We survived -- for now

Posted: Jul 10, 2006 12:01 AM

The UN Gun Summit is over, and gun owners have won for now. The conference ended in chaos on Friday afternoon when the various nations in attendance failed to agree on a written plan of action on how to deal small arms and light weapons. Because no document could be produced, no agreement could be made on continuing the process with further meetings and summits. For now, the UN’s Program of Action on Small Arms and light weapons is over. No further meetings are scheduled.

Two weeks of meetings, statements, press conferences, and behind the scenes negotiations could not prevent the summit from ending in failure. The United States remained strong in its opposition to institutionalizing the small arms and light weapons summits, and would not agree to continuing the process beyond the summit that just concluded. Other countries had similar disagreements with various parts of the draft document that had been circulating since the first week of the session came to a close.

Observers like former Congressman Bob Barr, who was monitoring the summit on behalf of the National Rifle Association, say gun owners aren’t out of the woods yet. It is expected that in the fall, the UN’s General Assembly will be asked to once again take up the issue, and it’s possible that a whole new round of meetings could take place. It’s also possible, if not likely, that the global gun grab will now operate outside of the United Nations.

NRAnews.com Executive Editor Ginny Simone, who provided live coverage from the United Nations every day of the summit, reported that several countries and non-governmental organizations discussed holding meetings in Geneva to try and continue the process of global gun control. As bad as the UN process has been, private meetings outside of the United Nations might be even worse.

If the various countries that support the end of civilian firearms ownership (and the list is long) decide to get together for informal private meetings, they can pick and choose who they want to be a part of the process. At the United Nations, the National Rifle Association is an accredited non-governmental organization and can monitor what’s taking place in many of the meetings. At a private summit, it would be up to the organizers to give gun owners a seat at the table. They could bar the press from attending, or shut out programs like NRAnews.com from covering the process. And you don’t need the United Nations to get a formal treaty written. The international treaty covering land mines, for instance, came about not at the United Nations, but at a summit in Ottawa.

Whether the anti-gunners return to the UN, or decide to meet elsewhere, clearly the threat is not over. There are, however, more than 100,000 reasons to be happy today. Nations the world over got the message that the United States and its citizens will not stand idly by and watch our freedoms be trampled. More than 100,000 letters and postcards were sent to the UN before and during the gun summit, each demanding that those running the meetings back off of their plans. Those letters demonstrate that no matter where they meet, gun owners and freedom lovers will be keeping a watchful eye on the global gun control crowd, and we will never let our liberty be trampled.