Former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton has an op-ed in today’s New York Daily News on the proposed Arms Trade Treaty and why he considers it a stealth attack on gun rights in the United States.
Ostensibly, UNATT is about regulating government-to-government arms transfers or direct sales by manufacturers to foreign governments. But the hidden agenda of the gun controllers is to craft treaty language that, while seemingly innocuous, has long-range implications for the use and ownership of guns here in America.
The real danger lies in vague, ambiguous stipulations gun-control advocates could later cite as requiring further domestic restraints. In other words, they hope to use restrictions on international gun sales to control gun sales at home.
Indeed, the theme underlying the negotiations is that the private ownership of guns is inherently dangerous.
Bolton goes on to say that strong arguments on regulating the trade in crew-served weapons such as mortars, machine guns, and shoulder-launched missiles can be made. However, he notes that the US does already regulate our international trade in these weapons through the Arms Export Control Act and they we have strong controls on the ultimate users of these weapons. That said, he doesn’t think the Arms Trade Treaty will have much impact on trade in such weapons. Rogue nations and even developed nations less scrupulous than the United States (can you say Russia?) will just go around the treaty or ignore it.
He concludes his op-ed by saying:
They may have waited too long, because their current frantic efforts betray their fear that Obama could lose in November, replaced by a pro-Second Amendment Romney administration. Significantly, a bipartisan letter signed by 58 senators has already rejected any treaty that seeks, however cleverly, to impose gun-control obligations on the U.S.
The gun-control crowd’s strategy of trying to do through treaties what it cannot accomplish in America’s domestic political process is not unique to that issue.
We have seen and will undoubtedly see many more examples of frustrated statists, unable to prevail in free and open debate, seeking to take their issues global, hoping to find more sympathetic audiences.
Stopping UNATT will be one clear way to send a message that such strategies are doomed to failure.
If anyone knows what evil lurks in the hearts of the gun controllers at the UN, it would be John Bolton.