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gang wars
Mark Anderson of the American Sentimentalist is back with another great essay, this time on the obvious disparity between what the US preaches and practices as far as weapons (of mass destruction or otherwise) are concerned. He begins with this analogy,
Imagine, if you will, that you lived in a neighborhood that was controlled by an organized gang. Pretend this gang, in an effort to make sure that its territory was secure, had banned all non-sanctioned
inter-gang violence from within its borders - the streets under its immediate control, the parks and schools, etc., a job it did with relative success. Also imagine that, in addition to its many other illegal activities, this local gang had a thriving business in dealing handguns and rifles to the other gangs who controlled separate communities on the other side of town - an operation that brought in, say, over a million dollars a year to the leaders of our neighborhood gang.
Now, let's say one day, at a community forum gathered to discuss the issues of crime in the city, the leader of this gang got up and said that no one should be able to tell his group what to do because, under his control, there is a whole lot less violence on his neighborhood streets than in other parts of the city, and he and his fellow gang members were responsible for such a state of affairs. And, in fact, not only should the community embrace him and his people, their gang should be given community money and support to carry on their operations.

Do you think anyone would be willing to greet these people as liberators, keepers of the peace, and worthy of a free pass? Or line up behind them to offer their support?

Of course it could be argued that the US is merely engaging in commerce, wealth creation for its people, and is not responsible for what countries do when they buy arms from American companies, or it could be argued that these weapons purchases are necessary for deterrence, to maintain peace The fact of the matter, however, is that these are dishonest justifications that ignore the real consequences of such arms sales, these very weapons have time and again been trained against Americans themselves, in one way or another, throughout most of the past half century. If, for the sake of argument, we accept that the onus of how these weapons are used lies on the countries buying them then it becomes very easy to justify the legalization of, say drugs, for we are the government is then ignoring its duty to do what is in the interests of the populace.

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