Duku Paul does not know how many people he has killed. Though still young, he is a veteran of one of West Africa's nastiest civil wars. For more than a decade, he helped to burn, loot and bloody his homeland, Liberia. Then, in 2003, the United Nations, with American backing, brought peace. Bangladeshi blue helmets took Mr Paul's gun and gave him $300. Interviewed last year, he said he was sorry that he ever became a soldier, and that he wanted to get back to school.
Mr Paul was enrolled in what the UN calls a “disarmament, demobilisation, rehabilitation and reintegration” programme. The world body is keen to promote such programmes wherever appropriate. The National Rifle Association (NRA), the lobby for American gun-lovers, does not like the sound of that.
“So, after we are disarmed, the UN wants us demobilised and reintegrated. I can hear it now: ‘Step right this way for your reprogramming, sir. Once we confiscate your guns, we can demobilise your aggressive instincts and reintegrate you into civil society.’ No thanks,” shudders Wayne LaPierre, the indefatigable executive vice-president of the NRA.
Why does the UN want to take away Americans' guns? Because it is a club of governments, some of which want to “strip opposition forces of the means to challenge their authority,” argues Mr LaPierre.
For a truly all-embracing threat, however, the UN is hard to beat. Mr LaPierre predicts that the “global war on guns” will boost the NRA's membership from 4m to 8m, and reduce Hillary Clinton's chances of becoming president in 2008. This last point is crucial. The UN, whatever its evil aims, is hardly in a position to push Uncle Sam around. To disarm Americans, it would need Congress on its side, plus an American president willing to sign an anti-gun treaty and appoint Supreme Court justices willing to rule it constitutional.
Mr LaPierre anticipates that some people might find this far-fetched. “I can hear some readers now: ‘Oh, Wayne's just over-reacting’,” he writes. But that is what they want you to believe. “Just how sure is the United Nations that it can take your guns?” he asks. His answer: “The UN chose the Fourth of July to hold its global gun ban summit on American soil!”
Thursday, June 01, 2006
I've been trying my darndest to come up with some kind of great joke about this article, but I just can't top the words coming out of Wayne LaPierre's mouth.