Alan Keyes
The latest global threat to Americans' liberty
Implications of UN Arms Trade Treaty
By Alan Keyes
September 30, 2013

"This Constitution, and all the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land." (U.S. Constitution, Article VI)

On Wednesday reported that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry "signed a UN Arms Trade Treaty regulating the 70 billion dollar global trade in conventional arms. ..." The article goes on to note that the treaty "would create binding requirements for states to review cross-border contracts to ensure that weapons will not be used in human rights abuses, terrorism, violations of humanitarian law, or organized crime."

Until and unless the U.S. Senate ratifies this treaty in accordance with the relevant provision of the Constitution (Article II.2), the UN Arms Trade Treaty does not have the force of law. That should mean that its provisions will not be enforced in the U.S., since they do not have the sanction of the Supreme Law of the Land. However, given Barack Obama's proven disdain for such constitutional niceties, we cannot be certain this will constrain the actions of his appointees in the U.S. government.

However, they may be constrained by their reticence to call attention to the fact that the Obama faction's provision of arms to the Syrian rebels already puts them in violation of the treaty's provisions. Al-Qaida and other jihadist groups that dominate the Syrian rebel coalition do not shy away from perpetrating human rights abuses, terrorism, and violations of humanitarian law.

This evident contradiction between its intended treaty commitments and its actions may keep the Obama faction from pre-empting U.S. Senate action on the UN Arms Trade Treaty. Can they figure out a way to reconcile their desire to give arms to Islamic extremists with their equally intense desire to disarm law-abiding American citizens? However that may be, Kerry signed the treaty while voicing the obligatory assurances that this will in no way affect the constitutional rights of people subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. government.

The problem is that these days, what constitutes human rights abuses, terrorism, and violations of humanitarian law is very much in the eye of the propagandist. These days, elitist faction judges cite human rights violations as they rape the parental authority of Christian parents who seek to raise their children to believe that homosexuality is wrong and sinful behavior. Pro-abortion officials are well-known for their attempts to prosecute pro-life demonstrators as criminals under provisions of law created to target organized crime. People who support the Second Amendment, believe in limited government, and champion the sovereign authority the 10th Amendment reserves "to the States respectively, or to the people," have been identified in Obama faction official documents as prospective terrorists.

On the face of it, these claims and legal abuses are absurd. But they are matters of record. So, is it absurd to suggest that the people they target and abuse might, by law, be restricted in their access to firearms in order to satisfy the provisions of the proposed UN treaty? Obama faction officials and members of the U.S. judiciary (including the U.S. Supreme Court) have shown little regard for constitutional reason even when nothing in the Constitution gave them warrant for their decisions and actions. When the provisions of a treaty, ratified to command respect as the Supreme Law of the Land, give them a pretext for their unreason, what should we expect from them?

Of course, the language that gives treaties the sanction of the Supreme Law of the Land need not be construed to make them a pretext for suppressing the constitutional rights of people subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. government. Just as provisions of duly enacted U.S. laws that contradict the Constitution are judged to be null and void, so treaty provisions that do so ought to be judged. But the Obama faction and its collaborators are determined to shed the constraints of constitutional government, especially when it comes to the responsibility of the people to maintain among themselves a well-regulated militia, as necessary for the security of their freedom.

Faced with this determined will to eviscerate an essential safeguard of liberty, it would be worse than foolish for Americans to accept ratification of a UN treaty that can and will be used to accomplish that objective. Moreover, that fatal damage to American liberty would probably be the only significant effect of the treaty. As Frank Gaffney observes, "international law is not like criminal law in this country. It tends to bind only nations like ours, not rogue states. Pretending international treaties and 'norms' actually can be relied upon to protect us is national security fraud. The fact that such arrangements are utterly 'unenforceable' merely compounds the danger inherent in doing so."

So we must add any move to ratify this UN Arms Trade Treaty to the long list of attacks on our liberty that we are presently called upon to repel. At this point, I suppose I should exhort you to call, email, write, and otherwise demand that your U.S. senators vote against this treaty. But in the face of so many ongoing attacks on our constitutional freedom, wouldn't it make more sense to set our sights, above all, on removing the attackers from their positions of power in the government?

This is what I propose in the impeachment strategy for the 2014 election. Instead of fighting many battles while losing the war, why not fight to achieve a war-winning objective that will de-energize all the attacks at once? Read about that objective here and here. Then let your yes be yes.

To see more articles by Dr. Keyes, visit his blog at and his commentary at and

© Alan Keyes


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Alan Keyes

Dr. Keyes holds the distinction of being the only person ever to run against Barack Obama in a truly contested election – featuring authentic moral conservatism vs. progressive liberalism – when they challenged each other for the open U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in 2004... (more)


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