The UN Arms Treaty seeks to regulate the $70 billion dollar global conventional arms trade. Within hours of President Obama's re-election, the United States "backed a UN committee's call on Wednesday to renew debate." President Obama actually reversed the US policy in 2009 to support such a treaty.
Reuters reports that some United Nations delegates and gun control activists have been critical of Obama, saying that after talks "collapsed" in July, the White House was not pursuing further talks at the time because "the Republicans and Mitt Romney" would "attack" Obama. The White House denies the charge, of course.
The United States would be impacted the most from the new international regulations, as it is "the world's biggest arms trader" accounting for more than forty percent of "global conventional arms transfers". Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International, said the "creates a global background check to prevent countries and arms exporters from selling guns and military hardware to ... human rights abusers," as reported by the Huffington Post.
The controversial arms treaty was criticized by former Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, who said that gun control advocates "hope to use restrictions on international gun sales to control gun sales at home." Mr. Bolton was not the only one who was concerned. U.S. Senator Jerry Moran and fifty other Senators sent President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (who pledged to push for Senate ratification), a letter expressing their concerns about the treaty, and declared that they would "oppose ratification of an Arms Trade Treaty that in any way restricts the rights of law-abiding American gun owners". All concerns have been dismissed by proponents of the UN Arms Treaty, although the final draft is still not written.
Whenever there is a high-profile shooting, there seems to be a corresponding call for various gun-control legislation to be imposed. Legislation or administrative changes are often incremental by nature (with many issues, not only gun control), but lead to larger and more oppressive laws down the road.
One example of an administrative "tweek" is a little known change to Form 4473, which must be completed in order to purchase a firearm. The change was implemented by the ATF in April by order of Attorney General Eric Holder's Department of Justice, and removes the requirement for "aliens" to provide proof of residence, a requirement that is still in place for American citizens.
The stated reason for this change was that they are worried that the States will impose "more stringent residency requirements on aliens than those of citizens." The requirement seems to be discriminatory toward American citizens, as well as the rights of the states.
Eric Holder once said that "we need to brainwash people into thinking about guns in vastly different way," which is an excellent illustration of where the Attorney General stands on Gun Control.
Watch Attorney General Eric Holder make the statement here:
These types of changes require no legislation or congressional approval and are not subject to the "checks and balances" of being implemented via a vote from elected representatives. Got that? The "transient aliens" now have an easier time acquiring firearms than American citizens.
Would the Arms Treaty Work?
If the intent of a new international regulatory body is to somehow control illicit arms from getting into the hands of militia groups, etc., one wonders how such a treaty, however well intentioned, could possibly be effective. After all, just like in the United States, the "bad guys" do not typically come by their weapons legally. Likewise, one would have to consider that terrorist organizations and militias would not be signing on to respect any treaty imposed by the United Nations. Additionally, who would oversee the efforts?
There is oftentimes a visceral response from both Second Amendment Rights Supporters and gun control activists with any mention of changes to the law. Hopefully, any such treaty would not be just a symbolic gesture; but would be effective. This author cannot possibly fathom any "treaty" that would be effective in keeping weapons from well-funded and highly motivated terrorists that want them.
Photo Source (President Obama/E. Holder): ABC News
Photo Source (H. Clinton/E. Holder): REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst via Townhall