UN Arms Trade Treaty Eyes "Legally Owned Weapons"

Leah Barkoukis

6/22/2012 5:02:00 PM - Leah Barkoukis

The United Nations is preparing to finalize the terms of the Arms Trade Treaty at an upcoming July conference. Their hope is that the treaty will “create a level playing field for the global arms trade, bringing to it more accountability, openness and transparency.”

Level playing field, transparency…President Obama would definitely approve.

The target of the ATT, you ask? In addition to the Second Amendment, it seems everything from small arms and light weapons to tanks, heavy artillery, helicopters and aircraft. In a report by the UN Coordinating Action on Small Arms titled, “The Impact of Poorly Regulated Arms Transfers on the Work of the UN,” (not available online) CASA pointed to recent events in Libya, Syria and Sudan for the justification of ‘heavier conventional weapons’ being included. In terms of the small arms and light weapons, well, they’re primarily used in “modern day intra-state conflicts.” The point to take away is that the treaty would apply uniformly to both democratic states and dictatorial regimes, the latter of which makes up the majority of UN member states.

Nearly a year ago, U.S. Senators took concern with the scope of the ATT, which threatens Second Amendment rights.  

The CASA report claims that “states have an inherent right to individual or collective self-defense” and that “the ATT does not aim to impede or interfere with the lawful ownership and use of weapons.” Yet, because of the ‘problem of diversion’ – transfer of weapons to the illicit market without proper control – “the arms trade must therefore be regulated in ways that would…minimize the risk of misuse of legally owned weapons.”

How does a treaty not interfere with the lawful ownership and use of weapons while at the same time putting forth regulations that minimize the risk of misusing those weapons? Only the United Nations would devise such a power-grabbing, contradictory document. A document, which, by the way, also makes the erroneous assumption that the majority of its member states have the ability to regulate activity at borders that are often so porous they only have true definition on a map.

In the Senators’ letter to the president and Sec. Clinton, they also express concern over what participation in negotiations means:

“Your Administration agreed to participate in the negotiation only if it “operates under the rule of consensus decision-making.” Given that the 2008 resolution on the treaty was adopted almost unanimously - with only the U.S. and Zimbabwe in opposition - it seems clear that there is a near-consensus on the requirement for the “highest possible standards,” which will inevitably put severe pressure on the United States to compromise on important issues."

Commenting on the CASA report, Heritage’s Dr. Ted Bromund writes:

“Of course, CASA isn’t just concerned with lawful ownership; it’s also campaigning against “community attitudes” that “contribute to the powerful cultural conditioning that equates masculinity with owning and using a gun, and regards gun misuse by men as acceptable.”

All this just goes to show that the U.N. regards gun ownership—even under national constitutional protection and for lawful activities—as a cultural failure that it needs to redress and that it has no patience at all with the idea that self-defense is an inherent right.”

This coming from an organization that allowed Gaddafi to chair the Human Rights Commission. Gotta love the hypocritical morality police.

And when all is said and done, part of the reason they’re putting forth this treaty is because:

“Whether it is maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, providing humanitarian aid, promoting social and economic development, conducting peacekeeping, assisting in crime prevention and criminal justice, empowering women, protecting children, improving public health or building safer cities, all too often armed insecurity fuelled by poorly regulated arms transfers prevents us from reaching the goals laid out for us by Member States.”

Whatever helps them sleep at night, right?