Tuesday, May 09, 2006

UN still pushing for global gun bans...

I've been getting lots of email and calls from the NRA about the upcoming UN Conference on small arms. Let me disclaim myself up front...
  • I'm a member of the NRA. I endorse the safety and education aspects above firearms rights.
  • I do not support sport or trophy hunting in the US, only population control.
  • I am in favor of nationalizing certain firearms rights, like concealed carry, but with caveats like proof of competence and background checks.
  • I have not talked with the owner of this blog about these views - they are entirely my own.
After reading lots of articles from the UN, its supporter and detractors alike, I can say I am very afraid of the power they think they wield. While I trust that the American people will look beyond the issue of controlling firearms and to the bigger spectre of allowing a foreign power to dictate our laws to us, I nevertheless will keep a wary eye on the procedings.

In short, I feel the UN seeks a total ban on private arms ownership. Hunting rifles, sporting arms, BB guns... if it goes 'bang', they want to ban it. There are numerous examples of world wide tragedies that began with removing a population's ability to defend itself. The justification from the UN is that by removing guns, we remove violence. Yet this has been proven false again and again. In the US, Washington DC and New York city have the highest gun-related murder rates, and among the most restrictive gun laws.

Hmm...

All the statistics and arguments for both sides are readily available on the web. Google to your heart's content - I'll wait...

What I want to ramble about today is the presentation of each side, and my gut feelings. I found this site which purports to demonstrate how evil guns are. Read the bulleted list. See any statistics? I do. Vague, inaccurate statistics, right at the beginning. After that, vapid little statements like "
Firearms are used in crime. Firearms theft fuels other crimes." Wow. That's just amazing. Firearms used in crime, you say? Surely not!

What about knives? Cars? How about your computer, phone, Home Depot's plumbing aisle, and even other people? Every one of these things is routinely implicated in violent crime, from internet predators to pipe-bombing radicals. The anti-gun groups point to everything but the person pulling the trigger. And it's almost uniformly done with emotional yet absurdly wrong blurbs. The UN's statue of a revolver with a knotted barrel, the endless "it's for the children" cries, and "only criminals need guns" fairy tale.

But the other side is just as bad in its own way. The NRA seems to pander to hunters, as they typically represent gun owners with money. Messages generally include statistics and reports that clearly (and mostly truthfully) report actual relationships between guns and crime, but also include appeals to conservatism, inalienable rights (uh...), and God. Personally, I think God would decline to comment on gun ownership, but rather look at intent and use. And as far as I can tell, the only inalienable rights are to live without fear and make choices for yourself. Then there's the popular myth among gun owners that people who hate guns are really just mini Hitlers in training.

So, your homework is to consider your own position on private ownership of firearms. Try not to assume that guns are only use for crimes (they are just tools), nor that anybody has a God-given right to own one. Think about what really drives your view. Were you subjected to gun violence in some way? Were you in a situation where a gun would have saved your life? Do you think hunting or sport shooting (meaning at non-living targets) is fun and entertaining? Do you think guns represent someone having power over you?

For myself, I know I don't intend to commit crimes, nor to shoot at animals for amusement. I believe an armed population is one that keeps its government and criminals in check, but only when that population is protecting eachother, not subjugating. I believe most legal gun owners are responsible, rational and otherwise reasonable people, and that criminal owners make up a very small percentage of the total ownership. And I know from history that disarmed people are much easier to round up and kill.

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