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September 24, 2003

Frightening Statistic

I am, have been, and always will be a proponent of gun rights. This statistic about sub-Saharan Africa does disturb me, though--not so much because of the raw numbers, but because of the way in which these weapons are being used and the effect that their use has on the general population.

There is one weapon in circulation for every 20 people in Africa, according to a report released on Tuesday.

The 2003 edition of the Small Arms Survey, a report by the Geneva-based organisation of the same name, says about 30 million light weapons are in circulation in sub-Saharan Africa.

Again, the disturbing portion to me isn't the sheer number of weapons available, but the way that it effects communities in Africa.

In addition to increased crime and permanent disabilities, the report says that the proliferation of small weapons discouraged teachers and children from going to school and farmers from taking their goods to the market.

I'm sure the direct economic effects are difficult to assess, but they are real. Essentially, the use of small arms in violent and illegal ways throughout sub-Saharan Africa is another hurdle for countries struggling to work through perpetual economic crises.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at September 24, 2003 01:58 PM
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