Published DateTo the editor,
When contributors to this forum reference Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, and the Tea Party as the sources of their facts I become very suspect. In recent letters, writers have been claiming that the Obama Administration intends to force gun control and a complete ban on all weapons for U.S. citizens through a United Nations treaty.
Often referenced in these letters is the U.N. SMALL Arms Treaty — there is no such thing. There is, however, an Arms Trade Treaty. The United Nations is not pursing a global treaty to ban ownership by civilians, they are committed to tightening controls over INTERNATIONAL import, export and transfer of conventional arms into the hands of terrorists and soldiers of war-torn nations. It is not, as conspiracy theorists would have us believe, a full-scale gun CONFISCATION and the placing of lawful gun owners on an international database. It will not ban any weapon category from being traded, but is meant to set regulations on the global, cross border trade of conventional weapons. Also, each sovereign state determines its own laws and regulations for the manufacture, sale and possession of firearms by its citizens — the United Nations will have NO jurisdiction over such matters and no treaty can be imposed upon a sovereign member state. All countries are free to adopt and ratify an Arms Trade Treaty or choose not to. The Obama administration has made it clear that it will not support any treaty that regulates the domestic transfer or ownership of weapons, or that infringes on the Second Amendment. Even, as conservatives and NRA members would like us to believe, Obama wouldn't be able to "bypass" Congress and circumvent the Second Amendment. All international treaties that the U.S. agrees to require the approval of two-thirds of the Senate before the treaties can be ratified — those would surely be tough votes to get if the treaty banned all firearms. Thirteen Democratic Senators have addressed President Obama and then Secretary of State Clinton saying they wouldn't support a treaty unless they were guaranteed that it wouldn't in any way regulate the domestic manufacture, possession or sales of firearms or ammunition in the United States.
The President of the United States cannot enact a ban on all weapons for U.S. citizens through the signing of international treaties with foreign nations. The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States and in the 1957 case of Reid v. Covert, the U.S. Supreme Court established that the Constitution supersedes international treaties ratifies by the U.S. Senate.
In short, there is no legal way around the Second Amendment other than a further amendment to the Constitution that repeals or alters it, or a Supreme Court decision that radically reinterprets how the Second Amendment is to be applied.
Further, I would caution readers to never, ever, trust, under any circumstances, anything any right-winger or left-winger posts on any blog, anytime, under any circumstance.
L. J. Siden