[url]http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,519218,00.html[/url] [size=2]Exerpts[/size=2] Quotes are from a young girl (Sarah Ayero) that was made to fight. "They put a gun to my head and a grenade to my neck and told me they would kill me if I didn't come. They took my sister too. They taught us how to use a gun. It was very heavy and I didn't like it much. Dismantling it was the hardest part but shooting was also difficult," she said. Wars aside, guns undermine economies by boosting crime and instability. And when, as on Uganda's northern border, a rifle can be picked up for the price of a chicken, they create a new and sinister market. [size=2](I wish I could find one of those!)[/size=2] The individual impact of the gun can be as devastating as the havoc wreaked across countries, and the damage can be psychological more than physical. Some of the LRA's [Lord's Resistance Army] teenage fighters grow to love their weapons. Others are terrified if separated from what they see as their only means of protection. All come to understand the terrifying power of the trigger. A gun was Sarah Ayero's constant companion even after she first fell pregnant four years ago. Now she has two children and does not care to count the number of people she has killed. "The gun has ruined a lot of children's lives because some of them like them a lot. They think it shows a lot of bravery carrying a gun and they like killing. They always want to have their gun with them because they believe that anyone can just kill them anytime. They are no longer the same," he said.
Added exerpts from the web page posted.
More than that - in every armed conflict children under 18 are involved. Most just don't get to shoot back.
More than 300,000 children under the age of 18 took part in over 30 armed conflicts in 2000
So stopping the small arms trade is an achievable end? Sounds like the War on (some) Drugs - a pipe dream. Once again they attack the source, not the demand.
At least 550m small arms are in global circulation - one for every 12 people
Thus implying that all small arms used in conflict are part of the [i]legal[/i] arms trade. Perhaps we should ban the use of rifles and pistols in war and restrict ourselves to artillery and rocket-propelled grenades? Is it somehow better to be in the blast radius of a 155 howitzer shell as opposed to catching a 5.56 round through the calf? And what happened to the hand-wringing over land mines?
Small arms comprise less than 10% of the legal arms trade, yet cause up to 90% of casualties in armed conflict
Including suicides, I'm sure. All those nasty weapons just "went off" by themselves. There were no culpable human beings behind the triggers.
At least 400,000 people are killed each year by small arms and light weapons
Excuse me, but what conflicts have there been when small arms [i]weren't[/i] used? In Rwanda where most of the butchery was done with machetes there was still the odd AK-47 or handgun employed. Therefore "small arms were used" in that conflict. As Mark Twain wrote, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. Here's an excellent example. Ah, I love unbiased journalism. Agenda? What agenda?
2m children have been killed in the last 10 years in conflicts where small arms have been used; 5m have been disabled and 12m left homeless