www.karinschluter.nlWhen I was in my late teens, I wanted to know how it felt to have a pistol in my hands. This must be around the period in my life that I found that women too, needed to be part of active roles in the army. Feminism throughout, please!  The father of my then boyfriend was the president of a shooting club; I asked him if I could come along and he agreed a visit. So there I went. Goggles, ear protectors, and a pistol. I can’t give you further technical information. The thing worked. And I liked it very much.

I thought is was a cool game, and the sense of power it gave me! Wow! I went for a second time and I could have been lured into becoming a member. Noticing I was the only girl there, made it less interesting for me, the enthusiasm waned and that was that.

It was less than a decade later I was marching against nuclear weapons in Amsterdam and The Hague as a young mother of three children. Wanting my children to live in a weapon-free, peaceful world, my perception of the weapon industry and its impact on the world was getting clear for me.

The last years I felt moved to place this on Facebook: “I would like to let you know, that I’m for unilateral, world-wide, Universe-wide, instantaneous disarmament”. I know it is not possible, not yet, and I do feel that I would like this to happen anyway, now!

I sometimes dream and visualise a world without weapons (sorry arms dealers, you’ll have to find another job then, maybe you can make some money by maintaining peace?) and see the earth without land mines.

Some of my friends find it quite naive and impossible, then I have to remind them that it is a dream – not a fantasy! – and that I am capable of dreaming and talking about my dreams and that I truly believe that nothing is impossible, everything is possible. Out of dreams, rarer things have emerged than the disappearance of weapens.

I think I do understand the lure of arms and how mesmerising they can be. We still live with weapons and the heritage of wars gone by: landmines and other heavy weapon systems. I support the HALO Trust. It is the Trust that takes care of the removing of landmines and other arms in areas where there is now peace.

– Karin Schluter Lonegren.