Home / News / 🔫 Gun economics: The weaponisation of the US | Counting the Cost

🔫 Gun economics: The weaponisation of the US | Counting the Cost



On October 27, 11 people were killed when a heavily armed gunman opened fire at a baby-naming ceremony at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Police said he used a legally purchased assault rifle and three handguns.

In our previous investigation into the established and long-lived US gun industry, we noted how gun manufacturers themselves rarely give interviews. Dozens of companies have ended partnerships with the National Rifle Association or (NRA), the pro-gun lobby.

But after the Pittsburgh shooting, US President Donald Trump immediately directed attention to the lack of an armed guard at the synagogue, claiming the shooting “has little to do with” the country’s gun laws.

He told the media “This is a case where if they had an armed guard inside, they might have been able to stop him immediately. So, this would be a case for, if there was an armed guard inside the temple, they would have been able to stop him”.

The US gun industry is estimated to be worth $51bn and “the US produces somewhere between 35-40 percent of all weaponry in the world,” says Andrew Feinstein, executive director of Corruption Watch and author of The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade.

“The industry’s smaller and lighter weapons, like handguns and rifles, is a smaller component and of that its globally worth about $8bn. In the US, it’s probably worth around $4bn.”

While repeated public outcries against gun violence have taken place, the industry has been able to insolate itself against backlash, according to Feinstein.

“The NRA has been incredibly successful in creating a public climate that’s pro-gun, but far more important than that, it has effectively bought the support of the politicians who would need to regulate the industry. And unfortunately, that flow of money to those politicians which enables them to stay in power because America is often described as ‘the best democracy money can buy.’ I describe the weapons procurement business as a form of legal bribery – those politicians are effectively insulated from public opinion.”

“Now, there’s a possibility in the imminent American elections that we could for the first time in many decades, start to see a slight shift in that. We’re seeing a number of public groups like ‘Moms Demand Gun Control’, for instance, who are trying to energise voters not to vote for any candidate who isn’t critical of the gun lobby and doesn’t commit to much greater regulation to guns in the United States.”

America’s gun industry “has a massive impact in the world,” explains Feinstein.

“First, it creates this global environment of militarism. The US is involved in more conflicts than any other country on the planet. In fact, the US government employs more people to run one aircraft carrier than it has diplomats across the entire world and the United States today has 11 aircraft carriers. How that affects America’s immediate neighbours is even more insidious.”

“So, a country like Mexico that has certain law and order problems relating to the drugs trade and gun running. The vast majority of those guns in Mexico used by militias, used by criminals – both organised and informal, come from the United States of America.”

“So, while Donald Trump talks about building a wall, what he doesn’t seem to realise is there’s an enormous and very profitable flow of guns into Mexico from the US that he probably wouldn’t want to stop. So you have a flow of guns into Mexico and in return, you have a flow of drugs and other illicit activities into the US. So what this is doing is, it’s destabilising those neighbouring countries like Mexico … and it’s having a devastating impact on the US,” says Feinstein.

Also on this week’s Counting the Cost:

Brexit budget: How do you budget for Brexit when you don’t even know what it’ll look like?

The UK government did exactly that this week. UK chancellor Philip Hammond’s spending plan was set out at a time when the EU and the UK can’t reach an agreement on how to break up. Big spending decisions were deferred, meaning austerity is still in place.
Public services apart from healthcare, like schools and police will remain starved of cash despite upgrades to growth forecasts. And there could be more pain in store.

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19 comments

  1. Long live the 2nd amendment and long live Iran 🇮🇷

  2. I agree whole heartedly we need to get all those European manufactures to stop shipping those weapons of death in the US. Austria shipped 1.25 million guns to the US, Germany shipped over 390,000 guns , Turkey 385000, Italy 340,000, Croatia 320,000 all in ONE year 2017. Stop shipping weapons to the US that you won't allow your citizens to possess! 2 million 6 hundred thousand firearms sent from the EU and Turkey to the US! Your hypocracy drips off your tongue like dung off a sewer pipe. Unfortunately people who die innocently in gun violence in the US are martyrs to our democracy! There are no parts of our constitution that are superfluous. They are all interlocking and supporting. There is no hate speech. There are no bad guns. There are no offices in our democracy unworthy of consideration of our citizens!

  3. And with that, everybody needs them. It's backward thinking to disarm yourself when killings are on the up rise.

  4. There hasn't been genuine public protests against guns. There has been MSM shoving it down the throats of the sheeple. MSM are shills for the globalists. Did you know that the Ladies Temperance Union was paid for and promoted by the Rockefellers because farmers were making their own alcohol to run their tractors. And it was better than gasoline. That cut into the Corp. profits. The same people are creating a false war on guns because they want full control of the people. Remember that it is not a public movement but a paid sheeple movement by Bankers and other crooks.

  5. Such garbage news that no one watches

  6. I find it funny they say it the NRA that's stops this gun control. It's not that the politicians believe the constitution means what its says and says what it means when it says shall not be infringed. If you look up state vs Miller 1938 the supreme court rule that weapons that have no use in the service of a milita are not protected. the inverse is weapons that would be protected are weapons that would be used in a milita.

  7. back ground check ain't gonna do much either looking at the mass shootings in past a few years most shooters had clean background and bought their weapons legally.

  8. Pistols $240-500, shotguns $500-800, Rifles $600-1000, all at the low end of the scale. 300 million guns in US now. Vote! Vote! Vote! It really needs to be illegal for ALL politicians to lie in political ads and debates. I don't understand how it's not considered fraud. We need better leadership : brave people that will stand up to hate, immorality, fraud, and misogyny in government. Please note that Drump has created a lot of fantasies, not truths. Troops at the border, none, just words from a liar. Deport birthright American citizens, another lie, 10% tax cut for middle class, another lie, retain pre-existing conditions- that from people who have tried their best and voted against it for years-enormous hypocritical lie! Terrorists in caravan, lower drug prices, addiction treatment program- all lies. Congress is not in session. None of this will be done. The reality show host desperate to retain his ability to serve the plutocrats.

  9. 23:05 UAE has a full ministry for happiness.. look what they are doing in Yemen.

  10. If you look at history, Jewish people have and are the most hated people in the world. Every Jewish Temple and schools should have armed security. Criminals will always find and get their hands on guns, no matter what these morons libtards and gungrabber say.

  11. Dear Donald, if the Synagogue was not there then it would not have happened, if the shooter had been aborted, it would not have happened ……. we have to stop being silly.

  12. 'The laws that forbid the carrying of arms, are laws of such a nature. They disarm those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants: they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man' – Cesare Beccaria

  13. Wow you can see, only white people in gun stores…:)))

  14. Interesting how Al Jazeera can get Jews to participate in the destruction of the culture that provided for and has made possible ever since their very existence on this planet.

  15. They're preparing for the caravan! BANG!!! BANG!!!

  16. Let me explain it to you: We Americans do not trust our politicians and that's why we are armed. Do YOU trust them? They are our worst criminals. They are whores who sell their votes to special interest like the Israel Lobby and the Military Industrial Complex. They see the American people, and especially our military as expendable. It's all about MONEY and POWER.

    As to the synagogue attack, who did it? Do you think it was some American who did it because he had access to firearms? I believe it was the DEEP STATE.

  17. It is an inalienable right in the Constitution. Like it or not it is here to stay for the foreseeable future as conservatives control the majority of state legislatures, and most importantly, the US Supreme Court. I believe in the right to own the same personal firearms as our military in defense against enemies to the Constitution… See any of those lately?

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