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Robert G. Joseph

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

This month, CCRKBA selects as
its Gun Rights Defender of the
Month an American diplomat who
stood up in the United Nations
recently in defense of our Second
Amendment right to keep and bear
arms. He did this during the UN
Conference to Review Progress
Made in the Implementation of the
Programme of Action to Prevent,
Combat and Eradicate the Illicit
Trade in Small Arms and Light
Weapons in All Its Aspects.
That diplomat is Robert G. Joseph,
the United States Undersecretary
of State for Arms Control
and International Security.
In making the nomination for
the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender
of the Month Award, John M. Snyder,
CCRKBA Public Affairs Director,
noted that, “the right to keep
and bear arms, indeed the very
right to self-defense, the right to
defend life itself, has been, is and
will continue to be under political
and mainstream media assault not
only in the United States but
throughout the world. In recent
years, international gun grabbers,
including those in our own country,
have been trying to use the
United Nations and this UN Conference
to promote restrictive gun
control laws throughout the world,
including here in the United States.
“Recently, over the Fourth of July
period of all times, these UN gun
grabbers worked during this Conference
to promote their anti-gun
agenda. It concluded without
reaching conclusion or agreements,
even regarding future meeting
times and locations. Observers at
the Conference, though, including
CCRKBA Chairman Alan M.
Gottlieb, cautioned that these international
gun grabbers will get together
later to continue to work for
the elimination of the right to keep
and bear arms.”
Snyder said that, “one of the major
reasons for this at least temporary
failure of the UN gun grabbers was
the position of the United States
under the Bush Administration, with
this position being so forcibly and
cogently voiced by Under Secretary
Joseph. He stood up to the UN gun
grabbers, and he really deserves this
Award.”
Speaking as a diplomat, Dr. Joseph
indicated that the United States already
has “an agenda for effective
action to address the illicit trafficking
in small arms and light weapons,
covering military style arms such as
shoulder-fired missiles and rocket
systems, light mortars, machine guns
and automatic rifles.”
Dr. Joseph stipulated, though, that,
“the U.S. Constitution guarantees
the rights of our citizens to keep and
bear arms, and there will be no infringement
of those rights. The
United States will not agree to any
provisions restricting civilian possession,
use or legal trade of firearms
inconsistent with our laws and practices.
Many millions of American
citizens enjoy hunting and the full
range of firearm sports, and our work
will not affect their rights and opportunities.
As an officer of the Executive
Branch of my government, I
took an oath to protect the Constitution
– a duty that is an honor to
uphold.
“The long-established U.S. positions
on two other topics also remain
unchanged. First, we are resolute in
our belief that regulating ammunition
is beyond the mandate of this
body and would be ineffective, prohibitively
costly, and is best addressed
elsewhere – if at all. And
second, while we will of course continue
to oppose the acquisition of
arms by terrorist groups, we recognize
the rights of the oppressed to
defend themselves against tyrannical
and genocidal regimes and oppose
a blanket ban on non-state
actors. We believe lengthy debate
on these topics will only serve to
distract us from our areas of agreement
and dilute the collective will
required to combat the international
illicit trade in small arms and light
weapons.”
As Under Secretary of State for
Arms Control and International Security,
Dr. Joseph is the principal
Department of State officer for nonand
counterproliferation matters, as
well as for arms control, arms transfers,
regional security and defense
relations, and security assistance.
Previously, he served as Special Assistant
to the President and Senior
Director for Proliferation Strategy,
Counterproliferation and Homeland
Defense, National Security Council.
In this position he was responsible,
under the supervision of the
National Security Advisor, Dr. Condoleezza
Rice, now Secretary of State
and herself a CCRKBA Gun Rights
Defender of the Month, for developing
and coordinating U.S. policies
and strategies for preventing
and defending against threats to the
U. S. from weapons of mass destruction.
Dr. Joseph received his MA from
the University of Chicago and his
Doctorate from Columbia University.