United Nations

U.N. Gun Treaty Not Looking as Restrictive as Anti-Gun Advocates Want, Maybe After the Election?

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because only the state can be trusted with force, and no one at the u.n. knows any history
United Nations

The United Nations has been working on a new small arms treaty this month and now a draft text is emerging. And though the president shows a misunderstanding of the second amendment and doesn't appear much of a gun rights defender to anyone, in the negotiations for the treaty, it was the United States throwing blankets on the wet dreams of international gun control advocates.

Anti-gun advocates at the conference, for example, wanted to target bullets. From IPS:

"At the moment, the treaty is covering some weapons but not bullets, which are literally the fuel of conflict," [Oxfam's head of global arms control Anna] McDonald said… "It doesn't make sense," McDonald told IPS. "The U.S. is the government that's holding out the strongest against the inclusion of ammunition, but it actually regulates its own ammunition exports."

U.S. negotiators say such regulations would be too burdensome. So not pro-gun, but anti-regulation is close to a first too.  Anti-gun advocates are hopeful though that things will get better for them if Obama gets re-elected:

"Sadly for the millions of lives at risk elsewhere in the world, U.S. politics in an election year prevents the Obama administration from taking a bold stand to champion its own model laws," Kathi Austin, executive director of the Conflict Awareness Project and former U.N. arms investigator, told IPS.

"President Obama is a crucial decision maker and the U.S. could stand up firm in terms of ensuring that these loopholes are closed in the final day of negotiations," Hughes added.

The treaty's unlikely to be finalized before the election. President Bush refused to include the United States in negotiations on the treaty, effectively scuttling them, but presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney hasn't stated a position on the issue. Were the president to sign the treaty, it would still need to pass with sixty seven votes in the Senate. Fifty one Senators have announced they'll oppose the treaty if it infringes on the right to bear arms, though given their Constitutional oaths maybe it should have been more? If the Senate does ratify the treaty and it includes an end-run on the Second Amendment, there's always, maybe, the Supreme Court, which in the 1957 case Reid v. Covert ruled that "no agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or on any other branch of Government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution," which is at least as good as a parchment guarantee.

The United Nations does not (pdf) consider self-defense a human right, but does consider severe restrictions on gun ownership a human right, because the United Nations does not understand what a right is. The U.S. has always been the largest financer of the U.N. (a World War 2 brain child of FDR and Winston Churchill) and U.S. spending on the U.N. hit an all time high in 2012.

More Reason on gun rights and the United Nations