Science & Tech

Light weapons are most common in today’s small wars

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4 million soldiers and civilians were killed in 1990s with small arms

In the 1990s, approximately 4 million soldiers and civilians were killed by small arms in the internecine conflicts of the developing world. More people, in other words, were killed in that decade in war by small arms than by major weapon systems, according to a Harvard research report. Likewise, millions have been wounded, displaced from their homes, and reduced to hunger by civil wars fueled by small arms. Economic development efforts have been undermined, medical costs increased, and improvements to living standards denied. The easy availability of small arms assists drug trafficking, terrorism, organized crime, and much more. Portable, cheap, and readily procured, small arms are supremely destructive. A Brazilian-made assault rifle can fire 700 rounds a minute. It is estimated that as many as 500 million small arms may currently be in circulation in the developing world.