Disarming Baghdad No Easy Task

A U.S. soldiers guards a pile of weapons turned over by Iraqis to the Americans in central Baghdad on Saturday, April 12, 2003. AP

Just about everyone in the Iraqi capital has a gun. Many civilians are able to buy them at an open market by a Baghdad roadside.

A gun costs about $20, and as CBS News Correspondent Lara Logan reports, at that price business is booming; all in full view of passing American Army convoys.

There's certainly no secret how people here are feeling. They want the Americans to leave and they are quite happy to say so.

"America no good," says one, adding that he'd like to see the American soldiers go. "Iraq my country."

Just a mile up the road, some U.S. Marines unaware of the open gun market send a team to investigate.

"Disarming the Iraqi people will help them benefit," says one Marine. "That's what we're here for."

That's not as easy as it sounds. The Marines sent to investigate the gun market return without disarming anyone, rather than risk a bloodbath. Shooting civilians is something all U.S. forces want to avoid

But gun violence is out of control. Innocent people are shot every day, like 12-year-old, Ghorfan Raheem, who still has a bullet lodged inside her brain.

She was randomly shot in the head, by the same type of rifle on sale at the weapons market.

The doctor who treated Ghorfan says he sees many of his patients are children caught in civilian crossfire.

Ghorfan's mother told us there's so much gunfire in their neighborhood, anyone who saw it would run away.

Her family, she says, still lives in fear.

Though the war may be over, peace remains elusive.

"No war, but no peace," says the doctor.

Many patients here say they are waiting for President Bush to keep his promise of a better life for all Iraqis.
  • Jaime Holguin

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