“All countries of the world are coming together in New York to negotiate what is seen as the most important initiative ever regarding conventional arms regulation within the United Nations,” according to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). They’re working on a new treaty throughout the month that will provide a framework for regulating, controlling, registering, and tracking all conventional small firearms in the world. If signed by our president, it could be the most direct and overt effort to annul the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; for treaties take supremacy over the Constitution, per Article VI.
In 2006, the UN passed a resolution, “Towards an Arms Trade Treaty,” with a stated objective of establishing “common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms.” The rationale was that terrorism and gang violence could be thwarted by establishing international standards regulating small-arms proliferation.
The Bush administration did not support the 2006 resolution, maintaining that each nation is best in a position to monitor and regulate arms sales rather than a one-size-fits-all approach assumed by the UN. But in 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated that the U.S. was no longer opposed to such an arms treaty, and in 2010, President Obama reversed the Bush administration objection to the earlier version.
Timing of this incarnation of a small arms treaty has been accelerated by the UN in hopes it can be signed by our current president and ratified by the Senate before the November election, which could significantly alter the outlook for U.S. participation.
The UNODA has published a document titled “Disarmament: A Basic Guide”, which lays out for the public the concerns regarding small arms. On page 68, we read: “Counting such weapons is difficult, as the majority are owned by civilians. The trade in small arms is not well regulated and is the least transparent of all weapons systems. Due to the lack of regulation and controls, in many countries it is too easy for small arms to slip from the legal into the illicit market—through theft, leakage, corruption or pilferage.” On the next page, we read: “Ammunition should be a key part of any discussion on small arms control.”
The UN clearly intends to address legal gun ownership within member states along with the trade of small arms. One of their many research and statement pieces on the UNODA website states unequivocally that arms have been “…misused by lawful owners and recommends that arms trade therefore be regulated in ways that would … minimize the misuse of legally owned weapons.”
Former UN ambassador John Bolton has affirmed this intent and indicates that the UN “is trying to act as though this is really just a treaty about international arms trade between nation states, but there is no doubt that the real agenda here is domestic firearms control.”
While it’s uncertain what exact terms and provisions will be included in the new Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the archive of documents on the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs website provide ample indications. From their own documents, it’s clear that they want to accomplish the following, as published by Forbes Online last week:
1. Enact tougher licensing requirements, creating additional bureaucratic red tape for legal firearms ownership. 2. Confiscate and destroy all “unauthorized” civilian firearms. 3. Ban the trade, sale and private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons. 4. Create an international gun registry, clearly setting the stage for full-scale gun confiscation. 5. Control distribution and availability of ammunition for small arms.
The outcome, if adopted by the UN General Assembly and ratified by the U.S., would result in “overriding our national sovereignty, and in the process, provide license for the federal government to assert preemptive powers over state regulatory powers guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment in addition to our Second Amendment rights,” according to Forbes.
Not only has the White House indicated support for the ATT; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has vowed to push it through the Senate for ratification. Until now, the administration’s attempts to diminish 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms have been under the radar, except when botched, as in the Fast and Furious gun walking incident which can only be logically explained away as an effort to create a crisis that they would capitalize on to this end.
We’ve seen all too many times how the Obama administration bypasses Congress and implements its agenda through executive orders. Don’t be surprised if the White House attempts to circumvent the Senate’s ratification of the treaty altogether and declares the ATT “in effect” by Executive Order. After all, constitutional limitations on government, and our constitutional rights, are only valid if honored and upheld, something this administration fails at when it conflicts with their agenda.
AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo credit: Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL) (Creative Commons)