The recent announcement by our prime minister Malcolm Turnbull about initiating an expanded export of weapons from Australian manufacturers has sent shivers down my spine.
Weapons are instruments of war, death, destruction and irreparable harm.
How many wars do we need to have before we start to learn some other ways of resolution of differences and divisions? It would appear that negotiation and roundtable discussions of existing problems and their possible peaceful resolution do not even appear on the international agenda.
It would seem that the more weapons that are available, the easier it is to use them. I wonder if the statisticians could ever give us an accurate number of the innocent citizens whose lives have been taken or permanently disabled through wars, terrorist attacks and other acts of violence and horror even in Australia, let alone across the world.
If our government wants to expand our export industry, create more jobs and protect local manufacturing, surely it could look at something that could build up the lives of desperate people rather than make it easier to wipe them out.
Fortunately for our safety here in Australia we have stringent and well supervised gun laws which help to keep us safe from unexpected confrontation. Even in spite of this, there are still far too many arms related crimes reported in the daily media.
Sadly, countries as big as the United States do not have this protection and the results are frightening, to say the least.
Another piece of the problem could well be ensuring that the countries likely to receive our Australian weapons exports under this proposed agreement are, and will continue to be allies, not enemies. How this could possibly be done without loopholes and breakdowns, looks like an impossible challenge.
Assistance with programs that provide food and water for starving people, shelter where houses have been destroyed by enemy bombing, medical help, active participation in peace seeking dialogues all look like areas that need greater exploration and hold greater chances of global peace and harmony.
The other night at the Odeon 5 Cinemas we had a fundraising viewing of Breathe in support of the Orange Justice Group initiative to provide personal items for teenage girls in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan.
A wonderful sewing group meets regularly to create these items, and the money raised will go towards transporting the parcels to these war-torn and devastated places where the bombs continue to fall, and people continue to be killed or maimed.
The government’s weapons proposal needs active and outspoken response, especially from people who have warm, compassionate hearts, sound moral and ethical stance and the courage of their convictions. I meet lots of people like this in Orange.