Tyburn was an infamous execution spot west of London, used since medieval times. The Tyburn "tree" - a unique, multi-person gallows - erected in 1571 became a popular public spectacle, drawing crowds of thousands.Tyburn Tree blog is less blood-thirsty but hopefully topical, interesting and informative, if slightly bent to my personal topics of interest - books, writing, history, technology, with a smattering of politics and dash of pop culture, science and the downright strange. So "take a ride to Tyburn" and see what happens...
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Cry 'Havoc' and let slip the dogs of war...
For all the focus in recent years on building global security, the small arms trade remains one of the most pernicious, wide-spread, lucrative and deadliest factors in play. Small arms (defined as assault rifles, hand weapons, explosives etc. rather than tanks or missile systems) kill an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 people annually and have accounted for the vast majority of global war casualties since WWII.
Forget everything you've heard about tanks or ultra-sophisticated drones. Most people in conflict zones are killed by an assault rifle, an explosive or similar light weapons.
According to the Small Arms Survey there are approximately 875 million small arms distributed globally, with about 650 million - almost 75 percent - in civilian hands.
So who is buying & selling this massive arms trade?
More than a thousand companies in 100 countries selling an estimated $8.5 billion in legal sales per year, but the big exporters of these weapons? The US, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Switzerland, Israel, Austria, South Korea, Belgium, the Russian Federation, Spain, Turkey, Norway, and Canada.
And where are they going? Everywhere.
Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) launched a new project called MAD, Mapping Arms Data, where they pulled info from 35 different sources including export & customers records, the UN Register of Conventional Arms, and others to track global trade and transfers of small arms.
PRIO has used the data to create an incredible interactive data visualization of the global small arms trade - the legal one. The illegal trade will trickle, pour and divert the legal weapons into conflict zones around the world.
Check it out. It is educational to say the least....Scary as hell, but educational.