August 28, 2006
Much Ado about Nothing (With apologies to the worshipful Wm. Shaxpur)
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
Remember the United Nations Review Conference on Small Arms, and how it was going to take our guns away? Ever wonder what happened? The answer is, nothing. I wouldn’t have known this either, except that I happen to get Safari Times, which is Safari Club International’s newspaper, and there it was on the front page. No one could agree on anything, and they couldn’t even agree to have a follow-up conference at which they would not agree on anything.
It’s one more typical farce, courtesy of the folks who won’t/can’t stop the massacres in Darfur, or send a meaningful peacekeeping force to Lebanon, or do much of anything else except occupy valuable real estate on the east side of Manhattan. What is worthy of note, however is the great hoopla that took place beforehand.
The NRA in particular conjured up visions of sinister, blue-beanied forces breaking into every home in America, demanding in odd, incomprehensible English (the kind used on PA systems in airports), “We are wanting all your guns now, yes, or we will be taking you to jail, including your small children and your pets, by golly.”
Well, the NRA was obliged to send out warnings, but there’s a danger in getting people worked up about an essentially lame organization like the U.N.: If you get them exercised about everything all the time they eventually lose interest, and when a real threat looms, you can’t get them as charged up as they would have been otherwise.
And a footnote: That same issue of the Safari Times carried a notice that the Sables, which is the ladies’ auxiliary of SCI, had elected a new slate of officers. A while back in Field & Stream, I poked fun at the Sables because they were named after antelope. Since then, I’ve gotten to meet some of them, and they do an enormous amount of good for the hunting sports with very little in the way of thanks or publicity. Bless their hearts; I wish them the very best.