Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Ban the use of land mines by the United States
The United States has spent billions of dollars clearing land mines, but the nation hasn’t officially banned them. The Obama administration is nearing the conclusion of a policy review on antipersonnel weaponry and the review should end with a ban on these weapons. These cruel devices maim and kill humans, and if they are not retrieved after the conflict is over, civilians have been known to walk into mine fields and end up losing limbs or worse, their lives.
One hundred and sixty one nations signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, but the United States isn’t one of them. The treaty bans the use of antipersonnel mines and requires clearance and assistance to victims. In 2006, the Clinton administration was set to join the treaty, but the Bush Administration reversed the decision in 2004. In December 2013, the United States announced that it was making preparations to join the treaty, but no official date was given.
Since the Mine Ban Treaty was created in March 1991, more than 47 million stockpiled landmines were destroyed, and 27 countries completed the mine clearance to become mine free. The annual number of mine causalities decreased dramatically after the treaty went into effect.
While the United States hasn’t officially signed onto the treaty, the country has an export ban on land mines, and the last recorded use of them was in 1991 during the Gulf War. There also isn’t evidence of the U.S. producing land mines since 1997. Globally, the use of landmines is rare. The weapons pose a huhr threat to civilians, as the mines are difficult to locate and diffuse. The only countries known to place such weaponry are Syria, Burma, and Libya.
The United States should make their stance on land mines official by signing the treaty and banning land mines. With so many other countries stepping forward and agreeing to these terms, the United States should follow as well. Sign this petition and urge the Obama Administration to conclude their policy review with a ban on landmines.
Dear President Barack Obama,
It has come to my attention that your administration is nearing the conclusion to its policy review on antipersonnel weaponry. I am writing to urge you to ban the use of land mines in the United States, as these weapons pose a threat to civilians.
I’m sure you know of the dangers of landmines even after a conflict has ended. This piece of weaponry can remain active for years and civilians have been known to accidentally step on them. These mines are also difficult to diffuse and our country has spent billions of dollars trying to clear them. Please ensure these mines never get made or used ever again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Neil Rickards via Wikimedia