In understanding the use of weapons, it is no pretence that there is a legal standard that advocates owning and using weapons, especially registered ones. However, weapons have been used to work atrocities and crimes. These weapons range from Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), to biological weapons, and small arms or guns. In considering this essay, elucidation will be given to the definitions of the terms above, examples of their applications, and international injunctions prohibiting them. This is essential to consider in understanding the use of weapons.
It is no longer news that the wars that shook and terrified the world started in 1914 and ended in 1945 although some historians argue that international wars ended with the Cold War. It is however important to recognize the role in which weapons, both mass destruction, biological weapons, poisons, and small arms, played in deciding the fate of the wars and the world.
A Geneva conference in 1907 approved policies on code and conducts and the means of combat in wars. The Regulation in Geneva 1907 banned the use of chemical toxins and poisons for combat in wars. Although some countries eventually posit that “all is fair in love and war” and thus, used biological weapons to destroy “enemies”, another prohibition was made in 1925. The prohibition of The Geneva Protocol served as the forerunner to the 1972 Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons.
The 1925 Geneva Protocol, of course, failed. It was a Protocol without substance as countries didn’t adhere to it. Although some argued that atomic bombs are not poisons and are only chemical substances without biological particles, they had lasting impacts on nations that are beneficiaries of the weapon of mass destruction.
Following the failure of the Geneva Protocol which prohibited the use of poisonous weapons in war, the need to re-strategize and find lasting solutions to the issue became of utmost importance. Thus, in the wake of the Cold War and its height during the 1960s: the arms race, another attempt to jeopardize peace, began. This was between countries with international models and influence, especially the democratic United States of America and the communists Universal Soviet Socialist Republic.
Before this period, the Cold War was without arms combat but for Cuba and Fidel Castro’s alliance with the USSR, arms were introduced. These arms were not just arms for warfare, they were weapons of mass destruction that could prove more fatal than the fatality involved in the Second World War.
This necessitated the importance of conventions that strictly prohibits the use of weapons in the light of fostering mutual and international understanding in the use of weapons. As noted above, definitions will be given to the three basic mediums for warfare or hostility: weapons of mass destruction, biological weapons, and small arms; and a brief examination of their prohibitions and means for use (especially small arms) will be clarified.
At the discussion of disarmament in the United Nations, a committee defined weapons of mass destruction as “atomic explosive weapons, radioactive material, lethal chemical and biological weapons (which also include the above section of biological poisonous weapons).” The committee also included any other weapon which is developed with features of the same comparison with the destructive effect of the above weapons or atomic bomb.
This presents a kind of clarity to the definition of weapons of mass destruction and biological poisonous weapons. By this, following the disaster previous wars posed on humanity, –not only for the period of the war but also its effects on the social, mental, political, and geographical sectors long, long after the end of such wars– it’s necessary to consider bringing an end to the proliferation of such weapons.
This led to disarmament diplomacies of which the United States signed treaties. The United States is a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) which also involves the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), etc. All these conventions were towards a common end: impose specific obligations in arms used (and disarmament) for war which no country must flout, and create a world where peace is retained, liberty and lives protected, while nations make collective progress to maintaining international security.
Summarily, following Washington’s signatory to the 1972 Geneva Convention, they prohibit the use and production of microbial or toxin agents. Further, they prohibit such equipment from delivered with designs to use biological weapons in armed conflict. Each state was also necessitated to destroy its weapons of mass destruction to guarantee a period of long-lasting peace.
However, the use of arms; is without pretence, the consideration of the unauthorized sale of arms and illegal sale of arms. On the other hand, the authorized sale of arms involves a dynamic and legal process although it’s filtered with an increasing requests, inadequate documentation, and accumulation. It should be noted that arms in this context are light arms and ammunition which include different kinds of guns.
Nations protect national security and domestic welfare through this means and although there are instances that tether towards the abuse of arms, it should be emphasized nations cannot exist without any form of safety and acquisition of arms, especially by their army. This is why only the force of nations for national, territorial, or domestic protections are equipped with adequate arms to protect and defend the rights and lives of their citizens.
The use of arms should, therefore, be of limited purchase for those who purchase the weapons although through legal means. It should be noted that without deception, weapons handled by individuals and small groups who act without subordination to state control represent a potential danger to both securities of nations and individual persons. Ammunitions could be fabricated by their hands in different quantities for criminal activities.
In many nations of the world, traditional ammunition had been created and even used in revolutions and counter-revolutions in countries of Africa, the Middle East, and others. A good example of local ammunition is the Dane guns native to Africa.
Summarily, nations need to detect criminal enterprises to curtail the use of weapons for any form of destruction. Also, trade-in weapons have increased over the years. While some are used for temporal shooting competitions, some are transported for permanent use. Practical actions should be taken by government officials in curtailing domestic crisis by enacting policies frowning against illegal trade and the use of arms.