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Think American weapons are a problem in the US? Look what American weapons are doing outside the country.

In Newtown, shooter Adam Lanza's weapons killed twenty kids, six teachers and his mom and shocked the nation. As Robert Dreyfuss recently pointed out here, American weapons have killed hundreds, probably thousands of kids in Afghanistan. In that one country alone, all sorts of people have US weapons. (The sales are good for the US economy, even if the weapons are used with some regularity against Americans.) Afghan soldiers carry US guns. So do some of the former Mujahadeen “freedom fighters” the Army’s up against. (The United States sold them guns when the freedom they were fighting for was from Soviet, rather than US occupation.)

US troops carry US guns too, of course. Last March, an army sergeant used his to methodically slaughter sixteen civilians, including at least nine kids in their homes in southern Afghanistan one Sunday morning.

The NRA works for its corporate partners no harder than the State Department works for theirs. US government-brokered arms sales tripled to a record high in 2011: $66.43 billion dollars, more than three-quarters of the global arms market, driven by major arms deals with Persian Gulf states. For all the talk of background checks stateside, when the US approved a $30 billion deal with the authoritarian state of Saudi Arabia, it wasn’t the background, only the size of the check that got much attention. (President Obama said the sale would be good for jobs and the State Department said that in such an insecure region, the arms deal would be good for sercurity.) And when was the last time we periodically recertified Israel?


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