'The Weapons of Violence' tells the story of violence in Central America. Random, violent acts are an everyday occurrence. Victims, doctors and experts present their views on the issue. The 'Angels for Peace' organization aims to raise awareness of the problem of random violence and works to reduce the availability of firearms, but its efforts are complicated by the widespread view that weapons are needed for self-defense.
As the film shows, random acts of violence have a far-reaching impact on the lives of victims and their families. Survivors are often permanently handicapped and thus dependent on family members for help; 74% suffer from psychological trauma and are unable to work.
There are also considerable economic consequences. Victims are often in need of permanent medical care and expensive medical supplies. Victims can no longer work and are financially dependent on their families for care and medical costs. This doubles the economic impact on families that were poor to begin with.
There are several factors that contribute to the widespread violence in Central America. When the civil wars that plagued the region ended in the 1990s, the weapons used to fight largely remained in circulation. Both former soldiers and veterans of the many civilian militias never turned in their weapons. The dominant 'macho ' culture, as well as the widespread use of corporal punishment by parents, may also contribute to the culture of violence.