Women and Children

Proliferation and abuse of light guns endanger personal security, reduce the effect of good management, contribute to the violation of human rights and damage social justice, development and peace globally. International management community approaches the problem of light arms in local, national, regional and international levels.

Light guns are used facilitate violence easy by doing pressure, threatening, intimidating and subjugating. There are some specific effects especially on women such as sexual harassment by threat, rape as a war weapon, domestic intimidation and threat that harasses the woman and impedes her from leaving the partner. It is of vital importance to support and encourage the addition the gender aspect to the studies on light weapons and integration of development, security and human rights policies and ensuring the woman to participate in regional and international processes concerning the light weapons more efficiently. Each year thousands of women are traumatized, intimidated, used as slaves, robbed and raped around the world by the force of arms. On the other hand, men produce, sell, buy, own, use or abuse more and more light guns. Women are at the same time the ones killed or physically injured more with light guns. The damage women suffer from the possession or abuse of guns is inversely proportional to the damage the gun owner or user suffers. In regions where there is not any conflict, it is more common for women to be shot by a person they know well, their husbands or a close acquaintance. A gun present at home is more likely to be used against the house owner rather than the intruder. When armed violence becomes a legal way to gain power in a society, the guns have a symbolic meaning apart from being means of violence. In many societies, guns are symbols of violence and power, and there is a strong relationship between these two. In this respect, proliferation of light guns, although there is not an explicit and clear connection, is an underlying threat against gender equality. As if the presence of light guns is unavoidable, and it is not possible to prevent these guns, they are prevented from being recognized as elements that facilitate the human rights violations, and as tools for intimidation, ruling and violence.

Research show that the probability of women being killed is three times more when there is a gun available at home. Moreover, in many countries laws on guns do not consider domestic violence while deciding for gun purchases or gun ownership. 5 women are being killed every day in Turkey and at least two of these murders are committed by light guns.

Light guns also have a negative effect on children’s lives, because:

• Children are the victim of gunfights and abuse of light guns.
• Proliferation and abuse of light guns prevent provision of basic needs and services
• Light guns cause child soldier recruitment

Light guns are used in gunfights and for injuring or killing children and other civilians in countries in peace. Light guns also cause human rights violations and psychological trauma in thousands of children. Proliferation of light guns usually weakens the traditional family pattern and support system for the child in this system. Light guns may cause breakup of the family by causing an injury or death of a parent or making the child move away from the family. Witnessing gun violence continuously, the child may suffer traumatic effects that may change his/her life, and these may act as a means that cause him/her to become a warrior or live his/her life depending on guns.

Proliferation of light guns usually cause moving of great populations, it makes millions of children and their families moved away from their homes and children are further exposed to diseases, violence, recruitment and sexual assaults. About 12.8 million of refugees and 23 million of displaced persons - almost half of them are children - are forced to run away because of wide scale violence and fights.

The excessive and destabilizing accumulation of light guns usually prevent monitoring of curable diseases, organizing and provision of health services and vaccine programs. Light guns may reduce economic resources, and this causes increased poverty and disturbances for millions of children and their families. The presence of light guns in a region usually restricts educational opportunities for children. Schools may not work due to the increased instability or as the parents and teachers fear that the children may be kidnapped to be used as a part of armed forces. The weight and dimensions of the light guns allow them to be used easily by children and encourage using of children as warriors. An eight year old kid may easily be taught to fire with an assault gun.

Light guns may become a tool for violence, crime and banditry. In some regions, these guns create a culture of violence that puts whole society into an endless war cycle. Economical instability and lack of economic resources prevent access of children, and especially adolescents to support services and skill trainings.