July 5, 2012
United Nations apparatchiks are finalizing details on the Arms Trade Treaty and the Obama administration is taking an active role. A treaty conference commenced on July 3 at the United Nations and is scheduled to run through July 27. Attendees will spend nearly a month tweaking a treaty draft.
“Our common goal is clear: a robust and legally binding Arms Trade Treaty that will have a real impact on the lives of those millions of people suffering from the consequences of armed conflict, repression and armed violence,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the opening of the conference. “It is ambitious, but it is achievable.”
“The outcome will not seek to prohibit citizens of any country from possessing firearms or to interfere with the legal trade in small arms and light weapons,” a press release issued by the United Nations’ Office for Disarmament Affairs insists.
130 members of the House, however, are not convinced the treaty does not pose a threat to the Second Amendment. On June 29, they sent a letter to Obama and Secretary of State Clinton expressing concerns about the treaty.
The letter states that the treaty infringes on the “fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms” and says the United States government does not have the right to support a treaty that violates the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Critics warn the treaty will result in mandatory gun registration.
“Registration makes it easy for a tyrannical government to confiscate firearms and to make prey of its subjects,” writes Stephen P. Halbrook. Others argue that gun registration is essentially confiscation. “The only purpose of gun registration is gun confiscation, whether it is done individually and piecemeal, as the legal requirements to own a gun become more and more difficult, or en mass, when the government feels the necessity to disarm its citizens in order to further its control,” notes Dean Weingarten.
Democrats believe Republicans and Second Amendment advocates are grandstanding the issue for political gain and say the treaty does not threaten the Second Amendment.
Michigan Democrat senator Carl Levin has stated that he believes that worries the treaty will limit the Second Amendment are “misplaced.”
The NRA gave Levin an “F” for his gun control voting record. He has voted for government background checks at gun shows and has voted to close the so-called “gun show loophole.”