Gun Control? What About US Arms Sales?

by | Jan 7, 2016


While President Obama was tearing up to support his call for gun control, the US military-industrial complex was celebrating its continued leadership in the sale of weaponry to foreign regimes. According to the New York Times, US foreign arms deals increased nearly $10 billion in 2014. Total sales went from $26.7 billion in 2013 to $36.2 billion in 2014, a 35 percent increase.

Meanwhile, American statists, including those in the mainstream press, continue to scream about gun-show loopholes here in the United States but remain mute about the US government’s #1 position in sales of guns and other weapons around the world. (Russia and China, which US national-security state officials perceive to be “rivals” of the US Empire, are #2 and #5.)

Not surprisingly, billions of dollars of armaments went to brutal pro-US dictatorships, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Qatar. While US officials justify such sales as “defense,” everyone knows that the armaments are used to fortify the dictatorships’ brutal hold on power in their countries. If citizens begin making waves against the US-supported tyranny under which they are suffering, they’re labeled terrorists. If they continue to make waves, that’s where US guns, tanks, and other armaments come into play.

US national-security state officials say that the weaponry they provide to these pro-US dictatorships help maintain “order and stability.” In return, the dictatorships promise loyalty to the US national-security establishment in international affairs.

South Korea, where US troops are stationed to guarantee automatic US involvement in a war between South Korea and North Korea, is the largest purchaser of US weaponry, followed by the official Islamic regime that US troops installed in Iraq with their 2003 invasion and decade-long occupation.

Another billion-dollar purchaser is Taiwan, which succeeded in increasing tensions with China, which strongly protested the sale.

President Eisenhower described this phenomenon in his Farewell Address in 1961: “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government.”

It certainly was new back in the 1950s. If the American people in the 1780s had been told that the Constitutional Convention had come up with this type of federal government, there is no possibility that they would have approved the Constitution.

Of course, during Ike’s time, the national-security establishment was saying that this fundamental change in the nature of the federal government was only necessary because of the Soviet Union and the Cold War. Really? Then why didn’t it get dismantled when the Soviet Union was dismantled and the Cold War was over?

Among the ironies in all this is that there is gun control in many of the countries ruled by dictatorships that the US military-industrial complex furnishes with arms. That, of course, inhibits them from resisting the tyranny under which they are suffering. But of course, US national-security state officials and their counterparts in the dictatorial regimes they arm would respond that resistance to tyranny is inconsistent with the “order and stability” that is maintained in such dictatorships with US weaponry.

Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation.


  • Jacob G. Hornberger

    Jacob George Hornberger is an American attorney, author, and politician who was a Libertarian candidate for president in 2000 and 2020. He is the founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.