Getting crank letters (or comments) goes with the territory on a blog. But what Sri Lanka's UN Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam is getting seems a bit excessive. 100,000 letters from Americans complaining a UN Conference on illegal small arms trade is taking place on -- imagine this -- July 4, that sacred global holiday, American Independence Day. The crank letters use wording kindly provided by the National Rifle Association. Not that it matters, but the letter writers are in error. The June 26 - July 7 conference is at the UN headquarters in New York which will be closed on July 4.
The conference is reviewing progress on implementing a program of action agreed to by all U.N. member states, including the United States, in 2001 that seeks to clamp down on the illegal trade of small arms such as pistols, assault rifles and machine guns.
It stems from findings that conflicts worldwide are often made more deadly and intractable by the availability of illicit small arms.
Kariyawasam said the conference will focus only on efforts to ban the illegal sale of weapons and would have no impact on private ownership.
"Contrary to what people say, especially in this country, this conference and program of action is not aiming to ban individual use of firearms if they are held legally," he said. "The U.N. program of action covers only illegal trade, illegal trafficking and illegal brokering." (CNN)
The conference's purpose are immaterial to Wayne LaPierre, the certifiably insane executive vice president of the NRA, like the false and irrelevant claim about the dates. Because in Wayne's World, the UN is all about a conspiracy to foist "a global treaty banning ownership of firearms."
Even the Bush Administration and its neanderthal ambassador John Bolton supports the efforts to stop the flow of illegal small arms. Still, wouldn't do to piss off these guys, would it. They've got guns you know:
"We have received thousands and thousands of letters from concerned members," [U.S. mission spokesman Richard] Grenell said. "We have been in discussion with the group and understand their concerns."
They understand their concerns? We sure don't.
Now may be a good time to play the 'traitor' card. Feel free to copy and paste...
Illegally smuggled and traded small arms in Iraq and other places are helping Al Queda to kill our troops. If you oppose clamping down on such trade, then you are literally helping to sell terrorists the bullets with which they mow down our boys, and innocent civilians. Why do you hate America?
I think the NRA finally jumped the shark with this one.
With so many small arms in the hands of criminals, that makes it even more imperative that law-abiding citizens have ready access to personal firearms.
I want to be able to shoot back!
Spike: I guess that's what the Iraqis think, too. Meanwhile in Europe they don't have these problems. I wonder why?
Yes, in The Netherlands everyone always wonder how criminals got their guns. Like the guy who shot Pim Fortuyn, or the other who shot Theo van Gogh.
Nick Cage's Lord of War is an entertaining look at the issue.
I remember reading about this on the Economist a couple of weeks ago. I could not stop laughing after that article.
This is just plain stupid. Seriously. I wonder how many of these people understand how devestating small arms trafficking has been. Maybe they should take a trip to Congo and see what it feels like to be ambushed by thugs armed with illegally trafficked weapons.
You hardly have to travel to the Congo to be murdered with illegally trafficked weapons. A trip to Anacostia or Richmond can get you the same results.
Are you a Dem or Republican?
Q: How do you tell the difference?
You are in your home when a man enters your home illegally carrying an illegally obtained weapon. You are carrying a legally owned Glock .40 and you have been trained as suggested by the NRA and in most jurisdictions required to pass a competency test, a background check and above all shoot at least a 70% at 50 feet. You have mere seconds before he is able to raise his weapon and either threaten or shoot you or your family. What do you do?
Not enough information to answer the question.
Does the man look poor or oppressed?
Have I or a family member done anything to inspire him to attack?
Could we run away?
Will he just take the TV and be satisfied with raping my 15 year old this time?
Could I swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
What does the law say about this situation?
Does the Glock have an appropriate safety built into it?
Why am I carrying a legally owned weapon anyway and what kind of message does that send to my family and society?
Does he definitely want to hurt me or will he be satisfied this time with just wounding me rather than killing me like my wife the last time?
Should I call 9-1-1?
Shouldnt we raise taxes, have a paint and weed day and make this a happier, healthy street to live on?
This is so confusing. I think I need to debate this with some friends for a few days and then press for a new government grant for midnight basketball.
Bang, bang, bang... STOP or I'll shoot. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.
Click, sound of dropping clip and a sliding sound of the reload .
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, click!
15 year old daughter: Nice groupings Daddy, were those the Winchester Silver Tips.?
Dad: Yeah it was, we are going to need the mop honey.
Folks get real. Do you really think that Cuba, Venezuela, the Russians, the Chinese, the Angolans are going to have trouble getting weapons. Get real! The Brits outlawed guns but they are illegally owned and trafficked, the Aussies outlawed them and they are illegally owned and trafficked. Both have massive gun and crime problems. That Europe Revere speaks of and Munich never happened. Nor did the attempt on the Royal Family. I want everyone to have a hand gun! Keeps everyone honest. I want them to have a hand gun, even machine guns. Else they will get something much nastier that goes boom. Now THATS something that know about in Europe!
I'm sure the Janjaweed agrees with you completely.
"If they really want to stop us from burning down their villages, they should've bought guns."
Also, the UN conference's main topic is about illegally trafficked weapons, especially ones that are adding fuel to the fire in armed conflicts and organized crime in Africa and Central Asia... namely how to stop this constant flow of weapons and ammunition, and helping the victims of the violence caused by these weapons. We're not talking about taking away legally acquired firearms, nor are we talking about holding anyone's family hostage by stripping them of their false sense of security.
How Wayne LaPierre (or anyone of those NRA members who sent letters to Kariyawasam) can confuse these two concepts is simply beyond my comprehension.
The thing that makes this bit so funny and so sad is that just about everybody commenting on this thread has a valid point. Melanie, M. Randolph Kruger, tan06.
And while I think the Revere's view of Eouropean crime seems a bit idealized, the NRA comes out looking like a pack of prize fools. That bit was pure undiluted stark raving insanity. After this, they have no choice but to repudiate Wayne LaPierre by showing him the door. Otherwise, they have zero chance of retaining any credibility at all outside the lunatic fringe.
Charles is right to a point and Sunny is just too funny. I dont have to go to the Congo to get ambushed. I can do it with a quick trip to South Memphis, or Germantown for that matter.
Every country that has removed the guns from the people have left their population at risk to the nutcases and criminals. I recall 1774 at the break of the Revolution how above all sometimes it is necessary to take your government out too. One thing is sure as Tymp being the guy from way out in left field who throws the ball in everynow and then, the "Lord of War " thing is very descriptive. One guy getting it over on another. Thats the way of the world and you HAVE to defend yourself from it. You also HAVE to have the right to do so. We dont live in the great streaming beam of light folks. Sunny, running down to S Memphis or Mogadishu during a conflict or gang war is not the brightest thing one can do. Were you scared? WERE YOU REEALLLY SCARED? Good arm up and at least next time they might not take you on.
Memphis or Mogadishu, we have a criminal element that is taking over and its all over the world. You have to defend yourself and be that with an illegally or legally obtained weapon it has to be done. I am not going to die because someone feels that they have the right to take my things, my life, my family or my freedom. You cant take that and well....
So what are they saying over at the UN? Its okay to kill a kid with a legally bought AK-47 or an M-60 as long as you got it from a legal arms dealer in the US or Canada in a multimillion dollar transfer? Bullshit. Clinton declassified our nuke technology so he could sell it to the Chinese. We just went from small arms to big arms sales and it was "legal." Who in Hell do I see about that little deal at the UN?
So around the world folks we are seeing the escalation of violence with weapons, mostly small arms because there just aint enough tanks to go around. The legitimacy of this attempt by the UN is flawed completely. There is no way to stop it, its a waste of time and money to even try. There are hundreds and hundreds of millions of weapons all firing the same or nearly the same ammo. The root cause is money or something like it.
If guns kill people then,
-pencils mis spel wurds
-cars make people drive drunk
-doctors support attorneys with malpractice suits
-drug manufacturers deliberately make crappy stuff so they can get sued
-spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.
Logic sometimes just sucks doesnt it.
So what do you suggest? Giving everyone in the world a handgun?
As for arms sales, I'm glad you've cottoned on so quick as to who is responsible for so much of them. Now, in a more democratic country, I'm fairly sure my gvt wouldnt be supporting arms sales as much as they do, but, hey, as you noted, there is a criminal elemnt taking over. Its just that they dont use guns, they use money.
It's my daily work to teach my clients to differentiate between antisocial and trustworthy people. They've even been married to abusive people.
Finally it is allowed to state, that antisocial traits are genetically inheritable, and boosted by abusive environment, loss of social structure, and rewarding consequences of crime. When someone kills another who was expecting no harm or who supposed a more peaceful solution was available, the criminal survives and the man of peace had disappeared. Some classical studies show criminals at least could do ten crimes before they got caught. So that's ten to one. In war time and with larger weapons, these modern effects are much larger, especially when predators get away with it.
When it's forbidden by law to have a gun, the obedient, conforming, quick to arouse, fearing people usually don't dare to violate the rules. They don't buy a gun. It's already frightening to them to possess one.
The hard learning, 'cool' person with antisocial tendencies who is liking the tension coming with it, will not be taken back by some 'abstract' law.
So that's implicating a development of violence in many 'peaceful' populations I am not very optimistic about.
Not to talk about Irak, Darfur and other countries with lacking social structures and legalized violence.
So I am really thinking MRK has a point in wanting everyone to be able to get a gun, and at the same time I certainly want those illegal war trades stopped. Stop the money and stop the power in those criminal countries.
MRK, I am moved sufficiently to post. We don't have a massive gun problem in the UK. In Northern Ireland we have so-called republican terrorists, who these days are really just a front to organized crime funded by a bunch of romanticists in Boston, shooting mainly those who get involved with them and we are all a bit bored with these Darwin Award candidates.
Otherwise, generally speaking, those who have guns are hunters (who shoot game), farmers (who shoot pests) and criminals (who shoot each other). Even armed robberies here rarely result in someone getting shot. We don't have kids accidentally shooting each other because they found daddy's gun and played with it like a toy. Guns were cracked down on here after a gun club loony shot 16 school kids and their teacher then another gun fanatic shot 16 people including his mother and a police officer. The loonies shot themselves afterwards, doing us all a favour. Since then the guns were locked up in the clubs and it's pretty much crims shooting crims, which is fine by me.
Otherwise what we do have is a lot of stabbings and glassings, because people carry knives and drink too much alcohol. Check out this nice gun site too and what they have to say on guns versus knives at close range. For example defending yourself in your home. Go figure.