RED ALERT: UNITED NATIONS PASSES SWEEPING INTERNATIONAL ARMS REGULATION VIEWED BY SOME AS SECOND AMENDMENT OVERRIDE
April 2, 2013 11 Comments
THE UNITED NATIONS IS GOING FOR THE GUNS!
By David Sherfinski | The Washington Times
The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday signed off on a sweeping, first-of-its-kind treaty to regulate the international arms trade, brushing aside worries from U.S. gun rights advocates that the pact could lead to a national firearms registry and disrupt the American gun market.
The long-debated U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) requires countries to regulate and control the export of weaponry such as battle tanks, combat vehicles and aircraft and attack helicopters, as well as parts and ammunition for such weapons. It also provides that signatories will not violate arms embargoes, international treaties regarding illicit trafficking, or sell weaponry to countries for genocide, crimes against humanity or other war crimes.
“It’s time the Obama Administration recognizes [the treaty] is already a non-starter, and Americans will not stand for internationalists limiting and infringing upon their Constitutional rights,” the Oklahoma Republican said. “Furthermore, this treaty could also disrupt diplomatic and national security efforts by preventing our government from assisting allies like Taiwan, South Korea or Israel when they require assistance.”
American gun rights activists, though, insist the treaty is riddled with loopholes and is unworkable in part because it includes “small arms and light weapons” in its list of weaponry subject to international regulations. They do not trust U.N. assertions that the pact is meant to regulate only cross-border trade and would have no impact on domestic U.S. laws and markets.
Critics of the treaty were heartened by the U.S. Senate’s resistance to ratifying the document, assuming President Obama sent it to the chamber for ratification. In its budget debate late last month, the Senate approved a non-binding amendment opposing the treaty offered by Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, with eight Democrats joining all 45 Republicans backing the amendment.
“The U.S. Senate is united in strong opposition to a treaty that puts us on level ground with dictatorships who abuse human rights and arm terrorists, but there is real concern that the Administration feels pressured to sign a treaty that violates our Constitutional rights,” Mr. Moran said. “Given the apparent support of the Obama Administration for the ATT, members of the U.S. Senate must continue to make clear that any treaty that violates our Second Amendment freedoms will be an absolute nonstarter for ratification.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that “we are pleased to join with the consensus” on the treaty, adding that before the White House gets to planning on how to get it through the Senate, it will first review and assess the language of the treaty itself.
Despite the Senate vote, numerous groups have pressured Mr. Obama to support the treaty, and Amnesty International hailed Tuesday’s vote.
“The voices of reason triumphed over skeptics, treaty opponents and dealers in death to establish a revolutionary treaty that constitutes a major step toward keeping assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons out of the hands of despots and warlords who use them to kill and maim civilians, recruit child soldiers and commit other serious abuses,” said Frank Jannuzi, deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA.
The American Bar Association also released a white paper arguing that the treaty would not affect Second Amendment rights.
General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic said Tuesday that the lack of a regulatory framework on the import and transfer of conventional arms “has made a daunting contribution to ongoing conflict, regional instabilities, displacement of peoples, terrorism and transnational organized crime.”
“Whatever the outcome of today’s meeting, for a treaty to be effective, we will need to keep working together to fulfill its goals,” he said.
Under the treaty, countries must also consider whether weapons would be used to violate international humanitarian or human rights laws, facilitate acts of terrorism or organized crime.
Some abstaining countries, like India and Egypt, felt the treaty did not go far enough on its language regarding terrorism or human rights.
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY PASSES FIRST GLOBAL ARMS TREATY
Landmark deal to regulate trade went to vote after Syria, Iran and North Korea blocked its adoption by consensus
By Ian Black and agencies | The Guardian
The United Nations has adopted its first ever treaty aimed at controlling the trade in conventional weapons, voting it through by a large majority despite earlier being blocked by three countries.
Member states represented in the UN general assembly voted by 154 to three, with 23 abstentions, to control a trade worth an estimated £46bn a year. The landmark deal went to a vote after Syria, Iran and North Korea – all at odds with the US – blocked its adoption by consensus.
Russia, the world’s second-biggest exporter, was among those that abstained from the vote at the UN headquarters in New York. China also abstained. Loud cheering erupted in the chamber when the votes were counted.
Many countries already regulate their own arms exports and there are international treaties governing nuclear as well as chemical and biological weapons. But this is the first legally binding international treaty regulating the trade in conventional weapons. It says explicitly, however, that states recognise “the legitimate political, security, economic and commercial interests … in the international trade in conventional arms”.
Amnesty International and the International Red Cross praised the agreement for advancing humanitarian concerns. But others expressed reservations. “The treaty will not stop any of the arms exports of the world’s largest arms-producing countries or arms companies,” warned the UK-based Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT). “Countries such as the UK, the US, France and Russia will be able to continue selling to repressive regimes unhindered.”
The treaty prohibits states from exporting conventional weapons in violation of arms embargoes – such as the current EU embargo in force against Syria – or weapons to be used for acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or terrorism. It also requires states to prevent conventional weapons reaching the black market.
Australia’s UN ambassador, Peter Woolcott, who chaired the final negotiations, said the treaty will “make an important difference by reducing human suffering and saving lives”. He added: “We owe it to those millions often the most vulnerable in society whose lives have been overshadowed by the irresponsible and illicit international trade in arms.”
The treaty will not control the domestic use of weapons but requires countries that ratify it to establish national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms, parts and components and to regulate arms brokers. It covers battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large-calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, as well as small arms and light weapons.
Diplomats said that a phrase stating that this list was “at a minimum” was dropped at the insistence of the US, triggering complaints that this limited the treaty’s scope. Ammunition had been a key issue in negotiations, with some countries pressing for the same controls on ammunition sales as arms, but the US and others opposed such tough restrictions.
The treaty prohibits states that ratify it from transferring conventional weapons if they violate arms embargoes or if they promote acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. It also prohibits the export of conventional arms if they could be used against civilians or civilian buildings such as schools and hospitals.
It is expected to come into force after the first 50 ratifications next year.
Britain’s foreign secretary, William Hague, called it “an historic day and a major achievement for the UN”. He described attempts to block the agreement by Iran, Syria and North Korea as cynical, adding: “This treaty will save lives and make the world a safer place. It will require governments to block transfers of weapons that pose unacceptable risks and to take strong steps to prevent weapons being diverted into the illegal market. Authorisations of exports will be reported and arms brokering regulated. At the same time, the legitimate trade in arms, vital for national defence and security, will be upheld.”
Ann Feltham, CAAT’s parliamentary co-ordinator, said: “This treaty legitimises the arms trade. If governments are serious about ending the trade in weaponry, with its dire consequences for peace and human rights, they should immediately stop promoting arms exports.”
Amnesty International, however, hailed the deal, noting that it had been opposed in the US by the powerful National Rifle Association: “The voices of reason triumphed over sceptics, treaty opponents and dealers in death to establish a revolutionary treaty that constitutes a major step toward keeping assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons out of the hands of despots and warlords who use them to kill and maim civilians, recruit child soldiers and commit other serious abuses,” its US office said.
UNITED NATIONS TREATY IS FIRST AIMED AT REGULATING GLOBAL ARMS SALES
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR | The New York Times
APRIL 2, 2013
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to approve a pioneering treaty aimed at regulating the enormous global trade in conventional weapons, for the first time linking sales to the human rights records of the buyers.
Although implementation is years away and there is no specific enforcement mechanism, proponents say the treaty would for the first time force sellers to consider how their customers will use the weapons and to make that information public. The goal is to curb the sale of weapons that kill tens of thousands of people every year — by, for example, making it harder for Russia to argue that its arms deals with Syria are legal under international law.
The treaty, which took seven years to negotiate, reflects growing international sentiment that the multibillion-dollar weapons trade needs to be held to a moral standard. The hope is that even nations reluctant to ratify the treaty will feel public pressure to abide by its provisions. The treaty calls for sales to be evaluated on whether the weapons will be used to break humanitarian law, foment genocide or war crimes, abet terrorism or organized crime or slaughter women and children.
“Finally we have seen the governments of the world come together and say ‘Enough!’ ” said Anna MacDonald, the head of arms control for Oxfam International, one of the many rights groups that pushed for the treaty. “It is time to stop the poorly regulated arms trade. It is time to bring the arms trade under control.”
She pointed to the Syrian civil war, where 70,000 people have been killed, as a hypothetical example, noting that Russia argues that sales are permitted because there is no arms embargo.
“This treaty won’t solve the problems of Syria overnight, no treaty could do that, but it will help to prevent future Syrias,” Ms. MacDonald said. “It will help to reduce armed violence. It will help to reduce conflict.”
Members of the General Assembly voted 154 to 3 to approve the Arms Trade Treaty, with 23 abstentions — many from nations with dubious recent human rights records like Bahrain, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
The vote came after more than two decades of organizing. Humanitarian groups started lobbying after the 1991 Persian Gulf war to curb the trade in conventional weapons, having realized that Iraq had more weapons than France, diplomats said.
The treaty establishes an international forum of states that will review published reports of arms sales and publicly name violators. Even if the treaty will take time to become international law, its standards will be used immediately as political and moral guidelines, proponents said.
“It will help reduce the risk that international transfers of conventional arms will be used to carry out the world’s worst crimes, including terrorism, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement after the United States, the biggest arms exporter, voted with the majority for approval.
But the abstaining countries included China and Russia, which also are leading sellers, raising concerns about how many countries will ultimately ratify the treaty. It is scheduled to go into effect after 50 nations have ratified it. Given the overwhelming vote, diplomats anticipated that it could go into effect in two to three years, relative quickly for an international treaty.
Proponents said that if enough countries ratify the treaty, it will effectively become the international norm. If major sellers like the United States and Russia choose to sit on the sidelines while the rest of the world negotiates what weapons can be traded globally, they will still be affected by the outcome, activists said.
The treaty’s ratification prospects in the Senate appear bleak, at least in the short term, in part because of opposition by the gun lobby. More than 50 senators signaled months ago that they would oppose the treaty — more than enough to defeat it, since 67 senators must ratify it.
Among the opponents is Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican. In a statement last month, he said that the treaty contained “unnecessarily harsh treatment of civilian-owned small arms” and violated the right to self-defense and United States sovereignty.
In a bow to American concerns, the preamble states that it is focused on international sales, not traditional domestic use, but the National Rifle Association has vowed to fight ratification anyway. The General Assembly vote came after efforts to achieve a consensus on the treaty among all 193 member states of the United Nations failed last week, with Iran, North Korea and Syria blocking it. The three, often ostracized, voted against the treaty again on Tuesday.
Vitaly I. Churkin, the Russian envoy to the United Nations, said Russian misgivings about what he called ambiguities in the treaty, including how terms like genocide would be defined, had pushed his government to abstain. But neither Russia nor China rejected it outright.
“Having the abstentions from two major arms exporters lessens the moral weight of the treaty,” said Nic Marsh, a proponent with the Peace Research Institute in Oslo. “By abstaining they have left their options open.”
Numerous states, including Bolivia, Cuba and Nicaragua, said they had abstained because the human rights criteria were ill defined and could be abused to create political pressure. Many who abstained said the treaty should have banned sales to all armed groups, but supporters said the guidelines did that effectively while leaving open sales to liberation movements facing abusive governments.
Supporters also said that over the long run the guidelines should work to make the criteria more standardized, rather than arbitrary, as countries agree on norms of sale in a trade estimated at $70 billion annually.
The treaty covers tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber weapons, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and launchers, small arms and light weapons. Ammunition exports are subject to the same criteria as the other war matériel. Imports are not covered.
India, a major importer, abstained because of its concerns that its existing contracts might be blocked, despite compromise language to address that.
Support was particularly strong among African countries — even if the compromise text was weaker than some had anticipated — with most governments asserting that in the long run, the treaty would curb the arms sales that have fueled many conflicts.
Even some supporters conceded that the highly complicated negotiations forced compromises that left significant loopholes. The treaty focuses on sales, for example, and not on all the ways in which conventional arms are transferred, including as gifts, loans, leases and aid.
“This is a very good framework to build on,” said Peter Woolcott, the Australian diplomat who presided over the negotiations. “But it is only a framework.”
OBAMA URGES QUICK ADOPTION OF ARMS TRADE TREATY BY UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
April 1, 2013
Despite failing to be adopted by consensus vote on last Thursday, the Arms Trade Treaty’s (ATT) civilian disarmament agenda marches on.
In an interview with The New American in advance of Thursday’s ill-fated final plenary session of the conference at UN headquarters deliberating the Arms Trade Treaty, a member of the U.S. delegation said the they were prepared to vote in favor of adoption of the gun grab.
They never got the chance, however, as Iran, Syria, and North Korea objected to the treaty, declaring it to be too favorable to the interests of the United States.
That point is debatable.
As I reported from the conference, the text of the treaty mandates several infringements on the right of people to keep and bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
For example, the Preamble of the Arms Trade Treaty points to the United Nations Charter as the source of guiding principles upon which the agreement is based. Citizens of the United States, however, recognize God as the source of all rights they enjoy. Not even the Constitution claims to be the giver of rights; it is merely the protector of them.
The ultimate American statement on the issue of the provenance of rights was written by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The UN would see the Declaration of Independence replaced by the Declaration of Human Rights and would have the Creator replaced with government as the source of rights.
Take, for example, the principle of the ATT declaring the “inherent right of all States to individual or collective self-defence [sic] as recognized in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations.”
States have no “right of self-defense.” In fact, states have no rights at all. Men have rights and they may cede a portion of the protection of those rights to government. This is a provisional grant, revocable at the will of the people.
Ironically, moreover, it is in defense of tyranny of the government that individuals typically need to collectively exercise their natural right of self-defense.
Should those who govern ever exceed the boundaries drawn by the people around their power, the people retain the right — the natural right — of self-defense.
Furthermore, no document — not even the Constitution — grants rights. Rights are given by God and societies may draft constitutions in order to protect those rights from assault by government.
Again, the words of Thomas Jefferson pronounced in the Declaration of Independence establish the American position:
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their CREATOR, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. [Emphasis in original]
Regardless of the promises of its advocates, the Arms Trade Treaty violates not only the Second Amendment, but also the American concept of the source of rights and the right of the people to defend themselves against the “long train of abuses” of any government.
President Obama will not be deterred, however. Not by the Declaration of Independence, not by the Second Amendment, and not by the failure of the ATT conference to adopt the treaty by consensus.
Peter Woolcott, president of the conference and ambassador from Australia, ordered the treaty sent to the Secretary General of the United Nations for presentation to the General Assembly for its approval.
The Obama administration is determined to make that happen.
During a phone conference held after the vote, the U.S. lead negotiator, Assistant Secretary of State Tom Countryman, reaffirmed the president’s support for implementation of the treaty.
“We look forward to this text being adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in the very near future,” Countryman said. “It’s important to the United States and the defense of our interests to insist on consensus. But every state in this process has always been conscious of the fact that, if consensus is not reached in this process, that there are other ways to adopt this treaty, including via a vote of the General Assembly.”
Later, Countryman predicted that barring any further alterations to the text, the General Assembly vote on the gun control treaty within days.
Predicting that the president would take such a tack in order to accelerate his drive toward the absolute disarmament of civilians and the establishment of a government monopoly over all means of armed resistance, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) declared his intent to stand in defense of the right to keep and bear arms.
The most recent collapse of ATT negotiations should serve as a wake-up call to the world’s democracies of the inherent flaws in the U.N. treaty process that puts us on level ground with dictatorships who abuse human rights and arms terrorists.
In the coming weeks, I anticipate ATT supporters will seek new avenues for treaty adoption, such as the U.N. General Assembly. Given the apparent support of the Obama Administration for the ATT, members of the U.S. Senate must continue to make clear that any treaty that violates our Second Amendment freedoms will be an absolute nonstarter for ratification.
As The New American reported recently, Moran is the chief sponsor of a resolution, S. Con. Res. 7, that enjoys bipartisan support from 32 co-sponsors. Moran’s measure declares that it is the sense of Congress that “the President should not sign the Arms Trade Treaty, and that, if he transmits the treaty with his signature to the Senate, the Senate should not ratify the Arms Trade Treaty.”
Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) has offered a companion measure in the House.
Both the Moran and Kelly resolutions declare that the Arms Trade Treaty “poses significant risks to the national security, foreign policy, and economic interests of the United States as well as to the constitutional rights of United States citizens and United States sovereignty.”
The measures also points out that UN gun grab “fails to expressly recognize the fundamental, individual right to keep and to bear arms and the individual right of personal self-defense, as well as the legitimacy of hunting, sports shooting, and other lawful activities pertaining to the private ownership of firearms and related materials, and thus risks infringing on freedoms protected by the Second Amendment.”
Others of Moran’s colleagues are riding to the defense of the right to keep and bear arms, as well.
On March 23, the Senate approved a measure sponsored by Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) “to uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.” By a vote of 53-46, the Senate passed Inhofe’s amendment to the budget bill.
While all these events auger positively for the future of the Second Amendment, Americans must remain vigilant. The treaty may still be approved by a majority of the UN General Assembly, and regardless of the outcome of that vote, President Obama is intent on executing its unconstitutional mandates, seizing control of all privately owned firearms and ammunition.
WILL THE UNITED NATIONS BAN AMERICA’S GUNS?
by Claire Wolfe
The rumor flashed across the Internet last winter: the Obama administration is going to use a United Nations arms treaty to get around the Second Amendment and ban all guns.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings and the renewed push for “gun safety” (the current politically correct term) the rumor was all too believable. But was it true?
At the time the panic started, the answer was “no.” The U.N. had been working on an anti-gun treaty for years but had never actually produced a result. Last fall, Obama gave his support to the next step of the process. That was enough to set the rumor mill churning.
But as of April 2, 2013, the treaty finally exists. All Second Amendment supporters should be aware of it. The Obama administration and long-time anti-gunners in the Senate would love to use it to curtail firearms. But whether this treaty will ever affect U.S. gun owners is up to us.
What’s the treaty really about?
The Arms Trade Treaty, or the U.N. Small Arms Treaty, as it’s variously known, has been in planning stages since 2001. The U.N. general assembly formally endorsed the idea of creating of a treaty in 2006. A conference to come up with final, agreeable terms fell apart in July 2012. A second special conference in March 2013 also fell apart after some remarkably juvenile squabbling. However, this time the negotiations didn’t collapse until the final day — at which point representatives from UN countries had finished drafting a treaty.
Unable to get the unanimous vote from all 193 member nations required at the conference, treaty supporters took the draft to the full General Assembly of the UN, where it could pass on a simple majority vote. On Tuesday, April 2, it happened. The treaty received 154 “yes” votes, three “nos,” and 23 abstentious.
The United States (a sponsor of the treaty) voted in favor.
Before the treaty can take effect, several things have to happen:
- 50 UN member nations have to ratify it
- 90 days have to pass after that before anyone at all is bound by it
- Even then, the treaty binds only those nations that have ratified it
- Then, 2/3 of the U.S. Senate must vote to ratify the treaty
The Obama administration cannot legally just impose the treaty on Americans. The U.S. Senate must vote to ratify it.
We must never allow this treaty to be imposed on us. Its terms have frightening implications, not only for American gun owners, but for anyone anywhere who has ever had to fight tyrants.
So, what’s in this treaty that we need to be so leery of? After all, supporters claim that the treaty’s only aim is to better regulate the import and export of these arms between countries to ensure that weapons don’t get into the hands of pirates, warlords, drug cartels, and other organized forces that terrorize innocents. In fact, there’s language in the treaty that specifically says it isn’t supposed to ban guns or override any country’s own laws.
However, it doesn’t take a genius to see straight through this claim. First, illicit trade is by definition illicit. Criminals ignore laws. They ignore treaties. Look at international drug smuggling. Making import/export illegal has done nothing but attract ever more ruthless and clever criminals who have built global enterprises strong enough to challenge (or utterly corrupt) governments. The same will happen with weapons. Criminals will get weapons by raiding military depots, by smuggling, by black-market trading, through bribery, by killing police and soldiers, or in dozens of other ways.
In fact, that’s already how most bandits, drug lords, and warlords get their weaponry. In 2012 a study from Routledge Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution concluded that very few arms were coming to bad guys through the import/export trade. Instead they were getting weapons through the “the diversion or misuse of officially authorized transfers” and other forms of theft. No treaty will prevent that; a treaty will only interfere with those who obey laws.
Also, the U.N.’s view has always been that government control of trade is inherently good and trade that is not directly controlled by government is always bad. Any international arms sales not explicitly authorized by governments would be illegal. A country could be under the thumb of a monstrous dictator, but according to the U.N. it’s a good thing for that dictator to be able to prevent his opponents from arming themselves. Had an arms treaty been in effect in the 1930s and 1940s, the United Nations would have sided with Hitler over his disarmed victims.
Below is the text in full, as it has been proposed and released. Any changes in the signed version will be noted when that time comes:
UNITED NATIONS ARMS TRADE TREATY TEXT
The States Parties to this Treaty.
Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
Recalling that the charter of the UN promotes the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources;
Reaffirming the obligation of all State Parties to settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered, in accordance with the Charter of the UN;
Underlining the need to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade of conventional arms and to prevent their diversion to illegal and unauthorized end use, such as terrorism and organized crime;
Recognizing the legitimate political, security, economic and commercial rights and interests of States in the international trade of conventional arms;
Reaffirming the sovereign right and responsibility of any State to regulate and control transfers of conventional arms that take place exclusively within its territory pursuant to its own legal or constitutional systems;
Recognizing that development, human rights and peace and security, which are three pillars of the United Nations, are interlinked and mutually reinforcing.
Recalling the United Nations Disarmament Commission guidelines on international arms transfers adopted by the General Assembly;
Noting the contribution made by the 2001 UN Programme of Action to preventing combating and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects, as well as the 2001 Protocol against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in Firearms, their parts and components and ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime;
Recognizing the security, social, economic and humanitarian consequences of the illicit trade in and unregulated trade of conventional arms;
Recognizing the challenges faced by victims of armed conflict and their need for adequate care, rehabilitation and social and economic inclusion;
Bearing in mind that the women and children are particularly affected in situations of conflict and armed violence;
Emphasizing that nothing in this treaty prevents States from exercising their right to adopt additional more rigorous measures consistent with the purpose of this Treaty;
Recognizing the legitimate international trade and lawful private ownership and use of conventional arms exclusively for, inter alia, recreational, cultural, historical and sporting activities for States where such ownership and use are permitted or protected by law;
Recognizing the active role that non-governmental organizations and civil society can play in furthering the goals and objectives of this Treaty; and
16. Emphasizing that regulation of the international trade in conventional arms should not hamper international cooperation and legitimate trade in material, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes;
Have agreed as follows:
Guided by the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations, States Parties, In promoting the goals and objectives of this Treaty and implementing its provisions, shall act in accordance with the following principles:
The inherent rights of all States to individual or collective self-defense;
2. Settlement of individual disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered;
3. The rights and obligations of States under applicable international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law;
4. The responsibility of all States, in accordance with their respective international obligations, to effectively regulate and control international transfer of conventional arms as well as the primary responsibility of all States to in establishing and implementing their respective national export control systems; and
5. The necessity to implement this Treaty consistently and effectively and in a universal, objective and non-discriminatory manner.
Goals and Objectives
Cognizant of the need to prevent and combat the diversion of conventional arms into the illicit market or to unauthorized end users through the improvement of regulation on the international trade in conventional arms,
The goals and objectives of this Treaty are:
- For States Parties to establish the highest possible common standards for regulating or improving regulation of the international trade in conventional arms;
- To prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and their diversion to illegal and unauthorized end use;
In order to:
- Contribute to international and regional peace, security and stability;
- Avoid that the international trade in conventional arms contributes to human suffering;
- Promote cooperation, transparency and responsibility of States Parties in the trade in conventional arms, thus building confidence among States Parties,
- A. Covered Items
- 1. This Treaty shall apply to all conventional arms within the following categories:
- a. Battle Tanks
- b. Armored combat vehicles
- c. Large-caliber Artillery systems
- d. Combat aircraft
- e. Attack helicopters
- f. Warships
- g. Missiles and missile launchers
- h. Small Arms and Light Weapons
- 2. Each State Party Shall establish and Maintain a national control system to regulate the export of munitions to the extent necessary to ensure that national controls on the export of the conventional arms covered by Paragraph a1 (a)-(h) are not circumvented by the export of munitions for those conventional arms.
- 3. Each State Party shall establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export of parts and components to the extent necessary to ensure that national controls on the export of the conventional arms covered by Paragraph A1 are not circumvented by the export of parts and components of those items.
- 4. Each State Party shall establish or update, as appropriate, and maintain a national control list that shall include the items that fall within Paragraph 1 above, as defined on a national basis, based on relevant UN instruments at a minimum. Each State Party shall publish its control list to the extent permitted by national law.
- B. Covered Activities
- 1. This Treaty shall apply to those activities of the international trade in conventional arms covered in paragraph a1 above, and set out in Articles 6-10, hereafter referred to as “transfer.”
- 2. This Treaty shall not apply to the international movement of conventional arms by a State Party or its agents for its armed forces or law enforcement authorities operating outside its national territories, provided they remain under the State Party’s ownership.
A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty if the transfer would violate any obligation under any measure adopted by the United Nations Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular arms embargoes.
A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty if the transfer would violate its relevant international obligations, under international agreements, to which it is a Party, in particular those relating to the international transfer of, or illicit trafficking in, conventional arms.
A State Party shall not authorize a transfer of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty for the purpose of facilitating the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes constituting grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, or serious violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention of 1949.
Each State Party, in considering whether to authorize an export of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty, shall, prior to authorization and through national control systems, make an assessment specific to the circumstances of the transfer based on the following criteria:
Whether the proposed export of conventional arms would:
Be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian law;
Be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international human rights law;
Contribute to peace and security;
Be used to commit or facilitate an act constituting an offense under international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism or transnational organized crime, to which the transferring State is a Party;
In making the assessment, the transferring State Party shall apply the criteria set out in Paragraph 2 consistently and in an objective and non-discriminatory manner and in accordance with the principles set out in this Treaty, taking into account relevant factors, including information provided by the importing State.
4. In assessing the risk pursuant to Paragraph 2, the transferring State Party may also take into consideration the establishment of risk mitigation measures including confidence-building measures and jointly developed programs by the exporting and importing State.
5. If in the view of the authorizing State Party, this assessment, which would include any actions that may be taken in accordance with Paragraph 4, constitutes a substantial risk, the State Party shall not authorize the transfer.
Each State Party, when authorizing an export, shall consider taking feasible measures, including joint actions with other States involved in the transfer, to avoid the transferred arms:
being diverted to the illicit market;
be used to commit or facilitate gender-based violence or violence against children;
become subject to corrupt practices; or
adversely impact the development of the recipient State.
Each State Party shall implement this Treaty in a consistent, objective and non-discriminatory manner in accordance with the goals and objectives of this Treaty;
The implementation of this Treaty shall not prejudice previous or future obligations undertaken with regards to international instruments, provided that those obligations are consistent with the goals and objectives of this Treaty. This Treaty shall not be cited as grounds for voiding contractual obligations under defense cooperation agreements concluded by States Parties to this Treaty.
Each State Party shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures necessary to implement the provisions of this Treaty and designate competent national authorities in order to have an effective, transparent and predictable national control system regulating the transfer of conventional arms;
Each State Party shall establish one or more national contact points to exchange information on matters related to the implementation of this Treaty. A State Party shall notify the Implementation Support Unit (See Article 13) of its national contact point(s) and keep the information updated.
State Parties involved in a transfer of conventional arms shall, in a manner consistent with the principles of this Treaty, take appropriate measures to prevent diversion to the illicit market or to unauthorized end-users. All State Parties shall cooperate, as appropriate, with the exporting State to that end.
If a diversion is detected the State or States Parties that made the decision shall verify the State or States Parties that could be affected by such diversion, in particulate those State Parties that are involved in the transfer, without delay.
Each State Party shall take the appropriate measures, within national laws and regulations, to regulate transfers of conventional arms within the scope of the Treaty.
Each State Party shall conduct risk assessments, as detailed in Articles 4 and 5, whether to grant authorizations for the transfer of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty. State Parties shall apply Articles 3-5 consistently, taking into account all relevant information, including the nature and potential use of the items to be transferred and the verified end-user in the country of final destination.
Each State Party shall take measures to ensure all authorizations for the export of conventional arms under the scope of the Treaty are detailed and issued prior to the export. Appropriate and relevant details of the authorization shall be made available to the importing, transit and transshipment State Parties, upon request.
Importing State Parties shall take measures to ensure that appropriate and relevant information is provided, upon request, to the exporting State Party to assist the exporting State in its criteria assessment and to assist in verifying end users.
State Parties shall put in place adequate measures that will allow them, where necessary, to monitor and control imports of items covered by the scope of the Treaty. State Parties shall also adopt appropriate measures to prevent the diversion of imported items to unauthorized end users or to the illicit market.
Importing State Parties may request, where necessary, information from the exporting State Party concerning potential authorizations.
Each State Party shall take the appropriate measures, within national laws and regulations, to control brokering taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty.
Transit and Transshipment
Each State Party shall adopt appropriate legislative, administrative or other measures to monitor and control, where necessary and feasible, conventional arms covered by this Treaty that transit or transship through territory under its jurisdiction, consistent with international law with due regard for innocent passage and transit passage;
Importing and exporting States Parties shall cooperate and exchange information, where feasible and upon request, to transit and transshipment States Parties, in order to mitigate the risk of discretion;
Reporting, Record Keeping and Transparency
Each State Party shall maintain records in accordance with its national laws and regardless of the items referred to in Article 2, Paragraph A, with regards to conventional arms authorization or exports, and where feasible of those items transferred to their territory as the final destination, or that are authorized to transit or transship their territory, respectively.
Such records may contain: quantity, value, model/type, authorized arms transfers, arms actually transferred, details of exporting State(s), recipient State(s), and end users as appropriate. Records shall be kept for a minimum of ten years, or consistent with other international commitments applicable to the State Party.
States Parties may report to the Implementation Support Unit on an annual basis any actions taken to address the diversion of conventional arms to the illicit market.
Each State Party shall, within the first year after entry into force of this Treaty for that State Party, provide an initial report to States Parties of relevant activities undertaken in order to implement this Treaty; including inter alia, domestic laws, regulations and administrative measures. States Parties shall report any new activities undertaken in order to implement this Treaty, when appropriate. Reports shall be distributed and made public by the Implementation Support Unit.
Each State Party shall submit annually to the Implementation Support Unit by 31 May a report for the preceding calendar year concerning the authorization or actual transfer of items included in Article 2, Paragraph A1. Reports shall be distributed and made public by the Implementation Support Unit. The report submitted to the Implementation Support Unit may contain the same type of information submitted by the State Party to other relevant UN bodies, including the UN Register of Conventional Arms. Reports will be consistent with national security sensitivities or be commercially sensitive.
Each State Party shall adopt national legislation or other appropriate national measures regulations and policies as may be necessary to implement the obligations of this Treaty.
IMPLEMENTATION SUPPORT UNIT
This Treaty hereby establishes an Implementation Support Unit to assist States Parties in its implementation.
The ISU shall consist of adequate staff, with necessary expertise to ensure the mandate entrusted to it can be effectively undertaken, with the core costs funded by States Parties.
The implementation Support Unit, within a minimized structure and responsible to States Parties, shall undertake the responsibilities assigned to it in this Treaty, inter alia:
Receive distribute reports, on behalf of the Depository, and make them publicly available;
Maintain and Distribute regularly to States Parties the up-to-date list of national contact points;
Facilitate the matching of offers and requests of assistance for Treaty implementation and promote international cooperation as requested;
Facilitate the work of the Conference of States Parties, including making arrangements and providing the necessary service es for meetings under this Treaty; and
Perform other duties as mandated by the Conference of States Parties.
States Parties shall designate national points of contact to act as a liaison on matters relating to the implementation of this Treaty.
States Parties shall cooperate closely with one another, as appropriate, to enhance the implementation of this Treaty consistent with their respective security interests and legal and administrative systems.
States Parties are encouraged to facilitate international cooperation, including the exchange of information on matters of mutual interest regarding the implementation and application of this Treaty in accordance with their national legal system. Such voluntary exchange of information may include, inter alia, information on national implementation measures as well as information on specific exporters, importers and brokers and on any prosecutions brought domestically, consistent with commercial and proprietary protections and domestic laws, regulations and respective legal and administrative systems.
4. Each State Party is encouraged to maintain consultations and to share information, as appropriate, to support the implementation of this Treaty, including through their national contact points.
5. States Parties shall cooperate to enforce the provisions of this Treaty and combat breaches of this Treaty, including sharing information regarding illicit activities and actors to assist national enforcement and to counter and prevent diversion. States Parties may also exchange information on lessons learned in relation to any aspect of this Treaty, to develop best practices to assist national implementation.
In fulfilling the obligation of this Treaty, States Parties may seek, inter alia, legal assistance, legislative assistance, technical assistance, institutional capacity building, material assistance or financial assistance. States, in a position to do so, shall provide such assistance. States Parties may contribute resources to a voluntary trust fund to assist requesting States Parties requiring such assistance to implement the Treaty.
States Parties shall afford one another the widest measure of assistance, consistent with their respective legal and administrative systems, in investigations, prosecutions and judicial proceedings in relation to the violations of the national measures implemented to comply with obligations under of the provisions of this Treaty.
Each State Party may offer or receive assistance, inter alia, through the United Nations international, regional, subregional or national organizations, non-governmental organizations or on a bi-lateral basis. Such assistance may include technical, financial, material and other forms of assistance as needed, upon request.
Signature, Ratification, Acceptance, Approval or Accession
This Treaty shall be open for signature on [date] at the United Nations Headquarters in New York by all States and regional integration organizations.
This Treaty is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval of the Signatories.
This Treaty shall be open for accession by any state and regional integration organization that has not signed the Treaty.
4. The instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with the Depositary.
5. The Depositary shall promptly inform all signatory and acceding States and regional integration organizations of the date of each signature, the date of deposit of each instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession and the date of the entry into force of this Treaty, and of the receipt of notices.
6. “Regional integration organization” shall mean an organization constituted by sovereign States of a given region, to which its Member States have transferred competence in respect of matters governed by this Treaty and which has been duly authorized, in accordance with its internal procedures, to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to it.
7. At the time of its ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, a regional integration organization shall declare the extent of its competence with respect to matters governed by this Treaty. Such organizations shall also inform the Depositary of any relevant modifications in the extent of it competence.
8. References to “State Parties” in the present Treaty shall apply to such organizations within the limits of their competence.
Entry into Force
This Treaty shall enter into force thirty days following the date of the deposit of the sixty-fifth instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval with the Depositary.
For any State or regional integration organization that deposits its instruments of accession subsequent to the entry into force of the Treaty, the Treaty shall enter into force thirty days following the date of deposit of its instruments of accession.
For the purpose of Paragraph 1 and 2 above, any instrument deposited by a regional integration organization shall not be counted as additional to those deposited by Member States of that organization.
Withdrawal and Duration
This Treaty shall be of unlimited duration.
Each State Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this Convention. It shall give notice of such withdrawal to all other States Parties from this Convention. It shall give notice of such withdrawal to all other States Parties and to the Depositary. The instrument of withdrawal shall include a full explanation of the reasons motivating this withdrawal.
A state shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from the obligations arising from this treaty while it was a party to the Treaty, including any financial obligations, which may have accrued.
Each State party, in exercising its national sovereignty, may formulate reservations unless the reservation is incompatible with the object and purpose of this Treaty.
At any time after the Treaty’s entry into force, a State Party may propose an amendment to this Treaty.
Any proposed amendment shall be submitted in writing to the Depository, which will then circulate the proposal to all States Parties, not less than 180 days before next meeting of the Conference of States Parties. The amendment shall be considered at the next Conference of States Parties if a majority of States Parties notify the Implementation Support Unit that they support further consideration of the proposal no later than 180 days after its circulation by the Depositary.
Any amendment to this Treaty shall be adopted by consensus, or if consensus is not achieved, by two-thirds of the States Parties present and voting at the Conference of States Parties. The Depositary shall communicate any amendment to all States Parties.
A proposed amendment adopted in accordance with Paragraph 3 of this Article shall enter into force for all States Parties to the Treaty that have accepted it, upon deposit with the Depositary. Thereafter, it shall enter into force for any remaining State Party on the date of deposit of its instrument of accession.
Conference of States Parties
The Conference of States Parties shall be convened not later than once a year following the entry into force of this Treaty. The Conference of States Parties shall adopt rules of procedure and rules governing its activities, including the frequency of meetings and rules concerning payment of expenses incurred in carrying out those activities.
The Conference of States Parties shall:
a. Consider and adopt recommendations regarding the implementation of this Treaty, in particular the promotion of its universality; TR
b. Consider amendments to this Treaty;
c. Consider and decide the work and budget of the Implementation Support Unit;
d. Consider the establishment of any subsidiary bodies as may be necessary to improve the functioning of the Treaty;
e. Perform any other function consistent with this Treaty.
3. If circumstances merit, an exceptional meeting of the State Parties may be convened if required and resources allow.
States Parties shall consult and cooperate with each other to settle any dispute that may arise with regard to the interpretation or application of this Treaty.
States Parties shall settle any dispute between them concerning the interpretation or application of this Treat though negotiations or other peaceful means of the Parties mutual choice.
States Parties may pursue, by mutual consent, third party arbitration to settle any dispute between them, regarding issues concerning the implementation of this Treaty.
Relations with States not party to this Treaty
States Parties shall apply Articles 3-5 to all transfers of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty to those not party to this Treaty.
Relationship with other instruments
States Parties shall have the right to enter into agreements on the trade in conventional arms with regards to the international trade in conventional arms, provided that those agreements are compatible with their obligations under this Treaty and do not undermine the objects and purposes of this Treaty.
Depositary and Authentic Texts
The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the Depositary of this Treaty.
The original text of this Treaty, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic.
U.S. AGREES TO THE UNITED NATIONS ARMS TRADE TREATY
Ambassador DiCarlo Delivers Remarks on the Arms Trade Treaty
Published on Apr 5, 2013
Ambassador Rosemary A. DiCarlo, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, delivers remarks on Arms Trade Treaty at the UN General Assembly Meeting on the Arms Trade Treaty in New York, NY on April 2, 2013.
STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR ROSEMARY A. DICARLO, U.S. DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING ON THE ARMS TRADE TREATY
Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Mr. President, the United States is proud to have been able to co-sponsor and vote in favor of adopting the Arms Trade Treaty. The treaty is strong, balanced, effective, and implementable, and we believe it can command wide support. We join others in congratulating Ambassador Peter Woolcott for his tireless efforts in guiding the negotiation.
The treaty is the product of a long, intensive negotiation, and I know that no nation, including my own, got everything it may have sought in the final text. The result, however, is an instrument that succeeds in raising the bar on common standards for regulating international trade in conventional arms while helping to ensure that legitimate trade in such arms will not be unduly hindered.
The negotiations remained true to the original mandate for them from UN General Assembly Resolution 64/48, which called for negotiating a treaty with the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms and for the negotiations to be conducted in an open and transparent manner, on the basis of consensus. The consensus rule remains important for the United States; the United Nations is most effective when it is able to take decisions by consensus.
Mr. President, as the United States has urged from the outset, this Treaty sets a floor – not a ceiling – for responsible national policies and practices for the regulation of international trade in conventional arms. We look forward to all countries having effective national control systems and procedures to manage international conventional arms transfers, as the United States does already.
We believe that our negotiations have resulted in a treaty that provides a clear standard, in Article 6, for when a transfer of conventional arms is absolutely prohibited. This article both reflects existing international law and, in paragraph three, would extend it by establishing a specific prohibition on the transfer of conventional arms when a state party knows that the transfer will be used in the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, or the enumerated war and other crimes. Article 7 requires a state party to conduct a national assessment of the risk that a proposed export could be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian law or international human rights law, as well as acts of terrorism or transnational organized crime. Taken together, these articles provide a robust and complementary framework that will promote responsible transfer of decisions by states parties.
Thank you, Mr. President.
BEN SWANN: ONE GLARING OVERSIGHT IN THE UNITED NATIONS ARMS TRADE TREATY
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PLANS TO USE THE UNITED NATIONS ARMS TRADE TREATY TO RENDER THE SECOND AMENDMENT USELESS
April 2, 2013
The Obama administration has assured that the UN Arms Trade Treaty will pass regardless of Congress’ admonishment against the international gun grab by refusing to participate.
By changing the requirements of approval of treaties from first time consensus, the ratification of the ATT is almost completely ensured. Even if the US does not sign the treaty, its manifestation will have reverberating effects on the 2nd Amendment.
The Obama administration hopes that the circumstances presented will force a compromise on civilian firearms rights, the availability of guns to civilians and the UN mandating control over the 2nd Amendment; rather than Obama becoming the “bad guy”.
The stall in Congress over gun control legislation can be overturned with the adherence of the ATT which would allow the Obama administration to restrict the 2nd Amendment without overtly attacking the US Constitution.
Placing global arms trade rules over the sovereignty of individual nations, Obama can shed pressures from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and defense contractors who lobby to keep the US in the arms trade without restrictions.
Critics are shocked at the “weakness” of the ATT in its current form. They claim it lacks “meaningful enforcement mechanism[s]”. Activists groups supporting the ATT should put their power into calling for a more stringent treaty that claims international law as the end and be all for gun ownership rights.
Andrew Feinstein, author of “The Shadow World: Inside the GlobalArms Trade”, explains: “What governments would have to do is they would have to consider certain criteria before authorizing the export of materiel, military equipment, weaponry, from their country. Those would include the likelihood of it contributing to an intensification of conflict, atrocities against their own citizenry or citizenry from other countries. It would also mean that they would have to document exactly what they were both exporting and importing. So there are a whole number of ways in which it would apply regulation that doesn’t currently exist. However, again let me emphasize, without strong enforcement mechanisms and without really committed political will from individual nation states, the utility and effectiveness of this treaty still will remain to be seen.”
The UN ATT final draft has been released. The UN has told member states to “take or leave it.”
In the draft, the 2nd Amendment is completely retracted, and replaced with the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
By international mandate, the UN will have the “sovereign right of any State to regulate and control conventional arms”; this places international law above individual governmental controls over gun ownership.
Citing violence against women and children, the ATT claims individual countries must surrender control of manufacturer, purchase, possession, sale, trade and transfer of weapons of every size” to international control for the sake of “protecting women and children from armed conflict.”
The UN would have manipulative control over ammunition as well, rendering guns ineffective and gun owners helpless.
On control mechanism is the establishment of a “national control list” by each country to be given over to the UN for ultimate oversight. These lists will be turned given to the UN Secretariat; providing names, addresses and other identifiable information of gun owners to the UN.
The background checks being argued on Capitol Hill would simply become information transferred to the UN under reports that include all guns owned by who and where they reside.
Pennsylvania State Representative Daryl Metcalfe has introduced HB357 in an effort to defend the 2nd Amendment on the state level.
On April 6th, Metcalfe will host the Second Amendment Freedom Rally as a featured speaker to push his legislation for support.
Last week, Connecticut State Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III stated that Adam Lanza, the proposed shooter who killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary, had shot more than 154 rounds in 5 minutes.
Search warrants were released to the public. Descriptions of weapons confiscated, an estimated 1,600 rounds found at the Lanza home, 9 knives, 3 Samurai swords, and 30 magazines.
Police investigators assume that this scene is proof that Lanza planned on having a shooting spree; intending for more people to die. They claim to have found a picture of “of what appears to be a deceased human covered with plastic and what appears to be blood.”
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy remarked: “We now know that he left the lower-capacity magazines at home. This is exactly why we need to ban high-capacity magazines and why we need to tighten our assault-weapons ban. I don’t know what more we need to know before we take decisive action to prevent gun violence. The time to act is now.”
It was clear to the investigators; based on the “evidence” they discovered that Lanza was disturbed and obsessed with violent video games.
Mark Kelly, husband of former House Representative Gabrielle Giffords, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that mental illness contributed to gun violence and must be added to the proposed universal background check bill circulating on Captiol Hill.
Senator Lindsey Graham wants to have an “open process” on the Senate floor concerning gun control legislation. Graham understands that “nothing we’re talking about” would have stopped the Sandy Hook shooting from happening; and so he would vote against expansion of the current background check process.
Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal confirmed Graham’s statements, saying: “How would anything in the bill, as it currently stands, have stopped anything that went on in Newtown? The majority leader has assured me and other proponents of these measures that we can offer amendments on both the assault-weapons ban and the prohibition on high-capacity magazines, so there will be both.”
During a gun control demonstration in Saint Louis, Mayor Francis Slay spoke to the crowd.
Protesters held their guns in plain view while Dr. Robert Flood, director of pediatric emergency at Saint Louis University said: “So if common sense legislation is not passed in the upcoming weeks and months, then please work to ratify the proposed Children’s Amendment to the US Constitution.”
Flood admitted that he was repeating information he received from the George Soros funded MoveOn.org and Organizing for Action, Obama’s propaganda website.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: WE HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN WHAT HAPPENED IN NEWTOWN
Published on Mar 28, 2013
Excerpt from President Obama’s speech on protecting our children from gun violence. Learn more about the President’s plan to reduce gun violence at http://wh.gov/NowIsTheTime
By Megan Slack | The White House
Today, President Obama promised the American people that he had not forgotten the 20 innocent chidlren and six brave educators who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary more than 100 days ago. Standing with parents and teachers of gun violence victims, he urged Congress to take action that will protect other children and families from the pain and grief these families have experienced.
“As I said when I visited Newtown just over three months ago, if there is a step we can take that will save just one child, just one parent, just another town from experiencing the same grief that some of the moms and dads who are here have endured, then we should be doing it,” President Obama said. “We have an obligation to try.”
In January, the President put forward a series of common-sense proposals to reduce the epidemic of gun violence and keep our kids safe, and in his State of the Union address, the President called on Congress to give these proposals a vote. “And in just a couple of weeks, they will,” he said.
In the coming weeks, members of Congress will vote on whether we should require universal background checks for anyone who wants to buy a gun so that criminals or people with severe mental illnesses can’t get their hands on one. They’ll vote on tough new penalties for anyone who buys guns only to turn around and sell them to criminals. They’ll vote on a measure that would keep weapons of war and high-capacity ammunition magazines that facilitate these mass killings off our streets. They’ll get to vote on legislation that would help schools become safer and help people struggling with mental health problems to get the treatment that they need.
“None of these ideas are controversial,” the President said. “Why wouldn’t we want to make it more difficult for a dangerous person to get his or her hand on a gun?”
And if you ask most Americans outside of Washington — including many gun owners — some of these ideas, they don’t consider them controversial. Right now, 90 percent of Americans — 90 percent — support background checks that will keep criminals and people who have been found to be a danger to themselves or others from buying a gun. More than 80 percent of Republicans agree. More than 80 percent of gun owners agree.
“There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t get this done,” President Obama said. But “there are some powerful voices on the other side that are interested in running out the clock or changing the subject or drowning out the majority of the American people to prevent any of these reforms from happening at all.”
The President called on everyone to make sure their members of Congress were listening, that we hadn’t forgotten what happened in Newtown or Aurora or Blacksburg or our pledge to do whatever we can as a nation to prevent future violence.
Nothing is more powerful than millions of voices calling for change. And that’s why it’s so important that all these moms and dads are here today. But that’s also why it’s important that we’ve got grassroots groups out there that got started and are out there mobilizing and organizing and keeping up the fight. That’s what it’s going to take to make this country safer. It’s going to take moms and dads, and hunters and sportsmen, and clergy and local officials like the mayors who are here today standing up and saying, this time really is different — that we’re not just going to sit back and wait until the next Newtown or the next Blacksburg or the next innocent, beautiful child who is gunned down in a playground in Chicago or Philadelphia or Los Angeles before we summon the will to act.
OBAMA: NEWTOWN CHILDREN KILLED WITH ‘FULLY AUTOMATIC WEAPON’
By Vince Coglianese | The Daily Caller
President Obama told a group of Democratic donors Wednesday night that the children killed in the Newtown, Conn. attack last December were shot with a “fully automatic weapon.”
Speaking to donors at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser in San Francisco, Obama urged the need for “gun control,” and referred for the first time to an alleged “fully automatic weapon” involved in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults.
From the White House transcript (emphasis added):
“Now, over the next couple of months, we’ve got a couple of issues: gun control. (Applause.) I just came from Denver, where the issue of gun violence is something that has haunted families for way too long, and it is possible for us to create common-sense gun safety measures that respect the traditions of gun ownership in this country and hunters and sportsmen, but also make sure that we don’t have another 20 children in a classroom gunned down by a semiautomatic weapon – by a fully automatic weapon in that case, sadly.“
ABC News reported that the shooter, Adam Lanza, “killed all 26 victims inside Sandy Hook Elementary School with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle before taking his own life with a Glock 10 mm handgun.”
Neither weapon is an automatic weapon, which would continuously fire bullets with a single pull of the trigger.
With Obama’s help, the DCCC raised $3.2 million during the fundraising events in San Francisco.
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: ‘I GUARANTEE YOU, BARACK OBAMA AIN’T TAKING MY SHOTGUNS…IF HE TRIES TO FOOL WITH MY BARETTA HE’S GOT A PROBLEM…’
JOE BIDEN ADMITS GUN CONTROL WILL NOT STOP MASS SHOOTINGS OR SAVE LIVES
“Nothing we’re going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down to a thousand a year from what it is now.”
FLASHBACK: OBAMA: “I WILL NOT TAKE YOUR GUNS AWAY”
By Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr. | CNS News
December 28, 2013
At a campaign event in Lebanon, Virginia in 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama said that he will not take Americans’ guns away.
“When you all go home and you’re talking to your buddies and you say, ah ‘He wants to take my gun away.’ You’ve heard it here, I’m on television so everybody knows it. I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe in people’s lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away.”
Since that statement, it has become clear that Obama simply and with devious charisma, lies to the American public in order to achieve his agendas.
WHITE HOUSE RELEASES PHOTO OF OBAMA SHOOTING A GUN
By DANIEL HALPER | The Weekly Standard
February 2, 2013
“President Barack Obama shoots clay targets on the range at Camp David, Md., Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza),” the caption reads.
“This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.”
BARACK OBAMA: ‘I GO SHOOTING ALL THE TIME’
By Jon Swaine, Washington | telegraph.co.uk
Amid conservative anger over Mr Obama’s proposals to ban assault weapons as part of a drastic overhaul of US gun control laws, the president said that he was a keen clay-pigeon shooter.
Asked in a magazine interview whether he had ever fired a gun, Mr Obama said he did so with guests at the president’s rural retreat.
“Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time,” he said. “And I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations.
“And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake”.
Mr Obama’s plans for tighter firearms regulations were drawn up by Joe Biden, his vice-president, following the massacre of 26 people, including 20 young pupils at a primary school in Connecticut last month.
Mr Biden – whose proposals also include a background check system on all Americans trying to buy guns and a 10-shot limit for ammunition clips – has been quick to note that he owns a shotgun.
The president, however, rarely speaks personally about firearms, and is dismissed by many enthusiasts as an elite urban law professor who does not appreciate America’s heritage of gun ownership.
He accepted in his interview that gun culture in rural areas was “very different” to that in urban areas, such as his home town of Chicago, where it is more frequently linked to serious crime.
“If you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were 10, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family’s traditions, you can see why you’d be pretty protective of that,” Mr Obama told The New Republic.
He made clear, however, that his daughters Sasha, 11, and Malia, 14, did not join the clay-pigeon shooting parties at Camp David, in rural Maryland.
A week before the Super Bowl, the most keenly-awaited event in the US sporting calendar, the president risked further angering the heartland by expressing concern about the safety of American football.
Several high-profile professional players have in recent years developed brain damage, which has been linked to the frequent heavy impacts on their skulls caused by the sport.
“I’m a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football,” said Mr Obama.
OBAMA CRITICIZED FOR USING DATED, DISPUTED GUN STAT TO SELL BACKGROUND CHECKS
APRIL 3, 2013
As President Obama prepares to head to Colorado on Wednesday to push gun control legislation, some are calling into question the validity of a key statistic he’s using to tout his message on near-universal background checks.
During several speeches, Obama has said 40 percent of all gun purchases were made without a background check.
But that number is nearly two decades old and comes from a poll with a relatively tiny sample size. Gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association, as well as The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker,” are calling out the president’s stat, saying his numbers on background checks need a background check of their own.
During a speech last week, Obama asked, “Why wouldn’t we want to make it more difficult for a dangerous person to get his or her hand on a gun? Why wouldn’t we want to close the loophole that allows as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases to take place without a background check? Why wouldn’t we do that?”
The oft-cited figure, it turns out, was pulled from a 1997 study done by the National Institute of Justice. In the study, researchers estimated about 40 percent of all firearm sales took place through people other than licensed gun dealers. The conclusion was based on data from a 1994 survey of 2,568 households. Of those, only 251 people answered the question about where they got their guns.
PolitiFact tracked down the co-author of the study, Duke University professor Philip Cook, and asked him if he thought the 40 percent estimate is accurate.
“The answer is I have no idea,” Cook reportedly told PolitiFact. “This survey was done almost 20 years ago.”
The National Rifle Association has questioned the 40 percent claim and says it’s a misrepresentation by gun control advocates to trump up support for universal background checks.
Another problem with the study is the sample size, 251 people, which is relatively small, and the data is open to interpretation.
“With this sample size, the 95 percent confidence interval will be plus or minus six percentage points,” The Washington Post fact-checker wrote on Tuesday. “Moreover, when asked whether the respondent brought from a licensed firearms dealer, the possible answers included ‘probably was/think so’ and ‘probably not,’ leaving open the possibility the purchaser was mistaken.”
When all of the “yes” and “probably was” answers were added together, 35.7 percent of those asked said they did not receive a gun from a licensed firearms dealer. If you round the number up, it becomes 40 percent but because the sample size is so small, rounding the number down to 30 percent could also be accurate, the paper noted.
But not everyone agrees with The Post’s fact checker.
“While slagging the president may be good for business, the effect of (the newspaper’s) false ruling is to undermine legitimate efforts to keep the public safe, and to obscure the real enemy of reliable data on gun violence,” Tommy Christopher of Mediaite wrote in a rebuttal Tuesday.
“It is possible to conclude that as few as 26.4% of gun owners in that study ‘purchased’ their gun without a background check, 20.4% if you factor in the margin of error,” he said.
The administration has not responded to questions surrounding the number and why they continue to use it to promote their gun control measures.
The president isn’t the only one who’s used the 40 percent figure to make a point. Many others stumping for the cause have pulled from the same info pile.
On Jan. 24, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand stated the importance of background checks during a television interview.
“The background checks bill is vitally important. It’s going to basically say you can’t buy guns without getting a background check. Today, about 40 percent of guns are purchased without a background check.”
Seven months earlier, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg used the same statistic to skewer the National Rifle Association following the Colorado movie theatre massacre.
“There’s a loophole where you can sell guns without a background check,” he said last year, on July 22. “Forty percent of guns are sold that way.”
For months, both sides of the debate on gun control – from the local level all the way up to the national level — have accused the other of inflating figures and manipulating data.
Obama, in using an array of stats and studies and polls, has tried to make the case that the Senate is considering common-sense proposals that most Americans support. Amid resistance from some lawmakers, the president is ramping up his campaign for the legislation. He plans to visit Denver on Wednesday, followed by a stop next Monday in Hartford, Conn., the state that was the site of the deadly mass shooting in Newtown in December.
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE IN COLORADO
Denver Police Academy
3:19 P.M. MDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you! (Applause.) Thank you so much. Everybody, please have a seat. Thank you. Well, it is wonderful to be back in Colorado. It is wonderful to be back in Denver. I want to thank Chief White for that introduction. You’ve got some outstanding elected officials who are here today, and I want to acknowledge them. First of all, a wonderful governor — John Hickenlooper is here. (Applause.) He’s here somewhere. I know, because I just talked to him. There he is. Next to him an outstanding lieutenant governor, Joe Garcia. (Applause.) One of the finest young senators in the country — Michael Bennet is here. (Applause.) Terrific members of the House of Representatives — Ed Perlmutter — (applause) — and Dianna Degette. (Applause.) And your own mayor, Michael Hancock, is here. (Applause.)
I want to say thank you to the Denver Police for having me here, and more importantly, for the outstanding work that all of you do each and every day to serve your communities and protect your citizens.
Before I came out here, I had a chance to sit down with some local law enforcement, Attorney General Holder, and some of the leaders I just mentioned, the wonderful mayor of Aurora who’s here, sportsmen, parents, loved ones of the victims of the shootings in Columbine and Aurora. And we talked about what we can do to protect more of our citizens from gun violence.
And from the beginning of this effort, we’ve wanted law enforcement front and center in shaping this discussion and the reforms that emerge from it — because law enforcement lives this every day. Law enforcement are the first to see the terrible consequences of any kind of violence, certainly gun violence — lives lost, families broken, communities that are changed forever. They’re very often in the line of fire. The law enforcement knows what works and what doesn’t, and so we wanted that experience and that advice.
And it was also important for us to hear from mayors like Steve Hogan, because he’s been on the front lines having to deal with these issues under incredibly sad circumstances. And I’ve come to Denver today in particular because Colorado is proving a model of what’s possible.
It’s now been just over 100 days since the murder of 20 innocent children and six brave educators in Newtown, Connecticut — an event that shocked this country and I think galvanized parents all across the country to say, we’ve got to do something more to protect our kids. But consider this: Over those 100 days or so, more than 100 times as many Americans have fallen victim to gun violence. More than 2,000 of our fellow citizens, struck down, often because they were just going about their daily round. They weren’t doing anything special. Just doing what folks do every day — shopping, going to school. Every day that we wait to do something about it, even more of our fellow citizens are stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.
Now, the good news is Colorado has already chosen to do something about it. (Applause.) Look, this is a state that has suffered the tragedy of two of the worst mass shootings in our history — 14 years ago this month in Columbine, and just last year in Aurora. But this is also a state that treasures its Second Amendment rights — the state of proud hunters and sportsmen. And, by the way, the Governor wanted me to remind everybody that there is outstanding elk hunting here in Colorado. (Laughter.) There’s a strong tradition of gun ownership that’s handed down from generation to generation, and it’s part of the fabric of people’s lives. And they treat gun ownership with reverence and respect.
And so I’m here because I believe there doesn’t have to be a conflict in reconciling these realities. There doesn’t have to be a conflict between protecting our citizens and protecting our Second Amendment rights. I’ve got stacks of letters in my office from proud gun owners, whether they’re for sport, or protection, or collection, who tell me how deeply they cherish their rights, don’t want them infringed upon, but they still want us to do something to stop the epidemic of gun violence. And I appreciate every one of those letters. And I’ve learned from them.
And I think that Colorado has shown that practical progress is possible thanks to the leadership of Governor Hickenlooper and some of the state legislators who are here today. When I was talking to Steve, he mentioned that Aurora is very much a purple city. It’s got a majority Republican city council; a majority of the state legislators are Democrat. But they came together understanding that out of this tragedy there had to be something that made sense. And so we’ve seen enacted tougher background checks that won’t infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners, but will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. (Applause.)
Now, in January, just a few weeks after Newtown, I put forward a series of common-sense proposals along the same lines as what’s passed here in Colorado, to reduce gun violence and keep our kids safe. In my State of the Union address, I urged Congress to give these proposals a vote. And, by the way, before we even asked for a vote, I had already signed numerous executive orders doing what we could administratively to make sure that guns don’t fall into the hands of the wrong people.
But what I said then is still true: If we’re really going to tackle this problem seriously, then we’ve got to get Congress to take the next step. And as soon as next week, they will be voting. As soon as next week, every senator will get to vote on whether or not we should require background checks for anyone who wants to purchase a gun.
Now, some say, well, we already have background checks. And they’re right. Over the past 20 years, those background checks have kept more than 2 million dangerous people from buying a gun. But the loopholes that currently exist in the law have allowed way too many criminals and folks who shouldn’t be getting guns — it has allowed them to avoid background checks entirely. That makes it harder for law enforcement to do its job. It’s not safe. It’s not smart. And, by the way, it’s not fair to responsible gun owners who are playing by the rules.
Now, understand, nobody is talking about creating an entirely new system. We are simply talking about plugging holes, sealing a porous system that isn’t working as well as it should. If you want to buy a gun, whether it’s from a licensed dealer or a private seller, you should at least have to pass a background check to show you’re not a criminal or someone legally prohibited from buying on. And that’s just common sense. (Applause.)
During our roundtable discussion with Governor Hickenlooper, who I know was in the midst of this passionate debate about the legislation here in Colorado, and some people said, well, background checks aren’t going to stop everybody. And the Governor was the first one to acknowledge, yes, they won’t stop everybody, but as he pointed out, statistically, there are a whole bunch of folks who have been stopped.
As a consequence of background checks, law enforcement has been able to stop people who have been convicted of murder from getting a gun, people who are under restraining orders for having committed violent domestic abuse from getting a gun. In a couple of cases the governor mentioned to me, law enforcement has actually been able to arrest people who came to pick up their gun — (laughter) — because they were criminals, wanted.
So this does work. And, by the way, if you’re selling a gun, wouldn’t you want to know who you’re selling it to? Wouldn’t you want to know? Wouldn’t you want in your conscience to know that the person you’re selling to isn’t going to commit a crime? (Applause.)
So these enhanced background checks won’t stop all gun crimes, but they will certainly help prevent some. This is common sense. And, by the way, most gun owners — more than 80 percent — agree this makes sense. More than 70 percent of NRA members agree. Ninety percent of the American people agree. So there’s no reason we can’t do this unless politics is getting in the way. There’s no reason we can’t do this.
As soon as next week, every senator will get a chance to vote on a proposal to help strengthen school safety and help people struggling with mental health problems get the treatment that they need.
As soon as next week, every senator will get to vote on whether or not we should crack down on folks who buy guns as part of a scheme to arm criminals. That would keep more guns off the streets and out of the hands of people who are intent on doing harm. And it would make life a whole lot easier and safer for the people behind me — police officers.
Every senator will get a say on whether or not we should keep weapons of war and high-capacity ammunition magazines that facilitate mass killings off our streets. The type of assault rifle used in Aurora, for example, when paired with a high-capacity magazine, has one purpose: to pump out as many bullets as possible, as fast as possible. It’s what allowed that gunman to shoot 70 people and kill 12 in a matter of a few minutes. I don’t believe that weapons designed for theaters of war have a place in movie theaters. Most Americans agree with that. (Applause.)
Most of these ideas are not controversial. Right now, 90 percent of Americans — 90 percent — support background checks that will keep criminals and people who have been found to be a danger to themselves or others from buying a gun. More than 80 percent of Republicans agree. Most gun owners agree. Think about it: How often do 90 percent of Americans agree on anything? (Laughter.)
And yet, there are already some senators back in Washington floating the idea that they might use obscure procedural stunts to prevent or delay any of these votes on reform. Think about that. They’re not just saying they’ll vote “no” on the proposal that most Americans support. They’re saying they’ll do everything they can to avoid even allowing a vote on a proposal that the overwhelming majority of the American people support. They’re saying your opinion doesn’t matter.
We knew from the beginning that change wouldn’t be easy. And we knew that there would be powerful voices that would do everything they could to run out the clock, change the subject, ignore the majority of the American people. We knew they’d try to make any progress collapse under the weight of fear and frustration, or maybe people would just stop paying attention.
The only way this time will be different is if the American people demand that this time it must be different — that this time, we must do something to protect our communities and our kids. (Applause.) We need parents, we need teachers, we need police officers, we need pastors, we need hunters and sportsmen, Americans of every background to say, we’ve suffered too much pain and care too much about our children to allow this to continue. We’re not going to just wait for the next Newtown or the next Aurora before we act. And I genuinely believe that’s what the overwhelming majority of Americans — I don’t care what party they belong to — that’s what they want. They just want to see some progress.
It was interesting, during the conversation, a number of people talked about the trust issue. Part of the reason it’s so hard to get this done is because both sides of the debate sometimes don’t listen to each other. The people who take absolute positions on these issues, on both sides, sometimes aren’t willing to concede even an inch of ground.
And so one of the questions we talked about was, how do you build trust? How do you rebuild some trust? And I told the story about two conversations I had. The first conversation was when Michelle came back from doing some campaigning out in rural Iowa. And we were sitting at dinner, and she had been to like a big county, a lot of driving out there, a lot of farmland. And she said, if I was living out in a farm in Iowa, I’d probably want a gun, too. If somebody just drives up into your driveway and you’re not home — you don’t know who these people are and you don’t know how long it’s going to take for the sheriffs to respond. I can see why you’d want some guns for protection. That’s one conversation.
I had another conversation just a couple of months ago with a mom from Chicago — actually, Evanston, Illinois — whose son had been killed in a random shooting. And she said, you know, I hate it when people tell me that my son was shot because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was in the right place. He was on his way to school. He wasn’t in the wrong place. He was exactly where he was supposed to be.
Now, both those things are true. And sometimes we’re so divided between rural and urban, and folks whose hunting is part of their lives and folks whose only experience with guns is street crime. And the two sides just talk past one another. And more than anything, what I want to just emphasize is there are good people on both sides of this thing, but we have to be able to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. If you’re a hunter, if you’re a sportsman — if you have a gun in your house for protection — you’ve got to understand what it feels like for that mom whose son was randomly shot.
And if you live in an urban area and you’re worried about street crime, you’ve got to understand what it might be like if you grew out on a ranch and your dad had been taking you hunting all your life. And we had a couple of sportsmen in our conversation today, and I thought one of them said something very important. He said, all my experiences with guns have been positive, but I realize that for others, all their experiences about guns have been negative. Well, that’s a start, right? If we start listening to each other, then we should be able to get something done that’s constructive. We should be able to get that done. (Applause.)
One last thing I’m going to mention is that during this conversation — I hope you don’t mind me quoting you, Joe. Joe Garcia, I thought, also made an important point, and that is that the opponents of some of these common-sense laws have ginned up fears among responsible gun owners that have nothing to do with what’s being proposed and nothing to do with the facts, but feeds into this suspicion about government.
You hear some of these quotes: “I need a gun to protect myself from the government.” “We can’t do background checks because the government is going to come take my guns away.”
Well, the government is us. These officials are elected by you. (Applause.) They are elected by you. I am elected by you. I am constrained, as they are constrained, by a system that our Founders put in place. It’s a government of and by and for the people.
And so, surely, we can have a debate that’s not based on the notion somehow that your elected representatives are trying to do something to you other than potentially prevent another group of families from grieving the way the families of Aurora or Newtown or Columbine have grieved. We’ve got to get past some of the rhetoric that gets perpetuated that breaks down trust and is so over the top that it just shuts down all discussion. And it’s important for all of us when we hear that kind of talk to say, hold on a second. If there are any folks who are out there right now who are gun owners, and you’ve been hearing that somehow somebody is taking away your guns, get the facts. We’re not proposing a gun registration system, we’re proposing background checks for criminals. (Applause.)
Don’t just listen to what some advocates or folks who have an interest in this thing are saying. Look at the actual legislation. That’s what happened here in Colorado. And hopefully, if we know the facts and we’re listening to each other, then we can actually move forward.
And that’s what members of Congress need to hear from you. Right now, members of Congress are at home in their districts. Many of them are holding events where they can hear from their constituents. So I’m asking anyone out there who is listening today, find out where your member of Congress stands on these issues. If they’re not part of the 90 percent of Americans who agree on background checks, then ask them why not. Why wouldn’t you want to make it more difficult for a dangerous criminal to get his or her hands on a gun? Why wouldn’t you want to close the loophole that allows too many criminals to buy a gun without even the simplest of background checks? Why on Earth wouldn’t you want to make it easier rather than harder for law enforcement to do their job?
I know that some of the officers here today know what it’s like to look into the eyes of a parent or a grandparent, a brother or a sister, or a spouse who has just lost a loved one to an act of violence. Some of those families, by the way, are here today. And as police officers, you know as well as anybody, there is no magic solution to prevent every bad thing from happening in the world. You still suit up, you put on your badge, put yourself at risk every single day. Every single day, you go to work and you try to do the best you can to protect the people you’re sworn to protect and serve. Well, how can the rest of us as citizens do anything less?
If there is just one step we can take to prevent more Americans from knowing the pain that some of the families who are here have known, don’t we have an obligation to try? Don’t we have an obligation to try? (Applause.) If these reforms keep one person from murdering dozens of innocent children or worshippers or moviegoers in a span of minutes, isn’t it worth fighting for? (Applause.) I believe it is. That’s why I’m going to keep on working. I’m going to keep on giving it my best efforts. But I’m going to need your help.
This is not easy. And I’ll be blunt — a lot of members of Congress, this is tough for them. Because those who are opposed to any form of legislation affecting guns, they’re very well-organized and they’re very well-financed. But it can be done if enough voices are heard.
So I want to thank all the police officers who are here for giving their best efforts every single day. (Applause.) I want to thank Governor Hickenlooper for his outstanding leadership. (Applause.) I want to thank all the families who are here for your courage in being willing to take out of this tragedy something positive. I want to thank the people of Colorado for coming together in sensible ways. (Applause.) Let’s see if we can get the whole country to do so.
Thank you, Denver. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
COLORADO SHERIFF SAVAGES OBAMA ‘FEAR AND GRANDSTANDING’ TO PUSH GUN CONTROL
Accuses President of “legislatively carpet bomb law-abiding citizens”
Paul Joseph Watson
April 4, 2013
Responding to Barack Obama’s visit to Colorado yesterday, during which he pushed for new gun control laws, Elbert County Sheriff Shayne Heap slammed the President for politically exploiting recent tragedies by using “fear” and “grandstanding”.
FOUR MORE WAYS OBAMA’S GUN CONTROL SPEECH SOWS MISTRUST
By Jacob Sullum| Reason.com
April 4, 2013
As I noted earlier today, President Obama professes to be worried about a lack of trust and empathy in the gun control debate, even as he accuses his opponents of blocking life-saving legislation out of sheer partisan perversity. Here are a few other ways in which Obama’s speech in Denver sows mistrust:
He conflates a failed background check with stopping a criminal from obtaining a gun. “Over the past 20 years,” Obama says, “background checks have kept more than 2 million dangerous people from buying a gun.” That claim is based on two faulty assumptions: 1) that everyone who fails a background check is dangerous, which plainly is not true, given the ridiculously broad categories of people who are legally barred from buying firearms, and 2) that a criminal intent on obtaining a weapon will give up if he cannot get it over the counter at a gun store, rather than enlisting a straw buyer or turning to the gray or black market.
He falsely equates “assault weapons” with military guns. Obama inaccurately calls one of the guns used in the 2012 Aurora, Colorado, massacre an “assault rifle,” which is a military weapon capable of firing automatically. He calls the guns he wants to ban “weapons of war,” again implying that they fire continuously, when in fact they fire once per trigger pull, like any other semi-automatic firearm.
He says there is no logical connection between “universal background checks” and gun registration. “We’re not proposing a gun registration system,” Obama insists. “We’re proposing background checks for criminals.” But there is no way to enforce a background-check requirement for every gun transfer unless the government knows where the guns are. Federally licensed gun dealers are readily identified and can be required to keep sale records. Individual gun owners who might dare to sell their property without clearance from the government cannot be identified unless the government compiles a list of them. Hence Obama’s assurances amount to saying, “Don’t worry. We will make a big show of passing this new background-check mandate, but we won’t really enforce it.”
He pooh-poohs the idea that there could ever be anything adversarial about the relationship between Americans and their government:
You hear some of these quotes: “I need a gun to protect myself from the government.” “We can’t do background checks because the government is going to come take my guns away.”
Well, the government is us. These officials are elected by you. (Applause.) They are elected by you. I am elected by you. I am constrained, as they are constrained, by a system that our Founders put in place. It’s a government of and by and for the people.
One of the constraints on the federal government is the doctrine of enmuerated powers, which says every act of Congress must be justified by a specific constitutional grant of authority. Where is the clause that empowers Congress to say how many rounds you can put in a magazine or whether your rifle can have a barrel shroud? Furthermore, as Obama surely has heard by now, there is this thing called the Second Amendment, and it is hardly frivolous to argue than an arbitrary and capricious piece of legislation like the “assault weapon” ban Obama supports would violate the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Yet to Obama’s mind, anyone who makes such an argument is one of those “people who take absolute positions” and therefore can be safely ignored. After all, the government is us.
PRESIDENT OBAMA SPEAKS ON REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE IN CONNECTICUT
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE – HARTFORD, CT
University of Hartford
5:45 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Connecticut. (Applause.) Thank you. Well, thank you so much, everybody. Let me begin by thanking Nicole, and Ian, for your brave words. (Applause.) I want to thank them and all the Newtown families who have come here today, including your First Selectman, Pat Llodra. (Applause.) Nobody could be more eloquent than Nicole and the other families on this issue. And we are so grateful for their courage and willingness to share their stories again and again, understanding that nothing is going to be more important in making sure the Congress moves forward this week than hearing from them.
I want to thank all the educators from Sandy Hook Elementary who have come here as well — (applause) — the survivors –
AUDIENCE MEMBERS: We love you, Obama!
THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. I do. (Applause.)
– the survivors who still mourn and grieve, but are still going to work every day to love and raise those precious children in their care as fiercely as ever.
I want to thank Governor Malloy for his leadership. (Applause.) Very proud of him. I want to thank the University of Hartford for hosting us this afternoon. (Applause.) Thank you, Hawks. (Applause.) And I want to thank the people of Connecticut for everything you’ve done to honor the memories of the victims — (applause) — because you’re part of their family as well.
One of your recent alumni, Rachel D’Avino, was a behavioral therapist at Sandy Hook. Two alumni of your performing arts school, Jimmy Greene and Nelba Marquez-Greene, lost their daughter, Ana — an incredible, vibrant young girl who looked up to them, and learned from them, and inherited their talents by singing before she could talk.
So every family in this state was shaken by the tragedy of that morning. Every family in this country was shaken. We hugged our kids more tightly. We asked what could we do, as a society, to help prevent a tragedy like that from happening again.
And as a society, we decided that we have to change. We must. We must change. (Applause.)
I noticed that Nicole and others refer to that day as “12/14.” For these families, it was a day that changed everything. And I know many of you in Newtown wondered if the rest of us would live up to the promise we made in those dark days — if we’d change, too; or if once the television trucks left, once the candles flickered out, once the teddy bears were carefully gathered up, that the country would somehow move on to other things.
Over the weekend, I heard Francine Wheeler, who lost her son Ben that day, say that the four months since the tragedy might feel like a brief moment for some, but for her, it feels like it’s been years since she saw Ben. And she’s determined not to let what happened that day just fade away. “We’re not going anywhere,” she said. “We are here. And we are going to be here.” And I know that she speaks for everybody in Newtown, everybody who was impacted.
And, Newtown, we want you to know that we’re here with you. We will not walk away from the promises we’ve made. (Applause.) We are as determined as ever to do what must be done. In fact, I’m here to ask you to help me show that we can get it done. We’re not forgetting. (Applause.)
We can’t forget. Your families still grieve in ways most of us can’t comprehend. But so many of you have used that grief to make a difference — not just to honor your own children, but to protect the lives of all of our children. So many of you have mobilized, and organized, and petitioned your elected officials “with love and logic,” as Nicole put it — as citizens determined to right something gone wrong.
And last week, here in Connecticut, your elected leaders responded. The Connecticut legislature, led by many of the legislators here today, passed new measures to protect more of our children and our communities from gun violence. And Governor Malloy signed that legislation into law. (Applause.)
So I want to be clear. You, the families of Newtown, people across Connecticut, you helped make that happen. Your voices, your determination made that happen. Obviously, the elected leaders did an extraordinary job moving it forward, but it couldn’t have happened if they weren’t hearing from people in their respective districts, people all across the state. That’s the power of your voice.
And, by the way, Connecticut is not alone. In the past few months, New York, Colorado, Maryland have all passed new, common-sense gun safety reforms as well. (Applause.)
These are all states that share an awful familiarity with gun violence, whether it’s the horror of mass killings, or the street crime that’s too common in too many neighborhoods. All of these states also share a strong tradition of hunting, and sport shooting, and gun ownership. It’s been a part of the fabric of people’s lives for generations. And every single one of those states — including here in Connecticut — decided that, yes, we can protect more of our citizens from gun violence while still protecting our Second Amendment rights. Those two things don’t contradict each other. (Applause.) We can pass common-sense laws that protect our kids and protect our rights.
So Connecticut has shown the way. And now is the time for Congress to do the same. (Applause.) Now is the time for Congress to do the same. This week is the time for Congress to do the same. (Applause.)
Now, back in January, just a few months after the tragedy in Newtown, I announced a series of executive actions to reduce gun violence and keep our kids safe. And I put forward common-sense proposals — much like those that passed here in Connecticut — for Congress to consider. And you’ll remember in my State of the Union address, I urged Congress to give those proposals a vote. And that moment is now.
As soon as this week, Congress will begin debating these common-sense proposals to reduce gun violence. Your senators, Dick Blumenthal and Chris Murphy — they’re here — (applause) — your Representatives, John Larson, Rosa DeLauro, Elizabeth Esty, Jim Hines, Joe Courtney, they are all pushing to pass this legislation. (Applause.) But much of Congress is going to only act if they hear from you, the American people. So here’s what we have to do.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: I appreciate that. (Laughter.) Here’s what we’ve got to do. We have to tell Congress it’s time to require a background check for anyone who wants to buy a gun so that people who are dangerous to themselves and others cannot get their hands on a gun. Let’s make that happen. (Applause.)
We have to tell Congress it’s time to crack down on gun trafficking so that folks will think twice before buying a gun as part of a scheme to arm someone who won’t pass a background check. Let’s get that done. (Applause.)
We have to tell Congress it’s time to restore the ban on military-style assault weapons, and a 10-round limit for magazines, to make it harder for a gunman to fire 154 bullets into his victims in less than five minutes. Let’s put that to a vote. (Applause.)
We have to tell Congress it’s time to strengthen school safety and help people struggling with mental health problems get the treatment they need before it’s too late. Let’s do that for our kids and for our communities. (Applause.)
Now, I know that some of these proposals inspire more debate than others, but each of them has the support of the majority of the American people. All of them are common sense. All of them deserve a vote. All of them deserve a vote. (Applause.)
Consider background checks. Over the past 20 years, background checks have kept more than 2 million dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun. A group of police officers in Colorado told me last week that, thanks to background checks, they’ve been able to stop convicted murderers, folks under restraining orders for committing violent domestic abuse from buying a gun. In some cases, they’ve actually arrested the person as they were coming to purchase the gun.
So we know that background checks can work. But the problem is loopholes in the current law let so many people avoid background checks altogether. That’s not safe. It doesn’t make sense. If you’re a law-abiding citizen and you go through a background check to buy a gun, wouldn’t you expect other people to play by the same rules? (Applause.)
If you’re a law-abiding gun seller, wouldn’t you want to know you’re not selling your gun to someone who’s likely to commit a crime? (Applause.) Shouldn’t we make it harder, not easier for somebody who is convicted of domestic abuse to get his hands on a gun? (Applause.)
It turns out 90 percent of Americans think so. Ninety percent of Americans support universal background checks. Think about that. How often do 90 percent of Americans agree on anything? (Laughter.) And yet, 90 percent agree on this — Republicans, Democrats, folks who own guns, folks who don’t own guns; 80 percent of Republicans, more than 80 percent of gun owners, more than 70 percent of NRA households. It is common sense.
And yet, there is only one thing that can stand in the way of change that just about everybody agrees on, and that’s politics in Washington. You would think that with those numbers Congress would rush to make this happen. That’s what you would think. (Applause.) If our democracy is working the way it’s supposed to, and 90 percent of the American people agree on something, in the wake of a tragedy you’d think this would not be a heavy lift.
And yet, some folks back in Washington are already floating the idea that they may use political stunts to prevent votes on any of these reforms. Think about that. They’re not just saying they’ll vote “no” on ideas that almost all Americans support. They’re saying they’ll do everything they can to even prevent any votes on these provisions. They’re saying your opinion doesn’t matter. And that’s not right.
AUDIENCE: Booo –
THE PRESIDENT: That is not right.
AUDIENCE: We want a vote!
THE PRESIDENT: We need a vote.
AUDIENCE: We want a vote! We want a vote!
THE PRESIDENT: We need a vote.
AUDIENCE: We want a vote!
THE PRESIDENT: Now, I’ve also heard some in the Washington press suggest that what happens to gun violence legislation in Congress this week will either be a political victory or defeat for me. Connecticut, this is not about me. This is not about politics. This is about doing the right thing for all the families who are here that have been torn apart by gun violence. (Applause.) It’s about them and all the families going forward, so we can prevent this from happening again. That’s what it’s about. It’s about the law enforcement officials putting their lives at risk. That’s what this is about. This is not about politics. (Applause.) This is not about politics.
This is about these families and families all across the country who are saying let’s make it a little harder for our kids to get gunned down.
When I said in my State of the Union address that these proposals deserve a vote — that families of Newtown, and Aurora, and Tucson, and a former member of Congress, Gabby Giffords, that they all deserved a vote -– virtually every member of that chamber stood up and applauded. And now they’re going to start denying your families a vote when the cameras are off and when the lobbyists have worked what they do? You deserve better than that. You deserve a vote.
Now, look, we knew from the beginning of this debate that change would not be easy. We knew that there would be powerful interests that are very good at confusing the subject, that are good at amplifying conflict and extremes, that are good at drowning out rational debate, good at ginning up irrational fears, all of which stands in the way of progress.
But if our history teaches us anything, then it’s up to us –- the people -– to stand up to those who say we can’t, or we won’t; stand up for the change that we need. And I believe that that’s what the American people are looking for.
When I first ran for this office, I said that I did not believe the country was as divided as our politics would suggest, and I still believe that. (Applause.) I know sometimes, when you watch cable news or talk radio, or you browse the Internet, you’d think, man, everybody just hates each other, everybody is just at each other’s throats. But that’s not how most Americans think about these issues. There are good people on both sides of every issue.
So if we’re going to move forward, we can’t just talk past one another. We’ve got to listen to one another. That’s what Governor Malloy and all these legislative leaders did. That’s why they were able to pass bipartisan legislation. (Applause.)
I’ve got stacks of letters from gun owners who want me to know that they care passionately about their right to bear arms, don’t want them infringed upon, and I appreciate every one of those letters. I’ve learned from them. But a lot of those letters, what they’ve also said is they’re not just gun owners; they’re also parents or police officers or veterans, and they agree that we can’t stand by and keep letting these tragedies happen; that with our rights come some responsibilities and obligations to our communities and ourselves, and most of all to our children. We can’t just think about “us” –- we’ve got to think about “we, the people.”
I was in Colorado. I told a story about Michelle. She came back from a trip to rural Iowa; we were out there campaigning. Sometimes it would be miles between farms, let alone towns. And she said, you know, coming back, I can understand why somebody would want a gun for protection. If somebody drove up into the driveway and, Barack, you weren’t home, the sheriff lived miles away, I might want that security. So she can understand what it might be like in terms of somebody wanting that kind of security.
On the other hand, I also talked to a hunter last week who said, all my experiences with guns have been positive, but I also realize that for others, all their experiences with guns have been negative.
And when he said that, I thought about the mom I met from suburban Chicago whose son was killed in a random shooting. And this mom told me, I hate it when people tell me that my son was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was on his way to school. He was exactly where he was supposed to be. He was in the right place at the right time, and he still got shot. (Applause.)
The kids at Sandy Hook were where they were supposed to be. So were those moviegoers in Aurora. So were those worshippers in Oak Creek. So was Gabby Giffords. She was at a supermarket, listening to the concerns of her constituents. (Applause.) They were exactly where they were supposed to be. They were also exercising their rights — to assemble peaceably; to worship freely and safely. They were exercising the rights of life and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So surely, we can reconcile those two things. Surely, America doesn’t have to be divided between rural and urban, and Democrat and Republican when it comes to something like this.
If you’re an American who wants to do something to prevent more families from knowing the immeasurable anguish that these families here have known, then we have to act. Now is the time to get engaged. Now is the time to get involved. Now is the time to push back on fear, and frustration, and misinformation. Now is the time for everybody to make their voices heard from every state house to the corridors of Congress.
And I’m asking everyone listening today, find out where your member of Congress stands on this. If they’re not part of the 90 percent of Americans who agree on background checks, then ask them, why not? Why wouldn’t you want to make it easier for law enforcement to do their job? Why wouldn’t you want to make it harder for a dangerous person to get his or her hands on a gun? What’s more important to you: our children, or an A-grade from the gun lobby? (Applause.)
I’ve heard Nicole talk about what her life has been like since Dylan was taken from her in December. And one thing she said struck me. She said, “Every night, I beg for him to come to me in my dreams so that I can see him again. And during the day, I just focus on what I need to do to honor him and make change.” Now, if Nicole can summon the courage to do that, how can the rest of us do any less? (Applause.) How can we do any less?
If there is even one thing we can do to protect our kids, don’t we have an obligation to try? If there is even one step we can take to keep somebody from murdering dozens of innocents in the span of minutes, shouldn’t we be taking that step? (Applause.) If there is just one thing we can do to keep one father from having to bury his child, isn’t that worth fighting for?
I’ve got to tell you, I’ve had tough days in the presidency — I’ve said this before. The day Newtown happened was the toughest day of my presidency. But I’ve got to tell you, if we don’t respond to this, that will be a tough day for me, too. (Applause.) Because we’ve got to expect more from ourselves, and we’ve got to expect more from Congress. We’ve got to believe that every once in a while, we set politics aside and we just do what’s right. (Applause.) We’ve got to believe that.
And if you believe that, I’m asking you to stand up. (Applause.) If you believe in the right to bears arms, like I do, but think we should prevent an irresponsible few from inflicting harm — stand up. Stand up. (Applause.)
If you believe that the families of Newtown and Aurora and Tucson and Virginia Tech and the thousands of Americans who have been gunned down in the last four months deserve a vote, we all have to stand up. (Applause.)
If you want the people you send to Washington to have just an iota of the courage that the educators at Sandy Hook showed when danger arrived on their doorstep, then we’re all going to have to stand up.
And if we do, if we come together and raise our voices together and demand this change together, I’m convinced cooperation and common sense will prevail. We will find sensible, intelligent ways to make this country stronger and safer for our children. (Applause.)
So let’s do the right thing. Let’s do right by our kids. Let’s do right by these families. Let’s get this done. Connecticut, thank you. God bless you. God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
OBAMA DEMANDS VOTE ON SECOND AMENDMENT DURING HARTFORD SPEECH
April 9, 2013
President Barack Obama traveled to Hartford, Connecticut on Monday and delivered a speech calling for a vote on the Second Amendment. He lashed out at Republicans who plan to resist attempts by Congress to destroy the right to bear firearms.
“Some folks in Washington are already floating the idea that they may use political stunts to prevent votes on any of these reforms,” Obama said. “They’re not just saying they’ll vote no on ideas that almost all Americans support. They’re saying they’ll do everything they can to even prevent any votes on these provisions.”
Obama’s use of the phrase “political stunts” is a reference to the possibility of a Senate filibuster to stop legislation.
On March 22, Republican senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stating their intention to oppose any legislation threatening to destroy the constitutional right to bear arms.
“We, the undersigned, intend to oppose any legislation that would oppose on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance,” the letter states. “The Second Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens’ right to self-defense. It speaks to history’s lesson that government cannot be in all places at all times, and history’s warning about the oppression of a government that tries.”
The establishment media, led by the New York Times, has launched a campaign to portray Paul and more than a dozen other senators concerned about the future of the Constitution as obstructionists.
“The gun lobby is spreading the pernicious falsehood that a background check will lead to a gun registry, and a registry will lead to a knock on the front door by a government SWAT team intent on confiscating the nation’s weapons. Mr. Paul and the other signatories who share this belief have promised to filibuster that bill. And given his newfound interest in the dramatic arts, he is probably planning to perform in another C-Span marathon in the weeks to come,” the Time editorialized as Obama gave his speech in Hartford.
Chris Matthews and Rev. Al Sharpton told MSNBC’s diminished audience that most Americans want universal background checks – and hence registration and ultimately firearm confiscation – and demanded Republicans put aside their “partisanship” and allow Democrats in Congress to vote on a bill that will strike a blow to the cornerstone of the Constitution.
Matthews admitted MSNBC has consistently waged a war against the Second Amendment. “I think MSNBC and you and I and a bunch of other people on this network have been keeping up the fight for gun safety” since the Sandy Hook massacre, “not just a few times but consistently every night,” he said.
TROOPS ORDERED TO KILL AMERICANS WHO DO NOT TURN IN GUNS
STEVE QUAYLE: ETHNIC WARFARE, U.S. CIVIL WAR AND UNITED NATIONS GUN CONFISCATION IS COMING
Published on Nov 9, 2012
SENATOR VOWS TO KILL U.N. ARMS TREATY
Ratification ‘will not happen so long as I am breathing in the U.S. Senate’
WASHINGTON – The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, or ATT, “will only be ratified if the Senate votes to, which will not happen so long as I am breathing in the U.S. Senate,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told WND.
Lee describes the treaty as “extending far beyond the basic purposes for which the U.N. was created,” adding that the sole purpose of the U.N. is to be a “forum to discuss and resolve international problems.”
The ATT creates universal standards for the transfer of any type of weapon and munitions and requires countries to evaluate cross-border arms contracts in an effort to prevent violations of human rights and hinder terrorists.
However, many senators have grave concerns about the treaty infringing upon America’s ability to sell weapons to its allies, such as Israel and South Korea. Additionally, many fear that it could serve as a precursor to domestic gun confiscation here at home.
Lee called the United Nations “a threat to our sovereignty” and said legislation development should not rest with the international body of the U.N. General Assembly or the Security Council, but rather, “We should be legislating through our own body.”
Lee said he also believes it’s time the United States “should start cutting funding to the United Nations,” claiming “the United Nations is not consistent with American values” where “national sovereignty is destroyed incrementally.”
WND has reported on the actions of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is attempting “to work toward the criminalization of the criticism of Islam in U.S. law” via U.N. legislation with considerable approval from the U.S. State Department.
However, until the U.S. Senate determines to alter America’s relationship with the United Nations, Lee said we should “keep a careful watch over the U.N.’s activities.”
The ATT passed the U.N. General Assembly following a 154-to-3 vote, with 23 abstentions. The three nations voting against the ATT were Iran, Syria and North Korea, while some of the abstaining nations included Russia, China, Cuba, India, Sudan and Saudi Arabia.
President Obama supported the ATT, and America’s U.N. ambassador voted in favor of the treaty. However, it will not apply to the United States until the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty.
In discussing the president’s relationship with the United Nations, Lee said he won’t “judge the president’s motivations.” Nonetheless, he said “the president’s affection” with the U.N. and the ATT “certainly” makes him nervous.
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., in a recent interview with WND, also took a massive swipe at the president’s relationship with the U.N., saying Obama’s “happiest days are when he is in front of the United Nations,” adding “that he does these types of things to advance an ‘internationalist agenda.’”
Inhofe said he sees the president’s relationship with the U.N. and his “leftist” ideology as wanting “to erode our sovereignty, and he does it every day. I cannot think of one U.N. treaty that he has not supported.”
UNITED NATIONS ARMS TRADE TREATY CALLS FOR THE DISARMAMENT OF PERSONS 55 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER
Individuals 55 and older would lose their right to keep and bear arms under a provision that’s expected to be included as part of a comprehensive United Nations Global Arms Trade Treaty.
UN Secretary Gen. Ban Ki-moon spoke about the impetus behind the controversial measure at a press conference over the weekend in New York City, the site of the final negotiations between the 193 Member States.
“Regulating the international transfers of both weapons and ammunition is a key component of a robust arms trade treaty, as is limiting civilian access to small arms and munitions,” said Ban Ki-moon.
“There’s an emerging consensus that certain groups should be restricted from possessing conventional arms, certainly those who fuel conflict, arm criminals or violations of international humanitarian or human rights law are at the top of the list,” Ban Ki-moon continued.
“But also, the international community believes segments of the population that present a danger to themselves and others, chiefly individuals deemed or adjudicated mentally defective and persons with attenuating cerebral faculties, should be added to that list.”
While Ban Ki-moon did not elaborate on what he meant by persons with “attenuating cerebral faculties,” a UN liaison with Amnesty International spelled it out in an interview with the Washington Post.
“Simply put, the UN believes guns don’t belong in the hands of the elderly,” said H. Michael Chase, an attorney for the human rights watchdog group.
“Pools of research show that a significant majority of gun-related suicides, accidental shootings, non-fatal negligent discharges are perpetrated by persons 55 and over,” Chase said.
“Along with the mentally ill, preventing those who are advancing in age from gaining easy access to firearms is a common sense way to save lives,” concluded Chase.
Dr. Michael Betti from the John Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness embraced the UN’s call to disarm senior citizens.
“Science tells us that we grow old,” said Dr. Betti, a neurologist who specializes in evaluating and treating patients with memory disorders. “And as we do, our reflexes diminish, our senses become impaired and our cognitive skills weaken … Therefore, as we enter our twilight years – clinically speaking, age 50 and above [Global life expectancy is only 67 years] – science tells us that we are in no shape to be handling or using a deadly weapon.”
In lieu of firearms, Dr. Betti suggests that seniors find other, non-violent and non-lethal options for self-defense.
“The optimal self-defense posture for seniors would include such items as a rape whistle or high-decibel air horn, quick-strike road flares, an electronic medical alert system, a cellular telephone with a large display, morphine injections, neon or glow-in-the-dark armbands, a mesh vest, a pith helmet with flashing headgear and a solar-powered radio,” said Dr. Betti.
Thus far, the White House has not offered a specific comment on the arms trade agreement or its call to disarm seniors, but to echo a recent statement issued by Secretary of State John Kerry, “The United States is steadfast in its commitment to achieve a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty.”
As for the constitutionality of revoking an elderly person’s Second Amendment rights here in the U.S., at least one gun control advocate said, “That’s not a problem.”
UNITED NATIONS ARMS TRADE TREATY COULD SHUT DOWN FLOW OF SURPLUS AMMO
By Jeff Knox
On Tuesday, April 2 2013, the United Nations General Assembly, by a vote of 154 to 3, with 23 abstentions, voted in favor of adopting a sweeping Arms Trade Treaty that has been the source of much speculation, derision, and concern within the rights community in the US.
While the language adopted by the UN is more in line with the demands of groups representing US gun owners and representatives of our firearms industry, there are still aspects of the treaty that are of concern.
The UN’s long-standing antipathy toward private firearms ownership demands that the language of the treaty must be viewed through the prism of that hostility.
The treaty began life in 2001 as the “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.” That mouthful of a title formed the framework for meetings that eventually became the basis of the treaty. During the Bush administration, Ambassador John Bolton almost completely shut down the UN Small Arms Trade Treaty with his dogged objections to any provision that encroached on private firearms ownership or that encompassed any firearms, parts, or ammunition popular with US consumers.
During Obama’s first term, the treaty was revived, though his administration moved cautiously and worked to mitigate Senate concerns about provisions that would overtly impact US citizens’ Second Amendment rights.
During that first term, the one reassuring promise from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was that the final treaty draft had to achieve the full consensus of the drafting committee in order to gain US support. It was this demand for full consensus – a unanimous vote – that effectively tabled the troublesome treaty during Obama’s reelection campaign.
Enter 2013 and a new Obama administration no longer concerned with reelection, and a new Secretary of State, John Kerry. At the conclusion of what was scheduled to be the final meeting of the committee drafting the treaty, the US suddenly reversed its position on consensus. On March 29 2013 we reported that the draft treaty had again been stymied in committee by a few countries objecting to certain provisions – thus denying consensus. But we warned that the reversal of the US position on consensus could mean the treaty would come out of committee and be pushed through the UN General Assembly. The US representative to the drafting committee, Thomas Countryman, had declared at the close of the conference that insisting on true consensus was not realistic, and said that the US would vote for the treaty if it were to come to the floor of the General Assembly. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was quick to express his support for moving forward with the treaty, and just a few days later, on April 2 2013, the treaty was introduced on the floor of the Assembly where it was quickly adopted – led by the US delegation.
Careful examination of the treaty language that was adopted offers little that raises serious concerns for US shooters and gun owners. The most hyped aspect has been regarding requirements that participating nations maintain lists of arms and armament as something of a global inventory of available weaponry. Some have construed this to be a requirement for universal registration of guns, ammunition, and gun owners. That interpretation is a stretch at best, but given the history and attitudes of the UN and the current administration, anything that we could perceive as a threat, has the potential for realization, no matter how much of a stretch it is.
Beyond that, the main concerns we have with the treaty are that it fails to distinguish between military armaments and civilian arms, it will, at the very least, complicate matters for foreign manufacturers who serve the US consumer market, it invites abuse that could make traveling with firearms for hunting or other lawful purposes virtually impossible, and it has serious potential to interfere with, if not completely shut down, the flow of surplus ammo and parts into the US.
As gun owners and activists have learned through hard experience over the years, it is not the expressed intent or objectives of legislation (or in this case of a treaty) that matters, but how the specific language could be interpreted to our detriment by an adversarial administration.
President Lyndon Johnson captured a truth when he said; “You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.”
In that light, this treaty has a lot of potential, both good and bad. The Obama administration has permitted it to become a reality and there is nothing to be done but resist its ratification based on the harms it could cause if fully applied. We are only likely to feel some slight ripples of the impact of this treaty as it goes into effect around the world, but over time, those ripples could begin to hit harder and higher.
For now, it appears that the current drive to get what you can while you can, as it applies to ammo and surplus parts, has officially been extended indefinitely.
GUN RIGHTS ADVOCATES FEAR UNITED NATIONS TREATY WILL LEAD TO UNITED STATES REGISTRY
By David Sherfinski | The Washington Times
The U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday approved a sweeping, first-of-its-kind treaty aimed at regulating the estimated $60 billion international arms trade, brushing aside gun rights groups’ concerns that the pact could lead to a national firearms registry in the U.S.
The long-debated U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) requires countries to regulate and control the export of weaponry such as battle tanks, combat vehicles and aircraft and attack helicopters, as well as parts and ammunition for such weapons.
The treaty also provides that signatories will not violate arms embargoes or international treaties regarding illicit trafficking, or sell weaponry to countries where they could be used for genocide, crimes against humanity or other war crimes.
U.S. gun rights activists say the treaty is riddled with loopholes and is unworkable in part because it includes “small arms and light weapons” in its list of weaponry subject to international regulations. The activists said they do not trust U.N. assertions that the pact is meant to regulate only cross-border trade and would have no impact on domestic U.S. laws and markets.
One provision requires participating countries to keep records of arms exports and imports, including the quantity, value, model/type, and “end users, as appropriate” for at least 10 years.
Gun record-keeping is a thorny issue in the U.S., where similar questions have stalled a debate over expanding background checks to include all private gun sales.
Second Amendment supporters worry that such records eventually will pave the way for a national firearms registry, currently prohibited by federal law.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote a letter to President Obama on Tuesday saying he would sue to block the treaty if it is ratified. It “appears to lay the groundwork for an international gun registry overseen by the bureaucrats at the UN,” the letter said.
The Senate last month also signaled its aversion, voting 53-46 to oppose the treaty in a nonbinding test vote as part of the budget debate. Eight Democrats joined all 45 Republicans in opposing the treaty.
“The U.S. Senate is united in strong opposition to a treaty that puts us on level ground with dictatorships who abuse human rights and arm terrorists, but there is real concern that the administration feels pressured to sign a treaty that violates our constitutional rights,” Mr. Moran said.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that the White House was pleased with the outcome, but “as is the case with all treaties of this nature, we will follow normal procedures to conduct a thorough review of the treaty text to determine whether to sign the treaty.”
Amnesty International and the Arms Control Association hailed the U.N. vote.
Under the treaty, countries must consider whether weapons would be used to violate international humanitarian or human rights laws and facilitate acts of terrorism or organized crime.
“The treaty’s prohibition section, if it were in force today, would prohibit the ongoing supply of weapons and parts and components to the Assad regime in Syria,” said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the ACA, a national group that works on arms-control policies.
The American Bar Association released a white paper arguing that the treaty would not affect Second Amendment rights.
The U.N. vote clears the way for countries to add their signatures to the treaty starting June 3. The treaty will take effect 90 days after 50 nations sign it.
Within one year of signing on, each country must submit a report outlining the steps it has taken to comply. But more specifics on the implementation, enforcement and possible punishment for violations of the treaty remain to be seen. Countries have the right to withdraw from the treaty, but are not, as a result, excused from obligations they had while participating.
“This is a very good framework, I think, to build on — it’s fair, I think it’s balanced, and it’s strong. But it’s only a framework,” Mr. Woolcott said. “And it’ll only be as good as its implementation.”
More rule-making is to be delegated to a conference of participating countries, to convene within one year after the treaty goes into effect to review its implementation and consider amendments.
Some abstaining countries, including India and Egypt, said the treaty did not go far enough on its language regarding terrorism or human rights.
“STATE CONTROL”: WHAT THE UNITED NATIONS FIREARMS TREATY IS ALL ABOUT
White House mouthpiece Jay Carney says that the Obama administration will “conduct a thorough review” of the UN’s newly enacted gun control pact “to determine whether to sign the treaty.” The suspense is hardly unbearable, given that the UN treaty would codify the proposition that national governments should have a monopoly on weapons.
The announced objective of the treaty is to regulate the sale and transfer of small arms and light weapons, a category that includes all civilian-owned firearms. According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, the treaty “will help to keep warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and their like from acquiring deadly arms.”
‘NORMS OF NON-POSSESSION’: WHAT THE UNITED NATIONS FIREARMS TREATY IS ALL ABOUT
by William Norman Grigg
White House mouthpiece Jay Carney says that the Obama administration will “conduct a thorough review” of the UN’s newly enacted gun control pact “to determine whether to sign the treaty.” The suspense is hardly unbearable, given that the UN treaty would codify the proposition that national governments should have a monopoly on weapons.
The announced objective of the treaty is to regulate the sale and transfer of small arms and light weapons, a category that includes all civilian-owned firearms. According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, the treaty “will help to keep warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and their like from acquiring deadly arms.”
Well, actually, it would not. Nothing in the dense and nearly unreadable text of the 15-page treaty will prevent member states from arming terrorists and criminals. Article 2, Section 3 specifies that nothing in the treaty will “apply to the international movement of conventional arms by, or on behalf of, a State Party for its use provided that the conventional arms remain under that State Party’s ownership.”
Article 11, which deals with “Diversion” of weaponry, requires that parties to the treaty work to “mitigate the risk” that weapons would fall into the hands of criminals or terrorists, and that they “share relevant information … on effective measures to address diversion.” But nothing in the language forbids such diversions from States to “non-state actors” – a point that was made, ironically, by the Communist government of North Korea when it voted against the treaty.
Each government that signs the UN gun treaty agree to create “a national control system to regulate the export of ammunition [and] munitions” (Article 3), which is described in the preamble as “the primary responsibility of all States.” The document repeatedly refers to the “inherent right” of States to arm themselves and to control the weaponry within the boundaries over which they claim jurisdiction. Not a syllable can be found in the document recognizing the innate right of the individual to armed self-defense. This omission was not accidental.
For more than fifty years, the United Nations, with the enthusiastic support of the U.S. government, has pursued a vision of “general and complete disarmament” in which the world body, or its successor, would claim a monopoly on the “legitimate” use of force. Within that global monopoly, each national government would have an exclusive territorial franchise.
“Controlling the proliferation of illicit [that is, civilian-owned] weapons is a necessary first step towards the non-proliferation of small arms,” wrote former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in his official 2000 report, We the Peoples. “These weapons must be brought under the control of states, and states must be held responsible for their transfer.” (Emphasis added.)
It was in pursuit of that formula that UN “peacekeepers” were deployed in Rwanda in 1993. The peace treaty they were sent to enforce required the collection of all civilian-owned weapons. Despite that country’s history of bloody ethnic conflict, Rwandans were assured that they had nothing to fear from a UN-approved government that claimed a monopoly on weaponry; after all, the Blue Beret-wearing emissaries of the “international community” were there to protect them, in the event their government turned feral.
In January 1994, Lt. Col. Romeo Dallaire, the Canadian officer commanding the UN contingent in Rwanda, learned that the Hutu-dominated regime was planning to massacre the Tutsi population. He sent an urgent fax to UN headquarters requesting permission to disarm the government-backed militias by raiding their arms caches. He wasn’t allowed to take this pre-emptive action, because the UN’s self-assigned mandate called for civilian disarmament, not the disarmament of government operatives.
Less than three months later, the massacre began – a 100-day orgy of bloodshed in which roughly one million people were slaughtered. Most were hacked to death with machetes – but behind the machete-wielding goons were government troops, police, and militiamen armed with guns. Dallaire’s troops did nothing to protect the victims; indeed, many of them were butchered as well.
The UN official who was given advance warning of the massacre, and ordered Dallaire not to take any preventive action, was Kofi Annan – who at the time was undersecretary general for peacekeeping operations. In the finest tradition of Soviet career advancement, Annan was rewarded with a promotion to Secretary General, and eventually received the Nobel Peace Prize. Dallaire, who had done what he could to prevent the genocide, succumbed to near-suicidal depression and alcoholism. He was eventually rehabilitated after a reporter found him freezing to death under a park bench in Hull, Quebec.
Rwanda is a nearly ideal case of the UN’s model of “human security,” which requires, among other things, the establishment of “norms of non-possession” of firearms by civilians. That phrase was taken from the UN-approved “Hague Appeal for Peace,” which was unveiled at the 2000 “Millennium Summit” at UN Headquarters.
According to the Hague Appeal:
“Full-fledged demobilization programs must reclaim and destroy weaponry…. Steps toward stopping the flow of weapons include: controlling legal transfers between states; preventing illicit transfers … collecting, removing, and destroying surplus weapons from regions of conflict … [and] creating norms of non-possession.”
Those objectives are woven into the UN’s new arms treaty – but those threads run back to the late 1950s, when the world body first became involved in the “arms control” process.
Barack Obama is a left-leaning corporatist from an exotic background, but he is not the first U.S. president whose administration has promoted a UN-centered gun grab. That distinction belongs to Dwight Eisenhower, the conservative Republican whose State Department served as an incubator for a proposal called Freedom from War: The United States Program for General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World. That program, also known as State Department Document 7277, was introduced to the world in the fall of 1961 by Eisenhower’s successor, John F. Kennedy.
Freedom from War, and its follow-up Blueprint for the Peace Race, outlined a three-stage global program in which the UN’s machinery for “peace enforcement” – what honest people would call “warmaking” – would be built up pari passu with disarmament of national governments. In Stage III, national governments would retain only those armaments and establishments necessary to carry out UN-ordained “global obligations” and to “maintain internal order.”
“All other armaments would be destroyed or converted to peaceful purposes,” dictates the U.S.-created program. “Peaceful purposes,” in the statist lexicon, include all acts of government-sanctioned aggression and violence. “All other armaments” would, of necessity, include civilian-owned weaponry. Those points were made with plangent clarity in a 1962 State Department-commissioned study called A World Effectively Controlled by the United Nations, which was written by MIT professor Lincoln P. Bloomfield.
Dispensing with the utopian pretenses of many world government advocates, Bloomfield observed that the pursuit of a world “effectively controlled” by the UN would be to create a “stable military environment” for the benefit of the U.S. government and allied interests. This would eventually require the creation of a nuclear-armed UN “Peace Force” – a multilateral body that itself would be effectively controlled by Washington – that would include a “disarmament policing agency.” Each constituent member of the UN would be permitted a military establishment that would be limited “to the right to maintain sufficient police forces to ensure domestic security.”
One source frequently cited by Bloomfield in his study is World Peace through World Law, a 1958 book co-written by Wall Street attorney Grenville Clark and Professor Louis B. Sohn. That book unflinchingly endorsed the creation of “A World Police Force” that would possess “a coercive force of overwhelming power.” It would initially be equipped through “the transfer of weapons and equipment discarded by national military forces during the process of complete disarmament.” However, it would also benefit from a research and development program devoted to providing it with a prohibitive advantage against any potential adversary.
Such an entity does not exist within the United Nations, of course. But what Clark and Sohn envisioned looks a great deal like the military-industrial complex that serves the interest of the de facto world government operated out of Washington, D.C.
“Even in a world in which all national military forces were abolished,” continued Clark and Sohn, “it is conceivable that … an aroused nation with a strong grievance could marshal quite a formidable armed force even if no on in it possessed any weapon stronger than a rifle.” This is why, they concluded, “a strong and well-armed police force is part of the indispensable price of peace and the sooner the world faces up to this conclusion the better it will be for all peoples.”
Oh, sure, they acknowledge, the nuclear-armed world “Peace Force” they envisioned “might be perverted into a tool of world domination” – a concession they make without explaining how what they describe is something other than a plan for world domination. They then feinted in the direction of checks and balances, insisting that “careful limitations and safeguards” would be incorporated into the system – without providing so much as a hint of what they would be in a world where everybody but UN-approved government bodies would be disarmed.
In his 1962 study, Bloomfield took note of one critical complication: “In the United States, the people have the constitutional right to `keep and bear arms’; the government monopoly is legally abridged to that extent.”
Once we peel the propaganda and persiflage away from the new UN arms treaty, it becomes clear that establishing that monopoly is the entire purpose of the document.
THE GENOCIDAL INTENTIONS BEHIND THE UNITED NATIONS SMALL ARMS TREATY
by Dave Hodges - thecommonsenseshow.com
In September of 2007, I interviewed Dr. Lorraine Day, the former Orthopedic Chief of Staff at San Francisco General Hospital and the wife of retired Congressman Bill Dannemeyer, about the evils of the present medical system. The initial portion of the interview went as expected and was filled with scores of examples of pharmaceutical and medical insurance company greed and abuse which has resulted in the deaths of untold numbers of patients. Then Dr. Day dropped a bombshell when, at the conclusion of the interview, she unabashedly stated that the global elite want to murder 95% of the population. This is precisely the goal of the United Nations Small Arms Treaty and Dr. Day could have easily been talking about the increased probability of this event coming to fruition.
Obama’s Complicity In Disarming the American People
The Obama administration has announced that it will “conduct a thorough review” of the UN’s newly enacted gun control pact in order to properly determine whether to sign the treaty. The UN treaty would codify the proposition that national governments should have a monopoly on weapons and citizens should be without any means of self-defense.
UN Justification to Seize All Arms
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, has proclaimed that the treaty “will help to keep warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and their like from acquiring deadly arms.”
The primary objective of the treaty is to regulate the sale and transfer of small arms and light weapons which includes all civilian-owned firearms.
Article 2, Section 3 and Article 11 specifies that nothing in the treaty will “apply to the international movement of conventional arms by, or on behalf of, a State Party for its use provided that the conventional arms remain under that State Party’s ownership.” In other words, known arms traffickers, such as the CIA, will not have their arms industry interfered with and al-Qaeda will continue to be armed by the CIA in order to continue in help our criminal government to overthrow such regimes as Libya and Syria. Nothing in the language of the treaty prohibits the sale of arms from States to “non-state actors” (e.g. terrorist organizations). Interestingly, North Korea opposed the treaty on this point. It could accurately be said that the rogue and criminal regime of North Korea is a closer ally to Second Amendment supporters than the Obama administration which is sworn to defend the Constitution. Further, Article 3 states that States have the inherent right to arm themselves and to control weaponry with their territorial boundaries. Nowhere in the UN document does it mention the right of individual citizens to defend themselves against invasion or genocide.
The Obama administration has lent its enthusiastic support of the United Nation’s goal of “general and complete disarmament” in which the UN will possess exclusivity over all weapons on a permanent basis.
The Rwanda Factor
How well has disarmament worked to protect the citizens being protected by the United Nations? Do you remember in 1994, in Colonel Dallaire from the Canadian contingent of the UN blue helmeted peace keepers reported to Kofi Annan that he learned a genocidal plot in which he learned that the Hutu-dominated regime was planning to massacre the Tutsi population? Dallaire asked the prominent UN offical at the time, Annan, for permission to disarm the Hutu’s and was told to stand down and to do nothing.
In the next 90 days, one million Tutsi’s were murdered while the “Blue Helmets” observed.
Following the 90 day murdering spree, a disillusioned Dallaire became a homeless, alcoholic, depressed person. Annan was promoted to Secretary General of the United Nations and won the Nobel Peace Prize. And we are going to let these murderous thugs control all weapons on the planet?
What Follows Disarmament?
In the 20th century, governments murdered 260 million people which followed gun confiscations. Can the UN be trusted to not commit genocide against the people of the world? And once the United Nations has control over all weapons, what can Americans expect? Lets allow present and past United Nations officials to speak to this point.
“A total world population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
Ted Turner, in an interview with Audubon magazine and UN Contributor
In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it is just as bad not to say it.”
J. Cousteau, 1991 explorer and UNESCO courier
“The present vast overpopulation, now far beyond the world carrying capacity, cannot be answered by future reductions in the birth rate due to contraception, sterilization and abortion, but must be met in the present by the reduction of numbers presently existing. This must be done by whatever means necessary.”
Initiative for the United Nations ECO-92 EARTH CHARTER
No one will enter the New World Order unless he or she will make a pledge to worship Lucifer. No one will enter the New Age unless he will take a Luciferian Initiation.”
David Spangler, Director of Planetary Initiative, United Nations
And we are going to let these UN thugs decide who can own a gun in America?
I have said that I am opposed to an open civil war against our banker hijacked government. However, when it comes to gun confiscation, Americans must collectively resist with every fiber of their being the attempted disarmament of its citizens. And we all know that gun confiscation always precedes genocide. If Obama lets the United Nations do his dirty work of disarming the people, America will have to fight.
We have a choice America, we can fight our criminal government and the domestically stationed foreign mercenaries as they attempt to take the guns, or we can resist being hauled into a Wackenhut bus on the way to a FEMA camp for extermination. If Obama’s UN colleagues come for the guns, the only choice we will have is when we fight, not if we fight. I prefer to fight these forces with weapons rather than with bare hands.
If we adopt the UN Small Arms Treaty, lock and load America!
3D GUN PRINTERS: ‘WEAPONS REVOLUTION IN 3D’
GUN MEASURES MAY BE IN JEOPARDY IN CONGRESS
April 1, 2013
Gun-control measures that seemed destined to become law after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., are in jeopardy amid a fierce lobbying campaign by firearms advocates.
Despite months of negotiations, key senators have been unable to find a workable plan for near-universal background checks on gun purchases — an idea that polls show nine in 10 Americans support.
Another provision that garnered bipartisan support — making gun trafficking a federal crime — could be gutted if Republican lawmakers accept new language being circulated by the National Rifle Association.
The failure of those two measures would be a major setback for the White House and its allies, who have acknowledged that two other proposals — bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines — are not politically viable.
President Obama plans to visit a police academy in Colorado on Wednesday to renew an urgency to overhaul the nation’s gun laws that has ebbed in the more than 100 days since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Obama and his allies have not been able to leverage nationwide support for the proposals into a will to pass them on Capitol Hill.
And a television ad campaign targeting 13 senators, financed by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) and in its second week on the air, has not swayed enough lawmakers to ensure passage of the background-check measure.
Gun-control proponents are hopeful that senators will soon reach a compromise on background checks even though negotiations are at a standstill. The sides disagree about whether private sales of firearms, such as those between family members or neighbors, would be exempt, as well as how or whether records would be kept.
The NRA voiced support for expanded background checks as recently as 1999. But after the Newtown massacre, it has opposed the idea. NRA officials have argued that the current system is poorly managed and that violators are rarely prosecuted — and they have instilled fear among some key senators that their votes for background checks would have political consequences.
Now some of the same senators targeted by the Bloomberg ads as potential gun-control supporters are showing greater skepticism about expanding checks. The group facing growing pressure from both sides includes a handful of Democrats who will be up for reelection in 2014 in conservative states with strong traditions of gun ownership: Mark Begich (Alaska), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Max Baucus (Mont.), Kay Hagan (N.C.) and Mark R. Warner (Va.).
Pryor, for instance, responded tersely to Bloomberg’s ads, saying last week: “I don’t take gun advice from the mayor of New York City. I listen to Arkansans.”
Several Republicans have threatened to filibuster the bill, which will require a 60-vote majority to pass. And Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), another Bloomberg target and a Republican who may vote for universal background checks, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that it “is a bridge too far for most of us.”
Gun-control supporters have tried in recent days to salvage the legislation.
Sen. Joe Manchin III (W.Va.), one of only seven Senate Democrats with at least an “A” rating from the NRA, has stepped in to try to bridge the divide between senators as well as the interest groups on both sides of the debate, said several aides familiar with the talks.
But, the aides added, there has been virtually no progress since senators left Washington on March 23 for a two-week spring recess. And now, back home, senators are assessing the raw politics of their constituencies to determine which could cost them more in the next election: voting for expanding background checks or doing nothing.
“If there was a secret-ballot vote it would pass overwhelmingly, because from a substantive point of view most of these senators understand that this is the right thing to do,” said Matt Bennett, a gun-control advocate and senior vice president at Third Way, a centrist think tank. “What’s holding them back is pure politics.”
The Republican-led House has put off any consideration of gun-control measures until after the Senate votes. With Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) planning to begin floor debate on guns next week, NRA lobbyists, as well as Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns group, are reviewing legislative language with senators and their staffs.
On Tuesday, the NRA plans to announce a comprehensive plan for school safety, the results of a process begun in the days following the Newtown shootings when the organization seemed on the defensive. Spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said the plan will “go beyond armed personnel.”
On the separate gun-trafficking measure, the NRA is circulating a proposed revision that critics say would eviscerate the principles agreed to last month by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The committee’s bill would criminalize all “straw purchases” at licensed gun dealers. But the NRA’s draft language would require law enforcement officials to prove that the straw purchaser had reason to believe the buyer was prohibited from obtaining guns or knew that the buyer intended to commit a crime, according to an analysis of the NRA proposal provided to The Washington Post by the Bloomberg-led mayors group.
Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said the NRA language would create a “ridiculous” standard for law enforcement officials trying to crack down on trafficking.
The NRA rejected that analysis. Arulanandam said gun-control advocates were misrepresenting a “discussion draft of the type that always circulates in the course of the legislative process.”
Proponents of stricter measures are becoming increasingly fed up with the Senate’s inaction. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), a survivor of a mass shooting, said the delays have created “an environment so that cowards can succeed.”
“Ninety-one percent of the American people support a universal background check, and we’ve got members on the House and Senate side that are gutless,” she said. “They know in their heart of hearts that it’s the absolute right thing to do, but they are more concerned about their reelection.”
At the White House on Monday, press secretary Jay Carney said the families of shooting victims “deserve that Congress votes on these measures and not hide behind filibusters.”
Gun-control advocates are trying to match the NRA’s lobbying firepower. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a group that sprung up in the days after the Newtown shootings, has been tweeting to lawmakers and visiting their offices to press their case.
Jennifer Fiore, the group’s vice president, recalled that a recent meeting between a mother and an unnamed senior aide to a Senate Republican prompted a sharp, emotional exchange after the staff member repeatedly referred to the recordkeeping provisions in the background-check bill as akin to a national gun registry — a frequent NRA talking point.
“The mom in this office who listened to him talking about registries versus recordkeeping was so fed up with that kind of talk that she got pretty real with him, and at the end of that process I could tell he was listening to us,” Fiore recalled. “Our job is to pop the bubbles that they’re living in and remind them who their constituents are.”
But the exchange also illuminated for Fiore the extent of the NRA’s reach. “They made it into somebody’s office before I got there,” she said.
AARON DYKES: WHAT IS THE SECOND AMENDMENT?
Second Amendment — The right to keep and bear arms. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
THE FOUNDING FATHERS WANTED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARMED
January 22, 2012
The Founding Fathers agree: an armed population makes good government. Numerous quotes from the revolutionary era make their intent extremely clear — that individuals were meant to keep and bear arms for the protection of the country and the defense of its Constitution and Bill of Rights.
“One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.” - Joseph Stalin
“If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” - Anonymous American adage
“The Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.” – Samuel Adams
“Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American…” – Tench Coxe 1788
“The Constitution preserves “the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” - James Madison, The Federalist, No. 46
“Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.” - Joseph Stalin
“In earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.” - Zbigniew Brzezinski
“Death solves all problems – no man, no problem.” - Joseph Stalin
“Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.” - Joseph Stalin
“The only real power comes out of a long rifle.” - Joseph Stalin
“The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” – Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
“Those now possessing weapons and ammunition are at once to turn them over to the local police authority. Firearms and ammunition found in a Jew’s possession will be forfeited to the government without compensation. Whoever willfully or negligently violates the provisions will be punished with imprisonment and a fine.” - Nazi Law (Regulations Against Jews’ Possession of Weapons), 1938
“Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property… Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them. ” –Thomas Paine
“It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.” - Thomas Paine
“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” - Thomas Jefferson
“Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who didn’t. ” – Ben Franklin
“If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves.” - Joseph Stalin
“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” – Thomas Jefferson
“A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.” – George Washington
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.” – Patrick Henry
“Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense?” – Patrick Henry
“The right of the people to keep and bear…arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country…” –James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 (June 8, 1789)
“(The Constitution preserves) the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” –James Madison
“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government…” – Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist (#28)
“To disarm the people is the best and most effective way to enslave them.” – George Mason
“The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.” – Noah Webster, “An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (1787)
“A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.” –Thomas Jefferson, Rights of British America, 1774
“The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. And while a single nation refuses to lay them down, it is proper that all should keep them up. Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them; for while avarice and ambition have a place in the heart of man, the weak will become a prey to the strong.” - Thomas Paine, “Thoughts on Defensive War”, July, 1775
“Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” - Mao Zedong, “Problems of War and Strategy”, 1938
“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” - Richard Henry Lee, 1778
“The right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.” - Hubert Humphrey, “Know Your Lawmakers”, Guns magazine, February 1960
“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.” - Adolf Hitler, April 1942
“If gun laws in fact worked, the sponsors of this type of legislation should have no difficulty drawing upon long lists of examples of crime rates reduced by such legislation. That they cannot do so after a century and a half of trying — that they must sweep under the rug the southern attempts at gun control in the 1870-1910 period, the northeastern attempts in the 1920-1939 period, the attempts at both Federal and State levels in 1965-1976 — establishes the repeated, complete and inevitable failure of gun laws to control serious crime.” - Orrin Hatch, “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms”
“After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.” – William S. Burroughs, 1991
“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”
- George Washington
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION STARTED OVER DISARMAMENT
January 23, 2013
The American revolution started on April 19, 1775 in response to an attempt by the British regulars to disarm the militia of their stockpiles near Lexington. It became the shot heard ’round the world. The subsequent Constitution and Bill of Rights set up checks and balances, in part as a response to various types of British abuse and interference.
Today, the establishment has openly violated much the Constitution and Bill of Rights, wantonly spied on communications without warrant and staked TSA agents at airports to abuse the traveling public despite the 4th Amendment, and has conducted a long train of abuses. Now it seeks to dismantle the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, removing yet another important check on government power.
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms, disarm only those who are neither inclined, nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants. They serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.
– Thomas Jefferson, 1764
What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.
– Thomas Jefferson
Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who didn’t.
– Ben Franklin
Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property… Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.
– George Washington
Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.
Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?
– Patrick Henry, 3 Elliot, Debates at 386.
The Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.
–Samuel Adams, debates & Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87.
The right of the people to keep and bear…arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country…
–James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 (June 8, 1789).
(The Constitution preserves) the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government…
– Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist (#28) .
The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.
–Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-B.
To disarm the people is the best and most effective way to enslave them.
– George Mason
The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.
–Noah Webster, “An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (1787) in Pamplets on the Constitution of the United States (P.Ford, 1888)
[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or the state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People.
– Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
…In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
…We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
- Thomas Jefferson – excerpts from The Declaration of Independence
CROSSTALK: GLOBAL GUN CONTROL?
Published on Apr 5, 2013
The UN has adopted its first arms treaty. Will it be implemented and what difference will it make? Will it actually stop any arms exports? And what are the penalties for non-compliance? CrossTalking with Geoffrey Ingersoll, Daryl Kimball and Elli Kytömäki.
DICK MORRIS: NEW UNITED NATIONS PUSH FOR GUN CONTROL
STOP THE U.N. GUN TREATY
The United Nations General Assembly has just voted to approve the text of a global regulation of small arms trade. The United States voted for the treaty, making it clear that Obama and Secretary of State Kerry will sign it and submit it to the Senate for ratification.
Oddly, the three nations most likely to violate the treaty — Iran, Syria, and North Korea — all voted against it and won’t sign up.
But the real danger in this treaty, as we warned in our book Here Come the Black Helicopters, is that it sets up the basis for gun control in the United States. Since the U.S. accounts for about a third of all private sector small arms exports, the treaty is really aimed directly at us. (Since more than three quarters of all small arms exports are by governments not by private firms or individuals, the treaty will really do little to stop them).
The Treaty does not set out provisions with which nations must comply. Instead, it sets goals and empowers a new international regulatory body to deal with individual nations to bring about compliance. The nations who sign the treaty are obliged to stop arms transfers by private companies and citizens to terrorists, drug gangs, and other bad actors. (Precisely the same folks Holder supplied with guns in Fast and Furious).
How the nations of the world comply is up to them and up to the international regulatory body. The inevitable byproduct of this treaty is an escalating series of gun registration, controls and confiscation steps imposed by treaty without requiring the consent of the Congress.
In fact, these measures could be imposed by the U.S. courts since the treaty would be the law of the land and could be the subject of judicial intervention.
We must stop this treaty. Its passage is an obvious back door way around the likely failure of gun control legislation in the Congress. This Treaty, which only needs Senate approval, would cut the Republican House out of the deal entirely.
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION or contact your senator to stop this treaty from becoming the law of the land. If you have already signed it, please circulate it very widely so that we can bring the pressure to bear on our Senators to be the last line of defense of our constitutional liberties.
URGENT: JOHN KERRY COMMITS U.S. TO UNITED NATIONS SMALL ARMS TREATY
MARCH 20, 2013
U.S. Rights: As the world body meets this week to hammer out an agreement to restrict international arms trade, our Secretary of State commits us to pushing a treaty that may also restrict our Second Amendment rights.
Last Friday, the day of the week when unpopular or controversial announcements are traditionally made, Secretary of State John Kerry announced U.S. support for the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a final version of which is being hammered out in New York beginning this week.
Certainly the ATT is controversial. Touted as a means of getting a handle on an international arms trade valued at $60 billion a year, its stated purpose is to keep illicit weapons out of the hands of terrorists, insurgent fighters and organized crime at an international level.
Its vague and suspicious wording led some 150 members of Congress last June to send a letter to President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warning that the treaty is “likely to pose significant threats to our national security, foreign policy and economic interests as well as our constitutional rights.”
We have noted that a paper by the U.N.’s Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) says that arms have been “misused by lawful owners” and that the “arms trade therefore be regulated in ways that would . .. minimize the misuse of legally owned weapons.”
Would defending your home against intruders, or U.S. laws permitting concealed carry, be considered a “misuse?”
“We will not support any treaty that would be inconsistent with U.S. law and the rights of American citizens under our Constitution, including the Second Amendment,” Secretary of State Kerry tried to reassure us — even as he represents an administration that seeks to ban weapons on their scary appearance rather than their genuine lethality, thinks the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment with deer-hunting rather than British tyranny in mind, and would be happy if the entire U.S. were a “gun-free zone.”
As the Heritage Foundation notes, imported firearms, considered part of the “arms trade” to be regulated, constitute about 35% of the new firearms market in the U.S.
“Under the guise of adopting what it deems to be ‘appropriate measures,’ an Administration could restrict imports by redefining what qualifies as a ‘sporting’ firearm — the definition of which is left completely to the discretion of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives,” Heritage reports.
The ATT, Heritage warns, “could create a national registry (initially) limited to imported firearms. It could impose new requirements on importers of firearms, or parts and components of firearms, for example, by requiring them to provide the identity of the final end user.. .”
Restrictions on imports might be extended to ammunition as well.
Last Thursday, Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., introduced a bipartisan resolution opposing the treaty. The resolution states the U.N. proposal “places free democracies and totalitarian regimes on a basis of equality” and represents a threat to U.S. national security.
Our Constitution is unambiguous in its protection of gun rights. The ATT is not.
Interestingly, just as the world’s worst human rights violators have sat on and often chaired the U.N. Human Rights Council, Iran, arms supplier extraordinaire to America’s enemies, was elected to a top position at the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty held in New York last July.
The U.S. is one of few countries that has anything like a Second Amendment, our Founding Fathers enshrining the right to bear arms in our founding principles in recognition of it being the ultimate bulwark against tyrannical government.
The fact that an organization full of tyrants, dictators, thugs and gross human rights violators wants to control small arms worldwide is hardly a surprise.
Somehow, administration assurances that the treaty won’t infringe on our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms doesn’t reassure us.
SENATE TO VOTE DOWN WEAPONS BAN BUT UNITED NATIONS ARMS TRADE TREATY IS BACK
March 20, 2013
According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2013” lacks backing in the Senate in order to gain approval. In part, the list of weapons that will be banned is the problem. The reemergence of the original assault weapons ban of 1994 is recognized as an infringement on the 2nd Amendment.
The “Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers” bill is also barely treading water.
On Capitol Hill, the measures to strengthen school safety seem to be passable without opposition.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have formed school safety measures, allocated federal funding for such measures and training to teach school officials and bus drivers to the vulnerabilities concerning school campuses.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has formed the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) will be used to purchase “equipment, training, and other efforts to support school security.”
DHS, FEMA and National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) are working with public school districts under the US Department of Education (DoE) to develop safety guidelines and make sure they are adhered to under the Incident Command System (ICS) for schools.
Senator Dianne Feinstein maintains that she will introduce her assault weapons ban as an amendment to keep the legislation in play on the Senate floor.
Feinstein said: “Obviously I’m very disappointed…. The enemies on this are very powerful. I’ve known that all my life.”
At the UN Headquarters in New York, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) has become the topic of discussion as nations have come together to decide whether or not individual sovereignty will supersede international law with regard to gun ownership.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) believes that the ATT will override American’s right to bear arms and outlaw personal firearms ownership for the sake of keeping civilian populations safe.
Michelle A. Ringuette, chief of campaigns and programs at Amnesty International USA, a UN non-governmental organization (NGO), states: “This treaty is a common-sense alignment of the interests of governments, law-abiding citizens and individuals all over the world, who deserve the right to live free from harm. Any step toward restraining the illicit sale and transfer of weapons used to commit horrific crimes is a good move forward, and the world could use a lot more steps in the direction of ending human rights abuses.”
John Kerry, Secretary of State, has indicated that the Obama administration will support the ATT. Kerry said: “The United States is steadfast in its commitment to achieve a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty that helps address the adverse effects of the international arms trade on global peace and stability.”
The NRA have gathered members of the World Forum on Shooting Activities, an international organization consisting of gun rights activists and manufacturers who will speak out against the ATT at the UN.
Tom Mason, executive secretary of WFSA explains: “What we really object to is the inclusion of civilian firearms within the scope of the ATT. This is a treaty that really needs to address the transfer of large numbers of military weapons that leads to human rights abuses. We have submitted language that you can define what a civilian firearm is.”
Last June Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State announced that the Obama administration is working with the UN to approve, through the US Congress; the ATT. Clinton affirmed that the US would facilitate talks with the UN in the Conference on the ATT, as long as it “operates under the rules of consensus decision-making. Consensus is needed to ensure the widest possible support for the Treaty and to avoid loopholes in the Treaty that can be exploited by those wishing to export arms irresponsibly.”
The Obama administration is in full support of the ATT. Both Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN and Clinton said in a letter that they “strongly urge the United States to take a leadership role in pushing for a strong, verifiable Arms Trade Treaty.”
The ATT will empower the UN to literally force the US government to:
- Enact internationally agreed licensing requirements for Americans
- Confiscate and destroy unauthorized firearms of Americans while allowing the US government to keep theirs
- Ban trade, sale and private ownership of semi-automatic guns
- Create and mandate an international registry to organize an encompassing gun confiscation in America
While using the illegal arms market as their platform of reform, the UN aims to override sovereign nations and their citizen’s rights to own firearms.
The current draft of the ATT states that governments must obtain UN approval before selling arms to a country where there is a “substantial risk of a serious violation” of human rights. This provision directly affects Russia and Syria, as they are involved in a lucrative arms trade relationship.
In 2010, the US began talks with the UN regarding the initial drafting of the ATT.
With perfect globalist rhetoric, the UN claims that it is “not pursuing a global treaty to ban gun ownership by civilians.” But rather a “tightening controls over the international import, export and transfers of conventional arms, because without such controls it is easier for weapons to be diverted from the legal trade into the illegal market, and into the hands of terrorists, drug traffickers and criminal cartels.”
When talks concerning the global gun grab began in 2010, the US claimed to “want a treaty that will prevent, or at least significantly impede, illicit trade in conventional weapons by reinforcing national commitments and supplementing those obligations, thereby elevating the degree to which the worldwide trade in conventional arms is conducted in a lawful, transparent, and accountable manner.”
In 2011, the UN’s General Assembly recognized “that disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation is essential”, meaning citizens could no longer own firearms if there were to be peace in the world.
However, the UN sees the armory of governments as an “effective national control”. To ensure the UN is able to take gun rights away from every citizen in ever country they have devised this treaty to influence “national legislation, regulations and procures on the transfer of arms, military equipment and dual-use goods and technology” for the maintenance of international peace and security.
SENATE VOTES TO KEEP U.S. OUT OF UNITED NATIONS ARMS TRADE TREATY
Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
March 24, 2013
In the pre-dawn hours Saturday, the Senate approved a measure “to uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.”
By a vote of 53-46, the Senate passed the amendment to the budget bill sponsored by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).
This reporter is in New York covering the negotiations at the UN aimed at drafting a treaty calling for the eradication of small arms trade, sale, and transfer by anyone other than UN-approved governments.
“We’re negotiating a treaty that cedes our authority to have trade agreements with our allies in terms of trading arms,” Inhofe before the vote on his amendment. “This is probably the last time this year that you’ll be able to vote for your Second Amendment rights.”
According to a story in The Hill, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) proposed his own amendment “that clarified that under current U.S. law, treaties don’t trump the Constitution and that the United States should not agree to any arms treaty that violates the Second Amendment rights.” Leahy’s amendment also passed.
A similar resolution sponsored by Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) is currently pending before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Moran’s measure declares that it is the sense of Congress that:
the President should not sign the Arms Trade Treaty, and that, if he transmits the treaty with his signature to the Senate, the Senate should not ratify the Arms Trade Treaty; and
until the Arms Trade Treaty has been signed by the President, received the advice and consent of the Senate, and has been the subject of implementing legislation by Congress, no Federal funds should be appropriated or authorized to implement the Arms Trade Treaty, or any similar agreement, or to conduct activities relevant to the Arms Trade Treaty, or any similar agreement.
Representative Mike Kelly (R-Penn.) has offered a companion measure in the House.
Both the Moran and Kelly resolutions declare that the Arms Trade Treaty “poses significant risks to the national security, foreign policy, and economic interests of the United States as well as to the constitutional rights of United States citizens and United States sovereignty.”
The measures also points out that UN gun grab “fails to expressly recognize the fundamental, individual right to keep and to bear arms and the individual right of personal self-defense, as well as the legitimacy of hunting, sports shooting, and other lawful activities pertaining to the private ownership of firearms and related materials, and thus risks infringing on freedoms protected by the Second Amendment.”
As The New American has reported from the United Nations last week, negotiators at the Arms Trade Treaty conference, are planning to effectively repeal the Second Amendment by replacing the Constitution with the UN Charter and by replacing God with government as the source of all rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.
Principally, this treaty would eradicate the Second Amendment in two ways: First, by mandating that state signatories create a registry of gun owners, manufacturers, sellers, and traders; second, by making it nearly impossible for civilians to purchase ammunition.
The most egregious affront to the sovereignty of the United States is that there is not a single word in the Arms Trade Treaty protecting the unalienable right to keep and bear arms. In fact, the latest draft of the proposed agreement only recognizes private ownership of firearms for “recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities.” This is a significant and unacceptable infringement on the rights protected by the Second Amendment.
In truth, however, Americans needn’t to look to an unaccountable, unelected body of globalist bureaucrats for reaffirmation of the rights already guaranteed by our Constitution.
While it is unlikely that the Senate would ratify the treaty in its present form (67 senators would have to vote to approve it), when it comes to disarming citizens of this country, President Obama has shown that he will not be deterred by congressional inaction or by constitutional limits on his authority.
Although in reality, treaties that violate the Constitution are prima facie null, void, of no legal effect, the Supreme Court has come down on both sides of the supremacy issue.
In a pair of contradictory decisions, the Supreme Court has held that “No doubt the great body of private relations usually fall within the control of the State, but a treaty may override its power” (Missouri v. Holland) and “constitutional rights cannot be eliminated by a treaty” (Reid v. Covert).
This conflict of cases creates a situation where, as Alan Korwin wrote in 2012 at the time of the previous round of negotiations on the Arms Trade Treaty, “While some of us would surely and boldly draw the lines where they are ‘supposed’ to be, i.e., in line with our natural and historic rights, the forces aligned against the Second Amendment have no problem arguing vigorously for its destruction, regardless of any of these details, and therein lies the greatest threat we face.”
It would appear that regarding the preservation of the right to keep and bear arms, the states will be required to uphold the liberties protected by our Constitution in the face of federal collusion with the international forces of civilian disarmament.
The latest round of Arms Trade Treaty negotiations are scheduled to wrap up on March 28. Should the U.S. delegation agree to participate in the agreement (and President Obama has instructed them to do so), the treaty will be sent to the Senate for consideration.
Americans who refuse to allow the UN to seize their guns and ammo still have time to contact their senators and remind them of the oath they took to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,” including the right to keep and bear arms.
SENATE VOTES TO MANDATE THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT: TO NOT COMPLY WITH THE UNITED NATIONS ARMS TRADE TREATY
March 25, 2013
Senator James Inhofe proposed two amendments into the Senate Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2014 to restrict the US government’s participation in international efforts to disarm sovereign nations.
Inhofe wants to protect Americans from threats to the 2nd Amendment by the UN and the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).
Inhofe said: “The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is another attempt by internationalists to limit and infringe upon America’s sovereignty. Such a treaty would require the United States to implement laws as required by the treaty, instead of the national controls that are currently in place. This would also disrupt diplomatic and national security efforts by preventing our government from assisting allies like Taiwan, South Korea, or Israel when they require assistance. I will continue to mount strong opposition to any effort by Sec. Kerry and the State Department to ratify this treaty.”
These amendments were passed 53-46 in the Senate.
Senator Patrick Leahy’s proposal to prevent the US from violating the 2nd Amendment with participation in the ATT; this amendment was also approved.
This week, on March 28th, the National Day to Demand Action is being presented by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, headed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. This campaign calls for the public to “get involved right now by committing to call your Senators” and assert that Congress “end gun violence”.
On the website, visitors are encouraged to sign up to get a “text message reminder” and the phone number of their Senator. They claim that “an overwhelming majority of Americans support reform, but to make sure that reform is meaningful we need Congress to pass the strongest possible legislation.”
Biden used the tragedy at Sandy Hook to invoke emotion from the crowd and said: “For all those who say we shouldn’t and can’t ban assault weapons. How can they say that? Take a look at those 20 beautiful babies. Think about Newtown. Think about how many of these children or teachers may be alive today had he had to reload three times as many times as he did.”
The House Federal and State Affairs Committee has approved a bill for the permission of open carry permits of weapons and transportation of weapons for residents who hunt and carry their guns in their cars.
State Representative JR Claeys stated that “[the current law] would allow for you to travel on the interstate and go from being a law abiding citizen to a felon.”
Interestingly, he proposal outlines that guns cannot be carried openly at the State Capital.
Another bill was introduced earlier that allowed for the concealed carry of firearms at schools and public buildings.
While the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continue to purchase billions of jackets hollow point bullets, local law enforcement are being forced to ration their bullets because of an anticipated ammunition shortage.
Correspondingly, retailers have increased the price of ammunition available to the public for purchase. This situation has caused citizens to want the ammunition all the more.
Jody Mays, training coordinator for the Hamilton Country Sheriff Department said: “The concern over firearms availability and ammunition availability and potentials of gun control certainly has impacted the availability of ammunition purchased locally.”
Dayne Pryor, police chief for Rollingwood Police Department in Austin, Texas said that there is a waiting list for AR-15s and ammunition for officers.
The purveying question in alternative media is: what is DHS planning to do with all that ammunition?
Mainstream media have come to the table to ask for a “national conversation” about these solicitations for over 1.6 billion rounds.
In 1993 then Attorney General Janet Reno said: “Waiting periods are only a step. Registration is only a step. The prohibition of private firearms is the goal.”
CONGRESS REJECTS UNITED NATIONS ARMS TRADE TREATY BEFORE THE FINAL DRAFT WAS COMPLETE
March 28, 2013
The UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) conference currently being held in New York is deciding on “nine essential items for a bulletproof treaty.” While the delegates agree on an international mandate to restrict gun trafficking, the terms of this document will effectively destroy the 2nd Amendment in the US and further restrict gun ownership rights in other sovereign nations.
Outlining the issue with international mandate, the UN says that “the ready availability of weapons and ammunition has led to human suffering, political repression, crime and terror among civilian populations. Irresponsible transfers of conventional weapons can destabilize security in a region, enable the violation of Security Council arms embargoes and contribute to human rights abuses. Importantly, investment is discouraged and development disrupted in countries experiencing conflict and high levels of violence, which also affect their ability to attain the Millennium Development Goals.”
As the “peacekeeper” the UN decries the difficulties in “lax controls on the arms trade” which leads to disruptions in “delivering food aid, improving public health, building safer cities, protecting refugees, eradicating poverty or fighting crime and terrorism.”
In the ATT, the UN defines “all conventional arms ” as “munitions, and parts and components [sic].” To further UN control over gun owners, the treaty explicitly states that “all types of arms trade” should be eradicated which includes private sales of guns whether directly by owner or at a gun show.
This restriction also includes ammunition, gun parts, magazines; as well as the firearm itself. The ATT definition of control arms and this restriction would outlaw all non-federalized forms of gun transfer which would include prison terms as punishment to deter “violators”.
Under possibility of war and the firearm being used to commit war crimes, non-federalized gun transfers cannot be legal under the ATT. Considering America was outlined as a battlefield by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), this provision includes that gun owners in the US have the potential of violating this term simply be virtue of where we live.
Transfer of firearms, parts and ammunition would require “robust criteria” that has international humanitarian based foundations so that nations can force their respective lawmakers to abide by these terms under the guise that this will prevent “organized crime, corrupt practice[s] and gender-based violence and violence against children.”
Protesters organized by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have gathered to protest the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans in favor of the ATT as a way of making sure that gun restriction is carried out.
Salil Shetty, secretary general of Amnesty International said: “We are still very hopeful that we’ll end up with a treaty. The important thing is [that the Arms Trade Treaty must] protect human lives and protect human rights. We will get a treaty, the question is ‘how good is it, how strong is it?’ That’s a bit up in the air right now.”
Shetty argues that “the U.S. is making is a very practical one, saying that it’s very difficult to track [things like ammunition]. But there are many governments that produce ammunition, and they’re not blocking [it from being included in the treaty].”
The UN uses human rights groups to gather support from the public for their tyrannical dictatorship over sovereign nations.
These organizations are calling on the US government to support the ATT as a provision in foreign policy which would affect the success of missions carried out by John Kerry, Secretary of State. Mainstream media is pushing alongside these NGOs to have the ATT ratified within the US to use against those who “commit or facilitate serious violations of international human rights, the laws of war, or acts of terrorism.”
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president for the National Rifle Association, explains: “We have watched [the treaty] with increasing concern and, one year ago, I delivered … our objections to including civilian arms in the ATT. I said then, and I will repeat now, that the only way to address NRA’s objections is to simply and completely remove civilian firearms from the scope of the treaty.”
Senator Jerry Moran and House Representative Mike Kelly (along with others) are championing resolution that is gaining support in the House and Senate. Congress as a whole is coming together to admonish President Obama not to comply with the ATT, violently opposing its ratification within the US federal government and rejecting its legal stance over the laws of our sovereign nation.
Senator Jim Inhofe submitted an amendment to the Senate Budget Committee (SBC) that empowered the Congress to restrict funding to the redaction of the 2nd Amendment and effectively prevent the US government from entering into the ATT. This amendment and budget was approved.
The Rand Paul dog-and-pony show along with his cohorts on Capitol Hill is making waves against gun control legislation and “will oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any addition gun restrictions.”
In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, these Congressional representatives are “prepared to use any procedural means necessary to prevent stricter gun control laws.”