Promoting conflict to promote sales

Posted 01.19.15

SHAWVILLE, QUEBEC | None of us are immune to the news reports and images from the daily war zone that our neighbour to the South seems to have become -- mass shootings, some of school children, assassinations, attacks, and even stray bullets on city streets. There are and have been occupations of federal facilities by vigilante militia groups . . . all this horrific news is matched only by the American's apparent inability (or unwillingness) to do anything about this scale of mayhem.

Many of us watched their president cry openly at memorials to these murders -- and express his anger at his impotence. Congress, we're told, has been bought and instructed by the arms industry and its mouthpiece, the National Rifle Association.

Obviously the incredible influence -- power -- of the NRA to prevent and derail legislation aimed at tightening gun possession laws is foreign to us in Canada. At least we think this.

But not only is the NRA's blocking power inconceivable in what we'd call a democracy, the NRA's power and reach to not only defend possession, but to promote it, is mind-boggling. Do gun sales need to be promoted in the US? Yet they are, every day. The constant solution the NRA offers is to "buy more guns -- defend yourself."

The NRA is able to spread fear of foreigners, Muslims, refugees, dark-skinned people, and even fear of their own government. The NRA says "security" is the nation's main concern, and it becomes so. Security is our major concern, too.

Not security from the carnage on the highways, nor from drug use, not from poor health and missing health care, no, security from a threat very few people ever see in their lives.

And all this to increase the profitability of the arms industry on a domestic scale. Just think what the NRA might try if the profit-taking it defends was even greater.

What if there were profits available not from single gun purchases or family target practice, but profits from foreign government orders -- or from the weapons-orders from the US military itself, largest in the world. We're talking billions.

Ah, we've answered our own question. If the NRA is so profit-sensitive at home, we know it will be even more so on the international scale. Isn't that a safe assumption, and if it is, why assume the NRA and its allies are not already doing it, on the international scale?

Amazingly, the international scene is in fact largely civil wars, terror attacks, and regional conflicts — almost everywhere, on varying scales. We are shocked by the violence across the world, and stunned by the amount our government and others are spending to stay involved in this international warfare enterprise.

Why assume no one is promoting the very conflict, war, fear, and paranoia which leads to such massive arms sales? Don't the profits there seem too large to leave to chance?


Copyright © 2016 Fred Ryan/Log Cabin Chronicles/01.16