Prosecute the torture.

March 21, 2013

The Braintrust Gets It Wrong. Again.

On today's editorial page of the Tribune-Review we find:
Kudos to Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Kelly for leading the charge against the Obama administration's all-but-certain reversal on an odious United Nations gun treaty.

Even before Secretary of State John Kerry could suggest conditional support of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, the Butler Republican, along with Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., organized opposition from at least 28 senators and 121 representatives.

And with very good reason.

“(W)hy would we ever sit down with bad actors and let them decide what our (gun) policy will be going forward?” asks Mr. Kelly. Especially when the United States already has some of the strictest statutes in the world on the import, manufacture and export of firearms, says Ted Bromund, a security policy expert at The Heritage Foundation.
That would be the same Heritage Foundation, of course, that's received (by my latest sifting of the numbers at the bridgeproject) almost $28 million from foundations controlled by the Trib's owner, Richard Mellon Scaife.  $28 million also turns out to be about 26% of the total foundation support received by Heritage.

Let me put it another way: More than a quarter of the foundation support The Heritage Foundation has received over the years has come from one man: Richard Mellon Scaife, owner of the Tribune-Review, employer of whomever wrote the above editorial - the one that omits the boss' financial entanglement with the think tank being quoted.

Enough of that, what about Representative Kelly and this treaty?  Representative Kelly has introduced a resolution:
Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the conditions for the United States becoming a signatory to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, or to any similar agreement on the arms trade.
Included in the resolution is:
Whereas the Arms Trade Treaty poses significant risks to the national security, foreign policy, and economic interests of the United States as well as to the constitutional rights of United States citizens and United States sovereignty;

Whereas the Arms Trade Treaty fails to expressly recognize the fundamental, individual right to keep and to bear arms and the individual right of personal self-defense, as well as the legitimacy of hunting, sports shooting, and other lawful activities pertaining to the private ownership of firearms and related materials, and thus risks infringing on freedoms protected by the Second Amendment;
Turns out this is completely incorrect.  How do I know this?  From the Preamble of the Treaty being negotiated:
The States Parties to this Treaty,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling that the Charter of the United Nations promotes the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources,

Underlining the need to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade of conventional arms and to prevent their diversion to the illicit market and for unauthorized end use,

Recognizing the legitimate political, security, economic and commercial rights and interests of States in the international trade of conventional arms,

Reaffirming the sovereign right and responsibility of any State to regulate and control transfers of conventional arms that take place exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional systems, [Italics in original.]
See those last two?  The ones starting with "Recognizing..." and "Reaffirming..."?

Then there's this part from a few paragraphs later:
Taking note of the legitimate trade and use of certain conventional arms, inter alia, for recreational, cultural, historical and sporting activities and lawful ownership where such ownership and use are permitted and protected by law, [Italics in original.]
Now go back and read what Representative Kelly is concerned enough about to mention in his resolution.  How silly does it sound now?

I guess he and his co-resolutionists never got as far as the Preamble when they read the treaty (a necessary step, one would presume if one is writing a Congressional Resolution against it).

Perhaps they did read it and just didn't understand it.

Which one makes them all look sillier?

I'll let you decide.

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