The Billion Mom March

By Wendy McElroy

Where does a rights-hating organization go when it has collapsed in disgrace in its own country? If it is the Million Mom March, dedicated to destroying the right to bear arms, it goes to the United Nations. It goes global and becomes the Billion Mom March.

On May 10th, at a press conference held in Room 226 of the UN Secretariat Building, the new organization was launched with the stated goal of the "worldwide year-round mobilization of a billion mothers" against guns. The press conference was chaired by Under-Secretary-General Jayantha Dhanapala, head of UN Dept. of Disarmament, Donna Dees Thomases and Mindy Finklestein of MMM, and Elvi Ruottinen of the new BMM.

The BMM had been created in March from the Women's Caucus on Small Arms during a pre-meeting planning session of the UN "Conference on Illicit Trade of Small Arms in All its Aspects." (The UN defines small arms as weapons "designed for personal use," such as handguns, rifles and shotguns.) The active and invited presence of "anti-gun moms" is an indication of the game that is afoot.

The international anti-gun conference is currently meeting in New York City (July 9-20). Its purpose is to eliminate the "wide availability" of privately owned guns on a global level. Although "illegal" guns are targeted, the UN clearly states that most illegal guns begin as legally produced ones. Thus, all governments must control the legal manufacture, transfer, and possession of small arms, which are to be supplied exclusively to governments and permitted only to those individuals who are governmentally approved, e.g. individuals who are "part of responsible military and police forces."

Mary Leigh Blek, president of MMM, is attending the conference as a representative of an official NGO (non-government organization). NGOs have become increasingly influential in the UN's agenda since they form the "civil society" enforcement arm that promotes and oversees UN approved policies within specific nations. For example, the conference's Preparatory Committee urged governments to work with "relevant" NGOs to organize public events at which guns would be conspicuously destroyed. As Blek explains, "These [guns] are instruments of death and their toll is too painful not to do anything to regulate the flow."

The global crusade is a God-send to MMM which has virtually dissolved on a national level in the US. Early this year, the organization was kicked out of the rent-free space it occupied for two years at taxpayer expense. Thirty of the thirty-five national staff members had been "let go" the month before. According to CNN, the 2001 Mother's Day MMM rally in Washington, D.C. drew only about 100 people. Meanwhile, scandal has rocked the anti-gun moms. For example, Barbara Graham -- who helped organize the Maryland MMM and the 2000 march in Washington, D.C. -- was recently sentenced to 10 years to life for shooting an innocent men whom she mistakenly blamed for killing her son. Police found two guns by her bedside.

Things had become so bleak for MMM that it merged its identity last month with another gun control group. The MMM became the Million Mom March, United with the Brady Campaign and the Brady Center or MMM,UWTBCATBC for short.

Now largely ignored by a formerly adoring media, the MMM is warming itself on the praise of Dhanapala who calls its participation "vital" to global disarmament. The Under- Secretary-General invited the BMM/MMM to be active on the global, national and regional levels but especially "through their Legislatures and governments to ensure that the programme of action is in fact implemented."

In short, the former "grassroots" movement has hitched its broken wagon to a well-funded global elite. Their target is clearly the US and the Second Amendment.

Of course, the attack is phrased in pro-woman, pro-child language. In a statement that blends concern for both, Blek declared that the BMM would help to ensure that no mother would again bury a bullet-riddled child. Noeleen Heyzer, executive director of the UN Development Fund for Women, added, "During armed conflict, women and girls are continually threatened by rape, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, trafficking, sexual humiliation and mutilation."

Thus, private gun-ownership is linked to every evil "woman" can experience. No mention is made of how women use guns to protect themselves and their children against violence every day. Or how most armed violence against innocents is committed by governments to whom the UN would give a monopoly on gun-ownership.

The MMM hopes that the UN will introduce through a side door what it failed so miserably to achieve on the political center-stage of America: namely, the abolition of private gun ownership. The Conference is not merely people talking to each other. Judging from the pre-con program, it clearly aims at producing a legally binding agreement between nations that would require the marking, registration, confiscation, and destruction of all guns not used by the military, the police or other government agencies.

The agreement would effectively override the Bill of Rights.