White House mouthpiece Jay Carney says that the Obama administration will “conduct a thorough review” of the UN’s newly enacted gun control pact “to determine whether to sign the treaty.” The suspense is hardly unbearable, given that the UN treaty would codify the proposition that national governments should have a monopoly on weapons.
The announced objective of the treaty is to regulate the sale and transfer of small arms and light weapons, a category that includes all civilian-owned firearms. According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, the treaty “will help to keep warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and their like from acquiring deadly arms.”
Well, actually, it would not. Nothing in the dense and nearly unreadable text of the 15-page treaty will prevent member states from arming terrorists and criminals. Article 2, Section 3 specifies that nothing in the treaty will “apply to the international movement of conventional arms by, or on behalf of, a State Party for its use provided that the conventional arms remain under that State Party’s ownership.”
Article 11, which deals with “Diversion” of weaponry, requires that parties to the treaty work to “mitigate the risk” that weapons would fall into the hands of criminals or terrorists, and that they “share relevant information … on effective measures to address diversion.” But nothing in the language forbids such diversions from States to “non-state actors” – a point that was made, ironically, by the Communist government of North Korea when it opposed the treaty.
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