By Alan J Chwick & Joanne D Eisen
New York – -(Ammoland.com)- Civilians and governments who fear armed citizens are united only in that they intend, at some time, to disarm us.
Anti-weapon non-government organizations (NGOs) which are clubs of civilians who would like to take all of our weapons, do not even intend that governments should freely keep weapons.
But governments do desire to retain their arms while disarming civilians.
The dance between governments who would disarm us and NGOs who would also disarm us stems from the fact that most NGO funding comes from governments. If NGOs complain about poor governance or government sponsored violence, NGO funding would be in doubt. For complete disclosure, we must note here that our NRA is also an NGO, but it is not funded by a government.[It is funded by me & you.]
The anti-weapons groups have found that their plans and actions have not led to successful outcomes. They might confiscate some weapons, but that has not led to more peace. Could this be because most violence is inspired by poor government policy rather than the existence of weapons?
So in order for the anti-weapons groups to hope to see a glimmer of achievement, they have turned aside from American gun-owners for the moment and left us to our local disarmament folks.
Instead, using the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), they will turn their sights onto the next easiest group, legal arms and ammunition manufactures.
New Target – The Lawful Gun Manufactures
This is because arms manufacturers are very easy targets. Though few in numbers, they are easy to locate, regulate, and punish. They use the main global languages and can accomplish complex tasks, like filling out long forms. They have no choice but to be accessible to their customers and also to regulators. They require sophisticated machines with which to create state-of-the-art weapons and so cannot move freely, or often, from place to place.
So their locations are stable and because of the politics of the ATT, various levels of government will find it politically beneficial to harass, torment and tax them. Now, with the presence of a legally binding ATT, there is the global level of government which gets a turn to brow-beat the manufacturers with new demands.
Firstly, although the manufacturers will have a few years of chaotic demands and increased expense in order to deal with the harassment planned for them by the ATT advocates, we do not expect that they will be driven out of business. The Treaty will fail and become useless before that happens. First, too much money is involved in the weapons trade. Graft, corruption and the black market will destroy the smooth functioning of the treaty from the very beginning.
Recently, police in Scotland warned of a thriving black market. In Belgium, 300,000 weapons went missing. And, the UN peacekeepers revealed multiple incidents where diversion of UN arms went missing, but could not give many details.
Secondly, the ATT will begin falling apart well before the arms business is destroyed because governments have found, and will continue to find, that the ‘transparency’ demanded by ATT advocates is contrary to their goals of maintaining their weapons stash and profiting from weapons sales. Transparency is the name given by advocates to constant, accurate and total sharing of all information relating to all classifications of weapons and weapon parts. Weapons phobes are data freaks.
But governments don’t like to reveal secrets. The Globe and Mail revealed on August 26, 2015 that the sale of armored fighting vehicles to Saudi Arabia was “contingent on secrecy.” The sale would not go through if the details were revealed.
ATT proponents have always demanded data. Data, they think, will lead to disarmament, and thereafter to peace for all. As they fail to get it from governments, their first offensive acts will be against the arms manufacturers.
Our favorite firearms might become more expensive, but they will still be available to us. There might be tons of documentation required from us, but as long as we back up our computers, we can deal with it.
Here is why we feel confident making predictions that the ATT will fail to control weapons flow. The global agreement prior to the ATT was called Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA). The PoA was unable to control black markets, of course, and failed to financially entice governments to share weapons related records.
The answer was to be a legally binding Treaty. That should work! Shouldn’t it???
By forcing the ATT through, the proponents threw a ‘Hail Mary.’ The PoA is a voluntary agreement, but the ATT is legally binding. The Arms Trade Treaty is the last hope of advocates to succeed in controlling arms globally, and achieving their plan of peace for all men.
Dr. Theodore Bromund notes that although PoA reporting requirements are less complex, most ATT signatories have not submitted a current report. Dr. Bromund writes that evidence, “…implies that nations [are] far more willing to support the ATT with their voice and vote than they will be to live up to its reporting requirements over the long haul.”
The NGOs are aware that ‘States Parties’ are reluctant to divulge information and yet are beginning to complain about them in public. Even now, coming out of the first ATT meeting, the first Conference of States Parties, written as CSP1, unhappiness with world governments drips off civil society’s written commentaries.
The Editor of ATT Monitor, Ray Acheson, knowing that the provisions of the treaty can and will certainly be changed in the future writes:
“On the question of transparency, unfortunately, states parties failed to meet real life needs…The failure of CSP1 to adopt robust, comprehensive reporting templates that meet the needs of effective Treaty implementation is disappointing and must be corrected at CSP2, which is to be held in Geneva in 2016.”
The NGOs cannot keep complaining about government violence without losing government funding. They will soon find that there is no quick and easy way to reduce global violence and so they will turn ever more forcefully to weapons and the weapons makers.
We believe that pressure on ‘States Parties’ from treaty proponents will tempt all levels of control to turn up the heat on the on arms manufacturers, and the manufacturers will do their best to comply. But the compliance of manufacturers will not lead to global peace.
Ray Acheson concluded her editorial, “Every state must think of the Treaty in the context of peace, justice, and human rights, not profit and political manipulation. If they were to do so, the arms trade would look substantially different than it does today. It most likely would not exist at all.”
This is the most foolish statement we have ever seen coming from the ATT proponents! Money and power rule the human psyche when moral teachings are abandoned. Wishful thinking won’t work.
If policy leading to peace and non-violence is left to people like Acheson, in the words of some of our parents, “Oy vey.”*
- It is not the gun that causes violence and those who cannot understand that will fail year after year, scheme after scheme.
- If the standard answer is to eliminate the weapon, they will find that they cannot. If the answer is to change the human psyche, they will find that they cannot.
- If the answer is to blame the manufacturer, they will find that violence will still exist.
It will take wiser heads that ours to figure out how to disarm the violent and guide our many cultures to peace. However, we do know what does not work, and that is that laws to disarm criminals don’t work locally and laws like the ATT won’t work globally, or locally, for that matter.
Oy gevalt!** We are in the clutches of lunatics.
- * Urban Dictionary – oy vey (oi ‘vā), Yiddish phrase expressing dismay or exasperation.
- ** Urban Dictionary – oy gevalt (oi guh-VALT), Yiddish phrase, an exclamation of surprise, incredulity, or simply used to emphasize a statement. Alt. spelling: oy gevaldt.
Alan J Chwick has been involved with firearms much of his life, and is currently the Managing Coach of the Freeport Junior (Marksmanship) Club, Division of the Freeport NY Revolver & Rifle Association, Freeport, NY. Alan J Chwick – [email protected]
Joanne D Eisen practices dentistry on Long Island, NY. She has collaborated and written on firearm politics for the past 25-years, and is a Senior Fellow in Criminology at the Independence Institute in Denver, CO. Joanne D Eisen – [email protected]