#NRA Don’t Fear the #Armstreaty – unless you support terrorists and human rights abusers
August 2 2011, 8:24 AM by Oistein Thorsen
I was a gun owner for much of my life. I respect but don’t fear weapons. Nor do I fear the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) or the non-existent ‘power’ of the UN to strip US citizens of their guns. Americans are free to hate the UN. They are also free to act as though the second amendment is the only legally relevant, binding aspect of the US Constitution. But what some are accusing the ATT process of promoting is simply nonsense as even 20 attentive minutes inside the Prep Com room would readily reveal.
Bob Zuber, Global Action to Prevent War, responds to Paul Bedard’s two articles in US News.
Since neither the author of this piece nor those writing comments (so far) was in the room as UN delegates were making final preparations for Arms Trade Treaty negotiations, perhaps a bit of a reality check is in order.
Once again, the NRA has done a splendid job of reaching out to select US media. However, Wayne Lapierre the Executive Vice President of the NRA who was given a platform at the UN to make a US-focused speech at the ATT Prep Com (a courtesy which is rarely extended and then normally only to groups exhibiting a broader geographical interest), walked out of the building once his remarks were concluded. Neither did he apparently bother to attend the sessions leading up to his remarks. Apparently, like so many sharing opinions on this issue, it was better not to taint his outrage with too much direct experience.
Check out Scott Stedjan’s blow-by-blow rebuttal of Lapierre’s speech “Separating Fact From Fiction on the Arms Trade Treaty”
It is certainly predictable to have media folks whip up a frenzy about the UN taking away peoples’ guns and rendering them helpless against the alleged tyranny of the state. However, as the chief US negotiator to the ATT process — someone who has not been the most congenial presence in the Prep Com room — would readily acknowledge, the ATT is not a disarmament treaty. It does not propose to destroy weapons or to eliminate their legal possession. It provides guidelines for arms transfers and seeks to end diversion by which arms traded legally end up in the hands of non-state actors such as criminals and terrorists, are used to violate the human rights of populations, or are ‘re-gifted’ by recipient governments to line their own pockets. Which of these three diversion potentials the NRA, and its members, the author of these two pieces, or even our DC legislators would refuse to support is their own call to make, but to refuse to support any of these objectives is simply beyond reason.
NOTE 1: A number of Senators that have signed the NRA sponsored letter to the President opposing the Arms Trade Treaty are releasing their own press releases. If you see these stories in your local paper, or on blogs you read, please feel free to adapt this post and use it to comment or send letters to the editor of your local paper.