I have read with a degree of chagrin the numerous letters by individuals on the anti-Second Amendment left. These letters invoke their favored bogeyman, the NRA, whenever some gun law fails to pass, someone uses guns illegally to kill others or someone defends a citizen’s right to bear arms. The NRA is made out to be an organization that uses its immense power to prevent what these writers see in their views as common sense (by their own ideas) gun laws.
They never acknowledge the NRA as a privately funded organization that protects the rights of gun owners against those who would deprive them of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
One of these letters comes from Diane Huberty (April 21), who laments the failure of the United Nations Arms Treaty to be ratified by the U.S. Senate. Of course, she lays this at the doorstep of the all-powerful, sinister NRA. She indicates that the treaty would allow the United States to keep the Second Amendment and U.S. laws to protect gun owner rights. I wonder whether Huberty took the time to read the treaty or consider its implications for U.S. sovereignty. The language of the treaty is vague enough to allow for the Second Amendment to be overridden by international mandates under the treaty and make U.S. law subservient to an international body beyond U. S. law.
There are specific provisions within the March 2013 draft of the treaty that would represent a significant threat to a U.S. citizen’s right to keep and bear arms for personal and family protection. The treaty states: Mindful of the legitimate trade and lawful ownership, and use of certain conventional arms for recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities, where such trade, ownership and use are permitted or protected by law. Other provisions would require signatory countries to establish and maintain, control lists and control systems to help regulate arms trade. This could lead to national gun registration, which President Obama recently said would not have been part of recently defeated gun control laws.
The United States would be required under the treaty to report the lists to the international regulatory body established under the treaty. The treaty also encourages signatory nations to make those lists public. American sovereignty would effectively come under the control of international agencies unaccountable to the Congress or president.
Once a treaty is ratified, it becomes the supreme law of the land. The provisions of the treaty would supersede the Constitution and give control over American citizens to the United Nations, which often acts against our interests. I would personally rather have laws debated, passed and implemented by representatives of the United States citizens rather than some unelected international body. Before we give over our hard-earned rights to the United Nations, we should consider the consequences. Once we transfer power to international agencies such as the United Nations, we may never be able to get them back.
KENNETH S. BORDENS