U.N. Small Arms Treaty a real threat to U.S. gun owners

Gordon Hutchinson

September 01, 2010 at 2:56 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

If ratified by the Senate, the United Nations Small Arms Treaty would supercede the Constitution.
If ratified by the Senate, the United Nations Small Arms Treaty would supercede the Constitution.
Several times a week, I receive internet warnings that scream the present administration plans to circumvent the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

These messages agonize over the possible signing of international treaties by the U.S. aimed at limiting exportation and international dealings in small arms.

Known as the United Nations Small Arms Treaty, this international agreement, if ratified by the Senate, could pose real problems for gun owners in the United States.

While much of the information that comes over the internet is slanted and useless, there are real dangers in involving ourselves in discussions with other nations that might limit our right to keep and bear arms.

Many of these nations absolutely hate our affirmation that the individual right to bear arms is God-given and supercedes any government or law.

“The U.N. claims guns used in armed conflicts cause 300,000 deaths worldwide each year ...” speaks a recent editorial in the Washington Times, entitled “The U.N. Gun Grabber.”

The editorial states an inordinate number of such deaths are the result of civil strife within nations. And thus the member nations considering the international treaty on small arms seek to limit rebels from getting guns by making the international pool of weaponry smaller.

According to the editorial, signatory countries would be required to “prevent, combat and eradicate” various classes of guns to undermine “the illicit trade in small arms.”

Such a plan would necessarily lead to confiscation of personally owned firearms.

In case you were not aware of it, if a sitting president negotiates a treaty and it is ratified by two-thirds of the Senate, it becomes the law of the land, and supercedes the Constitution.

This is why the agreement by the Obama administration to enter into discussion with these other nations has so many pro-gun organizations upset.

The Bush administration refused to enter into the debate, stating arms control was better left to the individual nations.

Now the Obama administration has reversed that long-standing policy, and has agreed to enter discussion negotiating the treaty with nations such as Japan, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands, to name a few, all of which have severely limited or banned private ownership of firearms in their countries.

In what is an apparent sop to the pro-gun forces, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton entered the agreement to negotiate the treaty on the part of the United States only if the talks operated by consensus — giving each nation a veto.

Of course, the nations pushing for this treaty do not want any one nation to be able to veto the treaty; they would rather it be determined by a majority vote.

Remember, the ultimate goal here is to attain an international treaty that would be binding on all signatory nations — and this could lead to serious restrictions on firearms ownership in this country.

Don’t forget that “prevent, combat and eradicate” language.

Make no mistake about it, this is not a movement to control the shipment of small arms to rebel forces — this is an attempt to regulate the sale and commerce of small arms across the world to all persons. Confiscation is an integral part of any such international controls.

This solution appeals to governments that don’t trust their own citizens.

But the ability to effect change with the barrel of a gun is not always wrong — our own country overthrew a despotic government with armed insurrection to gain the right to govern ourselves.

To countries with authoritarian regimes like Syria, Cuba, Rwanda and Zimbabwe, the thought of their citizens being able to arm themselves is anathema — countries such as these keep their citizens in check only because of gun control, and such a treaty is designed to maintain the status quo of despotic, power-mad rulers.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says the treaty is an attempt by anti-gun forces to enact their agenda.

“After the treaty is approved and it comes into force, you will find out that it has this implication or that implication and it requires the Congress to adopt some measure that restricts ownership of firearms. The administration knows it cannot obtain this kind of legislation purely in a domestic context. ... They will use an international agreement as an excuse to get domestically what they couldn’t otherwise.”

I asked the opinion of Stephen Halbrook, the noted Second Amendment scholar and attorney involved in the Heller v. Washington, D.C. decision by the Supreme Court.

I queried Halbrook on the seriousness of this threat to United States gun owners. His statement was short and succinct: “No one thought he would be able to get a health care bill passed, but he did.”

The Obama approach to effecting change in the American political psyche is akin to the old tale of how to boil a frog. Don’t try to throw the frog in a pot of boiling water. Rather, put the frog in a pot of cool water, and turn on the heat. The frog keeps adjusting to the heat until it is too late, and he is cooked.

Let’s hope United States citizens and gun owners are smarter than frogs.

Read more guns, shooting and politics on Gordon Hutchinson’s blog at www.theshootist.net and on his website at www.gordonhutchinson.com.

Hutchinson’s newest book, written with Todd Masson, is The Great New Orleans Gun Grab, a searing expose’ of the scandal of gun confiscations in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It is available at www.neworleansgungrab.com.

Hutchinson’s first book, The Quest and the Quarry, is a coming-of-age tale of the youth of a farming family and their hunting of a line of trophy bucks. It is available at www.thequestandthequarry.com.

Both books have been chosen as Books of the Year by the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association, and are available from the publisher by calling (800) 538-4355.






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