Well said, Senator Johanns

I have come across a copy of a letter that Senator Johanns (R,NE) has sent to President Obama and Secretary Clinton with regards to the UN Arms Control treaty. He gets it right on this one, on all fronts. Well done Senator.

Dear President Obama and Secretary Clinton:
As defenders of the right of Americans to keep and bear arms, we write to express our grave concern about the dangers posed by the United Nations’Arms Trade Treaty. Our country’s sovereignty and the constitutional protection of these individual freedoms must not be infringed.

In October of 2009 at the U.N. General Assembly, your administration voted for the U.S.to participate in negotiating this treaty. We understand that the final treaty text will not be publicly available until it has been agreed to, on a consensus basis,by all the nations at the conference to be held in New York in July. But having reviewed the Chairman’s Draft Paper made available by the United Nations, we are concerned that the Arms Trade Treaty poses dangers to rights protected under the Second Amendment for the following reasons.
First, while the Draft Paper nominally applies only to “international arms transfers,” it defines such transfers as including “transport” across national territory. It requires signatories to”monitor and control” arms in transit,and to “enforce domestically the obligations of this treaty” by prohibiting the unauthorized “transfer of arms from any location.”This implies an expansion of federal firearms controlsthat would be unacceptable on Second Amendment grounds.
Second, the Draft Paper requires nations to “maintain records of all imports and shipments of arms that transit their territory,” including the identity of individual end users. This information is to be reported to the U.N.-based Implementation Support Unit. The Draft Paper thus appears to suggest the creation of an U.N.-basedfirearms registryfor all firearms that are either imported into or transit across national territory, which raises both Second Amendment and privacy concerns.
Finally, the Draft Paper requires that nations “shall take all appropriate measures necessary to prevent the diversion of imported arms into the illicit market or to unintended end users.”This clause appears to create a presumption in favor of the adoption, at the federal level,of further controls on firearms. We are concerned that, in this regard as well as in others,the treaty will create an open-ended obligation that will in practice be defined by international opinion, and will be used to push the U.S. in the direction of measures that would infringe on both Second Amendment freedoms and the U.S.’s sovereignty more broadly.

We acknowledge, with gratitude, that your administration has clearly stated that the treaty must not infringe in any way on the Second Amendment. Notwithstanding, we must state with clarity what this entails.
First, the treaty should explicitly recognize the legitimacy of hunting, sport shooting, and other lawful activities -including the collection and display by individuals and museums of military antiques -related to the private ownership of firearms, and related materials.

· Second, the treaty should not include the manufacturing, assembly, possession, transfer,
or purchase of small arms, light weapons, ammunition, or related materials that are defined under domestic law by national authority as legal for private ownership, nor should it contain any open­ ended obligations that could imply any need to impose controls that would have any domestic effect on any or all of these items.


Third, the Draft Paper is based in part on recognizing the inherent right of all states to individual or collective self-defense. We certainly agree that this right is inherent, at least, in all democratic and law-abiding states. But we also believe that the right of personal self-defense is a human right that is inherent in the individual. U.N. organizations, by contrast, have in the past argued that gun control is mandated by international human rights law, and that the right of self-defense does not exist. The treaty should clearly state that any assertion of the inherent right of all states to individual or collective self-defense cannot prejudice the inherent human right of personal self-defense.


As the treaty process continues, we strongly encourage your administration not only to uphold our country’s constitutional protections of civilian firearms ownership, but to ensure -ifnecessary, by breaking consensus at the July conference-that the treaty will explicitly recognize the legitimacy of lawful activities associated with firearms, including but not limited to the right of self-defense. As members of the United States Senate, we will oppose the ratification of any Arms Trade Treaty that falls short of this standard

We appreciate your consideration on this issue and look forward to your response.

Well done, Senator.

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19 Responses to Well said, Senator Johanns

  1. JessicaHof says:

    Well, we see that the Chinese and Russians were not keen on the idea, so Onama will have to find another way :)

    • Yes indeed, talk about disparate motives that lead to a good result. :-)

      • JessicaHof says:

        One of O’s problems is that neither the Chinese nor the Russians sign up to his world-view. He’ll never grasp that, but on this occasion, hey, it comes out OK :)

        • He is such a naive waif in the international arena, at the rate it’s going lately, Romney’s going to stick a fork in him at the debates.

          He used to anger me, now I’m mostly sorry for him (and us, the fools that elected him, although McCain was no prize, either.

          100 days till the election, finally. :-)

          Then we’ll have two Carter’s running around embarrassing us.

        • JessicaHof says:

          Part of the problem seems to be that Obama has a gift for portraying the world as he would like it to be as though it already is that way. It is an attractive image to many – offering security in return for surrendering some freedom – but it isn’t real and it doesn’t work. But it does allow him and his supporters to say the other guy is real nasty.

        • He does paint an attractive picture, for the poorly educated, which here includes a frightening number of university graduates. But Ben Franklin said it. “Those who give up freedom for security will have neither”. And if you depend on government, government will (rightfully) determine your needs.

        • JessicaHof says:

          Which is more or less where we are in the UK. It works well enough to a point, but the problem of who is going to pay for all these government programmes when the economy is bust is one which at some point we’re going to have to face.

        • That’s when we quote Maggie Thatcher, “Socialism works until you run out of other people’s money”.

          And we all are, our entitlements are eating us alive. It’s a very tough thing, so many oxen to be gored.

        • JessicaHof says:

          Yes, robbing Peter to pay Paul will always get you Paul’s vote, but one day Peter will have nothing left. To be honest, our economic situation scares me because I don’t even begin to understand it. I do know that all the fancy economists got it all wrong though – like Friedman said :)

        • near as I can tell, absolutely now one understands it, i think that’s the root of the problem. our Federal Reserve has too many conflicting missions and the government needs to get out of markets, God help us on that one, cause every lobbyist in America would be hurt, which is good.

          I don’t think Friedman is quite as good as the Austrians but, he is accessible and that’s more important for us mere mortals. :-)
          There are a lot of Friedman videos on you tube BTW, I should do more but, you know!

        • JessicaHof says:

          You’ve done enough so we can follow the educate ourselves. C agrees with you, that no one really knows what is wrong – apart from the fact that everyone was encouraged to spend what they didn’t really have.

        • Your side, I really know nothing. Here the government forced (blackmailed is more accurate) the banks to make completely nonsensical and unwarranted home loans, such as a $250,000 mortgage for a single welfare mother with 5 kids, which is where the bundling and derivatives came from which blew up all five of our biggest banks, that bubble still hangs over us, it’s never cleared, and the new regulation have stalled (pretty much) regular commercial banking. But, there’s lots of other stuff involved too. Far beyond what I comprehend.

          Somebody had a post up last night that they are starting that up all over, election ploy, of course. Jeez.

        • JessicaHof says:

          Yes, way beyond me – except that the Gods of the Copybook headings always win in the end. Borrow more than you can ever afford to payback and trouble will come, sure as night follows day. We’re so smart – yet we’re so stupid as a society. We think we’ve abolished boom and bust – well our guys here have certainly abolished boom.

        • Ours, too. Would that they had followed the example of 1920 instead of 1929, here we are in 1936 and I don’t see Herr Hitler rescuing us this time.

          Kipling, as always, had it figured out.

        • JessicaHof says:

          He did so. The smooth-talking ones are always the worst.

        • Indeed so.

  2. Pingback: Saturday Links: Facebook Friend Pics Edition Volume 27 - Conservative Hideout 2.0 – Conservative Hideout 2.0

  3. The Blockade treaty was defeated, I can’t imagine this one getting through.

    • I don’t think so either. My understanding is that 50 Senators have already announced their opposition.

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