United Nations Attack On Gun Ownership

The attempt this year to reprise last year’s Million Mom March was a dud, attracting only about 200 demonstrators, and the Democrats’ political gurus are whining about how Al Gore’s pro-gun-control stance cost him votes last year in crucial states. So the anti-gun activists have moved to a less democratic venue: the United Nations.

On July 9 to 20, New York City will host the United Nations Conference on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. The purpose of this conference is to demonize the private ownership of guns and get governments to confiscate all privately owned guns.

Don’t be misled by the term “small arms.” UN documents define small arms as weapons “designed for personal use” (such as your Browning pistol, your Ruger rifle, or your Winchester shotgun), while light weapons are for use by several persons as a crew.

Don’t be misled by the term “illicit” trade. UN documents make it clear that, since most illegal guns start out as legal purchases, illicit trade must be stopped by clamping down on legal gun owners.

Don’t think that this UN conference is just a talkfest. It is scheduled to produce a legally binding treaty to require governments to mark, number, register, record, license, confiscate, and destroy all guns except those in the hands of the military and the police.

Indeed, the first day of the conference is to be called “Small Arms Destruction Day.” The conference’s Preparatory Committee (Prep Com) is calling on all governments, with the assistance of the UN’s NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) and “civil society” (a fancy name for the NGOs working in tandem), to organize public events to promote the destruction of small arms and light weapons on that day.

The decision on NGO participation, adopted by the Prep Com without a vote, is in line with the growing UN practice of expanding the influence of “relevant” NGOs while bypassing sovereign member states. “Relevant” means only those NGOs that promote the UN agenda.

The 18-page Draft Programme of Action to be presented to the July conference sets forth the rationale plus the mechanisms for eliminating the “wide availability” of guns. It’s obvious that the United States is the target because we are the only country with a Second Amendment, and other democracies such as England, Canada and Australia have either banned or severely restricted private gun ownership.

The Draft Programme wraps its gun-confiscation message in typical UN semantics, but makes little attempt to conceal the mailed fist in the velvet glove. It states: “In order to promote peace, security, stability and sustainable development in the world, we commit ourselves to addressing this problem in a comprehensive, integrated, sustainable, efficient and urgent manner.”

Indeed, the plan is comprehensive and integrated. According to the Draft Programme, “Preventing and reducing the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons consists of two sets of measures: the national control of manufacture and the proper marking of small arms and light weapons, coupled with accurate, sustained recordkeeping and exchanges of information.”

Government “marking” and recordkeeping is “an integral part” of the process. It’s clear that the UN is demanding that governments build a national electronic database of all guns and their owners, and then facilitate “an information exchange” (i.e., share the database with the UN).

Through the Department for Disarmament Affairs, the UN promises to “develop an international mechanism that will facilitate the exchange of information on all aspects” of guns, i.e., a global gun registry.

To wipe out private gun ownership, the UN demands that all governments enforce “adequate laws, regulations and administrative procedures to exercise effective control over the legal manufacture and possession of small arms and light weapons.” And the UN demands that governments criminally prosecute all those who don’t comply.

The UN plans to develop “model national legislation” so that Congress will pass laws that conform to the treaty’s requirements. The UN plans to guide Congress by publishing “best practices” for legislation and procedures.

All unmarked or inadequately marked small arms and light weapons are to be confiscated and “expeditiously destroyed.” The government is to assure that “no retransfer of small arms and light weapons takes place without prior authorization” by the government because the UN disapproves of the possession of guns by civilians who are “not part of responsible military and police forces.”

The UN also has a plan to propagandize Americans to accept this global ban on private gun ownership. The Draft Programme calls for “seminars, conferences, consultations and workshops conducted by the United Nations” for the purpose of “promoting the Action Plan.”

As part of its “awareness-training” to induce Americans to accept the new ban-the-guns policy, the UN wants government to pledge to destroy guns in “public destruction events.”

When the United Nations bounced us from the Human Rights Commission, while giving seats to Sudan, Libya, China and Cuba, that was just an insult. But it’s deadly serious business when the UN tries to take away our guns.

Phyllis Schlafly is President of Eagle Forum.