It will be no surprise to TFB readers that the German government is against its own arms industry, we have reported this many times, but now the German Minister for Economic Affairs is openly saying he plans on cutting down the number of arms exports. It is no wonder that German firearm makers are moving production overseas. National Public Radio reports …
Germany is the world’s third-largest arms exporter and Sigmar Gabriel, the country’s minister for economic affairs, is determined to move his country farther down that list.
Gabriel argues that exporting billions of dollars in arms annually, much of it to countries with questionable human rights records, such as Saudi Arabia, is at odds with the pacifist identity Germany established after World War II.
In late July, he told German public television broadcaster ZDF, “There are basic rules in Germany for exporting arms, and they’ve been ignored in the last years. Now we are going to observe them again.”
“What I hear repeatedly is that people are worried about their jobs,” Kirschner says. “If we don’t deliver these weapons, another country will.”
Another problem is that there aren’t many places for people to find work locally, especially people with technical skills.
“For 200 years, Oberndorf has been a magnet for highly qualified technicians,” says Ulrich Pfaff, a 76-year-old retired Lutheran church official. “My great-grandfather moved here because there were jobs for mechanics like him.”
Today, some 600 people work at the Heckler & Koch plant in Oberndorf. The company is a global firearms leader, making a submachine gun that the German media brag was carried by some members of the U.S. Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden.
Germany has been a firearm innovator since firearms were first designed. It is sad that the German government is out to destroy them.
Thanks to Jim for the tip.