In July 2012 representatives from governments around the world gathered at the UN in New York to try and hammer out a binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Like many leftist causes, the official reasons behind the treaty sound noble. There is nothing wrong with wanting to control terrorist access to weapons and preventing mass atrocities, but not allowing individuals the right to purchase and own weapons would put them at the mercy of whatever totalitarian regime might seek to enslave them.
The U.S. was founded on the principle that every person has the right to bear arms, not only to use against intruders and criminals but also an overbearing government. Who knows how long liberty will endure if we were to give up our fundamental freedom to protect ourselves. The fact that Americans are armed to the teeth must surely give pause to any would be dictator.
Many conservatives have interpreted the ATT as a backdoor method to ripping up the Second Amendment. Rand Paul has called it an “outright assault on our national sovereignty” which would set “the stage for full-scale gun confiscation.” While Obama is certainly no gun rights supporter, it is doubtful that even he is cynical enough to believe he could get away with shredding the Second Amendment. The State Department has already said that any final treaty must contain provisions that would allow individual governments to determine their own internal gun laws, not that we need any permission from the UN to do so, and that only the sales of weapons across international borders would be affected.
While a final agreement likely won’t affect the right for Americans to bear arms, it will prevent the same fundamental freedom from being shared by just about everyone else in the world where strong gun lobbies don’t exist. It means that people fighting for their lives in East Africa will be without arms while genocidal governments like Sudan will get all the weapons they need. As explained by The Heritage Foundation, the real threat to international peace isn’t the freedom to bear arms, but the “authoritarian U.N. member states and the terrorist organizations with which they cooperate.”
It is the height of hypocrisy for Obama to say the UN could be an impartial arbiter of the international arms marketplace. In 2003 Libya was elected chair of the Human Rights Commission and until recently Syrian mass murderer Bashar al-Assad was known as a “champion of the people”. Even the U.S. is not particularly choosey about whom we arm. Under Obama’s leadership we have been setting whole new records when it comes to selling weapons to totalitarian regimes including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.
Like most things socialist, the ATT has little to do with stopping the flow of arms and everything to do with handing over power to a one world government. Thankfully the U.S. Senate agreed when this past summer 51 Senators sent a letter to Obama stating their opposition to the treaty. Considering that it would take two thirds majority in the Senate to ratify any international agreement, the ATT is on hold for the moment but with Obama in office, who knows for how long?