Here’s an idea. Let’s see if the Church has any input

International Conference on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its Aspects

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  • Can’t imagine anyone having issues with this, since the focus is on illicit trade of arms. Would anyone object to finding ways to curb illegal weapons sales?

    • ivan_the_mad

      Why yes, they would. Remember that time when any proposal was shot down with “but the bad guys will always find a way to get guns, so this will just hinder the good guys!” The comboxes on this blog alone are replete with examples. I have not a few friends and relations who are opposed to even closing the gun show loophole.

      And yes, the focus is on illicit trade of small arms, but there are several statements in there of general applicability which run counter to the claims of the more more … zealous … proponents of gun ownership. My guess would be that this was posted with such in mind.

      • I think taken at face value there shouldn’t be much resistance. If folks think there is some ulterior motive, that might be another ballgame. But as I read it, like Maiki said below, the most controversial thing was the statement that in a fallen world people actually have a legitimate right to own small arms.

  • “Moreover, it is sad to note that solidarity with the victims of the use of small arms and light weapons – which are in fact arms of mass destruction against the poor – is not always considered a high priority.”

  • MikeTheGeek

    SO who’s in favor of “illicit trade?” My curiosity is piqued, however, by what the “international community” of dictators, thugs, and presidents-for-life consider to be “illicit trade.” I have a funny feeling it will devolve to “providing arms to anyone who might not be on my payroll as a hired assassain.”

  • Maiki

    It seems to emphasize that although there are legitimate reasons for owning small arms *including self defense*, methods should be taken to ensure record-keeping and disarmament after conflicts to avoid surplus guns from being traded illegally. All that seems like common sense and not anything most people disagree with. Even on the topic people can disagree with: registration of arms, the focus here is on the record keeping done by those selling and exporting guns and their respective governments, not on individuals owning guns. As such, not a particularly controversial statement.

    In fact, the most controversial thing it says is that in a fallen world people actually have a legitimate right to own and sell small arms.

  • Robert G

    Mark, I’m guessing you posted this link in regards to the whole Fast and Furious scandal… It’s the only thing that makes sense, when I read it:

    “Unfortunately, however, it is impossible to ban all kinds of small arms and light weapons. “In a world marked by evil … the right of legitimate defence by means of arms exists. This right can become a serious duty for those who are responsible for the lives of others, for the common good of the family or of the civil community. This right alone can justify the possession or transfer of arms”. (Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, “The International Arms Trade: an Ethical Reflection” in Origins 8 (24), 7 July 1994, p. 144).

    This is not an absolute right, since there are specific conditions placed on the licitness of the production, possession and acquisition of arms. Nonetheless, in our meeting today the topic is fairly limited. Here we are discussing illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. This is, in a manner of speaking, a negative statement of the fundamental question of the legitimacy of the international arms trade.”

  • Nick R

    Whenever a ban on illegal small arms trade comes up, you can count on the NRA to be right there opposing it with misinformation:

    I know it seems like strawmanning to say” gun rights zealots oppose this” but the most vocal gun rights association clearly does.