Posted: 11/28/2005 12:37:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/28/2005 12:39:56 PM EDT by Joaquin]
Here is a partial transcipt of the debate. I took it from the IANSA website.
IANSA Director in Gun Debate with the NRA
IANSA's Rebecca Peters took on the powerful US gun lobby in a debate against the CEO of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre on October 12. The debate was broadcast repeatedly on US television over the following week. Viewers were invited to vote on the winner in an online poll; the result was 68% for Mr LaPierre and 32% for Ms Peters.
The NRA had promoted the event heavily to its 4 million members in the US, urging them to watch the debate and vote. The NRA even took out a full-page ad in USA Today newspaper, describing Rebecca Peters as 'leader of the powerful United Nations coalition seeking a global gun ban treaty'. By contrast, most of IANSA's members are located outside the US and therefore were unable to watch the debate.
IANSA V THE NRA
This is an edited version of a debate between the Director of IANSA, Rebecca Peters, and the CEO of the National Rifle Association of America, Wayne LaPierre, aired on US pay TV from October 20-30.
Rebecca Peters’ opening statement:
Ladies and gentlemen, I represent IANSA, the International Action Network on Small Arms. It’s the global movement against gun violence, a network of some 600 organisations working against the proliferation and misuse of guns around the world.
Our network consists of women’s groups, churches, public health agencies, academics, human rights campaigners, humanitarian workers, victims support groups, lawyers – people who would prefer not to spend their time thinking about guns, but whose work and lives are so badly affected by the proliferation of these weapons that they have taken on this cause in addition to their other commitments.
The involvement of people from so many different sectors means that IANSA’s thinking and action are grounded not only in research and information, but also in the direct experience of our members on the frontline. Whether they’re in the slums of Manila, the marketplaces of Kenya or Uganda or the battlefields of the Democratic Republic of Congo, that is where the destructive reality of gun proliferation can be seen.
Ladies and gentlemen, [the moderator] has said this is a controversial topic that we’re debating tonight. Why is it controversial? Because it’s literally a question of life or death. Hundreds of thousands of lives are lost prematurely each year, ended by gunshots from people who are angry, vengeful, jealous, drunk or careless or corrupt or simply abusive.
Most of these deaths occur in the developing world. For example, 36,000 people die from gunshot wounds each year in Brazil. But the developed world is not immune, and especially not the USA, which has 28,000 gun deaths each year, including 11,500 gun homicides.
Unfortunately, many members of IANSA have personally experienced the pain and loss caused by gun violence, and some of them are here tonight. Apart from deaths, millions more lives are devastated by injuries and grief caused by gun violence.
For every person killed by small arms three more are seriously wounded. Those injuries are especially disabling in the developing world. One of our members who works in the rehabilitation of gun victims in Guatemala has pointed out that poor families there can never afford to buy a wheelchair. So a young person paralysed from a gunshot wound is doomed to spend all of their time at home except for the odd occasion when a strong uncle or cousin is available to carry them outside.
Gun violence is expensive. Some countries in Latin America are now spending up to 5 percent of their gross domestic product on the consequences of violence, and gun violence is the most expensive violence there is.
One of our members, a surgeon from Uganda, sees firsthand the impact of gun violence. She talks about the frustration of trying to save the lives of gunshot victims in rudimentary hospitals and being faced with the dilemma of diverting medical attention and resources and possibly the blood supply from a sick child to a person wounded by guns. Most gun victims are civilians, especially young men, who should be in the most productive phase of their lives.
But women and children are affected in particular ways as well. In conflict and post conflict zones; from Sudan to Afghanistan to the former Yugoslavia, sexual violence has become a weapon of war. In non conflict zones women are always at risk of domestic violence, but a gun in the house makes it much more likely that a woman will die.
The widespread availability of guns has given rise to the phenomenon of child soldiers and child drug traffickers because from Sierra Leone to Brazil to Columbia and Sri Lanka, because guns are now so cheap and light and easily available an eight-year-old can be trained to use them in battle.
Guns are involved in human rights abuses; in Liberia, in Nepal, in Iraq and El Salvador guns obstruct peacekeeping activities. Just this year in June we saw Médecins Sans Frontières pull out of Afghanistan because five of its humanitarian aid workers have been shot dead there.
Guns hinder development, investment and tourism. Countries that depend on tourism can see their economies crippled by incidence of armed violence, and aid projects have been frozen or canceled in many countries because of insecurity. That’s why the aid that was promised to rebuild Afghanistan has been so slow in coming because of insecurity there due to the proliferation of guns.
So what is this global proliferation of guns? There are about 640 million guns in the world; that’s one for every ten people on Earth, two thirds of those guns are owned by private citizens. 640 million, that’s more guns than cars, for example, on Earth.
The large number of guns points to the other reason why tonight’s topic is controversial, because it’s a question of money. The manufacture and sale of guns and ammunition is an industry worth $7.5 billion. About half the countries in the world produce guns and every country in the world buys them.
The biggest exporter of guns is the USA, but Europe; both Western and Eastern, make a huge contribution to the problem. Add to this the millions of guns released on to the private market, thanks to the ending of the Cold War and the dismantling of those huge armies there, and you can see why the problem has become so immense.
Guns don’t respect borders. In East Africa, in the Balkans, in Central America, one country’s gun laws can be undermined by the next country. Both Mexico and Canada report that the majority of guns used in crime across the border have come from the USA.
Guns move not only between countries, but also between conflicts. Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, two members of ours, have revealed that guns used in the Liberian conflict under Charles Taylor were then supplied to the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone. Guns are remarkably durable. They outlive the relationship between the original buyer and seller. They retain their value because they keep on killing. How’s all this regulated? We have a patchwork of laws in different countries, some countries with almost no laws and no international regulation. In the past few years the global community has begun to recognise the dimensions of this problem, the disproportionate damage that results from the proliferation of these weapons.
Short-term profits have begun to look less important compared with regional instability, humanitarian crises and terrorism. Governments, international organisations and a growing movement of civil society organisations are saying stop, put the brakes on, the arms trade is out of control.
So around the world countries are tightening their gun laws. Internally on the manufacture and sale and possession of guns, and also reviewing their international policies on exports and brokering of guns. In the past 10 years the gun laws have been reformed in a number of countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK., in Lebanon, in Turkey, in South Africa, in Guatemala and Brazil, just to name a few.
There’s a constant battle for gun control going on in the US, of course, where the gun laws are different in all 50 states, but in general the movement is toward tighter regulation of guns. And we’re seeing results. It takes time for the effective gun law reforms to become visible; but there are many factors influencing violence in different countries, but we can see the results now.
In my country, Australia, for example, we overhauled the gun laws in 1996 after we had the world’s worst shooting massacre there. We hold a record in Australia that no one would wish to break. 35 people killed in the course of one massacre.
For many years it had been obvious that the gun laws needed reform. And after that tragedy we got it, including national uniform gun laws, a ban on semiautomatic rifles and shotguns, and a buyback of 640,000 of those guns. We saw gun homicides dropped sharply after the new laws came in, and by 2002 the gun homicide rate was at its lowest since 1950.
Since 1996, there’s been more than a 40 percent reduction in all forms of gun death. Nowadays, Americans are 16 times more likely to be killed with a gun than Australians. In 2002, Australia had 50 gun murders compared with 11,500 in the US.
Canada also tightened its gun laws in the mid-90s and also saw the gun homicide rate drop steadily. It was 20 percent lower in 2002 than in 1995. Nowadays, Americans are eight times more likely to be killed with a gun than Canadians are. In 2002, Canada had 150 gun murders compared with 11,500 in the US.
Here in the UK the reforms to the gun laws have revealed something about criminals’ taste in guns. The UK banned handguns in 1997, except for some handguns that were deemed to be air guns or replicas. Low and behold we now find that those guns make up the largest category of guns used in crime in Britain. In other words, criminals are taking advantage of a loophole, using the guns that were poorly controlled by the law. By the way, Americans are 40 times more likely to be killed by guns than Britons. In 2003, Britain had 68 gun murders compared with 11,500 in the USA.
The UN Secretary General, Kofi Anan has said, “Even in the societies not beset by civil war, the easy availability of small arms has contributed to violence and political instability, and damaged development prospects and imperiled human security in every way. The member states of the United Nations have agreed on a program of action to reduce small arms.
It has some very, very moderate measures. Countries agree that there will be an offence of criminal possession of guns, for example. The discussion over international regulation of guns is extremely robust, and the gun lobby is part of that. I’ve seen at the UN conferences on small arms the gun lobby at work, and I have to say that in my observation the US National Rifle Association wields a very high level of influence with the US government.
And this may be one reason why the US has taken a different position from nearly all other governments in the UN small arms process. For example, the US has refused to allow a provision that would prevent governments from supplying guns to insurgent groups and other non state actors. That meeting was held two months before September 11, 2001 when the Taliban, a group of non state actors, which had been armed by the US Government for years, launched its campaign that provoked the present war on terror.
I wonder whether the US would have taken the same position in support of arming non state actors if the program of action had been drawn up a few months later than September 11, 2001.
Question and answer session:
Moderator: Rebecca, do you believe that US citizens should be forced to obey a United Nations gun ban treaty?
Rebecca Peters: Well, first of all there’s no such thing as a United Nations treaty. A treaty is not made by the United Nations, but by a group of governments. The UN small arms process consists of governments who’ve come together on what is to be done about this global problem. The UN does not exist separate from governments.
And second, the topic of discussion isn’t about a gun ban. We’re talking about taking some moderate measures to reduce the illicit traffic in guns. And I was pleased to hear that Mr LaPierre agrees that bad guys should be disarmed. Traffickers are among the very worst guys there are. International treaties are the usual way to deal with weapons. We have treaties on nuclear, on chemical, on biological weapons.
That’s because countries have recognised the destructive potential of those weapons and they want to hold governments and manufacturers accountable. Guns are the only weapons left outside of international treaties, and these are the weapons killing hundreds of thousands of people. So yes, the US should acknowledge that it is part of the world; it’s not exempt from the world’s problems. In fact, it contributes disproportionately to many of the world’s problems, and it should cooperate with other UN member states to solve those problems.
Moderator: Thanks Rebecca. Wayne, that sounds perfectly natural. What’s your response?
Wayne LaPierre: Well, my response is the Constitution of the United States. Our Supreme Court has ruled that no treaty supersedes the authority of the United States Constitution. In 1957, in Reed v. Culvert, the Supreme Court said “No agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress or on any branch of government, which is free of the restraints of the Constitution.”
Where Ms Peters is headed with this -- Ms Peters is in a UN conference in 2006 to try to write a treaty basically banning civilian ownership of firearms. She doesn’t like our Bill of Rights. She doesn’t like our Second Amendment any more than she likes our First Amendment where she has said, and I quote back in 4-4-2000, “The First Amendment in the U.S. basically entitles anyone to any lies they want as long as it’s in the name of politics.” “She doesn’t like our freedoms; First Amendment, Second Amendment, and we’re not going to let Ms Peters or the United Nations take them away.
Moderator: So really, Rebecca, you’re against the Constitution of the United States.
Rebecca Peters: I’m referring to national human rights. I’m for global standards applying across the world. You know, I recently reread George Orwell’s Animal Farm where one of the commandments there was “All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” It seems to me that the National Rifle Association would say all people on Earth are created equal, but some people, Americans, are created more equal than others.
No, Americans are people like everyone else on Earth. They should abide by the same rules as everyone else.
Moderator: What proposals does the NRA have to stop the flood of guns into unstable regions of the world?
Wayne LaPierre: Well, I reject the term “flood of guns.” What you have is a flood of demand by good people that are being terrorised. The best thing that can happen in unstable parts of the world, and I’m not trying to export this everywhere, but I believe it, is a free population is allowed to embrace American Constitutional freedom in the Bill of Rights. Free people elect good government.
They create stable systems of laws. They see to their security. In Britain, in the United Kingdom in World War II they were under attack. They asked for guns. You had a demand of good people for firearms. The United States and the NRA provided them and we saved freedom. So what you have are good and bad confronting each other all over the world. And all too often bad people are doing evil. The good people want to be protected, and they have a right to own a firearm. And I believe every citizen of the world has that basic human right.
Moderator: But it seems a powerful argument. Good people are allowed to protect themselves.
Rebecca Peters: Well, when you think of some of the regions of the world where our members are working, saying that the answer is to provide more guns into those regions makes no sense at all. Many of our members are democracy campaigners. They’re specifically working against corruption in government. They speak out against corruption. Many of them have been attacked by government representatives for their views.
It doesn’t help them to have guns. The way to get freedom, the way to have democracy, is to have stronger institutions and the rule of law. It is not to have, for example, a free and independent judiciary, independent from the political process, to have programs to reform the police forces. Those are the institutions that a society is built on. It’s not going to be up to each individual person to be like a hero in a movie defending against this threat to freedom.
Moderator: So the threat to freedom is guns?
Wayne LaPierre: No, the threat to freedom is bad people, bad governments doing evil, and the good people need to protect themselves. And I reject this idea that guns have little legs and are moving all over the world. It’s ridiculous. It’s criminals, it’s bad governments, and the good people ought to be able to protect themselves, and it’s the good people seeking protection is where the demand comes from.
Moderator: Rebecca, now with violent crime skyrocketing in countries that have banned guns, should individuals have the right to defend themselves with firearms?
Rebecca Peters: Well, that’s a sweeping and inaccurate statement. Where to begin? Very few countries have banned guns, although some countries have recently reformed their laws as I’ve said. It’s simply not true that violent crime has increased in countries where guns have been regulated.
We can talk back and forth about statistics, but, it’s not true. It isn’t true. Australia is not in the grip of a crime wave. People in Britain are not cowering behind locked doors. Even if you are -- I’m not sure how many times, how likely you are to be mugged on the streets of London. Maybe you are six times more likely to be mugged on the streets of London than on the streets of an American city. But I tell you what, there’s 68 gun murders in Britain each year and 11,500 in the U.S. I know where I would feel safer.
Moderator: So those statistics seem to go against the fact of violent crime in countries which have banned guns.
Wayne LaPierre: I don’t buy her statistics. I mean I pick up papers like here in London. “Police Fight 50 Percent Leap In Gun Crime.” This is one of your papers. I’ve checked with both the government in the UK, and the government in the US. Here’s the US going way down. In spite the gun ban, Britain, UK, way up.
In Australia, from the Australian Institute of Criminology, 37 percent increase in violent crime. On and on, murders way up in the United Kingdom, from the government. On and on and on it goes. I could go on all day with statistics. But you know it really comes down to this. I really believe in all my heart.
Several years ago I made an ad at the NRA 20 years ago, and I asked American women one question. And I’d like to ask the same question of Miss Peters here tonight. Ms Peters, should you shoot this rapist before he cuts your throat? American women all over the United States answered yes, they wanted to be free.
They wanted to be able to protect themselves, and they didn’t want to do die. And that’s the difference between your philosophy and mine. You disarm the woman being attacked by this guy. I don’t.
Moderator: Statistics can mean to prove everything, but do they help your case in terms of saying that violent crime isn’t rocketing in places that ban guns?
Rebecca Peters : Women need to live in societies that respect their human rights. Women need to be protected by police forces, by judiciaries, by criminal justice systems. People who have guns for self-defense are not safer than people who don’t.
There’s research; for example, one of our members, a research agency in Latin America has shown that people who use a gun to try to defend themselves against a criminal are four times more likely to be killed than those who don’t have a gun. Why? Because having a gun in that situation escalates the problem.
Moderator: Well, Ms Peters you recently wrote “Moderate gun control offers enormous dividends in public safety.” Could you please tell us exactly what you mean by “moderate gun control?”
Rebecca Peters: Sure. Gun control, we’re not talking about banning all guns. We know that guns are not going to be banned outright, but “moderate gun control” means people who own guns should have to have a license. Guns should be registered. It means ensuring that certain categories of guns are not available to private citizens or to people who haven’t had particular training and who are not subject to military or official discipline.
For example, high powered, rapid fire weapons, like the ones that we banned in Australia. There should be a limit on the number of guns that civilians can own. And guns need to be kept out of the hands of people who are irresponsible, domestic violence offenders, of children. We need gun laws that put a reasonable obstacle in the path of someone likely to do something irrational and damaging.
And the laws need to recognise that good people sometimes do bad things. There is not a clear distinction between the good guys and the bad guys in the world. That only happens in the movies.
Moderator: Reasonable laws. Reasonable control.
Wayne LaPierre: If Ms Peters and the UN can’t tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys, I think we’re all in trouble. It as simple water quenches thirst and food quenches hunger. Good people know that a firearm will protect them. It goes back to humanity.
I mean people can tell the difference between criminals and bad governments and Mother Teresa. But let me say this. Ms Peters, the audience deserves to know the truth. What you’re really after is a global permission slip. Your definition of “moderate” is the most extreme definition imaginable. From your own words, here you are in a CNN interview in October 2003. You want to ban every rifle that can shoot over 100 meters. . That’s a football field for people back in the US. That’s every hunting rifle in the United States. The founding document of IANSA, your very own organisation says, and I quote, “Reduce the availability of weapons to civilians in all societies.” Duck hunters in -- in Australia. Taking away their pump shotguns.
Here’s your ad. And I can give you all these NGOs you work with. Pamphlet after pamphlet after pamphlet, I can stack them to the ceiling, where you call for no to individual armament. So let’s be honest. You want to take guns away from all people, a global bureaucracy to do it. We’re not going to let it happen.
Moderator: So is that true?
Rebecca Peters: We want to see a drastic reduction in gun ownership across the world. Yes. We want to see much lower proliferation of guns among the civilian population, and t also among governments. Guns are misused by government officials, by police, by armies. One of the reasons why they justify it, their misuse of guns is because they say the civilian population is full of criminals who are so armed.
There’s an arms race that goes on between governments and criminals. Yea, we want to reduce the number of guns in circulation around the world.
Moderator: Does the NRA object to governments having agreed on international treaties to regulate things like landmines, nuclear weapons, chemical weapons? Why shouldn’t guns be subject to an international treaty just like them?
Wayne LaPierre; Let me start out by saying again, I reject any intrusion into the American Bill of Rights into American freedom. Systematically social engineers want to regulate speech and control individual freedom and our entire Bill of Rights, and it’s not an arena we’re not going to let the UN go into. The Bill of Rights protects us from that.
But when you talk about landmines and chemicals and nukes and shoulder-fired rockets, you’re not talking about anything that represents an individual right. The NRA has never promoted individual access to nukes, chemical weapons. It’s ridiculous. Landmines, nukes, they’re all indiscriminate. You don’t protect your family with them.
You don’t defend yourself with them. A firearm is a very specific tool. It allows you to protect your family, yourself, your house, and it’s not indiscriminate like nukes and chemical weapons and all that. So I categorically reject the comparison, these folks who want to ban guns sometimes, throw out when they talk about nukes and chemical and biological. It’s just ridiculous. But firearms, yes, we’ll defend firearms. They ought to be owned. People ought to have the choice whether they own them in the United States and I would throughout the world.
Moderator: So the NRA is actually very sensible? It doesn’t, ask for proliferation of huge automatic weapons. We’re talking just specifically about guns. How can you rebut that?
Rebecca Peters: Well, I’m happy to hear that the NRA doesn’t advocate individual ownership of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. I was wondering where you would draw the line. So that’s a start. I wonder though about Kalashnikovs, about mortars, about assault weapons.
There is no reason for those weapons to be owned in the civilian population. And the NRA represents an extremist point of view, that it’s completely unyielding on any aspect of the gun laws. Where would you draw the line?
Moderator: Let’s draw the line. Now let’s see if the NRA can sort of justify someone having a Kalashnikov at home.
Wayne LaPierre: Well, Ms Peters and her IANSA group have repeatedly been asked at the UN by the American manufacturers to draw the line exactly there, and she has refused every single time. In the United States, machine guns, the type of guns she’s talking about has been heavily regulated since the 1930s.
The gun debate going on in the US is not about those guns. It’s about self-loading, semiautomatic firearms. You have to pull the trigger each time to do it. And the people who want to ban guns try to confuse the American public that knows nothing about guns by telling them we’re talking about machineguns, full automatic guns; they spray bullets, weapons of war.
We’re not talking about one of those guns. In fact, you cannot sell a firearm in the United States of America that is readily or easily convertible to a machinegun. So I think we need to stick to the facts.
Moderator: Do you believe, as you said in the past, that semiautomatic rifles and shotguns have no legitimate role in civilian hands?
Rebecca Peters: Yes, I do. Semiautomatic weapons are designed to kill large numbers of people. They were designed for military use. Many people have bought them for other purposes, for example, for hunting because they’ve been available. But there’s no justification for semiautomatic weapons to be owned by civilian by members of the civilian population.
When we were campaigning for the reform of the gun laws in Australia, one of the interesting groups that came out to support the new gun laws was a group called the Professional Hunters Association. They’re the original “Crocodile Dundee,” the macho big guys who control feral animals in the national parks.. And they said they supported the new gun laws because anyone who needed a semiautomatic to kill an animal was a city boy who shouldn’t be out there with a gun in the first place.
Yes, I believe that semiautomatic rifles and shotguns have no legitimate role in civilian hands. And not only that, handguns have no legitimate role in civilian hands….
Wayne LaPierre: The fact is Ms Peters and IANSA and her UN crowd believe every firearm has no legitimate use. Not just semi-autos but pump actions, shotguns, and any rifle that can shoot over 100 yards. Hunters know that’s every hunting rifle out there. Handguns. She doesn’t believe handguns have any legitimate use. The truth is there’s no such thing as a legitimate role for a firearm. Isn’t that your real opinion?
Rebecca Peters: No. We recognise that hunting, for example, plays an important role in many cultures. You do not need a semiautomatic firearm; you do not need a handgun to kill a deer, to go hunting. We recognise that target shooting is also a sport in many countries. One of the concerns that was raised with the reform of the gun laws in Australia was that this would affect our Olympic performance. Actually in that same year Australia did very well in the shooting at the Olympics. You can be a sporting nation without semiautomatic rifles or handguns.
Moderator: How has the NRA been involved in the UN small arms process? In terms of negotiating with the UN how successful have you been?
Wayne LaPierre: I think our participation in every way should be defined as the fact we oppose IANSA and the UN’s attempt to weaken our Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. We’re going to get in your way. We’re going to fight you folks at every turn. At IANSA, the way we see it, the average people we represent, it’s a club of unselected elitists accountable to no one.
Our involvement shouldn’t be defined as a participant. Our involvement is in opposition. I mean we intend to defeat your intrusion. You want to take foreign money. I know you got George Soros funding IANSA. You’ve got a bunch tax-exempt foundations, and you have money from the United Kingdom, by the way, and Norway and Belgium, and a lot of it flowing into IANSA to try to change policy in the United States.
We think that’s inappropriate. How would folks in the UK like it if the US was secretly funding some stealth organisation to change policy in the UK. Believe me our members we’re going to oppose what you’re doing because we stand for the Second Amendment and we’re not going to let you folks eliminate our freedom.
Moderator : Is there a way that the UN would welcome the NRA in terms this negotiation?
Rebecca Peters: Well, the NRA has been very involved. As I’ve said they’ve had a great deal of influence there. And they do bring some technical knowledge to the process. But that answer of Mr LaPierre sort of demonstrates for me one part of the problem is the preoccupation that Americans have that the world is America.
The purpose of IANSA and of activists around the world, in relation to the UN’s small arms process, relates to the UN, it relates to the world. It does not relate specifically to America. We’re not thinking all the time about America, believe it or not. Most people on Earth are not Americans.
And for most people on Earth the rights of Americans are important, but others peoples rights count too. And the right to life, for example, the UN has a special repertoire on human rights and small arms. We recently pointed out that governments have an obligation to protect the human rights of their citizens by restricting the proliferation of small arms.
They’re killing hundreds of thousands of people a year. These are real weapons of mass destruction.
Moderator: Wayne, how can we make the companies and the countries that produce, supply and export guns more responsible for the damage that they cause?
Wayne LaPierre: Well, I reject the very premise that you’re talking about. The fact is the standard in product liability all over is that third party criminal misuse of a product breaks the chain of liability. I mean every manufactured product in the world starts out legally.
Now if you’re going to say if a criminal gets a hold of that and misuses it, you’re suddenly going to allow Ms Peter’s grip[, which is what they want to do, to sue that manufacturer out of business. You will not have a car made in the world. You will not have an aspirin bottle made in the world. You will not have any type of product made. I mean it’s ridiculous. Ms Peters, she may have driven in a car here tonight.
If some robber steals her car and goes and robs a bank with it, I doubt Ms Peters thinks that she somehow is responsible for that, and yet that’s exactly what they’re proposing. But what we do is we have laws in the United States that are real tough on anyone that is illegally smuggling guns, and firearms manufacturers are regulated from plant to purchaser.
You cannot sell a manufacturer a new gun in this country without it being regulated all the way to the dealer by the government. And then it cannot be sold by the dealer without the federal government putting you through a background check and saying it’s okay to deliver the gun.
Now what they want is if some criminal breaks in the house in the middle of the night and steals the gun and uses it in a crime, they want to sue that firearms manufacturer out of business because what they really want to do is eliminate firearms manufacturers.
In fact, I’ve even got a quote here from, once again, Ms Peters where she talks once again about the fact “that nations that allow guns to be freely manufactured and possessed are undermining the international global community once again.” This international global nanny, that it’s a pure fantasy that they’re going to make it any better for anybody.
Moderator: Doesn’t seem a bit ridiculous to make everybody responsible for what they produce?
Rebecca Peters: Well, I’m pleased that Mr LaPierre acknowledges that every gun starts out legal because the gun lobby has often said they oppose gun laws because they don’t affect criminals, as though there’s a different source of guns for criminals. Criminal guns spring from the criminal gun tree, whereas law abiding gun owners get their guns from the shops. It’s important to recognise that.
I don’t think that aspirin bottles and cars are systematically supplied to places of armed conflict where they’re used in human rights abuses. If they were then the suppliers, the manufacturers, the countries that exported those products should be held accountable. We need international global norms that make those who supply deadly weapons accountable for what happens with them.
Moderator: Isn’t that reasonable? Everybody is accountable?
Wayne LaPierre: When I’m talking about legal, the criminals that are getting guns are not getting them from legal sources, is what I’m talking about. They’re buying them on the illegal market. If someone in the United States ….
Moderator: Please, the illegal market.
Wayne LaPierre: That’s what I’m getting at. You’ve got to prosecute. It’s criminals that are getting guns illegally, and the answer is prosecution. You know what are our laws in the United States if someone’s smuggling guns, like she’s talking about? Five years per gun in a Federal prison. If someone is smuggling 20 guns, that’s 100 years in Federal prison.
They’re going to serve 80 percent of their sentence, which means they’re going to die in Federal prison. And that’s the law we ought to be enforcing, and that will solve her problem of the criminals or any illegal trade out there. That’s what we ought to be doing. Let’s take it another step. What types of firearms do you think American citizens should be able to own? What exact type?
Rebecca Peters : I think American citizens should not be exempt from the rules that apply to the rest of the world. At the moment there are no rules applying to the rest of the world. That’s what we’re working for. American citizens should have guns that are suitable for the legitimate purposes that they can prove.
I think that eventually Americans will realise that their obsession with arming themselves in fear, in a paranoid belief that they’re going to be able to stave off the ills of the world through owning guns, through turning every house into an arsenal, eventually Americans will go away from that.
I think Americans who hunt -- and who prove that they can hunt -- should have single shot rifles suitable for hunting whatever they’re hunting. I mean American citizens should be like any other citizens of the world.
Moderator: So welcome to the world.
Wayne LaPierre: Well, I’ll tell you. What Ms Peters is at with this global nanny is a fantasy. People in the United States want to be able to protect themselves. If someone is breaking down their door and coming into their house they want to be able to save their life. 2.5 million times a year in the U.S. the good guys use a gun to protect themselves from criminals.
I could once again stacked to the ceiling the stories of how the good people protected themselves from bad people. Ms Peters is not there at the scene of the crime. Her George Soros or her global people at the UN that live behind security systems and locked big, big security guards. They’re not there.
At the scene it’s the criminal and the victim. Let’s get real in the world. And that victim deserves the right to protect themselves from potential death or murder or robbery or rape by a criminal. And that’s what we stand for. They say a global nanny’s going to protect you. I don’t believe it and I don’t believe most people do.
Moderator : Isn’t that the case that people are going to be left vulnerable if they’re not allowed to protect themselves?
Rebecca Peters: This is the irony that the gun lobby based in a country where people do have their rights should be obstructing a global process, which would provide protection to people living in insecure conditions in conflict zones under dictatorships around the world. People need democracy to protect them. They do not need guns.
Moderator: It seems that the gun lobby is advocating for law abiding citizens to be armed as protection from governments. What are you so afraid of? What’s to be feared that we need all these guns?
Wayne LaPierre: History. In all of human history good people have been vulnerable at best; murdered, raped, robbed and slaughtered by the millions at the worst. You’ve had entire villages of Kurds gassed to death. Pol Pot, Nazi Germany, Bosnia, unarmed innocents butchered in Libya; by the way, who THEY put in charge of the Human Rights Commission. Uganda, Rwanda; unthinkable killing fields in Iraq, Iran, the former Soviet Union, Somalia, China, North Vietnam. And now they disarmed people with their philosophy in the United Kingdom. There’s a lot to be afraid of for Ms Peters’ vision of what the world is.
And once again, the UN, that club of governments that she wants to vest all control in through IANSA, when the killing is contained within one border, whether it’s Rwanda or whether it’s what’s going on in the Sudan right now, or whether it’s Bosnia, or whether you name the country in history, they haven’t been very good coming in and stopping it because if it’s contained within a border the UN club doesn’t like to intervene.
Those people; women, men, the good people shouldn’t lose their right to protect themselves from the predators, the evil doers, the killers and the genocidal governments. And that’s what’s ultimately at the end of this socialist fantasy that IANSA and Miss Peters are proposing.
Moderator: Isn’t it all about an inalienable right to self-protection?
Rebecca Peters: Well, I don’t know how many members the National Rifle Association has in Rwanda, in Somalia, in Uganda, in Bosnia, but IANSA has members in all of those countries. They know about genocide, they know about mass murder. They are saying what they need in their countries is not more guns, but less guns.
Moderator: So the UN is out in those countries. It’s not the NRA.
Wayne LaPierre: Her bottom line on her philosophy is give guns to the government and anybody that the government decides they’re going to slip guns to. Her sovereign is the government at the end of her chain. I’ll tell you what my sovereign is and people in the United States. It’s the individual. And I believe in it. You look in human hearts all over the world; they believe the same thing.
Questions from the audience
Q: Why you place such unquestioning trust in governments and the United Nations when you clearly do not trust individuals for the best way to protect themselves and their families?
A: (Rebecca Peters) It’s called civilisation. Individuals come together. They form societies. They form governments. That’s part of the contract that we make. It’s a long time gone now since Thomas Hobbs described society as being characterised by a continual fear and danger of violent death and the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.
I have confidence that people coming together into countries are going to operate better than a whole lot of individuals making up their own rules, taking the law into their own hands.
Q: I would like to ask why do you want to export American gun culture to the rest of the world?
A: (Wayne LaPierre) Well, I mean I object to describing the American culture as a gun culture. I mean if you’re talking about Lexington and Concord, that that’s how we won our freedoms. You bet those muskets that first defended that freedom at Concord Bridge. If you’re talking about when the UK was under attacked, and called for the United States for firearms, and the individual members of the NRA and our government provided them. You bet, absolutely.
But what we really are is we’re a freedom culture. That’s what we’re about. We’re about the fact that if Ms Peters goes and visits her friend, okay, where there are three babies, and there’s a knock on the door. You hear somebody. Not a knock, but a pounding on the door. And you hear breaking glass. And someone is coming in that house, either in Australia or here in the U.K.
What’s she going to do? What does she propose? Is she an expert in martial arts? What gives her that chance to live? That equaliser is the right to have a firearm to protect yourself. And she’s got no answer for that. It’s global government, some social fantasy. They’re going to protect everybody.
She’s not going to be there at the scene of the crime. She’ll be in London or New York or somewhere else. That victim will be there, and that’s who I’m concerned about. And that victim ought to always have the choice, whether in the UK or the United States. Rwanda, by the way, how many millions died by machetes? She talked about Rwanda when the UN tuck tailed and ran. Millions died by machetes. You bet a lot of those individual people in Rwanda would’ve liked to have a firearm there. It’s a freedom we’re talking about.
Q: It seems to me that Americans are desperate to prove that gun control in Britain, in particular, has been a failure, but it clearly hasn’t. Gun crime is coming down now. It is coming down dramatically in Scotland and over the last 18 months it is come down by 16 percent. It only ever featured in six or seven hotspots, major cities.
And the figure would be even dramatically lower were it not for the confusion introduced by replica firearms, which our government for some strange reason refuses to ban. Why cannot you accept these statistics? They are British statistics. In Britain gun control is working.
A: (Wayne La Pierre) You know, a lot of your countrymen are disagreeing with you, and every statistic that I have from your government says just the opposite. That the UK now leads the US by a large margin in assaults, robberies, burglaries, all types of violent crime. Your laws now give the home invader a head up, a hand up on the homeowner.
The homeowner tries to defend himself, he’s probably going to go to jail. Every statistic I’ve seen here in this country, your violent crime is rising, and ours in the United States is going down. The other point I’d like to make is a firearm’s a tool. It doesn’t jump off of a table and do something bad. It’s a tool.
Ms Peters, I heard her, you know, talk about the fact that, my gosh, look at all this that’s happening, you know? So a gun’s invented only to kill people. A gun, if it’s misused, yes, it can kill someone. And that’s why you want to be very tough. No sympathy. Throw him in jail. For someone that misuses a gun for life. That’s good with me. They want to coddle criminals. That’s another thing on their agenda.
But a gun can also save a person’s life. If a criminal is breaking down their door it may very well save the victim’s life. It can be used for hunting. It can be used for recreation. It can be used for sport. We at the NRA had 50,000 safety instructors, 35,000 shooting and hunting clubs, 9,000 law enforcement instructors, and we have put 17 million kids through our Eddie Eagle Child Safety Program, and we have got accidents down to the lowest level ever in U.S. history.
And we are leading the way in the United States to arm good people, prosecute bad people, throw the book at them, put them in jail for a long, long time, and that makes people safe.
Rebecca Peters’ closing statement:
Ladies and gentlemen, in the time that we have been sitting here in London discussing this issue more than 100 people will have lost their lives to gun violence around the world and countless will have been injured or will suffer the grief and pain of losing family and friends. Guns are causing enormous suffering in the world at large. Armed conflicts are claiming lives in huge numbers.
Countries are emerging from conflicts and then going into transformations that could plunge them back into conflicts at anytime because the guns have not been taken away. Guns are being used as tools to intimidate and commit crimes, and hundreds of thousands of people around the world are living this reality everyday. So much for guns and freedom. Mr LaPierre talked a lot about punishment and the need to put people in prison. Here’s another statistic. The US is the country that has the largest proportion of its population in prison. Is that a society worth emulating? I don’t think so. We are talking about prevention. People shouldn’t have to think about the question of whether they’re going to defend themselves everyday.
We represent the public health community, the human rights community, the victims support community; people have a right to live free from fear rather than waiting for the moment when they’re going to be afraid and they’re going to need to decide whether to kill someone or not. I think Mr LaPierre has been watching too many movies. That is not how it is in real life. Commonsense dictates that guns cannot and do not make societies or civilians safer. Higher level of access to guns means increased lethality.
In response to the charge that Britain’s gun laws have led to soaring rates of violence, I’d like to compliment Mr LaPierre for braving the trip to London. … I’m reminded of a time when the NRA’s propaganda was talking about Australia and saying that Australia was in the grip of a crime wave, that Australian citizens were cowering behind locked doors, that Australians had been disarmed. So much so that the Attorney-General of Australia had to write Charleston Heston, the President of National Rife Association, asking him to desist. And he said in his letter, “There are many lessons we can learn from America, but how to deal with gun violence is not one of them.”
If guns made a society safer then the US would be the safest country on Earth. That’s clearly not so. It’s the least safe of the developed countries. For all the wealth and consumerism and technology that America has that’s a paradox. That it still lives in fear. It still sanctions the idea that individual private citizens should have a gun ready for the moment when they may want to kill another human being. And that’s a cultural difference between America and many other developed countries actually. Mr LaPierre has referred to Australia and the UJ as having lost the right to have guns for self-defence. That was never the case.
Most developed countries do not sanction the ownership of guns with the intention of killing another person. The laws changed in Australia and the UK. That made no difference to the question of whether you were allowed to have guns for self-defense. You were not allowed to have guns for self-defense. If you had a gun for self-defense you were breaking the law. I’m very happy to note that the shooters here tonight are not breaking the law. And I want to reassure you that there is no proposal to ban private firearm ownership actually. We’re talking about regulation. We’re talking about stopping trafficking. We’re talking about bringing the arms trade under control, to stop guns getting into the hands of criminals and of drug gangs and of human rights abusers. Why doesn’t the NRA support that aim? Thank you.
Where the fuck did you find this Rebecca Peters?
Is she British?
It's pretty much imposible to reason with someone so narrow minded. She thinks she is right and that's the end of the debate. Illegal gun running is in the same category as me target shooting or you guys over there using them for self defense acording to her.
She's nothing but irrational. She declares her groups opposition to gun violence....I ,nor anyone I know has ever used guns for violence and I'm pretty sure that goes for all law abiding Amercians who own and use guns too. We do not have intent to be violent....violence is from the criminals...go hassle them.
IANSA V The NRA....[roll eyes] this should be IANSA V Gun Totting Criminals
how missguided are they?
If I read her right, if she had her way "our troops" would be throwing spears because guns kill...and she would have banned them given the chance.
I know nothing about the history to this debate or the reason behind it.
Was the debate held here because she felt less opposed here?
Not in Northern Ireland...
Facts spoil a good debate hey?
I recorded that debate...Since I have a package to send to you...And I haven't yet...Check your e-mail.
I could enclose a copy and you could "Pass It Around" to the other blokes...If ye be interested
That'd be a great idea thanks Wally.
I'll gladly pass it around the UK crew.
That woman is a nutjob. The UN or po-po cannot be there to protect you 24 hours a day. One thing she obviously does not get is that: In civilised society, you will ALWAYS have murderers,rapists, thugs, muggers and criminals. She lives in some hypothetical socialist fantasy. I can't stand people like this. I hope she got a good 'kick' in the stomach after the Brazil yes vote.
Too long to read
Cliff notes for streetfighter
IANSA's Rebecca Peters diagnosed with "Bird Flu"
She's been seen buying shoes and talking shit....
To long to read +1
Who's windscreen does she want to sh!t on, ( I heard that that is one of the symptom's)
This is a negative gut reaction to another ban the gun's groupie. The PC pratt's are getting the upper hand. It's no wonder that the world is moving rapidly into melt down mode, even mother nature is giving us gippsy's warning's, be it through the freak weather or earth quake's. We are the unwanted, unwashed root of all evil, ban this that and the other, the real victim's are those being oppressed by peer presure or law's to stop or give up what they enjoy doing.
I'm a target shooter and hunter, not a homicidal nut. I have worked hard to qualify for the right to own firearms, had to go to school, pass exam's and meet stringent condition's imposed upon me to ensure that the tool's of my chosen sports/hobbie's do no one any harm.
End of rant, sorry if I went off topic & overboard.
Note that Wayne LaPierre's opening and closing statements are not included in this transcipt. I guess IANSA doesn't want anyone to know what Wayne had said.
I dont know,I read stuff like that and it makes my blood boil,why do I click on stuff like thatIf she wants to live without the protection of a firearm,fine,I would never want to try to shove that down her throat,but she seems to think she can do it to us.Thank God I am setting here wearing my new springfield XD40 tactical on my hip to get used to the weight,If she only knew it would give her a corinary
Oh yea,take this Rebecca!
Damnit,my wife picked those drapes out(I picked out the ak).Hope you happy now Taffy,she is crying and I have no chance of getting pie now
the best part of breaking up is the making up ...NOW go get "PIE"
It's a jungle out there....folks
Mine is the nearest
Oh yea,I bet my grass is higher than yours now