Timely for the September 21 International Day of Peace, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has announced a resolution demanding a halt to federal arms dealing both at home and abroad. “Feminists are calling for the US government to get out of the business of selling arms,” says Terry O’Neill, president of NOW. “National defense is one thing, profiteering from military weaponry is another.” US made weapons have been used by various terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).
The US has become the leading arms dealer in the world creating a global surplus of weapons which continue to be used in violence from Yemen to the Congo. Military surplus weaponry can be purchased online, and have been implicated in both domestic violence and terrorist attacks. The NOW resolution also calls for the dismantling of decommissioned equipment rather than resale. “The practice of donating surplus military weaponry to local police departments is inappropriate and may be contributing to the militarization of community police,” says Terry O’Neill. She continues: “Local community police don’t need machine guns, drones and tanks.”