Skip to comments.NRA Global Interest Gets a Debate (Wayne LaPierre debates IANSA's Rebecca Peters in London)
Posted on 10/09/2004 7:32:50 PM PDT by Dan from Michigan
NRA Global Interest Gets a Debate
by Dick Dahl
Many people think of the National Rifle Association (NRA) as a uniquely American institution. They know of its great influence over federal and state lawmakers, who often opt for the political expediency of voting the NRA's way. As a result of the NRA's power, many people are aware, American citizens possess weaponry legally to a degree that is unknown in the rest of the civilized world.
But theres a new, increasingly international, dimension to the NRA. On Tuesday, Oct. 12, the NRAs top official and an international gun-control expert will face off on pay-per-view television to talk about international gun control and the NRA's assertion that the UN is trying to regulate guns in the US through international treaties.
NRA executive president Wayne LaPierre and International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) director Rebecca Peters are taking part in a program, The Great Gun Debate, in London. (Interested viewers should check with their local cable TV providers for availability and times. Information is also available at the website www.thegundebate.com).
As head of London-based IANSA, Peters works for an organization that's dedicated to stopping the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons around the world. But she's well aware firsthand of the NRA's influence in the U.S. She spent four years in New York City working on a gun violence prevention project at the Open Society Institute and retains vivid memories of the NRA's hold over elected officials and policymakers.
"It really is true," she says, "that in the U.S., there are politicians and policymakers who would look advocates, victims, and survivors of gun violence in the eye and say, `I know that you're right, that we should be tightening gun laws. But I'm afraid to do it.'"
Increasingly, the NRA is setting its sights on the rest of the world with an apparent goal of cowing leaders in other countries in similar fashion. The NRA has attained status as a non-government organization at the United Nations and has been sounding the alarm among its membership about UN efforts to reduce the proliferation of small arms in many parts of the world. Ignoring the bloodshed that uncontrolled arms flows are causing in many developing countries -- an estimated 500,000 people are killed each year by small arms, according to the World Health Organization -- the NRA sees the UN as a threat to American gun owners. As the October issue of the NRA magazine, "American Rifleman," phrases it, the UN is "preparing a binding international treaty that could transform your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms into empty words. Because if ratified by the United States, it would instantly become domestic federal law."
The UN and IANSA are most assuredly pursuing actions to achieve regulations over small-arms proliferation, Peters says. But "the thing that the NRA sees as so threatening to them is something that most people in the world see as a completely reasonable level of regulation." IANSA and other such "civil society" organizations have been working through the UN "to try to get some international norms established," she says.
"What happens now is that one city or state or country will have tight regulations of guns and the one next door will have no regulation, and that undermines the tight regulation in the first jurisdiction," she says. "So we're trying to get countries to agree, and increasingly governments are interested in doing that. They realize that guns are a major cause of preventable injury and death and that it's possible to reduce violence by regulating the proliferation and misuse of guns."
Some of the worst problems are occurring in developing countries with minimal or nonexistent gun laws. In those places, the focus is on achieving "basic measures to make sure that guns are only in the hands of people who are legally entitled to have them, and that means there has to be some kind of threshold test so that guns don't move from those hands into the hands of people who are not entitled to have them or who are going to abuse them."
While the NRA couches its rhetoric about foreign gun regulation in terms of a threat to American gun owners, Peters believes another motivation stands behind the effort. "They're increasingly involved in the international debate because they and the gun manufacturers who back them see their economic interests threatened by the possibility of other countries getting more sensible laws."
Meanwhile, in addition to its UN efforts, the NRA is seeking to spread the word about private gun ownership to the rest of the world in other ways, Peters says. And she admits that they're having some success. "Many countries have some kind of gun organizations, usually associated with target shooting, and in recent years some of those organizations have become much more political, much more ideological, under the influence of the NRA."
Nevertheless, the NRA's beliefs about the desirability of a fully armed public are still seen as unacceptable in most of the world. "There's a cultural difference between the U.S. and many other countries," Peters says. "In the U.S., the notion of having a gun because you might feel the need to kill someone is acceptable. But in other countries there's kind of a threshold issue of good governnance--that society doesn't accept preparedness in anticipation of killing another person as a reason to own a gun."
But because of the NRA's growing interest in guns outside the borders of the U.S., Peters is seeing once sports-oriented gun organizations in other countries starting to use the same rhetoric about arming oneself in anticipation of a need to kill another person.
"We're seeing that at least the NRA's ideology is being exported around the world," she says. "So in that sense, the NRA is the leader of the world gun lobby."
NRA's assertion that the UN is trying to regulate guns in the US through international treaties
NRA doesn't have to assert it. I posted much of the UN's plans here about 4 years ago. My source was the UN itself.
I know that you're right, that we should be tightening gun laws. But I'm afraid to do it.'"
Pols should be afraid to do it. Afraid of losing their JOBS like Eric Fingerhut(Ohio), Ma Richards, Jack Brooks(Texas), Al Gore, and Wyche Fowler(Georgia) did.
because they and the gun manufacturers who back them
BZZZZZZZZZZZZZz. Wrong answer. That's a VPC(funded by Soros) myth. The NRA is backed by people like me. I'm not the gun industry.
"In the U.S., the notion of having a gun because you might feel the need to kill someone is acceptable.
That's a loaded term. I shoot to kill turkeys. If I have to defend myself or others, I shoot to stop.
Who's broken into your house at 3am....IS acceptable. He's not there to cook me breakfast.
I shoot to stop him. He might be dead, but he's stopped. :)
That's what I meant. Shoot to stop. These antigun people really get me pissed off. Would they rather an intended victim, just submit? Well, THIS ct. yankee ain't gunna do it.
Lefties always prefer unarmed peasants...
500,000 people worldwide are killed by small guns... only 30,000 in the US per year according to hcinc... less than 10% in the good ole armed usa... could it be because we are the best armed against attacking marauders...
\preaching to the choir mode
Read the above column and replace the phrase "private gun ownership" with "private automobile ownership"" and set back and hear the howl from the public. Automobiles kill and maim millions each year but nobody (except a few Greens) want to ban private ownership of cars.
The Constitution doesn't specifically protect owning cars as it does guns.
Remember, its all about FREEDOM
I get so tired of the leftists' cheap rhetoric. If you simply want to live in peace and not be a victim, the socialists make it sound like something sinister and anti-social. If, on the other hand, you are a violent criminal (or a dictator) and use guns against innocent people, the socialists will be full of sympathy for you if you are a violent criminal and they will admire you if you do really big crimes (including "gun crimes") and become a dictator.
Like Britain? Where nobody is "entitled" to have them, but every criminal can get one? Where the chance of getting mugged in London is far higher than any major American city? Right.
Is this a "pay per view" too ?
Does NRA and Join Together share the proceeds from this debate?
What was their "take" on the last one ?
How can we, in good conscience, participate in this debate, as a viewer, (Paying Viewer) when "any" part of our money may go to an Anti-Gun group to be used against us..??
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.