on Treaties

“No agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or on any other branch of Government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution…This Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty” U.S. Supreme Court, in Reid v. Covert (1957)

On January 14, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed, effectively ending the American Revolution and finally establishing the United States as a sovereign nation.  The long war for independence had finally been won, and it was now time to set about how the future of our new country would commence. The world would now be forced to recognize a nation that was founded on the principles of freedom and liberty, where the people themselves ruled, instead of a small group of elite in a faraway nation. Our Founders were leading us to something that was quite new, as foreign: the idea that liberty can bring out the best in man.

When our Constitution was being written, the framers understood that as a new nation, we would still have to maintain relationships with other countries. Treaties between countries were part of that relationship building, so provisions for that were made in our Constitution. In Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, it states that the President “shall have Power, by and with Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur”.  And, Article 6 declares that any treaties made under the authority of the United States, shall be the law of the land.

Treaties with other countries are not something to be taken lightly. Sometimes, they have built and maintained the peace between nations. Other times, they have hamstrung the sovereign right of nations to govern their own affairs, and ended up being broken. Unfortunately, the latter type of treaty is now being considered and supported by President Obama: The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, also known as the “Small Arms Treaty” which regulates the sale and trade of arms between nations. While some claim that its intent is to keep arms out of the hands of tyrannical regimes, the truth is belied by the fact that those same regimes support its ratification, like Iran, Syria and Cuba. Two of the provisions of this treaty are disconcerting: 1) “Each State Party shall take the appropriate measures, within national laws and regulations, to control brokering taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty” and 2) “Each State Party shall maintain records in accordance with its national laws and regulations of the items referred to … such records may contain: quantity, value, model/type, authorized arms transfers, arms actually transferred … and end-users as appropriate. Records shall be kept for a minimum of ten years, or consistent with other international commitments applicable to the State Party”. These provisions mean every firearm, accessory, and kind of ammunition must be regulated and that you, the end-user, will be put on an international registry.  For what purpose would an elite international body need to know which individual American citizens own guns (perhaps we should ask the German Jews)? Do we really want an international body of corrupt elites making the rules on how to best defend ourselves from criminals and those same corrupt elites?

What the President would not be able to get through Congress, or the required constitutional amendment process, he will attempt to do via an international treaty and the Democratic-controlled Senate. You see, tyrants know that the only threat to their unlimited thirst for power and control are those empowered with the ability to forcefully resist it. Our founders also understood this, which is why the Second Amendment is so important; it cannot be nullified either by executive orders, legislative fiat, statute or international treaty. The U.S. Constitution is the foundational rule of law for America; and the Second Amendment is what supports the first, third, and all the rest of that document. Without it, there would be no check on those who would seek to become despots here. Perhaps that is why our President and international community so greatly wish to undermine its protections and make its original purpose irrelevant. They do not wish to serve or protect – they wish to rule.

Don’t allow us to again be ruled by a small group of elites in a faraway nation. Remember, an armed man is a citizen; a disarmed one is a subject. Call the President and your Senators and tell them to oppose the ratification of the UN Arms Trade Treaty.

“The concept that the Bill of Rights and other constitutional protections against arbitrary government are inoperative when they become inconvenient or when expediency dictates otherwise is a very dangerous doctrine and if allowed to flourish would destroy the benefit of a written Constitution and undermine the basis of our government” Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black, in in Reid v. Covert (1957)

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