ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- In a move that seemed aimed at resuscitating his moribund presidential campaign, Republican Newt Gingrich Friday called for giving “every person on the planet” the right to have a gun.
Addressing the National Rifle Association annual conference, the former House speaker made this attention-grabbing statement: “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, exploit them, rape them or kill them.”
“It is not enough to be against the small arms treaty that keeps us physiologically on defense. The time has come to win the following proposition: 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.”
Gingrich, as speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999, as a member of Congress before that and as a presidential candidate for the past several months, has never before called for a global right to gun ownership. The pitch seemed geared to the NRA audience, and may have been designed to generate some attention for his flagging presidential campaign, which is over $4 million in debt.
In the extended Republican primary season of 2012, Gingrich won just two primaries, South Carolina and his native Georgia, and has stayed in the race despite insurmountable odds and despite calls from leading Republicans to concede he has no chance of getting the nomination.