UN Arms Trade Treaty Lives

 

The following article by Alan Korwin (a.k.a., the Uninvited Ombudsman) is republished here with the author’s permission. Click here for more info on Alan’s advocacy.

The lamestream media told you that the UN Arms Trade Treaty ended in failure, as the parties could not reach agreement before their self-imposed deadline. A dull sentiment of remorse fell over the conference as high hopes for an agreement ended dashed. Both Hillary and Barack withdrew their support in the eleventh hour when it became apparent the agreement would not be finalized. The Huffington Post blamed the Obama administration for the failure, and also the NRA which it said spread “lies”; USA Today blamed it on the U.S., Russia and China, who asked for more time to review the draft. The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that . . .

The first draft of the current effort at a UN Arms Trade Treaty was a smashing success after nearly six years of effort and a solid month of direct negotiations in New York at UN headquarters. It yielded a draft proposal with many of the most difficult terms and conditions hammered out in grueling sessions with all major parties and 170 nations represented.

This is how a treaty like this gets enacted. In fits and starts. Ideas come together over a period of years, and are gathered in drafts and proposals like this one. We can now see how everyone is thinking — and it is not in defense of our rights. Ostensibly, the treaty is about international arms trade, but functionally, it attempts to regulate arms from top to bottom.

No one who really understands the situation seriously expected a final document to come out of these first round negotiations. Media reports however did carefully lead the uninformed public into holding out false hope for such a result, leading to a widespread sense of failure. This will help boost public support when the next effort seems to magically spring forth.

Failure was not the case however, as the positions staked out by the pro-rights and anti-rights factions became well known, and the main actors left understanding clearly where the next round of negotiations would have to go to reach an executable document.

The U.S State Dept. issued a statement with spokespersonwoman Vic Nuland’s name on it that said the U.S. supports a second round of negotiations next year. “While we sought to conclude the month’s negotiations with a treaty, more time is a reasonable request for such a complex and critical issue,” the statement said,” according to USA Today.

The British foreign secretary, a man, William Hague, according to the British “news” service The Guardian, said, “We have made huge progress. The chair’s draft treaty has our full support as well as that of the great majority of other states. But to be fully effective, the treaty will need very broad – ideally universal – participation. It is clear that more time is needed to reach the widest possible agreement.”

I usually tear these legal documents apart, and report on their content step-by-step, in plain English. That’s what my company does with gun laws. That’s how you find out what your gun laws are locally. That’s how we support this work, and spread the word on new laws, tactics, gun-rights struggles, and a lot of other cool stuff, take a look, go ahead, I’ll wait.

I’ve read the thing cover to cover and outlined it in a general way below, since it wasn’t formally adopted. So much of the content is loose and broadly interpretable in unexpected ways that the document must be dead on arrival. If they even dreamed of enacting such sweeping language without controls, the grant of power to do virtually anything regarding guns would be absolutely dictatorial. They can’t possibly intend to do that, can they?

The potential for harm to the health and sovereignty of our nation (or any nation) is so great, no freedom-oriented American could support it. But that is the draft they came up with. I linked to a copy at the end of the analysis.

All that’s left is to hold Mr. Obama, Hillary and others responsible for supporting it in the first place. Their loudly announced backing for the treaty shows their true (often hidden) colors, and their repeated tale that it would not impact gun owners, is exposed as a lie. They will erase the Second Amendment if they can, and lie about it while they’re acting.

The Guardian opined that, “This leaves the door open for further talks and a draft arms trade treaty could be brought to the 193-nation United Nations general assembly and adopted with a two-thirds majority vote. Diplomats said there could be a vote by the end of the year.” The Uninvited Ombudsman suspects that will hinge largely on the results of the U.S. elections in November.

Key Elements of the Draft Treaty

1. The treaty makes it clear that it recognizes, and that nothing in the treaty can interfere with, a nation’s right to self defense. This is one of the most dangerous aspects of the entire deal, because it refuses to recognize any element of personal self defense. Like the UN’s so-called charter of human rights, the international body has no place in its framework for people defending themselves.

Given that governments are the main perpetrators of violence in the world, this is a travesty beyond measure, but the 170 nations involved are all comfortable with the plan. The nation can defend itself, but you cannot. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

2. The whole focus of the draft is to control arms for what it calls authorized and unauthorized users and also end users, which it does not define or attempt to define. This is literally carte blanche to justify any law making a nation could want for gun control. And the treaty is not written like law — it leaves almost everything up to the nation-states who agree to cooperate.

What are the chances that people at mortal peril from their own “authorities” will be authorized users of arms, especially in nations where they have no right to arms in the first place? Some of the greatest abusers of human rights sit on the human rights council of the UN, so hope for an equitable outcome here are hopelessly remote. Because you have no vote, no elected representatives and no voice at the UN, chances for change to anything adopted here are zero.

3. Part of the plan is to track all arms, ammunition and parts from manufacture to disposal, through a regulatory system which is undefined. A special UN agency (the “Implementation Support Unit” with a budget, staff, reporting, etc.) will be created to do this, pulling the entire gun industry globally under its watch. Sweet, huh? It would be voluntary to start of course, because they recognize no one would cooperate otherwise (and probably won’t then either, but that’s how you get the camel’s nose under the tent, and start building a bureaucracy).

This could eventually make possession of even small amounts of ammunition subject to burdensome government regulation beyond anything the worst gun-rights haters in Congress even dream about. The next treaty draft, now being dreamed up in deep dark corners of UN imaginations, will take this further.

4. There is not a single word designed to protect personal gun ownership, any individual rights, promote or encourage proper firearm use, provide accountability for governments that abuse people’s rights, or authorize people’s use of arms against governments that use arms to commit armed atrocities against their own people, although none of that is a purpose of this treaty. Typical of the UN this is about empowering government, and has virtually nothing to do with empowering the people or balancing power. That’s their way.

5. The treaty in its preamble does recognize “lawful private ownership and use of conventional arms” for “recreational, cultural, historical and sporting activities for States where such ownership and use are permitted or protected by law.” It does not include crime prevention, personal defense or resistance to tyranny (though it does say ‘among other things’, in Latin). Early talk that it would only include military weapons was false, “small arms and light weapons” are part of the package, and nations must maintain and publish a list of all such goods.

6. This is the really scary part — the way they’re thinking. Article 6 — they do make noise that it only pertains to international action, but there are holes you could drive a supply train through:

Each State Party shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures necessary to implement the provisions of this Treaty and designate competent national authorities in order to have an effective, transparent and predictable national control system regulating the transfer of conventional arms.

That’s what the “news” media means when they say the treaty is dead. Click here to read it. And watch this space.

comments

  1. avatar cigr says:

    I’m not taking any article seriously that uses the phrase “lamestream media”. This whole thing just reads like a ridiculous smear piece with no facts to back it up. I don’t see one link here to a credible source that the treaty is moving forward.

    We shouldn’t trust any politician to guard our rights, regardless of what letter they have behind their name. At the same time, the UN treaty is nothing more than a windmill for us to joust.

    1. avatar Merits says:

      Your litmus test for serious articles is causing you to miss a lot of valuable information.

  2. avatar Accur81 says:

    I never thought that the UN Arms Treaty would benefit 2A freedoms in any manner whatsoever – in fact the spirit of the idea is to create a massive government bureaucracy to ostensibly make the world a safer place. The reality is that it is a backdoor gun control measure of epic proportions. Currently there is no way to institute large scale gun control throughout the US without a UN Treaty. Which Obama and Clinton would wholeheartedly support.

    Keep posting articles that Obama is for big government and gun control – hopefully more people will eventually get it.

  3. avatar Aaron says:

    Doesn’t the Senate have to approve treaties first? So really the UN can have all the paper they want, but if it isn’t ratified by the Senate, the US won’t be a signatory partner to this.

    1. avatar Just Another Matt says:

      You really want to trust those buffoons to safeguard our rights? And Obama or some future president may try an “executive”order to enforce the restrictions regardless of what Senate does.

    2. avatar Ralph says:

      Aaron, not really. For a treaty to be adopted, the Senate must affirm. However, the feds can follow any treaty they want in any way they want — which is why the US military isn’t allowed to use hollow point ammo.

      The Hague Convention only outlawed the use of hollow point ammo in wars between signatories. The feds have expanded the ban to almost all situations, even those that do not involve signatories. This is the kind of treaty creep that we are concerned with.

      Moreover, certain policies, established by treaties that were not approved by the Senate, can become integral parts of International Law — and once again, we’re stuck with them.

      Under the radar indeed.

  4. avatar Mark says:

    Someone needs to cut the barrel knot off that sculpture and turn it into into a seemingly functional snubby.

    1. avatar Mr. Lion says:

      I’ve thought about doing that on many occasions. Unfortunately, a cutting torch is too slow, nobody makes a plasma cutter that big, and a powerful enough laser would cut the highrise across the road in half.

      Mmm.. maybe a shaped charge..

      1. avatar IdahoPete says:

        3 wraps of det cord? then a quick front sight weld job?

  5. avatar إبليس says:

    Does anyone else find the revolver symbolic? Think about it. It’s not an Evil Black Rifle or Kalashnikov. Not a belt fed machine gun, artillery piece, or really anything used in modern warfare. It’s a revolver. A common and easy to use defensive tool for average Joes. Now why oh why would the UN want to send that message ? 😉

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      #1

      Interesting how the UN anti-gun message is a gun used primarily by civilians and not the world’s armies. It would be kinda insulting (and funny) to UN member governments to have a statue of an AK47 and an AR being melted down, or as you stated larger weapons of war. The message I get from it is that citizens worldwide are owned serfs of the countries they live in and that we should not own personal weapons to defend ourselves with. It is almost always the rulers who start wars and the masses of common citizens who fight and suffer in them.

  6. avatar Ike says:

    Such a treaty can be signed by a representative of the U.S. and still be binding until ratified by the Senate (then absolutely binding), or formally repudiated by the Senate or the current President. Such a treaty could be signed by a representative of the United States and never be submitted to the Senate.

    There is a “Vienna convention”. It is a binding treaty we signed (The Treaty of Treaties) that would obligate us to enforce any new treaty that the President (or his agent) has signed but that the Senate has NOT rejected. In this scenario, if Obama (or Hillary) signs the treaty and Harry Reid does not bring it up for a vote, then it is de facto in effect until either the senate formally votes to not ratify or the new president renounces Obama’s signature. It is conceivable that Obama could be reelected and Republicans may not win back the Senate. In that case, senators do not have to vote to ratify or not ratify and given Reid’s past history, he would let it fester in committee for four years (or at least two) while the treaty could legally (according to international law) be enforced by the UN.

    Even with a treaty, the UN doesn’t have the direct authority to regulate sale/transfer of firearms within the United States, However, it’s anticipated the UN will include their “International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons”. (Google it) This instrument requires countries to be able to trace all small arms, which indirectly allows the UN to interfere with U.S. internal policy – which would require either full registration or full recording (and retention) of all firearm sales (de facto registration).

    The treaty could not ban firearms within the United States, but ATF enforcement of the “Tracing Instrument” could result in much greater difficulty transferring firearms within the United States.

    1. avatar The Stig says:

      “while the treaty could legally (according to international law) be enforced by the UN.”

      See Art. II, Sec. 2, Cl. 2. International law is meaningless in this context. They can claim it does anything they like, but that doesn’t make it true. If the executive branch tried to enforce it, and it was challenged, courts would strike it down. Realistically, that may take a couple of years as it winds its way up the courts however.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        If the executive branch tried to enforce it, and it was challenged, courts would strike it down.

        Negative. The President has plenary power in the area of foreign affairs. Read the Curtis-Wright decision from 1936. “The broad statement that the Federal Government can exercise no powers except those specifically enumerated in the Constitution, and such implied powers as are necessary and proper to carry into effect the enumerated powers, is categorically true only in respect of our internal affairs.” The courts would certainly uphold, and the president would find political cover in the treaty.

  7. avatar bontai Joe says:

    I never for a moment thought it was going away. Crap like this treaty hangs around just like the odor of a dead skunk.

  8. avatar Silver says:

    The fact that the American people even tolerate such an evil conglomerate of fascists and petty despots on our soil is appalling, much less tolerate us being a part of it.

    “The potential for harm to the health and sovereignty of our nation (or any nation) is so great, no freedom-oriented American could support it.”

    Indeed, but how many Americans are left who fit that profile? That sentence could be applied to Obama too, but look who’s in office and who will most likely be for another four years. Bluntly, the American people can’t be trusted with responsibility for what remains of their own freedoms. It’s unfortunate, but as I reflected on 9/11 recently and what’s changed since then, the biggest one for me is that I’ve gained utter disdain for my fellow countrymen and their stupidity and moral weakness. And it won’t stop here.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      Great post Silver. I feel the same.

      “Bluntly, the American people can’t be trusted with responsibility for what remains of their own freedoms.”
      “I’ve gained utter disdain for my fellow countrymen and their stupidity and moral weakness. And it won’t stop here.”

      There is still a core group of great people who hold onto and practice good honorable values and ethical principles yet it is a minority. It’s really friggin sad and disconcerting how close we are to the edge of the edge of the cliff.

  9. avatar jwm says:

    Barry and crowd have to go. Or the rights that we’ve worked so hard for are going to go. It’s really that simple.

    1. avatar JustSayin says:

      Anybody else notice Barry’s dig .. “Romney like to shoot first & aim later” smear comment recently .. ?

      1. avatar din says:

        yeah, I noticed how painfully apt it was.

  10. avatar Sanchanim says:

    Let me put it this way.
    First off the Small Arms Treaty is not dead. If it is adopted by the US how it affects us remains to be seen, but none the less it would be in conflict with 2A.
    As an example. Right now there is the UNCRC. It is about child’s rights etc. It sounds innocuous enough, but consider this.
    Do you want the UN to tell you what you can and can not do as a parent? Perhaps it changes and put the welfare of your child into a court system that on the back end is being run by the UN.
    It has to do with sovereignty, plain and simple. The UN has no right to tell the US what it can or can not do, but the current administration seems hell bent on giving the UN that power.
    If we sign on to more and more treaties then we are diluting our own power to govern ourselves. That folks will be Tyranny!
    Do you want a country run by Mahmoud Ahmedinajad to have a vote in how we run our lives? I thought not..

  11. avatar Wes says:

    Back in July, Robert Farago said, “the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is not a threat to U.S. citizens’ right to keep and bear arms,” and “Stand down, people.”
    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/07/robert-farago/u-n-arms-trade-treaty-still-not-a-u-s-gun-grab/

    Is that still the current opinion?

  12. Why do other countries care about the rights of U.S. citizens to keep and bear arms? What is in it for them? Is there financial benefit to them in any way?

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