August 6th 1945 the United Stated dropped a nuclear bomb name Little Boy on Hiroshima Japan. The resulting explosion destroyed approximately 4.7 square miles of the city and killed 70,000 – 80,000 people with many more dying later from radiation and injuries. The scale of destruction was so far beyond anything ever seen up to that point that it created a whole new class of weapons called weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
As time passed WMD came to include non-conventional weapons such as nuclear weapons, biological weapons and chemical weapons. All WMDs have immense potential to kill vast numbers of people.
Now we have a new definition of weapons of mass destruction (18 USC 2332 (c)(2) and 18 USC 921 (a)(4))which includes all “destructive devices”. It seems that the “mass” part of weapons of mass destruction got dropped from the definition so that grenades, mines and rockets all count as weapons of mass destruction.
The problem is that this equivocates weapons of mass destruction with any destructive device. It completely waters down the definition of WMDs to the point that is it meaningless. No longer is a WMD something that can devastate an entire city instead it may only be capable of injuring and killing a few people. By this definition every drone strike involves the use of a WMD. Every grenade thrown by a soldier is a WMD. Every improvised explosive device is a WMD. By this definition Saddam Hussein had plenty of WMDs because he had missiles and explosives.
Weapons of mass destruction cause MASS DESTRUCTION not a little destruction, not some destruction but MASS DESTRUCTION! WMDs cause destruction on a scale many magnitudes greater than conventional weapons can. A nuclear bomb can level a city. Chemical weapons can poison an entire population. Biological weapons could potentially wipe out all human beings. WMDs are not little bombs, they are weapons that can threaten entire populations of people.