US News and World Report notes the big bad gun lobby’s opposition to a treaty that everyone says won’t affect domestic firearm policy, despite the fact that the treaty is being pushed by notable anti-gun NGO’s. Trust us, they say. Yeah, we’ve heard that one before. Investors Business Daily is offering more publicity to Dick Morris. Maybe he’ll sell a lot of copies of that book he’s hawking. My only hope is that Morris’ self-promotion will get people’s attention, and cause them to seek better information. Nothing riles gun owners up more than the old “blue helmeted bastards at the UN are coming for your guns” meme, but I certainly hope people can move beyond that and actually become engaged.
Ted Bromund at Heritage is doing excellent reporting of what’s going on with the Arms Trade Treaty, which includes useful information like Australia paying to bring delegations from poor countries. Australia is a major backer of the Arms Trade Treaty. He speaks of the real division on the conference:
There are (1) nations (mostly in Europe) that do not for a moment intend to stop selling arms or are trying to beat the Americans out of contracts but also want an ATT at least in part because they naively hope to curb a few state-led human rights abuses; (2) nations (mostly totalitarian or autocratic) that don’t want an ATT at all unless it disarms their opponents, enshrines their right to buy, and does not limit their access to technology; (3) nations (mostly African) that want capacity-building assistance and whose motto might as well be “show me the money”; and (4) Russia and China, which don’t really want an ATT but don’t really want to stop it openly either. The U.S. doesn’t fall into any of these camps, which is why it spoke for the Permanent Members.
Read the whole thing. He goes into other detail about the nature of the proceedings, which gets to my fundamental discomfort with the United Nations entirely; it is a fundamentally undemocratic body. It seems to me the Europeans want an ATT because they are under the illusion that gun control actually works. You won’t stop totalitarian regimes that abuse human rights from getting guns any more than you’ll stop drug cartels from getting guns. This whole endeavor is a fools errand, and all we’re creating here is a vehicle for NGO’s to drive gun control at the international level.