One on One:
Senator David Vitter, R-Louisiana
For over a decade, gun-banners entrenched at the United Nations (UN) have continually leveled attacks against law-abiding Americans' sovereign right to bear arms. Though the NRA has thus far been successful in flanking these efforts, the UN's anti-gun agenda continues. Recently, a pro-gun ally in Congress, U.S. Senator David Vitter, R-La., introduced legislation that would financially paralyze any global organization intent on dismantling the Second Amendment, such as the UN. He recently spoke with Ginny Simone of NRANews.com about this legislation.
Simone: You sponsored an amendment in the U.S. Senate that would cut off funding to organizations like the UN because of what we see going on at the UN-this crusade to basically rewrite and do away with our Second Amendment. What prompted you to lead the charge on this?
Sen. Vitter: Well, what prompted this is folks sending me this information, my researching it and really coming to understand just how scary and how real this gun control threat from the UN is. Most folks aren't at all familiar with this or focused on it, but it is a very, very determined effort at the UN to promote international gun control or restrict and abolish U.S. citizens' Second Amendment rights, among others.
Simone:Your amendment passed with solid support, 81-10.
Sen. Vitter:That's the good news, that once we laid out the facts and once we made it clear what the threat is, we had strong bipartisan support on the Senate floor, 81-10. And the amendment says we wouldn't send money to any international organization, including the UN, that tries to restrict our Second Amendment rights, specifically by requiring registration of guns of U.S. citizens or taxing guns of U.S. citizens.
Simone:It's pretty sad commentary; you've still got senators like Chuck Schumer and Frank Lautenberg all voting against it. And when you look at it, I mean, are they going to support the UN over our Constitution?
Sen. Vitter:Apparently they are. Because this is very clear, this effort at the UN has been going on since 1995, and has really picked up steam since 2001. In 2001, the General Assembly of the UN, as you know, adopted a program of action that would really promote international gun control, and would do, for the most part, four things. Number one, it would promote national registries and tracking lists for all firearms. These are legal firearms, and all of a sudden we're going to have international registration! Number two, it would call for the establishment of an international tracking certificate, which again would be part of this registration. Number three, it would call for worldwide recordkeeping for an indefinite amount of time-again we are talking about legal firearms. And number four, it would call for a comprehensive program of worldwide gun control, including a total ban on certain types of legal firearms as yet not enumerated. So all of this stuff is scary-it's triply or quadruply scary when you understand the nations involved in this process, which include Iran, Syria, China and Cuba.
Simone:When you look at some of the groups who are doing the work for the UN, the IANSAs and the Amnesty Internationals, all are so well funded. You go to so many of these meetings and all they keep talking about is the quote-unquote "well-funded NRA." But they never admit where their money is coming from, because that's the way the UN operates.
Sen. Vitter:Well, that's a great point. The UN has granted this group IANSA, the International Action Network on Small Arms, with management status over all this UN activity, and IANSA is a scary organization. Their director is a very well known gun control advocate
Sen. Vitter:Yes, who helped lead the charge in Australia. Draconian gun control measures passed there, and it's really an umbrella organization for these organizations worldwide.
Simone:When you look at what's going on in Switzerland-gun ownership there being a way of life for people. And right now, IANSA is working there to try and implement a gun ban. It's the UN, it's the EU, and it's groups like IANSA.
Sen. Vitter:Yes. This is scary on a number of different levels: number one, because it would infringe on our Second Amendment rights-that's the fundamental reason. But number two, it's giving our national autonomy over to international organizations like the UN and groups like IANSA. And number three, look at the countries behind this who would have that control through the UN, again you'd have the Syrias, the Chinas, the Cubas, the Irans of the world helping or dominating the process of making up the rules.
Simone:Anybody who doubts this, when you talk to representatives and people like former Congressman Bob Barr, who have really been monitoring this for years and going to all the meetings that are being held by all these anti-gun groups, they'll tell you the UN doesn't EVER mention civilian ownership. [The UN] would say, "Hey we're not out to get your guns." But the minute you try to say to them, "Put that in writing," they won't do it. So is it your belief that they're going in sort of a roundabout way, but the bottom line is that they want to ban civilian ownership of firearms, meaning our guns?
Sen. Vitter:That is absolutely the threat, and it's very clear that they would have registration requirements, and certification requirements, tracking requirements, possibly banning some types of small firearms in general, and all of that would have a direct impact on individual citizens' Second Amendment rights.
Simone:You mentioned that many people really aren't focused on this?
Sen. Vitter:That's really the main reason I promoted this amendment-the main reason was to get the word out, to educate folks about how real this activity is, and how real the threat is, because even folks who are solid on Second Amendment rights, many, many of them, including some senators, don't understand what's going on and don't fully appreciate the threat. So that was the first motivation for the amendment, and I think it's a beginning, along with a lot of other activities with the NRA and many others to get the word out.
Simone:And these are issues that NEVER get play in the "mainstream" media. They just refuse to cover what it really is, I mean, when you look at the money America is spending.
Sen. Vitter:To the extent that they ever mention it, they quite frankly mock efforts like my amendment and try to dismiss it as crazy-"there's no threat out there"-but unfortunately, the record at the UN, particularly since 2001, is very different.
Simone:When you look at the facts, John Bolton has really stood the ground for the United States. But the UN at the same time is saying that they're willing to wait as long as they have to. And that's what it's going to take, isn't it?
Simone:A change in administration? Somebody in the White House who is going to go along with this so-called treaty?
Sen. Vitter:Oh sure. And you're right, they have patience. And they know that they just need to wait for that opportunity if the American people and groups like the NRA aren't watching. The good news is a lot of folks like the NRA and more and more members are watching, and are getting the word out.
Simone:So what happens now with your amendment?
Sen. Vitter:Well, my amendment passed overwhelmingly, and I think that should be heartening-when we got the word out, when we presented the facts, we had the American people on our side. It passed 81-10, so it is part of this particular Senate appropriations bill. But that's not the end of the debate, because there is going to be a separate House appropriations bill on the same areas of government, and that will go to a conference committee. So undoubtedly the Democratic leadership that controls the process now will make sure that this language is not in the final conference committee report. We need to fight against that-cause a public ruckus, get NRA members and others writing, calling their House members and their senators to demand that this language, the Vitter language, stay in this bill.
Simone:Even if you don't support everything there is about the gun issue, the last thing you'd expect some of these senators to do is sign off on something that's going to destroy our Second Amendment. I mean, we're all Americans!
Sen. Vitter: You're right. There are disagreements on some other gun issues. However, there should be no disagreement that the Irans and Syrias, the Chinas and the Cubas of the world should not have any role in regulating, in any way, our American citizens' Second Amendment rights.