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  • Writer's pictureD. Randall Faro

Death or Life

      The industrial manufacture of death. A phrase that leapt from the page of a WWII novel I’m reading about snipers in the European theater of operations.

 

      People used to be killed in war with spears, swords, and bows and arrows. That kind of war was close-up gruesome and relatively limited in scope. Modern industry changed that. Today war is fought with weapons such as M2 .50 caliber machine guns (850 rounds per minute) and B-52 Stratofortress bombers carrying air-launched cruise missiles fitted with both conventional and nuclear warheads. The killing power of contemporary weaponry strains the imagination. And there is a lot of straining being applied within the industrial-military complex. The goal: to create ways to kill larger numbers, faster, and more efficiently. Especially more so than the “enemy” who is working feverously with the same mindset.

      Apart from armies, navies, and air forces striving to terminate one another, around 200,000 people around the globe die annually from firearms. In the U.S., there are more gun stores than grocery stores.

Countries that do not have the wherewithal to produce their own need for killing devices simply purchase them from others, legally or illegally. After all, business is business.

 

      The need to control the forces of evil notwithstanding, the level to which means of killing one another has ascended (or descended) is staggering. For those of us who have experienced firsthand the ravages of modern combat, and for the civilian law enforcement personnel who deal with the daily carnage caused by weapons of death, it’s likely that there would be hearty support for the destruction of all weapons designed only for the killing of people. At the very least, let’s do away with gunpowder and missile fuel.

      Sadly, that isn’t going to happen. Which means people with intelligence and moral guidance need to work for reasonable limitations. Doing away with nuclear explosive devises is a start. And while the industrial manufacturers of death devices (and their supportive stockholders) aren’t about to ride quietly into the sunset, enforceable regulations that mandate restraints on the most horrible of conventional weapons (chemical/biological, for example) should be enacted.

 

      The ultimate solution, of course, is getting everybody to get along with one another, be it next door neighbors or international relationships. As we all work on that angle, complementary efforts should be happening to make the concrete switch to the industrial manufacture of life.



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