In what is an apparent last-ditch effort to push through some form of gun control, the Obama administration transmitted the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty to the Senate for ratification last week.
Approved by the U.N. in April 2013, and subsequently signed by Secretary of State John Kerry the following Sept., the Arms Trade Treaty seeks to place tighter restrictions on global arms dealing.
“The Treaty is designed to regulate the international trade in conventional arms — including small arms, tanks, combat aircraft, and warships — and to reduce the risk that international arms transfers will be used to commit atrocities, without impeding the legitimate arms trade,” said Obama in a press release.
What’s funny is that the Arms Trade Treaty is DOA — dead on arrival. Over 50 senators have already expressed stern opposition to the deal, citing concerns in several letters to the president over its efficacy to stop bad actors from obtaining arms, its overly broad and ambiguous language, and its capacity to threaten the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.
Yet, despite the strong opposition, the Obama administration has plowed ahead in the hope that the miraculous happens, that the Senate ratifies the Arms Trade Treaty.
“I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Treaty, and that it give its advice and consent to ratification of the Treaty, subject to the understandings and declarations set forth in the accompanying report,” Obama said in the press release.
This week, upon receiving the transmission from the White House, Sen. Bob Corker once again reiterated his objection to the Arms Trade Treaty.
“Since 2012, many senators, including myself, have expressed opposition to the small arms treaty, citing an array of concerns with Second Amendment rights,” said Sen. Corker (R-TN).
“Nothing has changed over the last four years to suggest the treaty is in our national interest, and it will remain dead in the water,” Corker added. “I reiterate my strong opposition and will work with my colleagues to protect the rights of Americans.”
Like all gun control legislation, the Arms Trade Treaty starts from the flawed premise that one more law, or in this case international treaty, is all that’s needed to stop bad actors from behaving badly. Of course, that’s absurd. Criminals, by definition, flout the law. So do failed states and rogue superpowers. We can sanction Russia, China, Iran or whomever we wish for breaking international law or violating the provisions of a treaty, but does that stop them from continuing to do so? Not usually. In most cases, it just hardens their resolve to stick it to us even more.