Previously on Who Wants to Enrage The People of the Gun, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney promised that his boss will sign the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) before the end of August. Well, here we are. And here Congress ain’t. They’re on vacation until September. Coincidence? I think not. The gun rights groups are already starting to foam at the mouth at the prospect of Obama putting his John Hancock on the document—which has a snowball’s chance in hell of passage in the Senate. Which is required for its official implementation. That said, the Administration can sign-us-up and then modify regulations and policy to abide by the ATT’s terms and conditions without Senate ratification. Click here to read the U.N.’s step-by-step guide to full and partial ratification. And while you’re at it, click here to read the Treaty. ‘Cause here’s the thing . . .
The Treaty has plenty of language aimed at assuaging the fears of American citizens worried that the UN will compromise their gun rights, as protected by their Constitution. For example, the Preamble contains these two qualifiers . . .
Reaffirming the sovereign right of any State to regulate and control conventional arms exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional system, . . .
Mindful of the legitimate trade and lawful ownership, and use of certain conventional arms for recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities, where such trade, ownership and use are permitted or protected by law, . . .
Under Principles, we get this ditty:
Non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State in accordance with Article 2 (7) of the Charter of the United Nations;
I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. The ATT’s purpose is to impose controls on the shipment of arms and ammunition to which the United States already adheres. Or at least pretends to adhere to. (Fast and Furious anyone?) End used certificates. Accounting procedures. Stuff like that.
Yes, the ATT wraps that up in a bunch of politically correct humanitarian-speak that’s inherently scary in a Big Brother sort of way. And yes, the Treaty could be abused by U.S. lawmakers to curtail your natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. But these are not the drones you’re looking for.
Blue helmeted goons from, say, Cameroon, are not going to show up at your door to confiscate your AR-15s. As New Yorker gun owners facing full implementation of the SAFE Act know, that job will fall to local, state and federal forces. Waco, Ruby Ridge, Bob Adams—these are not U.N. ops. And never will be.
But hey, I said Obama wouldn’t come for your guns. And by God, he did. So what do I know? I know that the ATT has a provision for getting out of the ATT:
Each State Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this Treaty. It shall give notification of such withdrawal to the Depositary, which shall notify all other States Parties. The notification of withdrawal may include an explanation of the reasons for its withdrawal. The notice of withdrawal shall take effect ninety days after the receipt of the notification of withdrawal by the Depositary, unless the notification of withdrawal specifies a later date.
Opposing the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is an easy sell for any and all gun rights groups. Although the ATT’s aimed specifically at international arms and ammunition trade, any possibility that it could be used against American gun rights is a possibility too many for The People of the Gun—who hate the U.N. generally. Who won’t read the treaty.
Fair enough. My position on gun control is well-established: I’m against it. Full stop. Every human on planet earth has the right to armed self-defense. The U.N. has done nothing to change the fact that millions of defenseless people are raped, beaten, tortured, denied their natural rights and murdered by agents of evil governments. The ATT will do nothing to alleviate that “problem” and, perhaps, much to increase it (by keeping weapons out of the hands of oppressed peoples).
But we must pick and choose our battles. We cannot save everyone. We must save ourselves. Our way of life. Our children’s future. And in that sense, Obama signing the ATT will help. It will help [further] raise the alarm about the serious threats to our gun rights right here at home. Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. Or think it might be going.