Gun control by the U.N.

Editorial
The Washington Times
3/20/2013

Bureaucrats from 150 nations are ramping up efforts to impose gun control through international pact. Here in the United States, the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has become the vehicle to drive an agenda that is deeply controversial because once a treaty is ratified by the Senate, it becomes the supreme law of the land.

Last week, Secretary of State John F. Kerry — no friend of the Second Amendment — announced support for the treaty, which calls for international regulations on firearms, including personal firearms as well as military weapons. During the presidential campaign, President Obama was evasive about his position on the treaty. Now that he has fully “evolved” on the Second Amendment, he has the “flexibility” of not having to face voters again, and is pushing for the treaty.

There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about what’s being cooked up in Turtle Bay. Proponents say the treaty is only meant to crack down on illegal gun-smuggling, and the only people who ought to be concerned are military strongmen looking for a good deal on black-market rocket launchers. Of course, there’s more to the story. The exact wording of the agreement, and more importantly, how vague passages can be interpreted and twisted by the courts, will determine what the treaty actually means. It could, for example, force America to implement a national gun-registration scheme, ban importation of weapons and impose burdensome regulations on transfers…

…In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre, Mr. Obama unleashed his all-out effort to ban “assault weapons” — the most popular type of rifle sold in America today. The White House proposals, however, should be doomed in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives. Use of the treaty process is a way to bypass that uncooperative body and accomplish many of the same gun-control goals with only 67 Senate votes…

The complete editorial is at The Washington Times.

Related: A Defeat for Demagogy. The failure of the “assault weapons” ban should make Americans proud.

…There was never very much to the argument other than demagogic appeals to emotion. As we noted Friday, when Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas asked Sen. Dianne Feinstein a (not especially difficult) question about the constitutional rationale for her proposed ban, she “responded viscerally,” as NPR put it, saying: “I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in–I saw people shot. I’ve looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. I’ve seen the bullets that implode. In Sandy Hook, youngsters were dismembered.”

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow turned up the emotional temperature even higher with what one enthusiast called an “epic rant” against Cruz. Maddow made much of the 1978 assassination of George Moscone, Feinstein’s predecessor as San Francisco mayor. Naturally, Maddow neglected to mention that Moscone’s murderer used a pistol, not an “assault rifle.”

Reason’s Jacob Sullum rightly celebrates the Feinstein proposal’s failure as “a victory not just for the Second Amendment but for rationality in lawmaking”:

The closer you looked at the bill, the less sense it made, a fact that Feinstein tried to paper over by encouraging people to conflate semi-automatic, military-style rifles with the machine guns carried by soldiers. . . .

 

Update: Biden not giving up on assault weapons ban

 

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