Dangers of Landmines

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My research topic was landmines. At first I thought that the topic was too broad but came to find that there is so much about the topic that can be discovered. This brought on so many possible research questions. A few were: are they the most dangerous, should they be banned, how long have they been used etc. However, I found that researching the dangers of landmines would be the most appropriate topic for me. My method was to search through the databases and find information that could help formulate a thesis; once that was created I continued my research to help me discover topics for body paragraphs. My research brought me to a lot of conclusions and made me realize that landmines are in fact the most dangerous weapon that can be used it war.

A Geographer Explores a Path of Destruction

“Since 1975, landmines have killed or maimed more than 1-million people [across the world]” (Bonsor, 2001). Landmines are becoming increasingly more dangerous as they are constantly being used in wars. At the time, they seem like the best choice of weaponry but in reality, there are so many more efficient and safer choices that can be made. As I am human geographer, I am concerned with the study of people and places. Therefore, studying how landmines affect the people and their country is a huge part of what I do. It is said that the earliest forms of landmines were used over 2,500 years ago but that Americans were the first to use operational landmines in the war against the Indians in Florida in 1840 (Croll, 1998). Landmines have been used for so long and are becoming more and more dangerous. They used to be manually operated but quickly were developed to blow up when a certain amount of pressure was put on them. However, it was not until 1918 that landmines started being used on a large scale level; this began because assault tanks were now used in wars as well (Croll, 1998). If it were not for landmines, a lot of damage to citizens, animals, and resources would not occur. There are also two categories of landmines; Anti-personnel (AP) mines and Anti-Tank (AT) mines. AT mines are usually larger and contain more explosive materials. These mines are used to disable tanks, trucks, and the people in the surrounding area. They also require more pressure on the trigger plate for it to explode (Bonsor, 2001). However, no matter what type of mine it is, they can all do equal damage on a human being. The damage can be life threatening or even deadly. Mines cannot detect when the war is over or who is stepping on them; they are so dangerous to everyone around them. Sadly, some countries are a lot more affected by landmines than others (Croll, 1998). There are 26 countries in Africa, 9 countries in America, 17 countries in Asia, 25 countries in Europe, and 16 countries in the Middle East all being seriously affected by landmines. These are said to be the countries most affect by this deadly weapon of defense. Landmines are the most dangerous weapon to use in war because they are so deadly, they exists after the war ends, people forget where they placed them, they are cheap to make yet effective, and they kill civilians as well as the enemy.

“Currently, there are more than 100-million landmines located in 70 countries around the world” (Bonsor, 2001). This number is outrageous seeing as many of these countries no longer have war raging through their country. Almost every war uses landmines because they are effective. “The purpose of mines when used by armed forces is to disable any person or vehicle that comes into contact with it by an explosion or fragments released at high speeds” (Bonsor, 2001). We know that they are effective and that is why we use them. Nonetheless, we know that they are deadly and can kill in a matter of seconds. If you look at the map on page 8, you can see the large number of casualties throughout the world in 2008. The areas that are blue have high casualty rates; there is too much blue on that map for...
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