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Real danger in U.N. arms pact even if U.S. doesn’t sign?

by Dave Workman
The Examiner


Posted 11/8/2012

There is real danger in a proposed United Nations arms trade pact even if the United States does not sign or if the Senate fails to ratify the document, according to one of the leading critics of the effort.

Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation, told Examiner Thursday that even if the U.S. doesn’t participate, the global gun control treaty could impact not just the American firearms industry, but other industries in this country that export products.

“The hidden danger in this kind of thing is that countries that do sign could force American firearms companies to comply with the requirements, anyway, or risk losing business,” he explained. “They could also take action on other trade from the United States in order to force us to participate.”

That sounds plausible. International politics have all sorts of intriguing twists and turns. We slap “sanctions” on Iran over nuclear development; European nations hit us with “sanctions” to get the administration to bow to the treaty.

Since this column first reported the resumption of efforts to pass an arms trade treaty just hours after Barack Obama’s re-election was confirmed, there has been considerable disagreement within the firearms community about the proposal, or whether it will even become a reality. Many gun rights activists are pooh-poohing the report, contending with no small degree of cynicism that it “will never happen” because the Senate would never ratify such a document.

Others contend that there is nothing in the proposal that threatens the Second Amendment, and still others argue that no international treaty could supersede the Constitution.

On the other side of the debate, some gun activists suggest that skeptics are like frogs in a pan of slowly-heating water, or they simply are in a state of denial.

Discussions are unfolding on the Defensive CarryNorthwest FirearmsGun Rights Mediaand Waguns forums.

The disagreement may also have something to do with politics. Not all gun owners voted against Mr. Obama and they are in no mood to discuss anything the administration does that may be perceived as a threat to U.S. gun rights.

Gottlieb has been to the U.N. on a couple of occasions to discuss this country’s position and meet with other opponents of the treaty. He was also instrumental in creating the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR), which has member organizations in several countries.

The issue was discussed by a panel during the September Gun Rights Policy Conference in Orlando, which may be listened to here.

As this column reported, proponents of the treaty hope to get a final document approved when they meet in mid-March at U.N. headquarters.

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