Dear Mr. Farago:
Your article of October 22 [GOA Plays The U.N. Card. Badly] contains several errors and misleading statements.
First, the claim that the Independence Institute, where I work, is “run for and by Dave Kopel.” Although the article links to the Independence Institute website, a quick look at the website would have revealed that the President of the Independence Institute is Jon Caldara. I am the Research Director of the Independence Institute.
Second, the article quotes the GOA letter: “Paul Gallant and Joanne Eisen, who have attended these UN meetings.” You write: “I doubt that Paul Gallant and Joanne Eisen attended any of the Boston meetings, specifically.” To set the record straight, Paul, Joanne, and I never claimed we attended any Boston meeting. The GOA fundraising letter was imprecise about “these meetings” which Paul and Joanne attended. As we detailed in our article in the October 2010 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, Paul and Joanne attended the June 2010 U.N. Review Confererence for the Programme of Action on Small Arms. http://www.davekopel.com/2A/Mags/feeling-blue.htm. Joanne and Paul have also attended previous U.N. conferences involving the Programme of Action.
Third, the GOA letter was not correct in stating that we have written that the Arms Trade Treaty “would impose” the various gun controls which were listed. As our article clearly stated, the list of controls are items that the various gun prohibition groups are lobbying to include in the ATT, but nobody knows for sure what the ATT will contain.
Your statement “Mr. Gallant is an optometrist and Ms. Eisen is a dentist,” is correct, but I wonder why you chose to sneer at the professions of Dr. Gallant and Dr. Eisen. Their work on international firearms policy has been published in major scholarly journals, including the Brown Journal of World Affairs, and the Notre Dame Law Review. Is it your view that having a professional medical degree disqualifies a person from writing about firearms policy?
Your desire to clarify the facts related to the GOA letter was commendable, but your article muddled the facts even further, by wrongly assuming that we have made certain statements which we in fact did not. As the Independence Institute’s home page indicates, we can be contacted by telephone or by e-mail. Given your objective in promoting “the truth about guns,” I hope that you will take the opportunity to contact us in the future, should you have questions about our research.
David B. Kopel
Research Director, Independence Institute
Adjunct Professor, Advanced Constitutional Law
Denver University, Sturm College of Law
13952 Denver West Parkway
Golden, Colo. 80401
[Note: I have removed the “by and for” description of the Independence Institute from the original post. I stand by the rest of the story. Although I look forward to having a little chin wag with Mr. Kopel in the morrow.]