This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 19, 2017:
It wasn’t Thomas Jefferson who said that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” but an unknown Irish politician, John Philpot Curran. And Curran said it even better:
The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance, which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.
But it takes more than vigilance to protect freedom. It takes a strategy, backed by muscle, as Rotary International just found out.
Rotary has been around since it was founded by Paul Harris along with three friends in downtown Chicago in 1905. And for the first 111 years of the organization, now with 1.2 million members worldwide in 35,000 chapters, there was no lack of clarity about the group’s position on firearms: they had none. But starting in 2016, some on the 19-member board (only four of them are Americans) discovered a need to impose a complete ban on any association by any Rotary entity with anyone or anything related to firearms, whether selling, buying, or manufacturing. It didn’t matter to the board that it would affect thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of its members, who make their living from that industry. It was now verboten.
For those interested in the actual wording of the new ban imposed by the Board on its members in January this year, Sources below will take them to Rotary’s Code of Policies. Download the document and go to pages 227 and 228 where the odious impositions can be found in paragraphs 2 and 8.
For those interested in a shortcut, here is what the Rotary Club of Presidio Tucson said about the ban:
In early 2016, Rotary and the Board discovered that there is a lack of clarity around RI’s policy governing Rotary clubs, districts, and other Rotary entities when participating in activities involving guns, weapons, and other armaments, and when interacting with gun companies, including for sponsorship purposes. (emphasis added)
The new policy included:
Prohibiting Rotary clubs, districts, and other Rotary Entities from transferring ownership of weapons;
Prohibiting clubs, districts, and Rotary Entities from conducting or sponsoring gun shows;
Prohibiting clubs, districts, and Rotary Entities from accepting sponsorships from gun/weapon companies or stores, and preventing use of Rotary’s logo with the name or logo of a gun/weapon company or store;
Prohibiting clubs, districts, and Rotary Entities from using any visual that includes weapons; and
Prohibiting licensing by RI of guns or weapons.
Ever vigilant, the National Rifle Association sent an alert to its five-million-plus members titled “Rotary International Gives the Boot to Gun Owners.” It minced no words:
The new policy bans any Rotary entity – including clubs and districts – from selling, raffling, or transferring firearms. It also bans these entities from participating in activities where any sort of firearm or other transfer occurs, whether or not Rotary is the owner of the item. Rotary entities are also prohibited from sponsoring or conducting gun shows or other exhibitions involving guns.
The new policy even bans Rotary entities from “accept[ing] sponsorship from any entity whose primary business is the sale or manufacture of guns, weapons, or other armaments.” The policy manual goes on to classify such items as “addictive or harmful products and activities.”
The NRA alert also had a message for the RI Board:
Of course, RI is within its rights to enact the new policy.
And its many members in the U.S. and elsewhere where firearm ownership is common and respected are just as clearly within their rights to channel their philanthropy and civic engagement into other groups.
Last week, the Board announced that, “in response to comments from our members,” the policy was reversed. Under the revised “guidelines,” all Rotary entities are now expressly allowed to “participate in activities involving the sale, give-away, or transfer, including raffles, or guns, weapons, or other armaments….” The ban on sponsorship of Rotary activities by firearm-related companies was also lifted. The only caveat was that each Rotary entity is required “to consult with legal and/or insurance professionals to ensure that they are adequately protected.”
When the Board felt the heat, it saw the light (as the saying goes), proving that Curran was right. Thanks to his warning, and the NRA’s muscle, the RI Board’s vicious anti-gun policies never had a chance.
Monticello.org: Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty (Spurious Quotation)
DailyCaller.com: Rotary International Tells Clubs To Drop Their Guns
BearingArms.com: Rotary International Bars Clubs From Hosting Gun-Related Fundraisers
RI’s Code of Policies Through January 2017 (461 pages)