Another 4 Years...The assault has already begun
by Jeff Knox
I'm still reeling with dismay and confusion. How could so many of my fellow Americans choose to reelect someone who has proven to be totally unqualified for the job, if not downright destructive? It is unfathomable to me. I could offer up a litany of reasons why their choice was such a mistake, but most of you reading this know them all too well.
Even so, I'm still catching flak from some of our hard-line rights supporters for encouraging people to vote for Romney. They insist that since he has taken anti-rights positions in the past, that I should have declared a pox on both leading parties and gone Libertarian or some other third party. As I said before the election, this presidential race boiled down to two choices: do something to help Obama get reelected, or do something to keep Obama from being reelected. The only way to effectively help keep Obama from being reelected was to cast a vote for Romney, and encourage others to do the same – anything else helped Obama win.
So now we're stuck with Obama for another four years, and somewhere around 11:00 [on election] night, most of us began wondering what that will really mean. What's next? Those of us concerned about gun owner rights didn't have to wait long for that question to begin to be answered. First thing Wednesday morning the United Nations, with U.S. encouragement, decided to reopen discussions on an international arms trade treaty. The treaty talks were derailed in July when the US and several other countries requested more time to work on it.
Many believed that move was politically motivated, with Obama not wanting a high-profile vote in favor of gun restrictions on his record just before the elections. New treaty talks are scheduled for late March.
While the treaty was originally supposed to only deal with establishing export and reporting standards for military arms – basically modeled after current U.S. laws – talks quickly shifted focus from military weapons to include common civilian arms and ammunition. If ratified, the treaty could require the U.S. to implement a variety of domestic firearms restrictions and record-keeping requirements. Even if the U.S. never ratifies the treaty, if broadly adopted, it will dry up supplies of surplus parts and ammunition for U.S. consumers, and encroach on the rights of millions of people worldwide. During the Bush administration, attempts to develop the treaty were stymied by Ambassador John Bolton, but shortly after taking office, Obama, through his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, announced that the U.S. supported treaty talks going forward. Now that there are no reelection concerns, there is a danger that U.S. support will tip the scales for adoption of a far-reaching version of the treaty.
Ratification in the U.S. Senate requires passage by a 2/3 majority of the Senators present. If passed, it would doubtlessly trigger a court battle over conflict with the Second Amendment. Most legal scholars say such a treaty could not usurp the Constitution, but that decision would be left to the Supreme Court – a Supreme Court which, by the time this treaty is ratified, could have as many as five Justices appointed by Barack Obama.
The high bar set for passage in the Senate makes many confident that this treaty could never pass, but treaties are handled differently than regular legislation, and the bar isn't quite as high as it seems. Once the treaty is agreed to by the President, he, and his minions in the Senate, can hold it as long as necessary while they line up a strategy for passage. Unlike normal legislation, treaties don't expire; they can be held over from one Senate session to the next. Nor does a treaty require a 2/3 vote of the full Senate (67 votes). Treaty approval requires a 2/3 vote of only the senators present.
Obama and his allies could hold onto the treaty in hopes of Democrat wins in the 2014 Senate elections, and then run it through at 3:00 in the morning on Christmas Eve when 2/3 of the Senators present happen to support it. With the advent of a new “Obama Court,” both the method of passage in the Senate and the provisions of the treaty could be expected to receive a SCOTUS rubber stamp of approval.
While such a scenario seems far-fetched, one only need remember the chicanery surrounding passage of Obamacare to realize that far-fetched is the new normal in Washington.
Republicans must work across the aisle to find solutions for the nation's troubled economy, and to ensure security from foreign threats, but all of our representatives in Washington must stand resolutely against further encroachment of the Constitution – and the confirmation of judges and Justices who would defend such encroachment. Politicians need to be reminded that they took an oath to defend the Constitution, not to obey their party bosses.
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