Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Thoughts: UN Disarmament Conference Gone Down in Flames

Yes, it's late I know, but...
From David Kopel at the Volokh Conspiracy (h/t GeekWithA.45)

the word from the United Nations small arms conference is that the conference is concluding with NO final document, and NO plans for any follow-up conference...
If a few hundred votes had changed in Florida in 2000, or if 60,000 votes had changed in Ohio in 2004, the results of the 2001 and 2006 U.N. gun control conferences would have been entirely different. There would now be a legally binding international treaty creating an international legal norm against civilian gun ownership, a prohibition on the transfer of firearms to "non-state actors" (such as groups resisting tyrants), and a new newspeak international human rights standard requiring restrictive licensing of gun owners. With a Presidential signature on such a treaty (even if the treaty were never brought to the Senate floor for ratification), the principles of the anti-gun treaty would be eroding the Second Amendment, through Executive Orders, and through the inclination of some courts to use unratified treaties as guidance in interpretting the U.S. Constitution.

We scored a major, major victory here...and as I sit here this morning, I am silently thanking God that President George W. Bush was elected and re-elected. As imperfect as his record on Second Amendment issues has been (i.e., support of the purely symbolic AWB, and no reigning in of the ATF), he really came through for us in appointing John Bolton as our ambassador to the United Nations. As they say, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. ;-) It's been said that the perfect is often the enemy of the good, and nowhere has this been made more evident than by the results of the UN conference and what David Kopel points out above. Those 400 votes in 2000, and 60,000 in 2004, could very well have been those of gun owners who went for a third party because they didn't consider GWB to be the best candidate for the cause with a serious chance of winning. Call me crazy, call me a traitor to the cause, but I'd say that in settling for less, in this case, we got a hell of a lot more than we'd ever dreamed of. Not only did we get our chestnuts pulled out of the fire, we got the fire extinguished completely, at least for now, and some ground on which to stand and advance further on the goal to total recognition of of our natural right of self-defense. And isn't this just precious!:
"This was total meltdown," said Anthea Lawson, spokesperson for the International Action Network on Small Arms. "Seldom have diplomats worked so hard for so few results. They've squandered an opportunity to save thousands of lives."

Now, lest you think I am a heartless bastard, history shows that the lives Anthea Lawson talked of saving would more or less have been those of state actors seeking to violate the natural rights of the people whom they govern and strip those people of their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which, of course, people we've all read about pledged their Lives, Fortunes and Sacred Honor to preserve.

Of course, they won't be giving up...
a leaked copy of Canada's proposal — supported by a number of states — called for a one-week meeting to be held in Geneva in 2007....
Sri Lankan Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, president of the conference, said he didn't consider the meeting a failure. "It ended without a final document, but a lot of work was done and there was a sense of collective will that we will see the program of action implemented," he said.
The U.S. opposed a further UN review meeting. And it is unlikely to support Canada's proposal for a parallel conference in Geneva. The National Rifle Association, which attacked the conference as an infringement on American constitutional rights, also condemned efforts to continue the talks.
But, it said, the Geneva meeting would be funded on a "voluntary basis" and take place only if countries anted up. The plan was hailed by European delegates.

It just goes to show you: the United States doesn't have allies in this world, so much as fleeting, temporary alliances on certain issues. We all know how the UK's Tony Blair feels about guns, and Australian PM John Howard, and as much good as President Bush has done for us on our most basic natural right, we need to keep the views of Blair, Howard and their ilk in mind when we hear the president refer to these people as our "friends" or "allies."
In the meantime, though, me and my Springfield 1911 are going to the range today. I haven't fed her in a few weeks. She's gotten hungry and lonely.