Well, with the aid of the Obama Administration, this new treaty has been approved. Fortunately, there probably are not 67 votes in the Senate to ratify the measure.
And that’s a good thing. The Wall Street Journal has a column by John Bolton and John Yoo explaining why the new U.N . treaty is so misguided and dangerous.
…the new treaty also demands domestic regulation of “small arms and light weapons.” The treaty’s Article 5 requires nations to “establish and maintain a national control system,” including a “national control list.” …Gun-control advocates will use these provisions to argue that the U.S. must enact measures such as a national gun registry, licenses for guns and ammunition sales, universal background checks, and even a ban of certain weapons. The treaty thus provides the Obama administration with an end-run around Congress to reach these gun-control holy grails.
But doesn’t the Second Amendment protect our rights, regardless?
Unfortunately, that’s not clearly the case, as Bolton and Yoo note.
The Constitution establishes treaties in Article II (which sets out the president’s executive powers), rather than in Article I (which defines the legislature’s authority)—so treaties therefore aren’t textually subject to the limits on Congress’s power. Treaties still receive the force of law under the Supremacy Clause, which declares that “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” …this difference in language between laws and treaties allows the latter to sweep more broadly than the former.
One thing we can state with certainty is that opponents of individual rights will use the treaty to push an anti-gun agenda inside the United States. And since the Supreme Court has upheld the Second Amendment by only one vote, I’m not overly confident that we can rely on the judiciary anyhow.
And remember that the “slippery slope” is a very relevant concern. Many anti-gun activists think only government should have the right to possess guns, and they view incremental gun control measures as building blocks to that ultimate goal.
Even though government monopolies on gun possession have been associated with some of the world’s most brutal dictatorships!
I’m not worried that the United States is going to turn into some Venezuelan-style anti-gun totalitarian regime, so I actually disagree with the results of my poll on the biggest reason to oppose gun control.
If I was asked to give my worst-case scenario for why we need private gun ownership, it would involve fiscal and societal breakdown because of an ever-growing welfare state.
But regardless of why you believe in the Second Amendment, this U.N. treaty would be a very bad development.