UN Arms Transfer Treaty (ATT) on Small Arms: Gun Grab Gradualism


Thomas R. Eddlem
New American
July 17, 2012

The United Nations is polishing up a global Arms Transfer Treaty (ATT) this month in a New York convention that would create a global registry of private ownership of firearms. This treaty — which would also mandate creation of a national collection agency for those guns and is contrary to the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment — has the long-standing and enthusiastic backing of the Obama State Department, headed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Conventional arms transfers are a crucial national security concern for the United States, and we have always supported effective action to control the international transfer of arms,” Hillary Clinton noted as early as October 14, 2009. Clinton boasted that “the United States regularly engages other states to raise their standards and to prohibit the transfer or transshipment of capabilities to rogue states, terrorist groups, and groups seeking to unsettle regions.” Of course, that speech was delivered at the same time the Obama administration was transferring some 2,000 small arms to Mexican drug gangs in the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal.

The State Department website nevertheless absurdly continues to boast that “The United States has in place an extensive and rigorous system of controls that most agree is the ‘gold standard’ of export controls for arms transfers.”

In view of such obviously false public statements, one may question the sincerity of Obama State Department promises about “redlines” to the UN ATT, which supposedly protect the Second Amendment: “The Second Amendment to the Constitution must be upheld. There will be no restrictions on civilian possession or trade of firearms otherwise permitted by law or protected by the U.S. Constitution. There will be no dilution or diminishing of sovereign control over issues involving the private acquisition, ownership, or possession of firearms, which must remain matters of domestic law.” The Obama State Department also promises “There will be no mandate for an international body to enforce an ATT.”

So America’s Second Amendment rights are safe, right?

Hardly.

The draft of the treaty prepared earlier this year by the UN Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) explains that the treaty is aimed at crime control as well as rogue militias in developing nations:

The majority of conflict deaths are caused by the use of small arms, and civilian populations bear the brunt of armed conflict more than ever. Also, small arms are the dominant tools of criminal violence.

The PrepCom report of February 2012 — despite protestations by the Hillary Clinton’s minions — is not limited merely to international transfer of firearms. The draft treaty covers “transfers” as well as imports and exports of firearms:

The international transactions or activities covered by this Treaty include those listed below and defined in Annex A:

(a) Import;

(b) Export;

(c) Transfer…

In this matter, the 2012 conference is merely following the goals of the 2001 UN Programme of Action on small arms, which required national gun registries and collection agencies for those guns once they’ve been registered. The 2001 Programme of Action requires nations:

To ensure that comprehensive and accurate records are kept for as long as possible on the manufacture, holding and transfer of small arms and light weapons under their jurisdiction. These records should be organized and maintained in such a way as to ensure that accurate information can be promptly retrieved and collated by competent national authorities.

To develop and implement, where possible, effective disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, including the effective collection, control, storage and destruction of small arms and light weapons…

The UN is still seeking this kind of broad control over private firearms ownership, and UN General Assembly resolution 66/47, adopted December 2, 2011 in advance of this month’s conference that it seeks to ban “The illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects.” [Emphasis added]

Moreover, the 2012 PrepCom report uses broad bans on any transfer of firearms:

A State Party shall not authorize a transfer of conventional arms if there is a substantial risk that those conventional arms would: Be used in a manner that would seriously undermine peace and security or provoke, prolong or aggravate internal, regional, subregional or international instability.

Some 56 or more U.S. senators have written a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton opposing the UN global gun registry, according to the National Rifle Association. Senatorial opposition began with a July 26, 2011 letter claiming that “the establishment of any sort of international gun registry that could impede upon the privacy rights of law-abiding gun owners is a non-starter.”

The U.S. State Department already has a State Department Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement that could be used as a control agency for domestic controls on firearms transfers.

The State Department policy on Conventional Weapons Destruction suggests: “The proliferation of illicit conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons (SA/LW), in regions of the world suffering from political instability and violent conflict has proven a major obstacle to peace, economic development, and efforts to rebuild war-torn societies. In places like Afghanistan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Colombia, thousands of innocent civilians have been killed and tens of thousands more displaced by ethnic and civil conflicts perpetuated in large part by easy access to illicit conventional weapons, particularly SA/LW.”

Many of the countries listed by State Department officials are the very nations that most need “illicit” small arms to fight back against genocidal governments. “Illicit” is the new globalist jargon for “illegal,” though in most instances the sparse “illegal” weapons around the world are the ones that are being used by victims to shoot back against genocidal governments. This is certainly the case in Syria today, where perfectly legal small arms in the hands of the government are crushing a largely disarmed civilian population. It was also recently the case in the genocide in South Sudan, which recently won independence from Sudan — ending the genocide — after using “illicit” small arms in an independence effort.

In the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the “illegal” and “illicit” guns would have been those owned by the victims. And in Rwanda, the United Nations helped to facilitate arms deals to the government forces and was complicit in the genocide of some 800,000 innocent Tutsis. Gun control in Rwanda was so effectively implemented — in part with UN “peacekeeper” assistance — that much of the genocide against Tutsis was carried out by Hutu-aligned government forces with machetes — not guns!

Since the UN has traditionally backed genocidal governments over the victims who use “illicit” guns to defend themselves, it’s not surprising that human rights violator Iran is one of several regional chairmen of the UN ATT convention.


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