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Ban by baby steps

LAS VEGAS — In the parallel world where the likes of Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi live, the enlightened govern the ignorant masses by applying one set of universal rules, and it's not the Constitution of the United States.

In Hillary's world, radical ideas progress at first with baby steps that ultimately become great strides to harness the destructive forces in society. That's why the current Secretary of State and the other Hillarys in her world are drawing a bead on gun owners, mainly those in the United States.

In 2012, the United Nation's will push for the Arms Trade Treaty, which, among other things, will establish goals regarding the ownership and disposition of firearms on a global basis. This new world order is apt to take various forms, but none of them are likely to be good for gun owners in this country.

The Arms Trade Treaty, along with attempts to reconstitute the so-called "assault weapons ban," and efforts to ban lead-based ammunition are among the biggest challenges facing the shooting sports industry in the coming years, according to Steve Sanneti, president and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

It's been a while since the ban on any firearm that looked remotely like an assault rifle was in effect. Thankfully, the public has become better educated about the firearms and the fact that just because they look like something that Rambo might wield, basically they do the same thing as any other rifle.

Talk of outlawing black guns was a topic that once scored points for politicians in the "blue states," but there's no current movement to return the ban. Still, Sanneti said, it only takes one lunatic with a rifle to re-energize the issue.

The lead ban is an ongoing project for anti-hunters and their allies, the gun control crowd. Banning lead shot on wildlife refuges and other federal lands was the first stage, and now various advocates in the northern tier of states, and California, have taken up the cause. In the Bear State, pro-raptor groups managed to convince the powers-that-be that condors were being poisoned en masse after ingesting lead bullets or shot in the remains of deer or various other game animals and birds.

In truth, more California condors have died from eating the poisoned carcasses of sheep and other domestic animals intended for coyotes. Still, lead was a convenient villain. More recently, anti-hunters tried to stampede food banks and others from accepting donated game meat shot with lead ammo by well-meaning hunters. Eventually, the wheels fell off that campaign when even the Center for Disease Control said it was a bogus issue.

"Anti-hunters will do or say anything to curtail hunting, and they'll settle for winning small battles and advancing their cause in incremental stages," Sanetti said. "What is so insidious about the various lead ban proposals is that they ignore the fact that there are no wildlife populations that have been threatened or endangered because hunters use lead ammunition. It just doesn't happen, and we've got to continue to remind people of that and present the truth."

As for the Arms Trade Treaty, Sanetti said he thinks it might pose the greatest danger if only because there are so many different permutations it could take, any of which could be disastrous to gun owners.

Sanneti is no stranger in Hillary's world, and as a former executive of the Ruger Arms Company, knows of the subtle ways that gun control advocates employ to advance their cause. Convince the general public that if all guns are banned, and nobody has them but governments, then there would be no more wars and no more crime. In effect, the Arms Trade Treaty is one of those baby steps in that direction.

"Essentially, the international community doesn't understand why Americans respect and protect their Second Amendment rights because in most countries no such rights exist," said Sanetti, who is presiding over the annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) show. "Of course, the Founders added the Second Amendment as one of the safeguards, and it's not something open for discussion as far as we're concerned.

"The current (Obama) administration has gone on record as saying it's time for this country to rejoin the community of nations and get more in line with various international goals. So, definitely, gun control is moving to the forefront, though not in such an-in-your-face, confrontational manner that we've seen before in this country. Gun control advocates go in one direction, try and fail, and then go in another direction. That's been the pattern."

Sanetti notes that prior to the current administration, UN delegates routinely gave such notions as international gun control a no-way, Jose response. However, recently Secretary Clinton has noted that the administration is not opposed, per se, to an Arms Trade Treaty that inhibits the manufacture and distribution of guns, but rather that the U.S. might go along with it if there is a consensus among the nations.

"Our salvation might be that 2012, which is when the UN will put the Arms Trade Treaty on the front burner, is an election year," Sanetti said. "We feel reasonably confident that this administration is not going to push the treaty or even avow any ownership, but there's no certainty of that. If the administration sidesteps the issue and there is no unanimity among nations, the treaty is probably dead, but we're definitely keeping an eye on developments there."

Eternal vigilance and all that, but it's the price to pay for living in the world next to Hillary's. The neighbors will do whatever they can to get rid of as many guns as possible, perhaps by curtailing the international flow of component materials that go into the manufacture of firearms and ammunition.

It's a long shot, but such ideas have merit in Hillary's world, where even little victories lead ever closer to the big prize: no guns, just government.