In a long lost blog I argued that armaments companies should be severely taxed to cover any damage (whether personal or property), that the weapons they manufactured are responsible for.
It seems to me now that this proposal does not go far enough. It is like the Occupational Health and Safety Act in Victoria, which has fines for companies that negligently kill employees, but there are no criminal consequences for company directors who simply cough up the dough, then continue to enjoy their luxury lifestyle.
To obtain justice for the dead, the mutilated and the maimed in far away countries – and to bring home the consequences of their want-for-nothing lifestyles, munitions and armament company directors and shareholders need to be held criminally accountable for the death and destruction their products inflict.
If it is proved in court that an African village was destroyed and all inhabitants killed by machine guns and hand grenades manufactured by Company X, then the directors, management and shareholders should be in the dock for mass murder and if found guilty have their assets seized as proceeds of crime and be sent to jail for life of whatever sanction the local jurisdiction mandates.
If I have a few drinks then run someone over I am culpable even though I had no intention of causing any harm. The arms manufacturers on the other hand, who make products which only have one purpose – to kill – are not held responsible for selling their deadly weapons to those who want to use them for what they were designed to do.
“Guns don’t kill people, people do,” is a correct analysis, but it must be kept in mind that there are plenty of people out there doing the killing and they have very powerful backers – the military industrial complexes of the USA, Russia, China, France, the UK, etc.
The moguls know exactly what their weapons will be used for. Make them criminally liable or better still shut their factories down and the extent of killing around the globe will drop to a trickle.
Library patrons would once again be able venture out of their homes, free from the fear of assassination on their way to borrow a book.