By Chuck Baldwin
April 24, 2009
Hat tip: NewsWithViews.com
On his recent trip to Central America, President Barack Obama signed onto an international treaty that could, in effect, be used as backdoor gun control. It appears that Obama wants to use international treaties to do what congressional legislation is not able to do: further restrict the right of the American people to keep and bear arms.
Obama is using the oft-disproved contention that “90% of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States” as the stated basis of his support for the international treaty he is promoting. The treaty is formally known as the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA) treaty. The Bill Clinton administration signed the treaty back in 1997, but the U.S. Senate has never ratified the treaty. Obama intends to change that.
To date, 33 nations in the western hemisphere have signed the treaty. The U.S. is one of four nations that have yet to ratify it. According to one senior Obama administration official, passing the treaty is a “high priority” for the President.
If ratified, the treaty would require the United States to adopt “strict licensing requirements, mark firearms when they are made and imported to make them easier to trace, and establish a process for sharing information between national law enforcement agencies investigating [gun] smuggling.”
Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee promises to “work for its [the CIFTA treaty’s] approval by the Senate.”
Should the Senate ratify CIFTA, Americans who reload ammunition would be required to get a license from the government, and factory guns and ammunition would be priced almost out of existence due to governmental requirements to “mark” each one manufactured. Even the simple act of adding an after-market piece of equipment to a firearm, such as a scope or bipod, or reassembling a gun after cleaning it could fall into the category of “illicit manufacturing” of firearms and require government license and oversight.
In addition, CIFTA would authorize the U.S. federal government (and open the door to international entities) to supervise and regulate virtually the entire American firearms industry. Making matters worse is the fact that, as a treaty, this Act does not have to be passed by both houses of Congress, nor is it subject to judicial oversight. All Obama needs to do in order to enact this unconstitutional and egregious form of gun control is convince a Democratic-controlled Senate to pass it.
Obviously, the United Nations, from its very inception, has been one of the world’s most ardent gun control proponents. As anyone who has ever driven by the U.N. building in New York City knows, a huge statue of an American-made revolver with its barrel twisted in the shape of a pretzel greets every visitor. The CIFTA treaty is one of the U.N.’s pet projects in order to achieve this long-held ambition.
Of course, Obama is a longtime liberal radical when it comes to the Second Amendment. As a senator, he voted against the Second Amendment at every opportunity. He has never seen a piece of gun control legislation that he did not support. And as I have said before in this column, gun control is high on the list of priorities for the newly elected President Barack Obama.
For Obama to intimate that 90% of the firearms used by Mexican drug cartels come from the United States reveals either a truly dishonest and deceptive mind or a totally misinformed and naïve one. Many studies have thoroughly debunked the 90% myth, including one by William La Jeunesse and Maxim Lott in a recent Fox News report. According to these researchers, the real number is closer to 17%.
According to La Jeunesse and Lott, Mexican drug cartels, which control billions of dollars, obtain the overwhelming majority of their guns from the Black Market, Russian crime syndicates, South America, China, Guatemala, and even from the Mexican army.
In fact, Mexico is a virtual arms bazaar: AK-47s from China; fragmentation grenades from South Korea; shoulder-fired rocket launchers from Spain, Israel and former Soviet bloc dealers; assault weapons from China; and explosives from Korea–just to name a few sources.
In addition, according to Mexican Congressman Robert Badillo, more than 150,000 Mexican soldiers have deserted in just the last six years. The vast majority of them took their weapons with them, including the standard issue M-16 assault rifle made in Belgium.
And please do not forget that corruption within the Mexican government is rampant. Many news sources have covered stories of how drug cartels bribe Mexican officials. An article in the New York Times last year reported, “One of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels made huge cash payments to officials in the Mexican attorney general’s office in exchange for confidential information on anti-drug operations . . . the cartel might have had an informant inside the American embassy.”
The Mexican drug cartels control a multi-billion dollar enterprise that has more than enough resources to obtain planeloads of weapons from all over the world. For Obama to assert that 90% of the Mexican drug cartels’ firearms come from the United States is a bald-faced lie! Again, either Obama is stupid and naïve or he is deliberately lying to the American people in order to “sell” the CIFTA treaty to the U.S. Senate. I think we all know that Mr. Obama is anything but stupid and naïve.
Read more about the CIFTA treaty here.
In addition to the CIFTA treaty, liberal Chicago Democrat Congressman Bobby Rush has introduced H.R. 45 in the House of Representatives. This bill is anything but subtle. It is an in-your-face gun control bill that would make “Mr. Gun Control,” the late Senator Howard Metzenbaum, shout Hallelujah.
H.R. 45 would require a federal license for all handguns and semiautomatics, including the ones you already possess. It would require handgun and semi-auto owners to be thumbprinted at a police station and sign a certificate that the gun will not be kept in a place where it could be used for the defense of the gun owner’s family.
Read more about H.R. 45 here.
In all likelihood, H.R. 45 is probably a long shot at passing both houses of Congress, albeit gun owners should never take any proposed gun control bill for granted. The CIFTA treaty, however, is much more dangerous due to its subtlety and subterfuge, the less cumbersome process of passage, and the fact that it makes U.S. gun owners subject to international gun control laws.
All in all, freedom in America is on the Obama White House chopping block. And this much is certain: if the American people do not retain the right to keep and bear arms, every other freedom we hold dear will quickly disappear as well. Moreover, if we do retain the right to keep and bear arms, it will only be because enough of us–and our state and federal legislators–resist the tyrannical gun control machinations of Barack Obama. And that means defeating the CIFTA treaty and H.R. 45.