These days we can see children playing in the streets with weapons to have fun. It is really surprising how even for older people who should have more awareness of all the harm that a weapon can cause it is just like a toy in their hands.
Every day in the news we can see how people around the world are using arms to do violence especially to those who are weakest like the poor, children, and people of color. Living on the border has allowed me to see how in Mexico people are dying every day for weapons coming from the US.
Columbans in different parts of the world are faced with and concerned about issues relating to guns smuggling. For example, at the U.S-Mexico border, an estimated 50,000 people have died as a result of drug wars and the related violence. In Spring 2012 we shared with you an important federal ruling in the U.S. which will offer greater safeguards against arms trafficking. To read that story click here: http://columban. org/11147/columban-center-for-advocacy-and-outreach/gun-smuggling-on-the-border-2/
We also remember the story of Columban lay missionaries, David and Anna Draper, who witnessed tremendous violence in their community in northern Chile. Their story shows us how our missionaries around the world, especially in places like Chile and Mexico are experiencing the dangers that weapons can cause. However, with faith and the power of God, it can keep one strong to continue their mission to serve the poor and vulnerable. To read more about the Drapers click here: http://columban.org/2207/regions/chile/chile-updates/fear-quelled-by-faith/. Their witness reminds us what the Bible says in Galatians, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2).
Of course, arms trafficking is an issue around the world and in 2006, the United Nations General Assembly requested countries to submit their views on the development of an international arms treaty. More than 100 countries responded. To read the General Secretary’s report click here: 2007 report by the Secretary-General. As a result of this report, in 2009, the U.N. General Assembly decided to convene a Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in 2012 “to elaborate a legally binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms”.
This July the U.N. is convening an International Arms Trade Treaty.
Join us in supporting this step for global peace by taking action today!