One of the biggest beefs many people have with the mainstream media is in their self-appointed role as “gatekeepers”. In other words, they decide in the words of the New York Times what is “all the news fit to print.”
So imagine my surprise about stumbling across an article on the “South American Conference on Interdiction and Regional Security of Small Arms & Light Weapons”. The article was in the Latin American Herald Tribune out of Caracas, Venezuela. The article published an address by Ann Ganzer, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Threat Reduction, Export Controls, and Negotiations in the Department of State. She is also the Director of Conventional Arms Threat Reduction in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. When I see the words “small arms”, “State Department”, and “Latin America” in one story I begin to get nervous.
The conference was August 4-6 in Buenos Aires, Argentina but the one and only report of it seems to have been from this obscure English language paper out of Venezuela. A quick Google search confirms it.
There was not anything really new in the address but it did some indications of what to expect from the Department of State regarding small arms, regional agreements, and treaties.
For example on the Arms Trade Treaty she said:
Another significant U.S. strategic step came in October 2009 when Secretary of State Clinton described a long-standing U.S. commitment to strong international standards on the international arms trade, outlining U.S. conditions for supporting an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). In the words of Secretary Clinton “The United States is committed to actively pursuing a strong and robust treaty that contains the highest possible, legally binding standards for the international transfer of conventional weapons.” We consider the Secretary’s remarks an important first step toward a significant and meaningful international treaty.
The United States looks forward to working with others as we move toward PrepComs in 2011 and 2012, as we prepare for the start of the treaty negotiations in 2012.
On the Inter-American Convention against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Related Materials – CIFTA – she said:
We are continuing consultations with the Senate today and seek prompt ratification. While this is pending, the U.S. is in compliance with the Convention implementing many of its commitments.
Lest we forget, CIFTA is the treaty, if approved, that could force reloaders to get a license to reload ammunition because it would be considered manufacturing. It would probably also mean the end of cover girls in the Dillon Precision Blue Press catalog.
She concluded the speech saying:
I have no doubt the security of the Americas will be significantly and positively impacted if we work together, learn from each other, and share information about interdiction, border security training, and other programs offered by members of the international community. As citizens of responsible states and fellow members of international organizations, it is incumbent upon all of us to do whatever it takes to put an end to the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons.
Frankly, I hope this conference ended up as your typical junket with a lot of drinking, partying, and not much really getting done. All I can say is that it is hard to keep up with these under the radar attempts at gun control. It is even harder if the mainstream media doesn’t think we need to know about it.