CORRECTION - The "Brown Bag" lunch with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Kmart employees in Troy, Mich., is on Monday, July 16, not Wednesday as we first reported. U.N. CONFERENCE ON "SMALL ARMS" OPENS WITH STRONG WARNING FROM U.S. The "U.N. Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons" began Monday, and John R. Bolton, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, soon made it perfectly clear that the United States would not support any proposal that threatened our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Bolton reminded the U.N. about our Bill of Rights, stating, "As U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has said, ‘just as the First and Fourth Amendments secure individual rights of speech and security respectively, the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.`" He went on to explain, "The United States believes that the responsible use of firearms is a legitimate aspect of national life," and further stated, "The United States will not join consensus on a final document that contains measures abrogating the Constitutional right to bear arms." The conference has been touted by U.N. officials as an effort to try to curtail the "illicit trade in small arms," but the draft "Program of Action" clearly seeks to go well beyond the scope of shutting down the international black market in military and light weapons. Undersecretary Bolton told the U.N., "The abstract goals and objectives of this Conference are laudable. Attacking the global illicit trade in small arms and light weapons (SA/LW) is an important initiative which the international community should, indeed must, address because...[t]he illicit trade in SA/LW can be used to exacerbate conflict, threaten civilian populations in regions of conflict, endanger the work of peacekeeping forces and humanitarian aid workers, and greatly complicate the hard work of economically and politically rebuilding war-torn societies." Bolton also pointed out, "The United States goes to great lengths to ensure that small arms and light weapons transferred under our jurisdiction are done so with the utmost responsibility...[and] we offer our financial and technical assistance all over the world to mitigate the illicit trade in SA/LW." But Under Secretary Bolton also explained that the U.S. does not support several aspects of the draft "Program of Action," including measures that would restrict the legal manufacture and transfer of firearms, prohibitions against the civilian possession of firearms, and the promotion of "international advocacy activity" that could directly conflict with the views of certain countries. The opposition to this "advocacy activity" was clearly intended to show that the U.S. objects to the idea of U.N.-supported international anti-gun organizations promoting propaganda attacks on our Second Amendment. Bolton`s message was met with hostility by representatives of other nations seeking far more comprehensive restrictions on not only trade in firearms but civilian possession across the globe. NRA, which is working as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with the U.N., will work to ensure that the concerns of all law-abiding gun owners will be well represented during the rest of this conference, which runs through July 20. On Tuesday, U.S. Representative Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) read a brief statement on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of Secretary Bolton`s comments, stating Bolton had "placed [the U.N.] on notice that the U.S. will not join in international gun-control efforts which would limit the rights of civilian possession as allowed under U.S. law or infringe upon the Second Amendment of our Constitution." Please be sure to also express your gratitude and support for Secretary Bolton`s support of our Right to Keep and Bear Arms while addressing the U.N. Contact information for the U.S. Department of State is: U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520 (202)647-4000 e-mail — [email protected] Also be sure to let President George W. Bush know you support Secretary Bolton`s comments. You can contact the White House at: The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 e-mail — [email protected] To read the statement by John R. Bolton, click here. LOWE`S PROMOTING ANTI-GUN MESSAGES For an update on this story see our Fax Alert of July 20. Lowe`s Companies Inc., one of the nation`s largest retailers of home improvement products, appears to have expanded its enterprise to include promoting anti-gun propaganda on the Internet. The Lowe`s website (www.lowes.com), under the guise of its "Home Safety" message, tells gun owners to "[r]emove any guns from the house" because "homes with guns are much more likely to have a murder or suicide of a family member than in homes without guns." The website also claims "[h]omes without guns are safer for children." These anti-gun messages can be found under a section of the website called "Protect Your Child: Information from Lowe`s & Johns Hopkins." While it may be surprising to see Lowe`s promoting these kinds of anti-gun messages, the fact that the "guide" was put together by the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) should explain a great deal. The Johns Hopkins Center has a long history of producing biased, anti-gun "research," and the CFA has promoted numerous attacks on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Most recently, CFA joined with the gun-ban extremists at the Violence Policy Center (VPC) in an attempt to further the lie that firearm manufacturers are not already subject to countless regulations. Missing from the Lowe`s/Hopkins/CFA message was any mention of promoting educational programs for children, such as the award-winning Eddie Eagle GunSafe™ Program. If you wish to contact Lowe`s to object to its promotion of anti-gun propaganda, you can call (800) 44LOWES (56937), or go to http://www.lowes.com/Lowes/customerService/custsvc_LowesDotComFeedback.asp?CATALOGID=45 to use the company`s online contact site. ANTI-GUN U.S. SENATOR TO APPEAR AT TROY, MICH. KMART U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) has scheduled a "Brown Bag" Lunch with Kmart employees in Troy, Mich., on (Correction)Monday, July 16, to discuss "Public Policy issues of importance to you, your family and Kmart." The meeting will take place at the Kmart Resource Center at 3100 W. Big Beaver Rd., in Troy. It is unlikely that it is a mere coincidence that Stabenow, who is extremely anti-gun, scheduled this meeting shortly after Kmart announced it has decided to stop selling handgun ammunition at all of its stores. If you live in the Troy area, and are interested in more information regarding this appearance by your Senator, you can call Kmart at (248) 643-1000. You can also call Sen. Stabenow`s district office in East Lansing at (517) 203-1760, or send e-mail to [email protected]. And remember to continue to let Kmart know that you object to its decision to no longer sell handgun ammunition. You can call Kmart toll-free at 1-866- KMART 4 U (1-866-562-7848), or send e-mail to [email protected]. A LOOK AT THE STATES INDIANA The Elkhart County Commission has again tabled its proposal to ban the carrying of concealed firearms in county buildings. The commission will again consider the proposal on July 16, so please call the commissioners at (219) 534-3541 and ask them to oppose the proposal. NEW YORK In response to the ever-increasing attacks on law-abiding gun owners in New York, NRA-ILA Election Volunteer Coordinator Tony Giammarino (N.Y.-4) will host a FREE grassroots meeting in Nassau County. At this meeting, you will learn how you can get more involved in legislative and political efforts at the local level in Nassau County. Several local candidates for the 2001 local elections have been invited, and the meeting is open to all concerned citizens. It will be held at the American Legion (Post 303) on 197 Maple Street in Rockville Centre on Wednesday, July 18, from 8:00-10:30 p.m. For directions to the American Legion, and for more information on this meeting, please call Tony Giammarino at (516) 599-3708. OHIO Governor Bob Taft signed HB 192 into law, this legislation will prevent nuisance lawsuits against the firearms industry, making Ohio the 27th state to enact such legislation.