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What Amnesty International Fails to Recognize About Those Who Are 'Imminently Threatened'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

In a current fundraising drive, Amnesty International is pitching their lifesaving Urgent Action Network. This provides help for “individuals imminently threatened with torture, execution or other human rights abuses.” The crisis is staggering, they say, thanks (or perhaps due) to the crises in:


The Philippines


North Korea

El Salvador

Central African Republic





Democratic Republic of the Congo

Saudi Arabia

Do you see the pattern? Can you read between the lines and recognize the unwritten?

The threatened people are unarmed. Defenseless. In all these countries public possession of arms is essentially forbidden. They’re disarmed for exactly this situation—so they can’t deter the abusers. The torture, execution and maltreatment human beings are suffering from in these countries is by “authorities” in government, against unarmed populations.

For all the news we get about guns, we get no glimmer of this. Those crises are tragic but illuminate why it hasn’t happened here. We’ve got guns.

The crisis displays an identical architecture in each country. Sly, brutal, malevolent people organize into whatever it is they call “government,” and set about pogroming on the people they govern. The deplorables, surfs, peons, wage slaves, clingers, subjects, citizens... many names have attempted to label oppressed common folk, “the little people,” as Leona Helmsley called them in 1989. Nice to hear it said out loud but we all knew it.

Gunless populations facilitate tyrants

It is the absence of firearms in the hands of the public that leads directly to these humanitarian crises. Otherwise the perpetrators couldn’t do it. Authorities could not inflict reigns of terror, abduct people for torture, without seeing an actual revolt. It is the perceived risk an armed population poses that erects the stop sign. A place like communist China (what Amnesty calls “China”) is a heavily armed brutal dictatorship. That’s the only way they can get away with their world-renowned disgraceful murderous rule. I met an expat from Red China recently, the stories she told were horrifying. It’s not a nice place.

Amnesty International focuses on the gunless, yet fails to get—or imagine acting upon—the core principle: “Absence of arms in the hands of the people leads directly to and enables these humanitarian crises.”

Amnesty’s position is flawed because it is utopian: “It is governments who have a duty to protect their populations.” You may wish that were so, but life is exactly opposite in the real world. Governments are the main perpetrators of violence. An accompanying methodical disclosure counts which countries are selling arms to which others and makes the case—governments sell guns to other governments. Oppressed masses are excluded, making them easy to murder. The hopeless notion that only “officials” should be armed must be eradicated, the very source of the grief.

The American founding documents recognize government as responsible for protecting rights, while acknowledging that people must be armed to protect themselves and assure compliance. JPFO’s groundbreaking book, Dial 911 and Die documents how government is specifically exempted from protecting individuals. Reliance on the UN Arms Treaty to disarm despots, which AI calls for, is a pipe dream. Governments do not disarm. They cling to their guns. It’s armed citizens who resist victimhood and inhibit pogroms.

More guns will not make things worse. They’re already worse! Knee-jerk cries of derision, from virtual co-conspirators of the crises (imagining they are do gooders), plead, “More guns will only make things worse!” Do the innocents facing death agree? One side is armed, the other is being slaughtered. What did Amnesty call them? People imminently threatened.

Nobody needs self-defense gear and preparedness more than people AI describes. Imminently threatened—that’s the precise legal threshold for using deadly force in self-defense law: that’s when you can pull the triggers. Why haven’t these victims got any?

They are unarmed because the people wreaking havoc have ensured they’re unarmed. This is how it’s done, when one side has guns and the other does not. Does anyone seriously doubt, any longer, that governments, even ours, are corrupt at many levels, filled with dangerous power-hungry people? They gather there because that’s where power is, and they seek it. Ultimately, life and law are only enforced at the point of a gun. For justice to prevail and genocide to be curtailed, both sides must have them. By failing to see this, Amnesty International makes things worse.

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