Tag Archives: weapons

Robert Gates Calls For Halt In Old Weapon Development

The end of the Berlin Wall nearly twenty years ago led many to expect the end of the Cold War would result in large scale reductions in military expenditures. Of course, after years of fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, military expenditures continue to rise. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced it was time to put an end to the production of high tech weaponry that was designed to be part of a Cold War arsenal and to think in modern terms. “We must rebalance this department’s program,” he announced, “in order to institutionalize and finance our capabilities to fight the war we are in today and the scenarios we are most likely to face in the years ahead.” It is about time someone looked at the reality of what we face and cease believing we need squadrons of high tech fighter planes when no such enemy exists.

Of course, the unknown factor is how Congress will react to the news of cutting back on production of high tech planes and weaponry since to do so means laying off workers. Which will take precedence- reducing military expenditures or keeping people working making equipment that can not be used in modern warfare?

Is Finland An Armed Nation?

Tommi Nieminen did an investigative study for the Finnish newspaper, Sanomat, about the extent of guns in his nation. About 650,000 Finns in a nation of 5,000,000 have guns in their possession. About 1.2 million of the 1.6 million guns are legal hunting weapons and 200,000-300,000 are legal handguns. HIs investigation found police officials confused after the two serious school shootings that took place in the past year. There is no national register of who has guns and it is difficult for local police officials to keep track as to who has a weapon. During the latest shooting, the young man actually was in a police station discussing his gun before he was sent away.

Niminen talked with dozens of gun dealers who know customers have assault weapons, hand grenades, and other lethal fire arms that are not registered with the police. There is no way to check the medical history of an applicant for a weapon and in most small towns and villages the local police chief allows people he knows to readily obtain a fire arm.

The issue is not whether a person should be allowed to use a rifle for hunting, but whether it is permissible to own lethal weapons that have nothing to do with hunting or self defense.