They’ve gathered in New York City, the best and brightest minds in the global gun ban movement. Oh, they don’t want you to think for a second that they’re actually interested in your guns. Kofi Annan as much as said so yesterday, when he told the attendees of the Small Arms Review Conference, “This Review Conference is not negotiating a ‘global gun ban’, nor do we wish to deny law-abiding citizens their right to bear arms in accordance with their national laws.” Got it, gun owners? There’s nothing to fear from the UN when it comes to your guns.
It’s too bad for Kofi that many of the countries attending the summit didn’t get his memo. Yesterday’s speeches were full of calls for expanding the current agenda to include the civilian possession of firearms. Hans Winkler, speaking on behalf of the European Union, called the current Program of Action “the key starting point for further action on small arms”. The ambassador from Australia, Robert Hill, spoke glowingly of his country’s gun laws that “require the registration and licensing of all firearms owners, prohibit a range of automatic and semi-automatic long arms and handguns, and mandate minimum firearms safety training and storage requirements.”
The statement from Indonesia’s representative was perhaps the clearest example of what these countries are aiming for.
“We believe that no armed group outside of the State should be allowed to bear weapons. We also believe that regulating civilian possession of Small Arms/Light Weapons will enhance our efforts to prevent its misuse. In our view, the issue of ammunition should also be addressed in the context of the Program of Action because in the absence of ammunition, small arms and light weapons pose no danger.”
Not every country is as transparent as Indonesia. When looking at the statements of the various representatives, what isn’t said is just as important as the words we actually hear. Take, for example, the comments by Brazilian representative Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg. He told the summit, “this Review Conference should not limit ourselves to renewing our commitment to the full implementation of the Program of Action. It should rather be taken as an opportunity to address the Program’s shortcomings, by means of the adoption of substantive aimed at strengthening and complementing its mechanisms.” In other words, what we’ve got right now doesn’t go far enough. This comes from a country tried to ban civilian ownership of firearms outright (the referendum failed last fall).
The anti-gun summit continues for the next two weeks, and you can get daily updates from http://www.NRAnews.com Executive Editor Ginny Simone every afternoon on “Cam and Company”, heard on the aforementioned NRAnews.com and Sirius Satellite Radio. Coming up on Tuesday, the United States issues its opening statement.