Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It isn't the weapon that matters

Richard Fernandez, commenting on the non-proliferation summit, points out that what matters isn't the weapon, it is who possesses the weapon.
.... About 740,000 assault rifles and pistols are stored in Swiss homes or in private possession. Nobody knows the exactly how many firearms are in circulation, but there may be up to 1.3 million firearms in Switzerland. Despite this you are more likely to be murdered by knife than by gun. “Police statistics for the year 2006 records 34 killings or attempted killings involving firearms, compared to 69 cases involving bladed weapons and 16 cases of unarmed assault. Cases of assault resulting in bodily harm numbered 89 (firearms) and 526 (bladed weapons)”

.... The country with the largest known deposits of uranium, which tested 7 nuclear devices on its soil in the 50s and whose head of government isn’t even going to attend President Obama’s nonproliferation summit won’t keep statesmen up at night. It’s Australia. ....

The danger posed by weapons is crucially dependent on their human modifiers. Guns in the hands of the Swiss are not the same as guns in the hands of a Sudanese militia. Enriched uranium in Australia is no worry; but uranium in the hands of Kim Jong Il is. ....
Belmont Club » The Third Nuclear Age