Using Water As A Weapon Of War

Herschel Smith · 03 Aug 2014 · 9 Comments

Next City: In a war, anything can be a weapon. In a particularly ruthless war, such as the conflict that has been raging in Syria for more than three years, those weapons are often turned against civilians, making any semblance of normal life impossible. Such is the case, experts say, with the way the nation’s water supply is being manipulated to inflict suffering on the population. According to an article posted by Chatham House, a London-based independent policy institute, water…… [read more]

Kerry To Sign U.N. Arms Treaty

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 4 weeks ago

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, empty suit intends to sign the U.N. Arms Treaty.  This holds no power as long as the Senate doesn’t ratify it, which we’re told has no chance of happening.

I’d like to take some credit for it’s “dead on arrival” status in the Senate with these articles.

U.N. Arms Treaty: Dreams Of International Gun Control

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty: It Isn’t That Complicated

The U.N. Small Arms Treaty

So whether it’s honest or not, I will take some of the credit.  Rock on.  But just because it’s dead on arrival in the Senate doesn’t mean that the Obama administration won’t try to implement parts of it by executive order.

After all, if Obama intended to obey the law, we would never have had Fast and Furious, would we?

So if this actually obtains and somehow it passes through to regulation, let me ask?  Will those funny looking little men in the blue hats come and try to get my guns?  No, seriously.  Will they?  Oh, please God let it be so.

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty: It Isn’t That Complicated

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 6 months ago

Good grief.  Heritage again.

On February 26, the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Center for Human Rights issued a white paper on the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which concludes that “the proposed ATT is consistent with the Second Amendment.” This conclusion neglects important facts about the treaty and the processes surrounding it, which we have explored in this four-part series.

We have shown that while we agree with several of the ABA’s contentions, it ignores the fact that the ATT—like many treaties—is not designed for a nation with a federal structure like the U.S. The ABA also ignores the fact that the ATT goes beyond import restrictions on firearms by requiring signatories to prevent the domestic diversion of imports. The treaty may also invite the executive branch to take executive actions to restrict and control the import of firearms into the U.S., imports which comprise about 35 percent of the new firearms market.

Finally, the treaty raises broader concerns about the application of transnational law to the U.S. These concerns are heightened by the fact that both foreign nations and some prominent legal scholars have identified treaties like the ATT as a mechanism to pressure the U.S. to change its domestic policies, and even to change the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, including the Second Amendment.

The question, then, is what the U.S. should do about this. The U.S. is sensitive to allegations that it is failing to fulfill treaty commitments, and it rightly takes its treaty obligations seriously. Because the ATT is a process that is designed to evolve and grow, it is impossible to know where it will lead.

A new ATT conference begins today in New York, and we will be blogging from the conference.

Supporters of the ATT frequently defend it as entirely unrelated to the Second Amendment. Some opponents of the ATT criticize it as a nefarious plot against the Second Amendment. The truth is more complicated …

Listen carefully.  No, the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty isn’t really that complicated.  It is a nefarious plot against the second amendment.

We’ve covered this in detail before.  All that rubbish and claptrap about the treaty excluding civilians because it excludes civilian arms is a ruse.  What it does is what Feinstein and Obama want to do within the framework of U.S. law, and distinguish between so-called “military weapons” and “civilian weapons.”  Again – it doesn’t distinguish between you and a member of the professional military, it distinguishes between military arms and civilian arms.

It would make illegal all sorts of firearms currently in circulation, as well as subject you to a set of rules, licensing and governmental checks that would make what Obama has proposed look like free utopia.

Some things really are as they seem.  Can Heritage at least try to get it right next time?  Otherwise, it’s just wasted space and bandwidth.

U.N. Arms Treaty: Dreams Of International Gun Control

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 2 months ago

Capital Hill is under pressure to adopt the approaching U.N. arms treaty, from the New York Times, to Reuters, to confused and goofy Christians who forgot all about their theology and think that a new regulation, law or treaty will bring peace on earth and good will toward men.

We have been informed that this administration will not allow the U.N. to impose any restrictions on American’s gun rights.  But then again, this is the same administration that: [1] Sent Donald Verrilli and Lanny Breuer to argue against Sean Masciandaro concerning the possession of firearms on National Park land, [2] Nominated Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court (who testified that Heller was settled law, and then dissented in McDonald versus Chicago, agreeing with Breyer who argued for overturning Heller), and [3] Named Rose Gottemoeller to head the U.S. delegation to the U.N. arms control negotiations, the very same Rose Gottemoeller who informed Moscow that the U.S. was open to significant compromise on U.S. missile defense.

In fact, a short tour through the U.N. schemes shows that international tracing, combined with nationalized regulations and controls on the manufacture, transfer and sell of small arms, is the central feature of the plan.  The U.N. program for implementation includes such requirements as no “military style” weapons should be possessed by civilians, a registered and traceable lifetime for every weapon, and so on.  Courtesy of reddit/guns, here is a marked-up listing of the kinds of regulations envisioned by the U.N.

As we have discussed before, the distinction between civilian and military weapons is meaningless today, and wasn’t ever very useful.  Bolt action rifles, semi-automatic rifles, tactical shotguns and a whole host of other kinds of weapons are being used in both civilian and military applications, and have been for a very long time.  A U.N. distinction between civilian and military weapons would yield regulations more onerous than the assault weapons ban (sunset provision on September 13, 2004) ever could.  A U.N. distinction between civilian and military owners achieves nothing beyond what the U.N. already wants, i.e., an international gun registry and lack of weapons transferability, and thus is this distinction a disingenuous subterfuge.  Promises to exempt “civilians” – whatever that means – doesn’t make this treaty any less dangerous to firearms ownership in America.

Missives on why treaties do not obviate or supersede the constitution, while well intentioned and informative, miss the point entirely.  Even in the wake of the Heller and McDonald rulings, there are still four justices on the Supreme Court who fundamentally do not believe in the second amendment, and then at least one who sees reversal of Heller on the horizon with a “future, wiser court.”  Furthermore, the decisions in Heller and McDonald do not address issues such as a gun registry, further controls on transfer of weapons across state lines or even within states, or other meaningless and intrusive ATF regulations.  There is a pregnant field of un-litigated second amendment issues in America, and the existence of an international treaty only complicates gun ownership.  It isn’t obvious that any court, much less the Supreme Court, would find stipulations similar to the ones in the U.N. treaty to be unconstitutional.

Finally, take note that international luminaries such as Iran – known to supply weapons to insurgents in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria – have been appointed to a post negotiating the treaty.  The very real possibility exists that legitimate weapons sales from the U.S. to allies (such as Israel) would become problematic under the treaty.  Taiwan, for instance, is concerned that the treaty could undercut weapons imports.

The silliness of the treaty and its effect on other nations is outlined fairly well by David Bosco at Foreign Policy (even if Bosco is willing to overlook its silliness).

There was a lot of talk at the session about the absurdity that sales of bananas are more regulated internationally than sales of assault rifles and about the need for more states to enact domestic legislation regulating arms transfers. The assembled activists did leaven their optimism with a dose of reality. They acknowledged that the treaty almost certainly would not contain any binding language or enforcement mechanisms. Instead, every country will determine for itself whether an arms sale or transfer is likely to contribute to human rights violations. (Under the ATT likely to emerge, Russia could report that it has duly considered whether arming Syrian forces would lead to violations and decided that it would not. Nobody would be able to gainsay the Kremlin, at least not through the treaty mechanism.)  What’s more, the treaty negotiations will be conducted on a consensus basis (Washington insisted on that), which means that any state can block adoption of a text it doesn’t like.

So civilians in America would be subject to onerous new regulations since America is a law abiding nation, while rogue nations would be free to export weapons as they see fit.  Or in other words, the criminals have the guns while the law abiding citizens are disarmed, sort of like gun control in America.  As I have previously observed, the U.N. arms treaty is a solution in search of a problem.

Not only does this treaty intrude on the second amendment rights of American citizens, and not only is it hypocritical in its intent, it would target the very country who abides by its laws and allow the perpetrators justification for their own actions.  The treaty is just one more progressive, micromanaging, over-controlling, statist solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.  We’ve seen ten thousand like it, and as long as the U.N. gets funding and a home from the U.S. government, we will see many more instances of this kind of busy-body meddling into the affairs of American citizens.

Regardless of what kind of language is included in the treaty concerning military and civilian weapons, it does nothing to address the real problem of weapons traffickers such as Iran, and there is no reason to ratify it.

UPDATE: Thanks to David Codrea for the attention to this.

UPDATE #2: Glenn Reynolds says bring it!

Prior:

The U.N. Small Arms Treaty


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