Hours after Obama win, U.S. backs new U.N. arms treaty talks

by Chad D. Baus

Reuters is reporting that, hours after U.S. President Barack Obama was re-elected, the United States backed a U.N. committee's call on Wednesday to renew debate on the proposed United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, confirming the worst fears of the American gun rights community.

From the article:

U.N. delegates and gun control activists have complained that talks collapsed in July largely because Obama feared attacks from Republican rival Mitt Romney if his administration was seen as supporting the pact, a charge Washington denies.

The month-long talks at U.N. headquarters broke off after the United States - along with Russia and other major arms producers - said it had problems with the draft treaty and asked for more time.

But the U.N. General Assembly's disarmament committee moved quickly after Obama's win to approve a resolution calling for a new round of talks March 18-28. It passed with 157 votes in favor, none against and 18 abstentions.

...Countries that abstained included Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan, Belarus, Cuba and Iran. China, a major arms producer that has traditionally abstained, voted in favor.

Among the top six arms-exporting nations, Russia cast the only abstention. Britain, France and Germany joined China and the United States in support of the resolution.

The measure now goes to the 193-nation General Assembly for a formal vote. It is expected to pass.

According to the article, the treaty would require states to make respecting human rights a criterion for allowing arms exports.

"It's obvious that our warnings over the past several months have been true." said Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. "The election was called about 11 p.m. Tuesday and by 11 a.m. this morning, we got word that the United States was supporting this resolution. We have to be more vigilant in our efforts to stop this proposed treaty."

The United States has denied it sought to delay negotiations for political reasons.

According to a press release, SAF Operations Director Julianne Versnel, who has been back and forth to the United Nations over this proposal, said the fight is not finished. The measure will be considered for finalization in March 2013.

"We will continue to monitor this issue and oppose any effort to enforce a global gun control measure," she stated.

Amnesty International issued a statement Wednesday lauding passage of the resolution, saying the treaty will protect human rights.

"The right of self-defense is a human right," Gottlieb countered, "and in this country, the Second Amendment protects that right.

"Just days ago as he campaigned for re-election," he concluded, "Barack Obama told his supporters that voting is the 'best revenge.' I guess now we know what he was talking about. The revenge he seeks is against American gun owners and their Second Amendment rights."

The National Rifle Association also strongly opposes the arms treaty and had endorsed Romney.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

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