Wayne LaPierre and the National Rifle Association are constant voices protecting gun owner's rights -- even if the owners are 12 year old children in the Congo. What else should we make of the gun groups vehement opposition and outright deception in attacking the Arms Trade Treaty being negotiated at the United Nations right now?
The Arms Treaty will have zero impact on the sale of guns domestically and gun owner's rights as Amnesty International points out in a recent blog post. Yet, the NRA is up to their usual conspiracy theory tricks trying to convince 2nd Amendment advocates that the UN is after their guns. This is so blatantly false that either the NRA is lying and distorting, or they do not understand the basic tenets of International Law and treaties. The law-abiding, god-fearing, gun-toting Americans who lined up to support #Kony2012 and expressed outrage at the LRA massacres and kidnapping must chose a side: either they actually want to see groups like the LRA disappear with no access to arms, or they want to be knee-jerk reactionaries that attack anything with the words "gun" and "regulations" in them without thought or understanding like the NRA.
Even on Huffington Post, the winger comment machine is ready to attack. Commentor 2N2B5 celebrates the lobbying "Effectiveness" of the NRA in impacting the ATT. It is true, the NRA has an out-sized lobby. So why do they not use their power to support effective regulation of the dangerous trade in weapons that keeps dictators well-stocked and war criminals armed to the teeth? The NRA constantly says they protect "Responsible gun ownership." Are they not smart enough to do that and keep guns from those who destroy homes, rape women and steal children?
This weekend I sat talking guns with my grandfather who first took me shooting at the age of 11. It's a wonderful Oregon memory. He has been president of his gun club and a dues paying member for years. We do not always agree on politics, but he is always reasonable and wise. He explained that he does not carry a gun even though he has a concealed weapons permit, "Because I don't train every week to responsibly wield a gun around people and in tense circumstance, unlike Greg," he said gesturing to my police officer uncle. He used sober judgement to hold in balance what he believed was his right as an American and what is morally right as a person. As he spoke I found myself wishing that the NRA took the power they wield this seriously and ended the lying and grandstanding. Imagine the positive impact if they truly advocated responsible gun ownership at the domestic and international level. Lobbying doesn't kill people, but irresponsible lobbyist do. It's high time the U.S. gun lobby exercised responsible political advocacy or we will continue prying guns out of the cold dead hands of children across the world.
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