By Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President
The moment President Obama reversed the Bush administration’s opposition to U.N.-mandated international gun control, he placed Second Amendment freedom in immediate danger.
This summer, unelected officials from around the world will convene in New York City for a series of meetings aimed at ending American firearm freedoms.
In July, they’ll discuss the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)—a maze of restrictions that without strong involvement by your NRA and other pro-freedom groups could essentially cripple the American firearm industry, treating civilian firearms and ammunition the same as warships or attack helicopters.
Then, for two weeks beginning on August 27, they’ll be back again to work on the U.N. Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (POA). Consider it the overarching U.N. blueprint for guns and gun control.
But on top of the ATT and the POA, there’s the Programme for Conventional Ammunition Stockpile Management, the U.N. Firearms Protocol and more.
If you’re confused, it’s by design. The U.N. hides its intentions behind impenetrable labyrinths of bureaucracy, paperwork, regulations and elite-speak. They soften their schemes through slow, mind-numbing processes, committees and concessions.
Behind every program is a buffet of government encroachment tools: tracking, tracing, restriction, regulation, surveillance, microstamping and more.
But that’s just the start. If we give even an inch to the U.N.’s one-world gun-banners, an unimpeachable global bureaucracy will spring up to enforce every new rule, and we’ll never regain our lost freedoms.
We stand in direct contrast with the rest of the world in terms of human freedom—and given the chance, they’ll impose their worldview on us.
They believe the government is the sovereign. We believe the sovereign is the individual.
They believe government can provide for our security. But history proves that’s not true.
The idea that any individual citizen would look to the U.N. for security is undermined by the entire history of the U.N. itself. It’s a history of failure, tyranny and abuse.
The U.N. failed every good person and family in Darfur, Bosnia, Rwanda and Uganda. They’re failing millions of people around the world right now.
Their member list reads like a “who’s who” of human rights abusers. Last summer, I went to New York to testify before them. I stood in front of representatives from China, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Sudan—all those great bastions of freedom.
How can any straight-faced peace-keeping body justify admitting vendors of violence like those? The hypocrisy of some of the most oppressive governments lecturing the world from the U.N. human rights committee is sickening.
Nothing offends Americans like an elitist attack on their way of life. The world’s utopians don’t understand, and can’t understand, how deeply freedom is ingrained in our culture. That’s why we do more to defend it than anyone else in the world.
We are the sons and daughters of Thomas Jefferson, who said, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
And Samuel Adams, who said, “Let the Constitution never be construed to authorize Congress … to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.”
And Patrick Henry, who said, “The great object is that every man be armed.”
The truth is, people around the world don’t need more government. They need more freedom. The right to keep and bear arms is as relevant and modern an idea as anything in our society today.
One of the highlights of my time with the NRA was a few minutes I got to spend with a special group of young people. They came to my office at NRA Headquarters while visiting the United States for the first time from their native China. As kids, they saw Tiananmen Square first-hand—people who thirsted for freedom so greatly they stood in front of tanks for it.
And they told me that experience taught them how incredible the Second Amendment was. And they said we should never give up in this fight because it’s a fight for people like them and for oppressed people everywhere.
Deep down, everyone shares a right, a burning desire, to be free. The Second Amendment guarantees that freedom. That’s why it’s history’s most valuable, most cherished, most irreplaceable idea. And no amount of United Nations-funded studies, statistics, commissions and seminars will ever prove otherwise.
That’s why the NRA is going to fight this U.N. attack on human freedom with all of our power.
America is still a beacon for the rest of the world … proof that ordinary people can be trusted with extraordinary power … that set free, we can live in peace, govern ourselves and control our own fates.
We reject the U.N. notion that world peace is only possible through an all-powerful bureaucracy, or an all-knowing system of oppression, suppression, restriction and regulation.
We hold in our Constitution the most precious, unique and hopeful human freedoms mankind has ever known.
It’s our duty to defend them.