The United Nations General Assembly passed the international treaty by a vote of 154-3 with 23 nations abstaining from voting. The Tuesday vote marked the first time the U.N. has attempted to regulate the global arms trade in an effort to keep weapons of war from those who would commit acts of terror and human rights violations. The only three countries to oppose the treaty were Iran, North Korea, and Syria.
According to Reuters:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement praising the treaty:
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the vote, saying the treaty “will make it more difficult for deadly weapons to be diverted into the illicit market and … will help to keep warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and their like from acquiring deadly arms.”
Kerry also reassured Americans that ratifying it would not affect domestic gun ownership protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
“A strong, effective and implementable Arms Trade Treaty that can strengthen global security while protecting the sovereign right of states to conduct legitimate arms trade.”
But despite assurances from Secretary Kerry, the American government, the treaty itself, and pretty much the rest of the world that the treaty only seeks to regulate exports of weapons such as tanks, helicopters, rocket launchers, etc, to prevent terrorists and other evil people from getting the latest killing machines on the market, the National Rifle Association is prepared to force their puppets in the U.S. Senate to oppose the treaty. Those loyal puppets, of course, are Republicans, with the exception of a couple conservative Democrats.
“Nothing in this treaty could ever infringe on the rights of American citizens under our domestic law or the Constitution, including the Second Amendment,” Kerry said.
In order for a U.N. treaty to be ratified in the United States, 67 senators are required to vote in favor. As we all know, getting any domestic legislation to pass the Senate with just 60 votes has been nearly impossible over the last four and half years due to Republican obstruction. That means getting a sane and responsible international treaty that will help keep Americans safe could be dead in the water if the NRA and Republicans have their way.
“The NRA opposes the treaty and has vowed to fight to prevent its ratification by the U.S. Senate when it reaches Washington. The NRA says the treaty will undermine domestic gun rights, a view the U.S. government has strongly rejected.”
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow explained on her show on Thursday night that Senate Republicans oppose the treaty because they believe an NRA conspiracy theory that this treaty allows the United Nations to take guns away from American citizens. The treaty, in fact, only regulates arms EXPORTS. In other words, guns that America ships to other nations. The treaty doesn’t affect domestic ownership of guns at all. It simply prevents traded weapons from ending up in the hands of soldiers from Iran or North Korea, terrorists, mercenaries, dictators, etc… Why would any American oppose that? Watch Rachel Maddow explain the situation in the following video via The Raw Story.
If Senate Republicans agree to stand with the NRA in opposition to this treaty, they would effectively be allying themselves with Iran and North Korea, enemies of America who harbor terrorist groups. America is the top weapons exporter on earth. If we don’t ratify this treaty, it becomes pointless and powerless. You would think all Americans would support a treaty that keeps weapons we trade away from terrorists and other hostile individuals and groups that want to kill us. But that, sadly, isn’t the case.
It makes one wonder if Republicans are serious about keeping Americans safe at all. Here is an international treaty that makes perfect sense if you really want to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons they would use to kill Americans. To think that half the U.S. Senate would stand with Iran and North Korea because they believe a ridiculous right-wing conspiracy theory is jaw dropping. The patriotism of every Republican in the Senate should be questioned if they oppose this treaty. Do they want Americans to really be safe? Or do they want terrorists to have the weaponry they want to kill Americans with? It’s that simple.