Small Arms and Land Mines





Small Arms and Land Mines


            There is growing concern on the accessibility of small arms in the world. This has been a major factor in the increase in conflicts, which is a big hindrance to development and rebuilding of nations that have been affected. Insurgents, terrorists, armed militia and gang members who unlawfully acquire firepower have multiplied over the years. The illegal circulation of deadly small arms and ammunition is a key factor in destabilizing of communities and increase of insecurity. The issue of landmines has long been addressed as concerns the risk they pose to civilians. They are indiscriminate, inhumane, and plentiful especially after the Second World War. They are particularly designed with the purpose to maim victims, causing worse outcomes and human suffering. Illegal trade and circulation of small arms should be firmly dealt with, while land mines should be cleared in order to preserve lives, humanity, and rebuilding of regions affected by conflicts.


Small Arms

The most significant firearm used by insurgents worldwide is the AK 47 rifle. The automatic hand-held rifle is sturdy and considered very powerful in destruction. The increase of its portability and size has made it easy for militias, government units of military kind and insurgents to recruit children, forcibly as service soldiers. The AK 47 rifle was first manufactured in the former Soviet Union, but it has witnessed reproduction in other countries. The illicit business and circulation of small arms has risen in several countries across the world. For example, land-locked countries such as Zimbabwe obtain the firearms through shipment from South Africa, Mozambique into Angola and finally into the destination.

Most of the nations characterized with the spread and distribution of firearms are well known and affected by issues arising from conflicts, civil unrest, and under-development. Rwanda is typically remembered of the famous genocide that led to the loss of millions of human lives from the inter-tribal conflicts. This was fueled by the availability of illegal firearms and weapons. The rebels in Syria have continuously hampered the efforts of peace restoration and the rebuilding of the nation. This has been widely affected by the availability of firearms with the rebels, heightening the state of civil unrest. There is a global debate on whether external sources should be proactive in arming insurgents.

In Iraq, the distinct Sunni and Shia Muslims have had a long-standing conflict over the governance of the country. Efforts towards reconciliation have been negated by the presence and accessibility of small arms between rival camps. Insecurity is always on escalation especially due to the presence of military force by individuals who have faster and easier connectivity to the trade of the firearms. Cambodia had been faced by armed conflict based on internal struggle. The nation faced an accumulation of small arms during the years of fighting. Despite the fact that the armed conflict ended, the country still has a surplus of ammunition and weapons. Reports have indicated a high a number of accidental deaths and injuries due to the guns.

In the United States, small arms and gun control has always been a thorny subject in the public domains as regards safety. The country is the leading manufacturer of arms in the world. The sale and distribution of the firearms to other countries has always elicited mixed reactions in equal measure to the possession of guns in the country. Several lives have been lost due to accidental, premeditated, and conflict-driven shootouts in different states. The National Rifle Association of the US uses large sums of money to defend the right of the Americans in bearing of arms. It opposes the regulation of guns including any restrictions and maintaining of databases of gun purchasers.

Land Mines

Landmines and remnants of explosive materials from the different historical wars pose a great danger to human lives. According to statistics by world agencies, close to twelve casualties are reported dead each day from the result of landmines. The top six countries that have recorded casualties from this hazard include Cambodia, Afghanistan, Colombia, Pakistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar. After several years and institution of Mine Ban Treaty, several civilians continue to lose their lives from the scourge. The health community carries a major responsibility to matters arising from the dangers of landmines. International support should be relentless in the efforts of assisting victims affected by the scourge, while proper mechanisms of destroying the remnants should be activated.


Availability and access of small arms and landmine explosives pose a great danger on human life and the security of a nation. Distribution and trade of illicit firearms is a common practice evidenced in countries faced with civil unrest, civil wars, and internal conflicts. This is one of the major contributors of underdevelopment in the affected countries while loss of lives through landmines has always been underreported. Possession of firearms and its subsequent regulations should be actively transformed into law in order to reduce the number of deaths of civilians as witnessed. In the countries contaminated by landmines, proper measures of eradicating the explosives should be instituted in order to reduce the risks associated with the scourge.


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