WASHINGTON—Is Congress on the verge of turning away from the lessons of the slaughter in Newtown even as Connecticut enacts sweeping laws to curb gun violence? Is the gun lobby hell-bent on aligning our country with such great friends of liberty as Iran, North Korea and Syria by opposing efforts to condition international gun sales on the human rights records of buyers?
The gun lobby seems to want the rest of the world to look upon the United States of America as a nation so crazed about guns that its supine Congress will always collapse before the National Rifle Association.
The bleak future envisioned by the gun extremists was laid out for all to see by the small town of Nelson, Ga. Its town council voted Monday to require all its citizens to own guns. The town says it won’t enforce the measure, but Nelson sends us a dark message: Guns matter more than freedom. The right not to bear arms can be infringed freely.
The vote in the United Nations on Tuesday for a global convention to keep conventional arms out of the hands of human rights violators, terrorists and organized crime figures was overwhelming, 154-to-3, with 23 abstentions. North Korea, Iran and Syria provided the no votes, while China and Russia were among the abstainers.
It will be years at best before the treaty is implemented, and the NRA (of course) wants to block it in the Senate—in effect preventing background checks for human rights violators. But we can be proud that the United States ignored the weapons fundamentalists and voted yes.