In February I wrote a post about Rand Paul’s effort to block the nomination of Vivek Murthy to be Surgeon General because of Murthy’s comments about guns. Paul’s early efforts to inject himself into the 2016 Presidential race is being run on a shoestring, all the more reason why he needs to pander to groups like the NRA. But now Paul has taken several more steps to the Right and is sending out fundraising appeals for a lobbying organization – The National Association of Gun Rights – which calls itself the “conservative alternative” to the NRA.
This time around Paul is taking aim at an old enemy, the United Nations Small Arms Treaty and its outgrowth, a UN-sponsored project known as the International Small Arms Control Standards, a.k.a. ISACS. The task of the ISACS is to create the actual methods and mechanisms to be used by treaty signatories on a voluntary basis to monitor and control illicit manufacture and shipments of small arms. Despite the howling and yowling about the treaty by pro-gun groups, including the NRA, virtually all of the standards being developed to identify and track illicit movements of small arms are already in place for anyone who wants to bring guns into, or ship guns out of, the United States.
But even if the U.N. Small Arms Treaty never gets passed by a two-thirds Senate vote, the U.N. (and of course Obama) are already “plotting” the next step, namely the imposition of the following “radical anti-gun initiatives” on every nation that signs the treaty including: (1). National “screening’ for everyone who wants to own a gun; (2). licenses required for all sales of guns and ammunition; (3). restrictions on the number and amount of guns and ammunition that anyone could own; (4). bans on magazines with capacities of more than ten rounds; (5). bans on concealed-carry licenses for self defense.
According to Senator Paul, this treaty and the Control Standards being implemented behind it amount to a complete loss of national sovereignty and an end to gun ownership in the United States. Incidentally, the Senator not only knows what the treaty and the standards document contain, he also knows that the United Nations is “plotting” to put it all into effect. The only person I know who sees more plots going on around him than Rand Paul is Glenn Beck. In the case of the U.N. Small Arms Treaty and ISACS, however, it’s simply not true.
There is not a single word in either the treaty or the standards that have been drafted to date that mandates or even talks about anything having to do with legal, private ownership of small arms. The whole point of the U.N.’s small arms effort is to help countries, particularly in underdeveloped areas, control the shipment of small arms because so much of the anti-government violence and instability in these countries is fueled by underground or black-market supplies of ammunition and guns. Many third-world governments (e.g., Somalia) simply do not have the resources to either monitor their own borders or maintain stability because it’s so easy to transport and distribute small arms. Recall that our troops paid a heavy price because even we couldn’t control shipments of illicit small arms into Afghanistan and Iraq.
I have no objection to Rand Paul seeking aid and comfort from political allies like the NRA or the NAGR. I donate money to the candidates of my choice, so why should I be upset when a politician whom I don’t particularly respect hits up people who might be aligned with his point of view? But going after the gun vote is one thing, inventing reasons for my support out of whole cloth is something else. There is not a grain of truth to what Rand Paul is saying about the U.N. Small Arms Treaty, and he’s insulting me and every other NRA member by sending out a fundraising appeal loaded with statements that are just wide of the mark.