Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thoughts on the UN small-arms treaty

Efforts have been underway to establish a small-arms treaty since 2003. The Bush II administration consistently opposed the treaty. The Obama administration has been participated in treaty negotiations, hoping to get it adopted. The treaty, if adopted, would severely restrict international trade of small arms (handguns, rifles, shotguns, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, etc). The supposed goal is to keep arms out of the hands of terrorists and citizens who would overthrow their governments. It would not be binding on the US unless ratified by the US Senate. (Warning: The US complies with several treaties that have been rejected by the Senate.)

The treaty allegedly would not affect the current ability to buy the types of guns we can already buy today. However, since the international trade in arms would be severely restricted, Americans probably wouldn't be able to buy foreign-made guns such as the popular Springfield XD, Berrettas, Glocks, Sakos, and many more. I suspect that anticipation of the treaty is why some foreign manufacturers (eg FNH, Walther) now have factories in the US so they can continue to sell at least a few models to Americans if the treaty passes.

The most recent UN talks on a global small-arms treaty collapsed in July, 2012 allegedly because they couldn't get a consensus. The failure to reach consensus most likely resulted from several US senators telling Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama that they would not vote to ratify the treaty. This treaty is dead -- for this year.

Obama's overall record shows he is clearly against individual gun rights. Perhaps his most favorable statement was, "As a general principle, I believe that the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms. But just because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can’t constrain the exercise of that right, in the same way that we have a right to private property but local governments can establish zoning ordinances that determine how you can use it." He doesn't seem to understand or accept the clause, "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Regardless of whether the UN Small Arms Treaty is ever adopted, Obama troubles me only a little. Stupid voters (those who vote based on political party, bigotry (religion, skin color, sexual orientation [Christians, racial minorities, and homosexuals are often bigots too]), selfishness (redistribution of the producers' earnings to the moocher class), increase in government power, and/or emotion) concern me much more -- they are the greatest threat to our liberty.

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