By Jeff Knox
Manassas, VA –-(Ammoland.com)- I have to admit that I was skeptical about the UN ever getting their act together enough to construct an Arms Trade Treaty that they could all agree on, but I underestimated the level of cooperation attainable by that body when their target is liberty.
With the terrorist-exporting state of Iran in a leadership role, the committee has been plowing down obstacles and rapidly moving toward an agreement.
The final treaty language is expected to be released by the end of July, and the Obama administration has committed to supporting it – if it doesn’t interfere with their interpretation of the Second Amendment.
That’s not a very big “if” when you consider that we’re talking about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, both of whom have expressed support for the Second Amendment and in the same breath endorsed the idea of banning entire classes of firearms.
So far a majority of US Senators have signed letters declaring their opposition to the treaty – if it interferes with the Second Amendment. NRA’s Wayne LaPierre testified before the UN committee voicing NRA’s strong opposition to any provisions that might interfere with the Second Amendment, and numerous conservative leaders, gun rights groups, and media pundits have denounced the treaty for the threat it represents to the Second Amendment…
That’s just fine, as far as it goes, but there is much more to be concerned about with this treaty than its ratification or its impact on the Second Amendment. It is a mistake to make the Second Amendment our only objection. The fact is that the Second Amendment cannot be overruled by any treaty, and it is highly unlikely that any significant number of senators would ever vote for any treaty that even appeared to try and do so (though it should be remembered that ratification requires a 2/3 vote of senators present, not 2/3 of the entire Senate).
What is missing from the arguments is the core philosophy of fundamental rights upon which the Second Amendment is based.
The Second Amendment is simply a statement reiterating an existing right that is possessed by all peoples – a fundamental human right to self-defense and self-determination. That fundamental human right does not exist only for Americans and is not dependent on the Constitution for its existence.
For US opponents to the UNATT to focus solely on how the treaty might impact the rights of Americans, is short-sighted and selfish. It is also self-defeating.
As the leading proponents of liberty in the world, the US has an obligation to oppose anti-liberty initiatives wherever they erupt. This is the only reason for US involvement in the UN. If we, as a nation, are not going to stand up in the UN and fight for human rights and justice for all people everywhere, then our involvement in the UN is a hoax and should be ended.
From a practical standpoint, not opposing the treaty if it does not directly threaten our rights is tantamount to passing out matches and lighter fluid to all of the neighborhood children and telling them to burn anything they want except our house. Even if we manage to keep our house from burning down, we are going to end up surrounded by death, destruction, and bedlam. Not only is advocating for liberty and against tyranny the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do.
Something else that should be noted is that even if the US were to be exempted from every provision of this treaty, it would still have a significant impact on us. US companies and citizens buy and sell billions of dollars worth of guns and ammunition in the legal international market. This treaty is likely to close doors into foreign markets for that business and even more likely to close doors out of those markets. This would result in the loss of billions of dollars of business for US companies, and cost US consumers billions of dollars in higher prices for guns, ammunition, and gun parts.
Rather than demanding that Senators pledge to vote against ratification of this treaty, or that they voice objections to anything in the treaty infringing on the Second Amendment rights of US citizens, senators and representatives should be instructed to demand that the Arms Trade Treaty be limited to apply only to serious military hardware and stay completely away from any type of interference in civilian arms issues. They should also demand that the treaty not obstruct or encourage the obstruction of sales of military surplus parts and ammunition into the US or other civilian markets.
Isolationism has been proven to be a recipe for failure and advocating isolationism in regards to the UN Arms Trade Treaty as it prepares to assist tyrants in trampling the rights of their own people is a morally bankrupt position.
About Firearms Coalition
The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition is a project of Neal Knox Associates, Manassas, VA. Visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org