Segments in this Video

Global Proliferation of Small Arms (02:42)


Police and armies use small arms to protect the public but use of small arms for illegitimate purposes wreaks insecurity, pain, and suffering. The United Nations considers the global proliferation of small arms to be one of the world's greatest challenges.

Disarming Albania (04:45)

Albania was the last eastern European country to democratize and has a deadly legacy of small arms. Widespread tragedies caused by rampant gunfire led Albanians to work with the United Nations to remove small arms from circulation by exchanging them for development aid.

Small Arms Destroy Societies (04:23)

Superpowers distributed millions of small arms in countries around the world during and after the Cold War. The presence of these weapons breeds chaos, insecurity, violence, and poverty in these places to this day.

Children and Small Arms Weapons (01:56)

During a ten year period conflicts involving small arms killed an estimated two million children, disabled five million children, and left 12 million children homeless. At least 300,000 child-soldiers have been lured or forced into combat worldwide.

Illegal Guns in Mozambique and South Africa (05:04)

Mozambique was once heavily involved in the arms trade and still displays an automatic rifle on its national flag. An estimated four million illegal weapons are in circulation in South Africa. Police in both countries cooperate to slow the flow of guns across their border.

Gun Control and Arms Production in South Africa (02:01)

In South Africa the fight against gun violence goes beyond stopping the flow of illegal arms; the country has instituted some of the world's toughest gun control laws. Paradoxically, South Africa is Africa's largest arms producer and exporter.

Small Arms Production Throughout History (02:58)

The history of civilization is closely tied to the history of warfare and the improvement of weapons. Until the modern era arms production was a craft industry; small arms production today is a multi-billion dollar industry whose products are marketed to buyers at arms fairs.

The Firearms Protocol (01:24)

Illegal arms smugglers conduct about half of the annual worldwide trade in small arms. The United Nations is addressing illicit firearms production and trafficking as part of an effort to fight transnational organized crime.

Death in Colombia (02:46)

Homicide is the leading cause of death in Colombia, one of the world's most heavily armed societies. A huge supply of easily available weapons meets the high demand for them created by a variety of armed groups (Contains disturbing images).

Preventing Illegal Arms Shipments (04:18)

The United States produces more weapons than any other country; Operation Exodus is the U.S. Customs Service's enforcement strategy for stopping illegal arms shipments. The United Nations has begun working to stop the illegal international arms trade.

Interpol Investigates Arms Trafficking (04:38)

Interpol maintains a database of detailed information about international arms traffickers and shares the information with police authorities around the world. Interpol pays particular attention to the money trail created by arms trafficking.

Genocide in Rwanda (05:03)

Recent conflicts around the world have been characterized by the terrorist strategy of deliberately targeting civilians. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda shamed the world and has prompted efforts by the United Nations and others to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Cash for Guns in El Salvador (01:09)

War in El Salvador brought tons of small arms into the country; hundreds of thousands of them remain in circulation. To get guns off the streets in El Salvador a private organization exchanges goods, vouchers, and cash for weapons.

The United Nations Assists Mali (01:05)

The west African country of Mali asked the United Nations for assistance in controlling small arms proliferation. The resulting actions inspired a moratorium on imports, exports, and manufacturing of light weapons in west African countries.

Bikes for Guns in Mozambique (01:31)

When Mozambique's 25 years of civil war ended a huge supply of small arms became available for trafficking. To persuade former combatants to turn in their guns the Christian Council of Mozambique exchanges bicycles, farm equipment, and sewing machines for weapons.

Self Defense in Brazil (01:50)

Brazil accounts for one in eight of the world's small arms homicides; shootouts between police and criminals, between rival gangs, and by drug traffickers are common. Many law-abiding citizens arm themselves for protection.

Guns in the USA (02:09)

The United States manufactures more guns than any nation in the world; gun violence in the USA kills about 35,000 people every year. There are ten times as many licensed gun dealers in the country as McDonald's restaurants.

International Responsibility (02:50)

More than five hundred million small arms weapons are in worldwide circulation today. Destroying stocks of illegal guns and regulating the production and sale of legal weapons are necessary on a global scale to stop small arms violence.

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Armed to the Teeth: The Worldwide Plague of Small Arms

DVD Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



With one gun for every ten people, the UN considers the small arms crisis one of the gravest challenges facing the world. As well as investigating the proliferation of firearms and the economic, political, and cultural reasons why people carry them, this award-winning program shows what is being done to curb a man-made pestilence. Both devastation and successful disarmament are seen in case studies from Albania, Mozambique, South Africa, Colombia, El Salvador, and the world’s largest small arms manufacturer, the United States. Discussing these issues are Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Jayantha Dhanapala, Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament; Carol Bellamy, executive director of UNICEF; and Robert Wall of the Firearms and Explosives Unit at Interpol. A United Nations Production. (56 minutes)

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL32654

ISBN: 978-0-7365-8288-9

Copyright date: ©2000

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

Gold Medal, 2001 World Media Festival, Germany

Gold Camera Award, U.S. International Film and Video Festival

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Only available in USA.