The United States Senate ratification of the Arms Treaty is now one of the main concerns of the President Obama and his administration. Already on record, 53 senators are in opposition to the treaty. The administration may not have the votes needed to ratify the Arms Treaty. Many Americans are hoping this does not go into full force.
The Arms Treaty is aimed at regulating the international trade in conventional arms. One of the key U.S. red lines in the negotiation is to ensure that the Second Amendment would be upheld.
Secretary of State John Kerry signed the Arms Treaty September 2013 on behalf of President Obama and the United States. He stated: “Make no mistake, we would never think about supporting a treaty that is inconsistent with the rights of American citizens to be able to exercise their guaranteed rights under the Constitution.” Although the honesty in his statement may be debatable, it can be comforting to some and may assure the American people that the administration has no intention of interfering with the rights of U.S. citizens. Many people may be relying on the Senate to determine whether or not the treaty upholds the constitutional standards and to follow through with the appropriate decision.
There are a few political reasons that concern some officials regarding the Arms Treaty. The New York Times suggested that it may prohibit the U.S. from controlling the export system. The UN General Assembly made it clear they were anxious to expand the treaty, including the use of drones and cyber weapons. Angela Kane, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs has explained that the Arms Treaty will establish “global norms.” As the UN.Arms Trade Treaty ratification dangers boil down to the Senate – and it is looking more disagreeable – Senators have already released a letter with 50 signatures opposing the treaty. The House has also released a letter signed by 181 Representatives.
Part of the main concern for the American people regarding the Arms Treaty, are the recent gun laws passed in some states considered by many as infringing upon their Second Amendment rights. After violent events such as Aurora, Newtown, and the Washington Navy Yard shootings, many believe the government will not waste the opportunity to use them as anti-gun propaganda. It is obvious that government officials are in favor of disarming the people and looking to only have authorized state parties, such as the government, military and police agencies bear arms. Obama has signed executive order after executive order which, it could be argued, are violations of the Second Amendment.
The fast and furious gun-running incident was one that changed many minds about the Arms Treaty. In this case, more than 2,000 weapons had been handed over to the Sinaloa drug cartel by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
The thought arises in the minds of law-abiding citizens as to why Americans should have their rights infringed upon while the government supplies guns to foreign criminals and militaries who may quite possibly be terrorists and trafficking in arms? In many cases, the wrong people are supplied with arms and the wrong people are refused arms.
It seems that the Senate may have these few, yet bold, reasons to look at. As of October, 113 states signed and seven states ratified the treaty; however, 50 states are needed for the treaty to come into full force. The eagerness of officials and the people of America are raising as the decision of the ratification of the UN Arms Trade Treaty boils down to the United States Senate.
Editorial by Brittany Varner-Miller