House reps to Obama: About that UN arms trade treaty? Just say no.
posted at 3:01 pm on November 19, 2012 by Erika Johnsen
The oh-so-enlightened, globalism-endorsing United Nations has been pushing for more powers to regulate the international weapons-trade scene for ages now, and more specifically, has been pushing for the United States to get on board with a proposed Arms Trade Treaty for months now. After the U.N. negotiations last summer, the U.S. put the issue on the back-burner — the treaty (rightly) became the target of vociferous criticism from America’s pro-gun groups, and even perceived support for such things simply won’t do in an election season. But, now that the election is over, certain parties are trying to bring the treaty back to the bargaining table, via Reuters:
Hours after U.S. President Barack Obama was re-elected, the United States backed a U.N. committee’s call on Wednesday to renew debate over a draft international treaty to regulate the $70 billion global conventional arms trade.
U.N. delegates and gun control activists have complained that talks collapsed in July largely because Obama feared attacks from Republican rival Mitt Romney if his administration was seen as supporting the pact, a charge Washington denies.
The month-long talks at U.N. headquarters broke off after the United States – along with Russia and other major arms producers – said it had problems with the draft treaty and asked for more time.
But the U.N. General Assembly’s disarmament committee moved quickly after Obama’s win to approve a resolution calling for a new round of talks March 18-28. It passed with 157 votes in favor, none against and 18 abstentions.
A bipartisan group of almost eighty House representatives are not pleased with the idea of the United Nations gaining authority to stick its nose into the gun trade in rule-of-law-abidin’ bastions of tail-kicking freedom like the United States, and have introduced a resolution that calls on President Obama to decline on signing the Arms trade Treaty (ATT), via The Hill:
“There is considerable cause for alarm regarding the UN’s renewed efforts to forge an Arms Trade Treaty that could trample the constitutional rights of Americans, and could seriously compromise our national security and the security of our allies, whom we will be less able to arm and less quick to defend due to the restrictions placed on us by the ATT,” Kelly said Friday. “My colleagues and I stand committed to fighting this threat to our sovereignty and to standing up for the U.S. Constitution, which we are all sworn to support and defend.” …
The five-page resolution, H.Res. 814, says the treaty would threaten the rights of U.S. gun owners, and rejects the idea that conventional arms trade needs to be regulated equally in the United States and other countries. The resolution says the treaty “places free democracies and totalitarian regimes on a basis of equality, recognizing their equal right to transfer arms, and is thereby dangerous to the security of the United States.”
It says further the treaty could have other consequences, including limiting the right of the United States to offer aid to Taiwan or Israel. And, it argues that the ATT could hurt the U.S. defense manufacturing base, and require costly implementation assistance to other signatory nations.
It’s not exactly a secret that the United Nations is a forum that tends to attract highly progressive, big-government advocates of the gun-control ilk, and I can’t say I’m a fan of allowing a wildly corrupted international body to take on that kind of an enterprise — especially because it’s an enterprise that will largely by paid for, by us. Thanks, but no thanks.