WEST CHESTER, Pa., July 22, 2012 — The United Nations is currently considering the merits of the Arms Trade Treaty, a proposition that could have serious ramifications for the United States. Supporters claim that the purpose of the treaty is to combat terrorism; however, opponents point out that the treaty could seriously erode our Second Amendment right to bear arms. In fact, this treaty should be “scrapped” as another counterproductive attempt at gun control, and denounced as an assault on our Constitutional liberties as well.
When the treaty was originally proposed by the United Nations in 2006, the U.S. voted against the resolution, but the Obama Administration and several U.S. representatives revived it in 2010. So far, 152 nations have helped draft the blueprint for the treaty and it is expected to be completed on July 27. Secretary of State Clinton has already pledged that she will push the Senate to sanction the proposal. If ratified by the Senate, the agreement would create a global registry of private ownership of firearms, mandate the creation of a national collection agency for those guns, and would seek to ban semi-automatic weapons. All of these ambitions are in direct conflict with the right of Americans to be able to protect themselves without interference from the government.
Advocates for gun control believe that by regulating and restricting the right to possess a firearm, violence will be reduced - that fewer guns will mean less crime. In fact, the opposite has been shown to be true. In 2008, our nation’s capital was ordered to lift a thirty year ban on handguns after a federal court tossed out the prohibition. Soon after the ruling was announced, Mayor Adrian Fenty held a press conference where he declared, “More guns very simply lead to more violence.” But according to FBI statistics, since Washington D.C.’s gun ban was implemented, the murder rate for the district increased while the nation’s murder rate declined. After the injunction against handguns was lifted, from 2008 to 2009, murders in the district fell twenty-five percent.
While it is true that guns can cause serious harm, they can also serve to deter crime and save lives. In 2002, students at the Appalachian School of Law were able to subdue a shooter on campus after they ran to their cars and got their handguns. In 2010, an eleven year old girl was able to scare off and help authorities lead to the arrest of three robbers using a pink rifle. The criminals had attempted to break into her home while her cousin was off running errands. Some advocates of gun control would argue that it would be best if an individual called the police and let the authorities manage criminals instead of trying to defend themselves or take the law into their own hands.
John Lott, who authored the book “More Guns, Less Crime,” responded to this argument from gun control supporters: “Everyone wants to take guns away from criminals. The problem is that if the law-abiding citizens obey the law and the criminals don’t, the rules create sitting ducks who cannot defend themselves. This is especially true for those who are physically weaker, women and the elderly.” Lott’s words bring to mind the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when officials enforced martial law and disarmed members of the populace. This action left the most vulnerable citizens, those too poor or weak to escape Katrina, unable to fend for themselves and at the mercy of looters and criminals.
The United States should reject the Arms Trade Treaty and the U.N.’s belief in world government as a solution to our problems. Considering the recent tragedies of “Operation Fast and Furious”, and the shooting at the Colorado Theater, many will see this as a good opportunity to push this agreement to ratification, including, ironically, President Obama, who taught constitutional law and is well aware of the treaty’s encroachment on our Second Amendment rights. Our representatives must resist falling prey to pressure and supporting the measure in an emotional, knee-jerk reaction. Good domestic and foreign policy must be based upon the founding principles of our Forefathers, who understood that our most dangerous enemy has never been a gun or a religious group, but the erosion of the civil liberties which make us truly free.
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