- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 12, 2001

Former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard´s letter on international “supervision” of small arms merely proves the point he protests in your April 12 story “U.S. negotiators wary of pact to curb small-arms sales” (“International supervision of small arms,” April 24). He insists that the United Nations´ current efforts to curb small-arms sales worldwide will neither cut into U.S. arms sales nor infringe on the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens. Either Mr. Rocard is ignorant of the U.S. Constitution or he is perfidious.

At a press conference last year, Mr. Rocard stated: “Measures must be devised to limit the access to small arms, to curtail the supply of small arms and to reduce the demand for small arms. The weapons of violence must be brought back into the control of the state.” How does he propose to achieve this? Again, in his own words: “enhance transparency and accountability in the transfer of small arms small arms should be made traceable through universal marking and record keeping.” That can mean only one thing universal firearms registration. He doesn´t even bother to make an argument on how this will benefit society. For him, increasing the power of the government and reducing the freedom of the governed is an end unto itself.

While Mr. Rocard proposes restrictions on obvious military weapons such as machine guns and grenade launchers, he does not mention that his goal and that of the U.N. committee considering this plan is to bring all small arms under “the control of the state.” Once firearms are registered, it is only a matter of time before the confiscations begin.

I defy Mr. Rocard to cite a single example of a government firearms registration scheme that did not eventually lead to confiscation. Recent examples include efforts in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. In each case, the citizens were persuaded to register in the name of reducing crime. Good, law-abiding citizens complied with the law. Their reward was confiscation and higher crime rates.


STEPHEN J. HATCH

Centreville


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