Speaking at the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual conference today, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich advocated for extending the rights of the second amendment — which refer to the “right to bear arms” — beyond U.S. borders and, indeed, to the population of the entire world.
The former Speaker of the House offered some friendly criticism to the NRA’s leadership, accusing them of being “too timid,” before launching into a proposal for a new U.N. treaty guaranteeing a universal right to gun ownership, he explained:
A Gingrich presidency will submit to the United Nations a treaty that extends the right to bear arms as a human right for every person on the planet because every person on the planet deserves the right to defend themselves from those who would oppress them, those would exploit them, rape them or kill them.
Gingrich, who finds himself in a distant second place in the Republican primary contest, went on to attack the U.N. “small arms treaty” — which has neither been signed nor, as frequently misreported, infringes on the Second Amendment — as keeping us “psychologically on defense.” Gingrich argued that mass gun ownership could be used to empower populist revolts against global injustices:
Far fewer women would be raped, far fewer children would be killed, far fewer towns would be destroyed, if people everywhere on the planet had the right to bear arms. And far fewer dictators would survive if people had the right to bear arms everywhere on the planet.
But Gingrich wasn’t just satisfied to explain that world peace that would ensue if the number of guns in circulation — including, presumably, in war zones — were to increase. He also floated a sinister theory about the motivations behind those who advocate for global arms reduction:
Let’s take the George Soroses and the Hillary Clintons head on. They represent a world in which elites disarm the rest of us so we are then helpless when elites turn sour and when evil reappears.
Gingrich’s campaign has frequently fallen back on fear mongering and demonizing of political opponents and religious minority groups. But as his campaign runs low on funds and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney surges toward securing the nomination, Gingrich appears to be falling back on conspiracy theories and increasingly radical policy positions to keep his candidacy alive.