences for US security?

There are many confusing messages coming from the National Rifle Association with regard to the effort to forge a global arms trade treaty. The NRA poo-poos arguments that point to the incredible human suffering the unregulated global arms trade is causing, including the thousands of children who are forced to become soldiers. The NRA also continues to deliberately and falsely claim that the treaty will undermine gun rights in the United States, in spite of the fact that the draft treaty text from the July United Nations conference reiterates that the treaty’s ambit is the arms trade between nations, not within them.

Underpinning the NRA’s view of the treaty and the world is that any effort to restrict small arms and conventional weapons is bad, as it undermines individual security, which can only be safeguarded by arming the “good guys.” If this is the case, then what does the NRA have to say about the recent events that transpired in Algeria and are still unfolding in Mali?

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Small Arms Put Women at Risk in Their Own Homes

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Photo from “Why Women? Effective engagement for small arms control”; IANSA Women’s Network, 2011

By Alice Dahle, Women’s Human Rights Coordination Group

Today marks the beginning of the annual international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign. Since 1991, over 3,700 organizations in at least 164 countries have participated in the campaign, which runs from November 25, the International Day Against Violence Against Women, through December 10, International Human Rights Day, to emphasize the connection between violence against women and the violation of women’s human rights.

The theme of the 2011 campaign is: From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women! 

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