May 3, 2009
As Lou Dobbs notes here, Obama is in favor of the ratifying CIFTA, the Inter-American Convention Against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms. On its face, the treaty sounds reasonable because it would “prevent, combat, and eradicate the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials” (emphasis added). However, upon reading the bill we discover the following:
Stressing the need, in peace processes and post-conflict situations, to achieve effective control of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials in order to prevent their entry into the illicit market.
Obama has promised Mexican President Felipe Calderon that he would urge the Senate to take up CIFTA. He is doing this under the cover of the drug cartel violence in Mexico. Obama and Calderon quoted a statistic echoed by the corporate media that 90% of the weapons seized in Mexican raids were purchased from U.S. gun shops and a reason why the U.S. needs to ratify this treaty. In fact, this is a lie — only a mere 17% of guns found at Mexico crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.
CIFTA would bury the Second Amendment under “pertinent resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly.” It would criminalize ammunition reloading (defined as explosives manufacture) and gun assembly (including firearm kits and presumably breaking down weapons for cleaning or transport).
Language contained in the CIFTA treaty insists it respects “the principles of sovereignty, nonintervention, and the juridical equality of states.” Not mentioned is the fact the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties has a superior rank to national laws. If the CIFTA treaty is ratified without exception, it would kill U.S. sovereignty and lead the way to destroying the Second Amendment.
It should be noted that only the Senate needs to ratify the treaty. Article II, section 2, of the Constitution states that the president “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur.”
The United States was one of the first signatories to CIFTA in November, 1997. The Convention was transmitted to the Senate in June 1998 and to this day awaits the Senate’s advice and consent. 29 of the 34 OAS member states have ratified CIFTA. Only the US, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and St. Vincent & Grenadines have yet to do so.