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Article published March 7, 2013
Follow gun money
Joseph V. Fishel Butler
Recently, Congressman Mike Kelly, R-3rd, and other politicians have proclaimed that a proposed United Nations small arms treaty would somehow adversely impact American domestic gun ownership, the law, and/or the Constitution. Numerous fact-checking organizations have researched those claims and found those assertions to be without merit, or simply false. Among the fact-checking organizations that have researched the treaty are the Associated Press and well-regarded, award-winning websites such as snopes.com, politifact.com and factcheck.org. The purpose of the treaty is to bring some semblance of order to the largely unregulated annual $60 billion international small arms trade and to keep those type of weapons out of the hands of terrorists and rogue nations as much as possible. Explicitly stated in the treaty is that it is an extraterritorial accord, only dealing with the transfer of weapons across national borders, not an intraterritorial pact. Wording in the treaty pronounces “the exclusive right of States to regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through constitutional protections on private ownership.” Anyone who contends that somehow soldiers from different nations under the command of the United Nations are going to come here and take guns out of people’s homes if the treaty is ratified is either ignorant of the facts or purposely distorting the issue It is quite puzzling why any politician would oppose a treaty that excludes domestic gun issues and focuses on the international arms trade in order to attempt to stabilize global political and social conditions. That is, until one realizes that the profits of the American gun industry could be impaired by the treaty’s ratification and then researches what politicians receive donations from the firearms lobby. Follow the money and you can follow which politicians oppose the treaty. Maybe this is an idea that most people can agree with, maybe not, but the preference should be for representatives to do objective research on issues such as the United Nations small arms treaty and not take a position based on who gives them a campaign contribution and/or information from highly partisan, dubious and conspiratorial sources whose only goal is to protect their own narrow interests and are not concerned if they disseminate the truth or fiction.