American gun owners might not feel besieged, but they should. This week, the Obama administration announced its support for the United Nations Small Arms Treaty. This international agreement poses real risks for freedom both in the United States and around the world by making it more difficult – if not outright illegal – for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.
The U.N. claims that guns used in armed conflicts cause 300,000 deaths worldwide every year, an inordinate number of which are the result of internal civil strife within individual nations. The solution proposed by transnationalists to keep rebels from getting guns is to make the global pool of weapons smaller through government action. According to recent deliberations regarding the treaty, signatory countries would be required to “prevent, combat and eradicate” various classes of guns to undermine “the illicit trade in small arms.” Such a plan would necessarily lead to confiscation of personal firearms.
This may seem like a reasonable solution to governments that don’t trust their citizens, but it represents a dangerous disregard for the safety and freedom of everybody. First of all, not all insurgencies are bad. As U.S. history shows, one way to get rid of a despotic regime is to rise up against it. That threat is why authoritarian regimes such as Syria, Cuba, Rwanda, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone endorse gun control.
Political scientist Rudy Rummel estimates that the 15 worst regimes during the 20th century killed 151 million of their own citizens, which works out to 1.5 million victims per year. Even if all 300,000 annual deaths from armed conflicts can be blamed on the small-arms trade (which they cannot), governments are a bigger threat to most people than their neighbors.
This U.N. treaty will lead to more gun control in America. “After the treaty is approved and it comes into force, you will find out that it has this implication or that implication and it requires the Congress to adopt some measure that restricts ownership of firearms,” former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton warns. “The [Obama] administration knows it cannot obtain this kind of legislation purely in a domestic context. … They will use an international agreement as an excuse to get domestically what they couldn’t otherwise.”
The U.N. Small Arms Treaty opens a back door for the Obama administration to force through gun control regulations. Threats to the Second Amendment are as real today as ever.