Where does a rights-hating organization go when it has collapsed in disgrace in its own country?

If it's the Million Mom March, dedicated to destroying the right to bear arms, it goes to the United Nations. It goes global and becomes the Billion Mom March.

In early May, just such an organization was launched at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The stated goal is the "worldwide year-round mobilization of a billion mothers" against guns. A press conference announcing its formation was chaired by Under-Secretary-General Jayantha Dhanapala, head of the U.N. Department of Disarmament; Donna Dees Thomases and Mindy Finklestein of MMM; and Elvi Ruottinen of the new anti-gun organization.

The BMM emerged from the Women's Caucus on Small Arms during a pre-meeting planning session of the U.N. "Conference on Illicit Trade of Small Arms in All Its Aspects." The active and invited presence of anti-gun moms is an indication of the game that is afoot.

The international anti-gun conference is currently meeting in New York with the purpose of eliminating the "wide availability" of privately-owned guns on a global level. Small arms are defined as weapons "designed for personal use," such as handguns, rifles and shotguns.

Although "illegal" guns are the avowed targets of the conference, the U.N. clearly states that most illegal guns begin as legally produced ones. Thus, all governments must control the legal manufacture, transfer and possession of small arms and should ensure that they are only available to governmentally approved individuals, or people who are "part of responsible military and police forces."

Mary Leigh Blek, president of MMM, is attending the conference as a representative of an official NGO (non-government organization). NGOs have become increasingly influential in the U.N.'s agenda since they form the "civil society" enforcement arm that promotes and oversees U.N.-approved policies within specific nations. The conference's Preparatory Committee, for example, urged governments to work with "relevant" NGOs to organize public events at which guns would be conspicuously destroyed.

As Blek explains, "These [guns] are instruments of death and their toll is too painful not to do anything to regulate the flow."

The global crusade is a God-send to MMM, which has virtually dissolved on a national level in the United States.

Early this year, the organization was kicked out of the rent-free space it occupied for two years at taxpayer expense. Thirty of the 35 national staff members had been "let go" the month before. The 2001 Mother's Day MMM rally in Washington, D.C., reportedly drew only about 100 people.

Meanwhile, scandal has rocked the anti-gun moms. Barbara Graham — who helped organize the Maryland MMM and the 2000 march in Washington, D.C. — was recently sentenced to 10 years to life for shooting an innocent man whom she mistakenly blamed for killing her son. Police found two guns by her bedside.

Things had become so bleak for MMM that it merged with the Brady Campaign and the Brady Center to become MMM,UWTBCATBC for short.

Now largely ignored by a formerly adoring media, the MMM is warming itself on the praise of Dhanapala, who calls its participation "vital" to global disarmament. The under-secretary-general invited the BMM/MMM to act "through their legislatures and governments to ensure that the program of action is in fact implemented."

In short, the former "grassroots" movement has hitched its broken wagon to a well-funded global elite. Their target is clearly the United States and the Second Amendment.

Of course, the attack is phrased in pro-woman, pro-child language. In a statement that blends concern for both, Blek declared that the BMM would help to ensure that no mother would again bury a bullet-riddled child.

Added Noeleen Heyzer, executive director of the U.N. Development Fund for Women: "During armed conflict, women and girls are continually threatened by rape, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, trafficking, sexual humiliation and mutilation."

Thus, private gun-ownership is linked to every evil a woman can face. No mention is made of how women use guns to protect themselves and their children against violence every day. No mention is made of how most armed violence against innocents is committed by governments, to whom the U.N. would give a monopoly on gun-ownership.

The MMM hopes the U.N. will introduce through a side door what it failed so miserably to achieve on the political center-stage of America: namely, the abolition of private gun-ownership. The conference is not merely people talking to each other. It aims at producing a legally binding agreement between nations that would require the marking, registration, confiscation, and destruction of all guns not used the military or the police.

The agreement would effectively override the Bill of Rights.

Thankfully, there is too much opposition -- most of it from the United States -- for the conference to achieve its anti-gun agenda. But this assault on America's sovereignty is one more illustration why it's time for the United States to withdraw from the U.N.

McElroy is the editor of www.ifeminists.com. She also edited Freedom, Feminism, and the State (Independent Institute, 1999) and Sexual Correctness: The Gender Feminist Attack on Women (McFarland, 1996). She lives with her husband in Canada.