“I just delivered a message to those anti-gun elitists at the United Nations, who are meeting to discuss ways to craft an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that could go after your Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” wrote Wayne La Pierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association of America recently.
Beginning in 2001 at the first UN Conference on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons, the United Nations has convened member states to draft a treaty to regulate the international trade in small arms, a treaty scheduled to be ready for a vote in July of next year.
At the behest of the arms industry and the NRA, the US has for the most part opposed the treaty. Now some gun proponents are worried they can’t depend on the Obama Administration to defend their interests. To date, 57 senators have vowed they will not approve a treaty that in their view undermines the Second Amendment. The small arms the treaty addresses are weapons estimated to contribute to about 200,000 deaths a year, a body count that does not include those killed in military conflicts. Other groups, including the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) have supported the treaty, claiming it would help to slow illegal gun trafficking and the diversion of arms to gangs, drug dealers and terrorist organizations. “By recognizing the interconnectedness of the unregulated arms trade, armed violence and the undermining of human rights, including implicitly the right to health, a robust ATT would help prevent the misuse of arms and thus reduce resultant deaths and injuries,” noted Dr. Robert Mtonga MD, IPPNW co-president.