Posts Tagged Bill of Rights

Kerry Signs UN Arms Trade Treaty — Civilian Disarmament Advancing

Secty State John Kerry UN small arms treaty

Traitor John Kerry signing away our Constitutional Rights

By 

Secretary of State John Kerry signed the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty Wednesday. Upon adding his signature, Kerry addressed the world body:

On behalf of President Obama and the United States of America, I am very pleased to have signed this treaty here today. I signed it because President Obama knows that from decades of efforts that at any time that we work with — cooperatively to address the illicit trade in conventional weapons, we make the world a safer place. And this treaty is a significant step in that effort.

Promptly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked Kerry and Obama for their complicity in consolidating UN control over weapons and ammunition:

Today, a number of countries signed the Arms Trade Treaty, pushing the total number of signatures to more than half of all Member States.

The Secretary-General, as the depository of the Treaty, welcomes every signature to this important treaty.  At the same time, it is of particular significance that the largest arms exporting country in the world, the United States, is now also among those countries who have committed themselves to a global regulation of the arms trade.  He believes this will contribute to efforts to reduce insecurity and suffering for people on all continents. He calls upon other countries to follow suit.

On Monday, a source inside the State Department alerted The New American that Secretary Kerry would commit this act of treason. What’s more, we were told that key members of the Senate were informed Tuesday that Kerry intended to sign the treaty and that the reaction from senators was one of disinterest.

In fairness, a few senators have spoken out today (Wednesday), warning President Obama not to try to bypass the Senate in his fervor to enforce the terms of this globalist gun grab. 

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent the president a letter reminding him that:

As you know, Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution requires the United States Senate to provide its advice and consent before a treaty becomes binding under United States law.  The Senate has not yet provided its advice and consent, and may not provide such consent.  As a result, the Executive Branch is not authorized to take any steps to implement the treaty.

President Obama knows this and he also knows that in March, 53 senators voted “to uphold Second Amendment rights and prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.”

Americans know something, too. They know that this administration has never failed to use every murderous act of armed violence as a pretext for tyranny. From Newtown to the Navy Yard, President Obama has issued scores of executive orders directly violating the Constitution’s explicit prohibition on the infringement of the right to keep and bear arms. 

John Kerry’s signing of the Arms Trade Treaty demonstrates that he and his boss will continue along this treasonous trajectory until control of all weapons and ammunition is consolidated into the UN and its client governments.

There is so much wrong and so much unconstitutional about the Arms Trade Treaty that it is difficult to describe it all. The following summary of the agreement should be sufficient, however, to call to action all constitutionalists, gun owners, and lovers of liberty. Senators, President Obama, and Secretary of State John Kerry must know that we will not sit idly by while they surrender our sovereignty and plot to confiscate our weapons.

First, the Arms Trade Treaty grants a monopoly over all weaponry in the hands of the very entity (approved regimes) responsible for over 300 million murders in the 20th century. 

Furthermore, the treaty leaves private citizens powerless to oppose future slaughters. 

An irrefutable fact of armed violence unaddressed by the UN in its gun grab is that all the murders committed by all the serial killers in history don’t amount to a fraction of the brutal killings committed by “authorized state parties” using the very weapons over which they will exercise absolute control under the terms of the Arms Trade Treaty.

Article 2 of the treaty defines the scope of the treaty’s prohibitions. The right to own, buy, sell, trade, or transfer all means of armed resistance, including handguns, is denied to civilians by this section of the Arms Trade Treaty.

Article 3 places the “ammunition/munitions fired, launched or delivered by the conventional arms covered under Article 2” within the scope of the treaty’s prohibitions, as well.

Article 4 rounds out the regulations, also placing all “parts and components” of weapons within the scheme.

Perhaps the most immediate threat to the rights of gun owners in the Arms Trade Treaty is found in Article 5. Under the title of “General Implementation,” Article 5 mandates that all countries participating in the treaty “shall establish and maintain a national control system, including a national control list.”

This list should “apply the provisions of this Treaty to the broadest range of conventional arms.”

Mark it down: If the treaty is ratified by the United States or if its provisions are enforced by executive order, within months the federal government (likely under the management of the Department of Homeland Security) would begin compiling a list of who owns, buys, sells, trades, or transfers any firearm, as well as the ammunition, parts, and components of those weapons. 

After creating this database, the federal government would be required under the provisions of Article 5(4) of the Arms Trade Treaty to “provide its national control list to the Secretariat, which shall make it available to other States Parties.”

That’s right. The UN treaty demands that the list of gun and ammunition owners not only be in the hands of our own government, but be sent to foreign regimes, as well. This provision would guarantee that should an American owner of a legally purchased firearm decide to emigrate, he will be on the radar of the ruling regime in his new home.

Americans are right to recognize this registry as the first step toward confiscation. Without such a registry, it would be impossible to monitor weapons transfers effectively because governments can’t track weapons exchanges and transfers unless they know who has them to begin with.

Article 12 adds to the record-keeping requirement, mandating that the list include “the quantity, value, model/type, authorized international transfers of conventional arms,” as well as the identity of the “end users” of these items.

In very clear terms, ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty by the United States would require that the U.S. government force gun owners to add their names to the national registry. Citizens would be required to report the amount and type of all firearms and ammunition they possess.

Section 4 of Article 12 of the treaty requires that the list be kept for at least 10 years.

Finally, the agreement demands that national governments take “appropriate measures” to enforce the terms of the treaty, including civilian disarmament. If these countries can’t get this done on their own, however, Article 16 provides for UN assistance, specifically including help with the enforcement of “stockpile management, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes.”

In fact, a “voluntary trust fund” will be established to assist those countries that need help from UN peacekeepers or other regional forces to disarm their citizens.

Arguably, the Arms Trade Treaty would become the law of the United States if the Senate were to ratify the treaty.

While that is the process that the Constitution establishes for the implementation of treaties, fundamental principles of construction and constitutional law dictate that no treaty that violates the Constitution can become the supreme law of the land.

In the case of the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty, there is no doubt that regardless of presidential signatures or congressional consent, this treaty cannot pass constitutional muster and therefore will never be the valid law of the land. 

Unless, of course, Americans once again acquiesce to President Obama’s assumption of illegal authority and relinquish their rights and weapons regardless of the reasons they should not do so.

Finally, citizens must understand a very important nuance of Secretary Kerry’s assurance in his speech that the Arms Trade Treaty isn’t about taking away freedom, “it is about keeping weapons out of the hands of terrorists and rogue actors.” Americans must remember that Kerry, Obama, and the UN consider gun owners to be “terrorists” and “rogue actors,” thus subject to seizure of their firearms in the name of “international peace and global security.”

For John Kerry and Barack Obama, the confiscation of weapons from civilians is an act of, as Kerry said Wednesday, “advancing important humanitarian goals.” 

For Americans, however, it is a giant leap toward enslavement.

Americans would be wise at this critical time to remember the words of George Washington, who advised:

A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.

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A Tax on Freedom

Punitive taxes on guns and ammunition will punish only the law-abiding.Gun Laws Taxing Freedom

By Charles C. W. Cooke

‘I’m not asking to take away people’s guns,” Maryland legislator Jon Cardin nervously told Politico this week. “I’m just saying that for an activity that is relatively dangerous, obviously, people who participate in that activity should pay the full costs of that activity.” America, witness a guileful new tactic of the gun-control movement.

Cardin (a nephew of U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat), who wishes “to tax bullets at 50 percent,” was outlining an increasingly popular progressive idea: If you can’t regulate something, why not tax it in lieu? Similar proposals — by which states impose specific levies on purchases of firearms and assorted peripheral items — are now being considered in California, Nevada, and New Jersey; and in Chicago, which city has apparently learned nothing from the very public slap on the wrist that 2010’s McDonald v. Chicago delivered, a $25-per-firearm “fee” was just put into effect. Other states already assess charges on guns — including Massachusetts, where Mitt Romney infamously raised rates by 400 percent (from $25 to $100) while governor. Such measures have traditionally been justified on grounds of economic necessity or, more candidly, as a way of limiting gun sales. The “participants should pay” card is a new one.

As a matter of general principle, I’m not wild about the modern tendency to reduce the value of everything in society to the sum of its externalities. Liberty has a value in and of itself and, in America, it is codified stridently and without caveat into our highest laws. Still, while attempts to measure how much freedom we “need” are usually fruitless and invariably inconsistent, they are, unfortunately, likely to increase. The closer we edge toward socialized medicine for all — and the more that we expand the scope of its consequence-blunting bedfellows in the welfare system — the worse the temptation will get. If the state is on the hook for your behavior, it has greater incentive and justification to regulate it. As I learned in Britain over my first 26 years, whether it is drinking and smoking, eating red meat or salt, snacking on grapes in a vehicle, or having any other form of private fun that gets a bad name among the neo-puritans of the modern Left, the government needs only to issue the magic words “public health” and a cast of fashionable acolytes will rush to its side to be censorious on cue.

The idea is not total bunk, of course. Leviathan or no Leviathan, our unalienable rights do have externalities. But the thing is: Almost everything does. Speech, as Sonny Bunch has observed, can be dangerous. After all, “newspapers advocated for war in their editorial pages . . . and reported false intelligence to the masses.” Elections are expensive, too, he notes: “What about a modest, $25/vote tax on those who wish to exercise their rights in such locales”? Bunch’s tongue is firmly in his cheek but his overarching point is strong: When it comes to our basic rights, the rule of thumb is that as little as possible should be put in the way of their exercise. The Second Amendment is often treated differently from the other component parts of the Bill of Rights, but it damn well shouldn’t be. Unless you consider that the right to bear arms is less important in a republic than is the right to vote — which I most decidedly do not — then putting a special tax on firearms is no less outrageous than putting a tax on voting. Why one but not the other? (The inconsistency here is outrageous: Sex has negative externalities, too. Let’s see how using that as a justification for regulation goes . . . )

This being a matter of basic principle, for once there is no need for an endless dissection of the Constitution’s meaning. The states in question do not tax only certain guns and bullets but all guns and bullets — including those that nobody disputes are fully subject to constitutional protection. Given that federal law prohibits Americans from buying handguns across state lines without incurring expensive FFL (federal firearms license) transfer fees — and that states tend to regulate the nature of other out-of-state gun purchases — this gives the residents of those states no option but to pay the taxes if they wish to exercise their basic right to keep and bear arms. This is unacceptable and it is capricious, and if you want to see just how indefensible it is on principle, try asking someone who claims that voter IDs are an improper obstacle to voting why they simultaneously support taxes on firearms.

The measures are downright useless, to boot. Whatever the apostles of taxation might have you believe, “fees” do have the effect of “taking away guns,” because they severely limit the ability of the poor to buy them. Wealthier gun owners, meanwhile, continue to buy guns as they did before but end up paying a little more to do so. And criminals? They remain unaffected. As the Los Angeles Times observes:

A 5 percent tax on a $300 handgun amounts to an extra $15. A person bent on mass murder would hardly be discouraged by a low gun tax, and it would take many years for the higher retail costs to filter down to the criminal market in second-hand guns; moreover, a criminal who needs a gun as a primary tool of his trade would hardly be put off by a slightly higher price.

Too much of that sort of reasonable argument, and I’ll have to conclude that the L.A. Times has something against America’s children.

The setup is even more risible when it comes to bullets. As Kelly Phillips of Forbes observes, to believe that such taxes will do anything to reduce crime requires one to suspend one’s disbelief to a frightening degree and to argue that criminals are likely to think: “Well, I would kill both of those folks but that extra five cents on the second victim would just be too much. I have to save up this month.”

Fewer than 10 percent of criminals convicted for gun offenses buy their weapons in shops. As taxes are levied only in shops — not on the street — law-abiding gun owners end up “paying” for the consequences of behavior that the vast majority of them would never countenance, while the bad eggs escape tax-free. Jon Cardin’s claim that “people who participate in [an] activity should pay the full costs of that activity” is disingenuous in the extreme. What Cordin is suggesting is akin to taxing potatoes to pay for the consequences of potato guns. Those who create the externalities are not paying much at all; that honor, as ever, falls to their victims.

— Charles C. W. Cooke is an editorial associate at National Review.

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