One of the most important periods for the Second Amendment in recent history is upon us, as the opening meeting of the UN Arms Trade Treaty conference began this morning in New York. During the 26-day conference, world leaders are convening to finalize the terms of the ATT, which seeks to regulate the international arms trade and seriously threatens Second Amendment freedoms.
In a press kit that was released in June, the UN was obviously cognizant of the backlash surrounding Second Amendment rights, going so far as to include a "Myths & Facts" section, which states:
Also included in the press kit, however, was a report by the UN Coordinating Action on Small Arms titled, "The Impact of Poorly Regulated Arms Transfers on the Work of the UN," which blatantly contradicts the above "Fact." I posted on this earlier, but the report states that legally owned weapons should be regulated (along with everything from small arms and light weapons to helicopters, aircraft, tanks and heavy artillery) because of the "problem of diversion" or, transfer of weapons to the illicit market.
Who do we have to thank for dragging the U.S. into negotiations on this preposterous Treaty? Of course, the Obama administration, whose utter disdain for the Second Amendment seems truly unparalleled. The administration voted to support the talks in 2009, reversing George W. Bush's staunch opposition to the treaty back when the U.S. actually took state sovereignty seriously.
"The Bush administration was the only nation to oppose the 2006 resolution to create an international treaty on the sale of small arms and light weapons, and subsequent measures to continue the talks. The U.S. expressed concern about potential loopholes in a treaty and said national controls would be more effective."
Nearly a year ago, U.S. Senators wrote to President Obama and Sec. Clinton highlighting their concerns with the Treaty. Among their reasons was the fact that the UN maintains the position that "no treaty controlling the transfer of arms internationally can be effective without controls on transfers inside member states." Additionally, the Senators disapprove of the terms of negotiation:
"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."
But perhaps most egregious is the insistence that the U.S. become subjected to the very same standards as the dictatorial regimes (majority of UN member states) who are either perpetrating widespread human rights abuses or harboring non-state terrorist and criminal actors that are doing so.
Although the Senators that signed this letter vowed to oppose the ratification of an ATT that in any way infringes on Second Amendment freedoms, others in Congress are cause for concern.
Executive Director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, Chris Cox wrote on Monday:
“In fact, a group of anti-gun members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), went so far as to circulate a letter last week to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, in which they “strongly urge the United States to take a leadership role in pushing for a strong, verifiable Arms Trade Treaty.”
These House members insist that the treaty include “controls on a comprehensive list of weaponry, including small arms and light weapons,” as well as controls on ammunition. For good measure, they wrap their unconstitutional demands in the mantle of advancing “human rights” and preventing international violence.
Since when did it become fashionable for sitting members of Congress to lobby international thugs, tyrants and dictators against our own U.S. Constitution?
Rep. Grijalva should consider the plight of good people in countries like the Sudan, where it’s virtually impossible for an average citizen to legally own a firearm for self-defense.
He, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton should open their eyes to the unspeakable human rights atrocities that exist in their gun-ban utopia. They ought to see how far their gun-confiscation agenda resonates with hundreds of thousands of defenseless Sudanese men, women and children who live in constant fear of being beaten, raped, sold into slavery or murdered.
It’s easy for Congressmen Raul Grijalva, James McGovern, Bobby Rush, Dennis Kucinich and every other signer of this woefully ignorant letter to sit on high — surrounded by the secure walls of freedom built by our strong Second Amendment rights — and dictate to oppressed citizens in other parts of the world that their lives would be better if they only had less freedom than we do in the United States.
Thankfully, these clueless representatives don’t speak for the majority of us.”
No, they certainly don’t - but the administration’s position towards this treaty is one Americans need to pay close attention to. More to come as the conference unfolds.
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