The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewTom Engelhardt Archive
William Hartung: Gunrunning USA
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

When it comes to guns and Americans, here (thanks to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence) are a couple of stats for you: every year an average of 17,102 children and teens and 116,255 Americans overall are shot in “murders, assaults, suicides, and suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, or by police intervention.” And this doesn’t happen for no reason. Consider these recent estimates from the Small Arms Survey, a gun research group: “There were approximately 857 million civilian-held firearms in the world at the end of 2017… National ownership rates vary from about 120.5 firearms for every 100 residents in the United States to less than 1 firearm for every 100 residents in countries like Indonesia, Japan, Malawi, and several Pacific island states.” In fact, the U.S. leads the rest of the world by a long shot in gun ownership, with 45% of those 857 million weapons (you do the math) right here in this country. War-torn Yemen comes in a distant second.

In 2017, a Pew Research Center study found that 48% of American white men, 25% of white women, 25% of non-white men, and 16% of non-white women owned guns and, as Margaret Talbot wrote in the New Yorker, “Half of all gun owners say that ownership is essential to their identity.” There’s one catch, though. If you have that primal urge to buy a gun to strengthen your own sense of self-identity, you better set aside a little time to do so. After all, it took a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter all of seven minutes to buy an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle soon after the Parkland, Florida, massacre and it took just 38 minutes, according to the Huffington Post, to buy the same weapon in Orlando two days after an AR-15-style weapon was used in the Pulse nightclub massacre to kill 49 people.

Now, as TomDispatch regular William Hartung reports, Donald Trump and his administration are determined to make this a truly all-American planet by putting real effort into spreading such deadly small arms far and wide. Hey, think of it this way: in the weeks after Apple hit the headlines with a trillion-dollar market valuation, the Trump administration has the hope of hitting the trillion-firearm mark in civilian hands globally. Now that would be an accomplishment! What a boost for our global identity! USA! USA!

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Gun Control 
Hide 9 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Well, in the People’s Republic of Illinois, it would take over a MONTH to purchase an AR-15, assuming it wasn’t BANNED in the various Communist-Democrat Fiefdoms like Cook County, Chicago or Aurora.

    Don’t believe me? To obtain a gun, you have to first send an ID photo and money to the IL State Police and then wait a MONTH or so for them to send back to you a Firearms Owners ID Card. Now can I go to the gun store and pick up my AR-15? NO! Due to the RINO Gov. Rauner signing new legislation, I can ORDER the gun, and have to wait 72 hours to pick it up. After 72 hours, can I just go and pay my money for the weapon and take it? NO! Now I have to pay money for an FBI so-called “Instant Check” so they can verify I am allowed to take ownership of the weapon.

    Isn’t it funny how anti-gunners want to DECREASE efficiency in obtaining a firearm (TWO trips to the gun shop; how much money and time is wasted to make Cosmopolitan gun controllers happy? Oh, the poor environment!) when EXACTLY the same could be accomplished with the simple FBI Check?

    And to think a half-century ago, Americans were able to order a Combat Rifle like a Cetme 7.62×51 semi-auto rifle and have it delivered to your door via MAIL ORDER.

  2. “What a boost for our global identity! USA! USA!”

    What do gun controllers fear the absolute worst? Armed civilians taking on their corrupt government.

    In the USA, this occurred in the celebrated “Battle of Athens” in 1946:

    “The Battle of Athens (sometimes called the McMinn County War) was a rebellion led by citizens in Athens and Etowah, Tennessee, United States, against the local government in August 1946. The citizens, including some World War II veterans, accused the local officials of predatory policing, police brutality, political corruption and voter intimidation. ”

    Made into a Hallmark movie broadcast across America in 1992:

    It’s like I was asking this Chinese guy who lived during the Cultural Revolution about allowing people guns: ‘They would NEVER allow people guns because they would turn them on the government.’

  3. The Gwangju Massacre occurred in 1980 in South Korea and the locals went nuts and seized smallarms from the local armory:

  4. never give up your guns Murica!!
    they have taken ours and see how well defended our young ones and women are in Europe!
    in Norway i cant legally own a baton, pepperspray,slingshot or tazer/stungun, only legal self defense are tactical pens and walking canes.
    I repeat NEVER give up on your right to bear arms!

  5. Yee says:

    Joe Stalin,

    “It’s like I was asking this Chinese guy who lived during the Cultural Revolution about allowing people guns: ‘They would NEVER allow people guns because they would turn them on the government.’”

    Actually, China’s gun control started at late 80s, 10 years after the Cultural Revolution.

    No gun control during Mao’s time, on the contrary, people were organized to practice using firearms during Mao’s time.

    Although not exactly private ownership, but every village, community, factory have a storage of guns, not difficult at all to get them if people really wanted to, as proven by a soar of crime using guns in the late 80s. That’s when China started to clear all guns at civilian level.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  6. Yee says:

    Anyway, it’s a joke to overthrow the government with light firearms. You need NATO to bomb it, ask the Libyans and the Yugoslavians.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  7. Okay I give up: What was the point of this article?

  8. @Yee

    “Although not exactly private ownership, but every village, community, factory have a storage of guns[...]”

    “No gun control during Mao’s time, on the contrary, people were organized to practice using firearms during Mao’s time.”

    That’s like saying the ‘local National Guard Armory’ has guns that are “not difficult at all to get them if people really wanted to.” Having guns stored where the government has control over them is the exact opposite of America. Training with these weapons is of no relevance to the question at hand: private ownership. These are local Militia weapons under the auspices of some sort of government or quasi-government. Your reference to China’s gun control starting in the late 80s sounds like some sort of central government attempt to place firearms underneath it’s control in some fashion.

    Now, in America, underneath our Federal laws:

    10 U.S. Code § 246 – Militia: composition and classes

    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
    (b) The classes of the militia are—
    (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
    (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

    Private citizens belong to the “unorganized militia.” The Federal government in the USA encourages firearms training amongst the “unorganized militia” through the auspices of the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

    The Federal government will sell a Combat Rifle as well as a M1911A1 .45ACP pistol to a civilian to train with and KEEP THEM AT HOME.

  9. @Yee

    You are exactly right; Fidel Castro NEVER overthrew the government in Cuba. It was all a dream and the CIA was never involved in the Bay of Pigs.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Tom Engelhardt Comments via RSS
Personal Classics
Eight Exceptional(ly Dumb) American Achievements of the Twenty-First Century
How the Security State’s Mania for Secrecy Will Create You
Delusional Thinking in the Age of the Single Superpower