Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk - A weekly Column


Reject UN Gun Control

The gun control movement in America has lost momentum in recent years, as evidenced by the Democratic party’s conspicuous silence on the issue in the 2000 and 2002 elections.  In the midst of declining public support for new gun laws, more and more states have adopted concealed-carry programs.  The September 11th terrorist attacks only made matters worse for gun control advocates, as millions of Americans were starkly reminded that we cannot rely on government to protect us from criminals.

Perhaps the biggest threat to gun rights in America today comes not from domestic lawmakers, but from abroad.  Even as support for gun control wanes at home, globalist bureaucrats are working to override national sovereignty and craft international gun laws.

For more than a decade the United Nations has waged a campaign to undermine Second Amendment rights in America.  UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called on members of the Security Council to address the “easy availability” of small arms and light weapons, by which he means all privately owned firearms. In response, the Security Council released a report calling for a comprehensive program of worldwide gun control, a report that admonishes the U.S. and praises the restrictive gun laws of Red China and France!  Meanwhile, this past June the UN held a conference with the silly title “Week of Action against Small Arms.”

It’s no surprise that UN bureaucrats, who are predominantly European and third-world socialists, want to impose gun control worldwide.  After all, these are the people who placed a huge anti-gun statue on American soil at UN headquarters in New York.

They believe in global government, and armed people could stand in the way of their goals.  They certainly don’t care about our Constitution or the Second Amendment.  But the conflict between the UN position on private ownership of firearms and our Second Amendment cannot be reconciled.  How can we as a nation justify our membership in an organization that is actively hostile to one of our most fundamental constitutional rights?  What if the UN decided that free speech was too inflammatory and should be restricted?  Would we discard the First Amendment to comply with the UN agenda?

Contrary to UN propaganda, gun control makes people demonstrably less safe, as any honest examination of criminal statistics reveals.  In his book More Guns, Less Crime, scholar John Lott demolishes the myth that gun control reduces crime.  On the contrary, Lott shows that cities with strict gun control--like Washington DC--experience higher rates of murder and violent crime.  Gun control simply endangers law-abiding people by disarming them.

More importantly, however, gun control often serves as a gateway to tyranny.  Tyrants from Hitler to Mao to Stalin have sought to disarm their own citizens, for the simple reason that unarmed people are easier to control.  Our Founders, having just expelled the British army, knew that the right to bear arms serves as the guardian of every other right.  This is the principle so often ignored by both sides in the gun control debate.  Only armed citizens can resist tyrannical government.