Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Action Alert: Oppose UN Arms Trade Treaty

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The United Nations is planning on its Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) being finalized in 2012, after this mid-July saw another session of talks of the Third Preparatory Committee on the ATT. The UN’s ATT final agreement negotiations set for four weeks next summer will be under slightly different rules of “consensus” rather than a majority vote. With over 100 arms-control organizations in attendance and lobbying hard this year, a consensus for the ATT will easily be reached.

Many of the arms-control groups like Amnesty International (AI) and Control Arms pushing for the ATT are blatant about their goals. A spokesman for Control Arms says all arms and all weapons deals must be controlled. AI insists the biggest arms suppliers are the United States, France, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, the UK and Italy. However they ignore the worst transgressors of illegal trafficking like Russia and Albania.

UN apologists keep insisting that the ATT will not affect Americans’ ability to purchase or use guns. Using terms like “inflammatory,” “rabble-rousing,” and “fear-mongering,” to describe any opposition to the ATT in the press, their own rhetoric has been debunked by more than one source. It is quite clear, then, that the UN’s propaganda machine may not be accomplishing its usual goals.

The National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre was able to deliver some rather pointed remarks at the UN meeting on the ATT. LaPierre detailed the objections of many Americans with the most notable being:

We are told "Trust us; an ATT will not ban possession of any civilian firearms." Yet, the proposals and statements presented to date have argued exactly the opposite, and - perhaps most importantly - proposals to ban civilian firearms ownership have not been rejected.

We are told "Trust us; an ATT will not interfere with state [a nation's] domestic regulation of firearms." Yet, there are constant calls for exactly such measures.

We are told "Trust us; an ATT will only affect the illegal trade in firearms." But then we're told that in order to control the illegal trade, all states [nations] must control the legal firearms trade.

We are told, "Trust us; an ATT will not require registration of civilian firearms." Yet, there are numerous calls for record-keeping, and firearms tracking from production to eventual destruction. That's nothing more than gun registration by a different name.

We are told, "Trust us; an ATT will not create a new international bureaucracy." Well, that's exactly what is now being proposed -- with a tongue-in-cheek assurance that it will just be a SMALL bureaucracy.

We are told, "Trust us; an ATT will not interfere with the lawful international commerce in civilian firearms." But a manufacturer of civilian shotguns would have to comply with the same regulatory process as a manufacturer of military attack helicopters.

Canada’s delegation tried to have civilian firearms exempted from the treaty with the very narrow clause “small arms have certain legitimate civilian uses, including sporting, hunting, and collecting purposes,” submitted for approval; but it wasn’t, proving once again the UN’s complete disarmament doctrine is at the core of the ATT.

A Second Amendment watchdog organization, the Second Amendment Foundation, has issued a warning that many of the details and definitions, requirements and regulations of the treaty have not yet been worked out, but will most likely be conducted behind closed doors.

It’s more than a little hypocritical that the Obama Administration is willing to cede control of private Americans’ small arms ownership and use to the United Nations under the guise of ending gun running, given the Obama Administration’s ATF and DOJ’s own alleged roles in the largest and most scandalous gun trafficking case ever. A simple reminder to our Senators about “Project Gunrunner” and “Operation Fast and Furious,” which saw guns trafficked to Mexico apparently with U.S. government approval and collusion and with disastrous results, should be enough to stop the Arms Trade Treaty. This could be a pivotal 2012 election issue; help make it one.

Contact your Senators, remind them that our hard won and vigilantly preserved constitutional protections should never be interpreted or submitted to the whims or the planned agenda of any global organization, much less the useless and untrustworthy UN. And get them to sign on to Senator Jerry Moran’s (R-Kansas) letter to President Obama that so aptly opposes the treaty: “We agree that sales and transfers to criminals and terrorists are unacceptable, but we will oppose any treaty that places the burden of controlling crime and terrorism on law-abiding Americans, instead of where it belongs: on the culpable member states of the United Nations who have failed to take the necessary steps to block trafficking that is already illegal under existing laws and agreements.”


Your friends at The John Birch Society

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