Lawmakers blast U.N. gun control pact and U.S. participation
Law Enforcement Examiner
July 3, 2012
Concerned with the Obama administration’s alleged goal of controlling firearms (Fast & Furious reminder?) owned by American civilians coupled with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s support of international law, more than 125 members of the U.S. House of Representatives took pre-emptive action yesterday.
The lawmakers composed an official letter and sent it to President Barack Obama on Monday. The letter details their strong opposition to the United States being a signatory of the United Nations’ proposed arms trade treaty stating that they believe it imposes restrictions on American citizens’ Second Amendment gun rights as well as U.S. sovereignty.
“While many within the Obama White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill deny it would impact on Americans’ gun ownership rights, the fact is there far too many U.S. judges — including some on the U.S. Supreme Court — who believe in imposing international law into their court decisions especially on matters involving the U.S. Constitution,” said political strategist and attorney Michael S. Baker.
Baker points to Associate Justice Ruth Ginsberg suggesting that Egyptians model their constitution after South Africa’s instead of the U.S. Constitution.
“I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012,” Justice Ginsburg said in an interview aired on the Arab-language broadcast network Al-Hayat TV last January.
“I might look at the constitution of South Africa,” she said. “That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary.”
“Of course, few American news organizations covered this astounding revelation, but that’s par for the course since anyone with half-a-brain knows such a statement would outrage a large segment of the U.S. population,” said Baker.
This week, a United Nations legal team is expected to put the finishing touches on its treaty which would regulate international standards for importing and exporting conventional firearms. Proponents claim the treaty would bring much of the rest of the world in line with uniform standards without affecting domestic sales, but groups representing American gun owners remain skeptical.
“Hey, the Obama administration kept telling Americans there were no taxes involved in Obamacare and voila the Supreme Court declares it is a tax after the Obama Solicitor General argued it was a tax,” quipped police lieutenant Geoffrey Mulhearn, himself an NRA member.
“The UN’s actions to date indicate that the ATT [United Nations Arms Trade Treaty] is likely to pose significant threats to our national security, foreign policy, and economic interests as well as our constitutional rights,” reads the letter, which was authored by Rep. Mike Kelly(R-Pa.).
“The U.S. must establish firm red lines for the ATT and state unequivocally that it will oppose the ATT if it infringes on our rights or threatens our ability to defend our interests.”
Specifically, the lawmakers’ letter demands that the U.N. treaty exclude small arms and ammunition and recognize an individual right to personal self-defense. The U.S. government already enforces laws regarding weapons sales to foreign nations and regularly prosecutes those who fail to comply with certain sanctions.
“We are a sovereign nation perfectly capable of policing ourselves. We don’t need proponents of a ‘New World Order’ or internationalism to help us. If anything, we’re busy policing the wrong people and wrong organizations,” said former NYPD detective Sid Franes.
Those in favor of the treaty that small arms are responsible for most civilian deaths in conflicts around the world, and should be covered along with ammunition for the treaty to be of use.
But gun enthusiasts believe their distrust of the current White House is warranted in light of allegations that the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal was part of the Obama administration’s gun control agenda.
The National Rifle Association is at the forefront of the opposition to the U.N. treaty.
“Any international Arms Trade Treaty that in any way, shape or form affects the constitutional rights of American gun owners is unacceptable,” Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.
“International organizations and foreign governments do not have the right to restrict the fundamental freedoms handed down to us from our Founding Fathers,” he added.
Obama Could Bypass the Senate to Ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 06:35Written by Bob Adelmannhttp://lightfromtheright.com/?p=22515″>
A week ago both Mississippi Republican senators, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, announced their support of S.B. 2205—the Second Amendment Sovereignty Act of 2012—that would allegedly protect American citizens from any abrogation of their Second Amendment rights if the UN Arms Trade Treaty was signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in July. That makes a total of 17 senators who are supporting the bill.
The bill, identical to one offered in the House, would “prohibit funding to negotiate a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty that restricts the Second Amendment rights of United States citizens.” The bill notes the threat being imposed by the Obama Department of State and its secretary, Hillary Clinton:
Congress makes the following findings:
In October 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the United States support and participation in negotiating the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, to be finalized in 2012, signaling a shift in United States policy.
An Arms Trade Treaty that regulates the domestic manufacture, possession, or purchase of civilian firearms and ammunition would infringe on the rights of United States citizens protected under the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
It is the sense of Congress that the sovereignty of the United States and the constitutionally protected freedoms of American gun owners must be upheld and not be undermined by the Arms Trade Treaty.
No funds may be obligated or expended to use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States, in connection with negotiations for a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, to restrict in any way the rights of United States citizens under the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, or to otherwise regulate domestic manufacture, assembly, possession, use, transfer, or purchase of firearms, ammunition, or related items, including small arms, light weapons, or related materials.
Senator Cochran said, “This legislation sends the Obama administration a very clear signal that it must be vigilant about protecting those rights,” while Senator Wicker noted, “The Arms Trade Treaty must not be used as a backdoor approach for limiting the lawful right to bear arms.” In responding to one of his constituent’s concerns about the UN treaty to be finalized in July, Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) added: “I would never support any international agreement that would undermine the Second Amendment rights of American citizens in any way…. As a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations [to which the bill was referred], I will continue to explore ways to reduce international violence without making the United States party to any agreement that would undermine our own Constitution.”
Unfortunately, these senators may have little say in the matter, due to a constitutional loophole discovered and explored in detail by scholars Joseph Bruce Alonso and David Kopel. In his treatise, Alonso points out that conflicts between international law and the U.S. Constitution are likely to be resolved in favor of international law, even if the Senate fails to ratify the UN treaty, while Kopel noted in his study that
The United Nations…[has] declared that there is no human right to self-defense or to the possession of defensive arms. The UN…further declare[s] that insufficiently restrictive firearms laws are themselves a human rights violation, so all governments must sharply restrict citizen firearms possession…
The anti-self-defense and anti-firearms ownership mandates from the United Nations are unlikely to be directly adopted as law by Congress or by state legislatures in the United States. Nevertheless, there are a variety of ways…in which purported international law mandates can be imposed on American citizens without legislative consent. [Emphasis added.]
It is likely that most advocates and supporters of the Second Amendment know that unless a treaty is ratified by two-thirds of the Senate, it fails to have any legal effect on American citizens. This confidence comes from Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, to wit:
He [the President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur…
According to Alonso that is a thin reed upon which to rely. In his study he remarks, “The ways in which the rights of private United States gun owners could be infringed are endless.” For example,
The first way is the possibility that the President of the United States signs [a treaty]…. Signature by a United States President would indicate to the international community that the United States intends to abide by the gun control laws, with or without ratification by the Senate. [Emphasis added.]
A second way these gun control laws could affect United States parties is in the event that gun control becomes a customary international law. Even if the United States did not sign on to [a] treaty, if the United States began to abide by [it], the United States may, in effect, be consenting to [that treaty] becoming customary international law. In the eyes of an international court, the United States, by following the treat[y], is consenting to be bound by the treaties in the future.
Kopel agrees that a mere signature by the president would be sufficient to enact such a treaty, regardless of opposition by Congress. Kopel explains: “The United States Supreme Court has cited unratified treaties…as guidance for interpreting United States constitutional provisions.”
What’s especially frightening is the current president’s propensity to sign, arbitrarily and unilaterally, numerous Executive Orders (EOs) to put in place his policies without the necessity of consulting Congress. To date he has issued 128 EOs, the latest concerning deportation of children of illegal immigrants residing in the United States.
Faced with the increasing likelihood that Obama won’t have a second term to complete his agenda to turn the country into a European socialist society, complete with gun control laws, what would keep him from issuing an EO approving the UN Arms Trade Treaty in July?
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