Posted 11/08/2012 06:54 PM ET
Second Amendment: Within hours of re-election, the administration fast-tracked a treaty in the United Nations that transcends borders and tramples our constitutional right to keep and bear arms. It was no coincidence.
Less than 24 hours after President Obama's re-election, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations helped move the U.N.'s Arms Control Treaty a step closer to enactment. America joined 157 other nations in voting Wednesday to finalize the treaty in March. None was opposed and there were 18 abstentions.
U.N. delegates and gun-control activists had complained that talks collapsed in July largely because Obama feared attacks from Republican rival Mitt Romney if his administration was seen as openly supporting the pact. But once the election was over, the Obama administration had more flexibility to pull the trigger on supporting the pact.
The Obama administration, which reversed long-standing U.S. opposition to the treaty in 2009, says the treaty does not threaten our Second Amendment rights and applies only to international arms trade. But its record of opposition to private gun ownership and its deference to international bodies and their authority give us pause.
So does a paper by the U.N.'s Coordinating Action on Small Arms. It notes that arms have been "misused by lawful owners" and demands that the "arms trade therefore be regulated in ways that would ... minimize the misuse of legally owned weapons."
Is an American defending his home against intruders just such a "misuse"?
Even if the treaty applied only to transfers of small arms between nations, would that mean restrictions on our ability to aid allies such as Israel and Taiwan? Would we be forbidden from supporting resistance movements around the world that rise up against the very dictators who support this treaty?
The treaty establishes a bizarre moral equivalence between countries that trade arms to defend freedom and those that do so to suppress and extinguish it.
Interestingly, just as the world's worst human rights violators 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 U.N. Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty that was held in New York in early July.
The U.S. is one of the 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. They were guns owned by civilians that freed us from British tyranny. The fact that tyrants, dictators, thugs and gross human-rights violators want to control small arms worldwide is hardly a surprise.
In June, 150 members of Congress sent a letter to Obama and 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."
Addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference recently, National Rifle Association Vice President Wayne LaPierre accused the president of working behind the scenes with the U.N. on a "treaty that could effectively ban or severely restrict civilian ownership of firearms worldwide."
Private ownership of firearms is a cornerstone of American liberty. If the people of places such as Sudan and Syria had gun rights protected by their government and courts, would they be oppressed and slaughtered? We think not.
Under the Constitution, any treaty must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate. But this is an administration that has shown more respect for the United Nations Charter than to our sacred founding document. Our Second Amendment rights are being jeopardized by a vague and misguided treaty.