The twenty nations of Oceania are no strangers to armed violence. In large cities and small island communities alike, death and injury by gunshot, gender-based and domestic violence, armed crime and suicide are common concerns. In communities in conflict, thousands have been killed, wounded or had their lives upended while access to development aid, markets, health, education and human rights were disrupted by people with guns.
Fortunately in the Pacific, early intervention and prevention remain viable options. While large-scale gun trafficking remains far less common than the misuse of locally owned weapons, and while individuals, community groups and governments alike defend our traditional Pacific consensus on resistance to the proliferation of firearms, this region of the world continues to demonstrate the public health and safety benefits of diminishing armed violence.