CSIA Foundation

Analyst's note:  Absolutely must read.  This analysis is generated on the projected future action mentioned in an article dated Oct. 14, 2009, entitled U.S. reverses stance on treaty to regulate arms trade.  Since this 2009 article indicated upcoming activities in 2010, 2011, and negotiation of a treaty in 2012, I started looking just to see what I could find today on the topic of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).  What follows should be enough to interest you in further research or at least following this topic that never seems to end.

What follows is additional insight as to how the U.N. ultimately plans to impose gun control in America. You’ll also discover the corrupt anti-gun organizations that do the U.N.’s bidding, and the inner workings of the anti-gun cabal President Obama has assembled for his administration who will use any means necessary

The cornerstone of our freedom is the Second Amendment. Neither the United Nations, nor any other foreign influence, has the authority to meddle with the freedoms guaranteed by our Bill of Rights, endowed by our Creator, and due to all humankind.

Before we go any further, it is appropriate that we consider Arms Trade Treaty: Media Need an Advanced Class on Treaties. Our thanks to The Heritage Foundation (The Foundry) and the author Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D. for this insight.  

"In answering media questions on the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), I have found that hosts frequently state, as a matter of fact, that treaties require a two-thirds Senate majority, and if they don’t get it, they have no legal effect. Like all things, it’s not that simple. Here’s a short primer on when and how treaties can have legal effect.

In order of complexity:

Treaties 101: According to the Constitution, the President “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.” Today, this normally means 67 votes.

Treaties 201: But treaties fall into two categories: self-executing and non-self-executing. Self-executing treaties have immediate legal effect in the U.S. after Senate ratification. Non-self-executing treaties take legal effect at the international level upon entry into force for the U.S., following Senate consent and ratification. But they have limited domestic legal effect until Congress passes, and the President signs, implementing legislation. Thus, the House of Representatives has an important role to play in our treaty process. Treaties are normally presumed to be non-self-executing unless they are explicitly self-executing. The most significant case on this subject was Medellin v. Texas (2008), won by Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz.

Treaties 301: But once the President signs a treaty, and even before the Senate considers it, the U.S. holds itself bound to “refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of [the] treaty.” This obligation lasts as long as the treaty is signed but not ratified. The obligation derives in part from the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. President Nixon signed the treaty in 1970, but it has not been ratified. Thus, the U.S.’s “object and purpose” obligation itself derives partly from an unratified treaty. But more broadly, the U.S. State Department “considers many of the provisions of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties to constitute customary international law,” and therefore the U.S. will generally act in a manner consistent with its terms.

Treaties 401: What are acts that would “defeat the object and purpose” of an unratified treaty? The answer is largely in the eye of the beholder. The 1986 edition of the Restatement of the Law: The Foreign Relations Law of the United States says that “it is often unclear what actions would have such effect.” It goes on to note that, in the case of the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, testing a prohibited weapon might violate the “object and purpose” obligation, but failing to dismantle one might not. The “object and purpose” obligation is a back door to something that is in the neighborhood of, but not the same as, Senate ratification without the Senate (or the House) being involved at all.

So, in the context of the ATT, if this conference produces a treaty that is open for signature, President Obama may sign it immediately. The U.S. will then hold itself to be under a legal obligation not to defeat the ATT’s “object and purpose.” The interpretation of this phrase will rest with the State Department’s lawyers, perhaps in a way directed by subsequent legislation, whose decisions cannot be predicted and are not easily subject to legislative oversight.

In short, in the realm of treaties as well as domestic policy, the “administrative state” is growing at the expense of legislative government. It is high time for Congress in general—and the Senate in particular—to take Treaties 301 and 401 out of the course catalog by carefully defining the “object and purpose” requirement."



"(Reuters) - "The United States reversed policy on Wednesday and said it would back launching talks on a treaty to regulate arms sales as long as the talks operated by consensus, a stance critics said gave every nation a veto. 

The decision, announced in a statement released by the U.S. State Department, overturns the position of former President George W. Bush's administration, which had opposed such a treaty on the grounds that national controls were better. 

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States would support the talks as long as the negotiating forum, the so-called Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, "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," Clinton said in a written statement.

[....] A resolution before the U.N. General Assembly is sponsored by seven nations including major arms exporter Britain. It calls for preparatory meetings in 2010 and 2011 for a conference to negotiate a treaty in 2012."

As we see the Gun control debate is about to go international

"(AP) UNITED NATIONS - The first draft of a new U.N. treaty to regulate the multibillion dollar global arms trade sparked criticism Tuesday from campaigners seeking to keep illegal weapons from fighters, criminals and terrorists - and demands for changes before Friday's deadline for action. 

[....] With the conference scheduled to end on Friday, negotiators have been trying to come up with a text that satisfies advocates of a strong treaty with tough regulations and countries that appear to have little interest in a treaty including Syria, North Korea, Iran, Egypt and Algeria. 

The draft circulated Tuesday says the treaty's goals are to establish the highest possible standards to regulate the international trade in conventional arms and "to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and their diversion to illegal and unauthorized end use.

It would require all countries to establish national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms and to regulate arms brokers. It would prohibit states that ratify the treaty from transferring conventional weapons that violate arms embargoes or facilitate acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes."

 If you're like me, you have to wonder naturally wonder Can the U.N. Grab Americans’ Guns?

"[....] Let’s start with three basic points:

  1. No external power, and certainly not the U.N., can disarm U.S. citizens or deprive us of our Second Amendment rights by force. If there is a Second Amendment problem, it comes from the actions of U.S. authorities.
  2. The U.N. and many of its member states are hostile to the private ownership of firearms.
  3. The U.S. is exceptional: It is one of the few nations that has a constitutional provision akin to the Second Amendment.

[....] The U.N. is aware of the political dangers of appearing to stomp openly on the Second Amendment. It uses code words; it runs closed meetings—a veteran of the process tells me that meetings were normally open until the National Rifle Association began showing up at them—and, above all, it plays a long game. A big problem with talking about the ATT as a “gun grab” treaty is that the U.N. works by taking slices: when it comes to the U.N., being outraged by one development is no substitute for focusing on how the slices pile up over time.

 [....] Simply backing the Second Amendment is good, but it is better to spell out—as Senator Jerry Moran (R–KS) did at Heritage recently—exactly what rights and activities you believe the Second Amendment protects. Only in that way does a promise to uphold the Second Amendment carry the full weight that it deserves.

[....] So what are the domestic concerns posed by the ATT? Four are important.

  1. Transfer requirements. First, there are specific textual requirements. The most recent draft text states, for example, that the ATT will apply to “all international transfers of conventional arms” but then goes on to define “international transfers” as “the transfer of title or control over the conventional arms.”

Does this mean that any transfers, including domestic ones, count as international and are thus subject to the treaty’s provisions? There are similar concerns related to the potential reporting requirements of the treaty and thus to the possible creation of a U.N.-based gun registry. If it is to be true to its published red lines, the U.S. cannot accept any of this.

  1. International business. Second, most major U.S. arms manufacturers have an international financing, insurance, and parts and components chain. The ATT could become a means for foreign countries to pressure U.S. firms to exit the market, reducing the ability of Americans to make effective use of their firearms rights.
  2. Further review of the rules. This is not the end of the process. The ATT will be elaborated at review conferences, where the U.S. goal is to develop “best practices” for its implementation. Similarly, if President Obama were to sign the ATT but not submit it to the Senate for ratification, the U.S. would hold itself obligated to “refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose” of the ATT.
  3. Constitutional interpretation. Finally, the ATT is part of a process that will inspire judges and legal theorists who believe that the Constitution needs to be reinterpreted in light of transnational norms. This is the most important problem of all, though it is broader than the ATT.

Just because the ATT is not a “gun grab” treaty does not mean it raises no domestic concerns:Gun grabs” are less plausible than “death by a thousand cuts.” On the other hand, the ATT should raise concerns beyond the Second Amendment. Representative Mike Kelly (R–PA) recently led 130 of his colleagues in expressing a range of concerns about the ATT to the Administration.

It makes sense to balance legitimate expressions of concern for the Second Amendment with concerns on economic, foreign policy, and national security grounds. There’s enough to dislike about the ATT to keep everyone busy."

The concept of gun control was recently in the news Calls for Gun Control in Wake of Fast and Furious Ignore Current Law. I find it most interesting that:

[....] neither Holder nor committee members mentioned the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, a federal law already on the books that appears to criminalize the precise conduct undertaken by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in Operation Fast and Furious.

According to James Steinbauer, a former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer who wrote the Kingpin Act, an extension of the IEEPA, “it is illegal for any U.S. entity or individual to aid, abet, or materially assist — or in the case of Operation Fast and Furious, to facilitate others to aid, abet, or materially assist — designated drug traffickers.

Ultimately one of the major concerns is that The U.N. Speaks: The Arms Trade Treaty Will Affect “Legally Owned Weapons”.

[....] Yesterday, the U.N. released its press kit for the July conference that will finalize the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The most interesting item in the kit is a lengthy paper by the U.N.’s Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) program titled “The Impact of Poorly Regulated Arms Transfers on the Work of the UN.”

This paper perpetuates the belief, on which much of the ATT is based, that the big problem the world faces is a lack of agreed standards on arms transfers. That’s wrong: The big problem the world faces in this regard is that many U.N. member states are dictatorships, supporters of terrorists, or simply incapable of controlling their own borders.

But the paper makes it clear that the job of the U.N.—as the U.N. itself sees it—is to make the case for a very broad treaty. As CASA puts it, “Advocacy efforts should be developed…through relevant reports and op-eds, messages, and statements at relevant meetings and to the press.” So watch out for U.S. taxpayer-funded funded U.N. propaganda in a newspaper near you.

[....] All this just goes to show that the U.N. regards gun ownership—even under national constitutional protection and for lawful activities—as a cultural failure that it needs to redress and that it has no patience at all with the idea that self-defense is an inherent right.

And that is exactly why the concerns that Senator Jerry Moran (R–KS) expressed at Heritage on Tuesday are so important—and why his criteria to ensure that the ATT does not infringe on Second Amendment rights are so valuable.

Here is a summary of A Day At the Arms Trade Treaty Conference ...

[....] The U.S. and the rest of the P5 want an ATT that is based fundamentally on “effective systems [of national control] based on common international standards,” with authority for approving transfers remaining the right and responsibility of sovereign nations. The scope of the treaty should be as broad as possible—so long as it is practical. An Implementation Support Unit in the U.N. “could” be created to facilitate information exchange, match needs for foreign aid with those supplying it, and “promote the value” of the ATT.

[....] the U.S. statement was pure lowest common denominator, which is not surprising: In the context of the ATT, the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, and China in fact agree on very little. The U.S. strategy, thus, continues to be fairly simple: to run interference for the autocracies and to try to secure an ATT that the U.S., Russia, and China can sign on to (which will be an ATT that is very general) in the hope that this will satisfy the broader demand for a treaty.

And that leads to the real conflict in the U.S. position: An ATT that is based on sovereignty cannot at the same time be one that is based on “common international standards” if those standards are in practice defined by the ever-evolving sentiments of the “international community” and tightened regularly by the review conferences that will be found necessary by the unsatisfied majority at this conference.

The U.S. is kicking the can down the road. But in so doing, it’s moving ever closer to a treaty that will be bad for U.S. interests and will keep U.S. diplomats busy fending off more bad ideas for years to come.

Like I suggested by the title .... death by a thousand cuts ... is still dangerous to our  U.S. national security.

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