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What comes to mind when someone looks at a peace symbol? I grew up believing that the peace sign was evil, that it was the Wiccan symbol of a broken cross. I was seventeen-years-old before I discovered that the peace symbol was actually "created in 1958 by a British artist as part of the campaign for Nuclear Disarmament” (huffingtonpost.com). Despite my earlier misconceptions of what the peace symbol meant, I grew to understand and agree with what the peace symbol stands for.
In this day and age we tend to look back on the 1960s as a turbulent decade filled with a wide variety of social and political change. The progress of change that was started in the 1960s is still continuing today for many issues (civil rights, gay rights, women’s rights, etc.), but one thing we seem to have abandoned almost entirely is the issue of nuclear disarmament. The issue of nuclear disarmament is still as relevant and important today as it was during the Cold War in the 1960s.
The United States of America (as well as the rest of the world to some extent) is entering into a new version of the Cold War with North Korea. There have been severe sanctions put on North Korea to limit its access to parts to build a nuclear arsenal, but they continue to find the money to put together the missiles anyway. Why does North Korea want a nuclear arsenal so badly that they are willing to alienate and make enemies of the rest of the world to do it? Because Kim Jong-un believes that the only way for North Korea to be taken seriously in the world is to be a threat, and the only way to be a serious threat in this day and age is to be able to annihilate a large amount of people using nuclear weapons.
Perhaps the reason Kim Jong-un believes that nuclear weapons are the key to being taken seriously is because the leading nations in the world like the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, etc., all have stockpiled nuclear weapons. Perhaps Kim Jong-un believes that in order to become a rich, first-world, leading nation is to have nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons are dangerous, which is a lesson we, as the United States, have learned a few times now. The first time we learned this lesson was with the, not even nuclear, but atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War 2. The second time we learned this lesson was during the Cold War and the absolute terror that was felt throughout the United States about the impending nuclear attack from the USSR. We are currently learning this lesson again with the increasing nuclear tensions surrounding the United States and North Korea. We need nuclear disarmament for not only the sake of our nation, but for the sake of our world.
The best thing the United States can do is lead by example, proposing legislation to the United Nations for nuclear disarmament, and restarting interest in nuclear disarmament for the world. This is something that needs to happen in order to protect ourselves from horrific, tragic, and senseless acts of politically motivated violence by other nations. The people of the United States (or any other nation for that matter) should not have to be under constant threat of or die from nuclear attacks, because of governments that we can’t possibly hope to control, including our own. Please support nuclear disarmament, it will make our world a safer place.