Bob Barr

Throughout these years, however, the vast majority of other UN member states kept the issue alive. The effort was led by the U.K., Mexico, Japan, the Netherlands, and other countries that take a far different view of the basic human right of self-defense than do we. Advocates always have been careful to maintain with a collective straight face they would never dream of infringing any rights enjoyed by citizens of any member nation. However, the rhetoric and actions in this arena remain couched in UN doublespeak about “small arms and light weapons,” which includes virtually every firearm on the market anywhere.

In “UN World,” the responsibility to protect all of mankind from the scourge of firearms falls to this international body tasked with ensuring “world peace.” Despite repeated efforts to convince the American public that only international actions relating to firearms would be impacted by the ATT, the clear and inescapable fact is that every one of the documents drafted, debated, and adopted throughout this tortuously long process, sooner or later would impact domestic laws, regulations and rights as they relate to possession of firearms, even if indirectly.

If the draft ATT which was temporarily shelved last week were adopted, it would, for example, lead to registries of firearms “transfers” --activities covered by the proposal as necessary to stop international trafficking in firearms.

In the end, the Obama Administration was saved from having to live up to its predisposition to support the UN’s firearms-control agenda, not so much because it possessed the courage to openly oppose the effort, but thanks to two very different and unrelated factors. First, the American public – largely through the work of pro-Second Amendment organizations such as the NRA – was made aware of what was going on in the closed-door meetings at UN Plaza, and vocally alerted the Congress to the dangers thus posed.

America benefited also because a handful of other countries with a keen interest in not having the meddlesome hand of the UN involved in their firearms dealings – countries such as Russia -- opposed what the UN was trying to do. Sometimes, international relations does make for strange bedfellows.


Bob Barr

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 -2003 and as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986-1990.