Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Somebody's spreading the loony paranoid rumor that the U.N. is going to take our guns away on the Fourth of July. Yes, really. It's completely not true, of course.
"That is a total misconception as far as we are concerned," [Prasad Kariyawasam, Sri Lanka’s U.N. ambassador] told reporters ahead of the two-week meeting opening on Monday. For one, July 4 is a holiday at U.N. headquarters and the world body’s staff will be watching a fireworks display from the U.N. lawn rather than attending any meetings, he said. For another, the U.N. conference will look only at illegal arms and “does not in any way address legal possession,” a matter left to national governments to regulate rather than the United Nations, he added.Any sensible person would recognize immediately that it's a hoax. Like virus hoaxes, this dire warning goes too far for credibility, with that melodramatic detail that we will lose our America freedoms on the holiday that celebrates our American freedoms. But many people are not sensible, and the United Nations is being flooded with cards and letters of protest. So who or what is responsible for this ridiculous fearmongering? Some ineradicable email pass-around? The farthest fringes of rightwing hate radio? Nope. It originates with a supposedly respectable and mainstream political organization.
The campaign is largely the work of the U.S. National Rifle Association, whose executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, warns on an NRA Web site (www.stopungunban.org/) of a July 4 plot "to finalize a U.N. treaty that would strip all citizens of all nations of their right to self-protection."John Bolton's response to this campaign?
"We understand their concerns and will work during the conference to communicate their concerns," Bolton spokesman Richard Grenell said.That statement doesn't do anything to debunk the accusation. In fact, it encourages people to believe it and to keep those cards and letters coming in. And oh by the way, to hate and fear the United Nations. Wayne LaPierre, John Bolton, and their ilk make Lyndon LaRouche look sane. But they're also deeply cynical. It won't surprise you that the home page of stopungunban.org contains links for joining the NRA, donating money to the NRA, and oh yes, buying Wayne LaPierre's book Global War on Your Guns.
My first though was "The UN and whose army?" The UN couldn't even keep control in Somalia. This has got to be the most pathetic fundraising stunt ever in NRA history.
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