For the past few weeks, I have been praising the diplomatic headway made by the United States with regards to Syria and Iran. Our leaders and ambassadors, however, may have made one huge oversight with great agency from our Congress.
The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty is supported by 154 General Assembly votes in favor. Iran, Syria and North Korea are the only three countries to vote no on the resolution. The United States must ratify the treaty through the U.S. Senate. This bill will begin to regulate the $70 billion global weapons trade industry. This will cover both large artillery, such as tanks and carriers, and small artillery.
Despite the global support of the resolution, the United States Congress and lobbyist groups such as the National Rifle Association are strongly opposing the ratification. Of all the dimwitted decisions of which I have accused the U.S. Congress this year, this one might take the cake.
Dr. Theodore Bromund, a research fellow in Anglo-American Relations at the Heritage Foundation and Fox News contributor, stated in a September op-ed, “They [treaties] seek to regulate how we raise our children, how we treat the disabled, and how we manage our firearms market." I am not going to address how ridiculous it is that he put the three of these in the same category. However, I will address his lack of working knowledge on the basic definition of an international treaty.
This treaty will not change any implementation of the availability of firearms in the United States. To suggest such is not only inflammatory, but just plain stupid. This treaty will allow countries to place limited trade on countries who are at risk of using military-grade weapons for terrorist attacks or war crimes.
This treaty does not apply to guns that are considered “policing arms.” This would include long-range rifles that many Americans use for hunting and small handguns such as those used by law enforcement. Guns that do not fall into these categories are either already regulated by the United States to a more critical degree than the U.N. treaty requires or are considered heavy artillery and not available to civilians. This will only be limiting to those people in the market for tanks and warships.
World News Daily even offers a pamphlet (for just 99 cents!) that suggests United Nations soldiers might be coming to American doorsteps to collect our guns. I did not spend the few pennies to find out the thinking on this one, but I can assure you, the U.N. neither has the authority to do so under this treaty nor the interest.
It is vital for our elected representatives, as well as our citizens, to remain educated about all issues, but it is dangerous to feed into scare tactics used as a political tool by either side. News outlets portraying anything different are irresponsible. Senators or other politicians stating an opposition to this crucial bill are simply incompetent. The importance of the regulation of global weapons and disarmament cannot be stressed enough in the deterrence of war crimes. This opposition is something the United States cannot condone.
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