NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 25, 2009

By far, the biggest killers of people have been governments and their surrogate militias.  Before every attempted or successful genocide, those in power disarmed the targeted groups with the aid of laws requiring firearms licensing and registration.  Even when motivated by a sincere desire to protect people from crime, these policies have made the situation worse, says Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).

Currently the Obama administration is pushing a new small arms treaty, justifying it by claiming that more than 90 percent of the guns used in crime in Mexico come from the United States:

  • But Mexico has among the strictest gun control policies in the world -- yet killings are routine and violent crime rates are many times higher than in the United States.
  • From 2007 to 2008, more than 29,000 firearms were picked up at crime scenes in Mexico and only 17 percent of those guns, about 5,000, were traced to the United States.

The United States, in fact, has among the best systems for tracking arms.  Consider just a few of its requirements:

  • Every firearm manufacturer, importer, exporter, wholesaler and retailer operating in the United States must be licensed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
  • Every gun must be stamped with a unique serial number and manufacturer information.
  • Every retail firearm sale requires a federal and/or state background check on the buyer. Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers are required to keep the records of all of their transactions.

All this treaty will do is erode U.S. sovereignty by putting the United Nations in charge of U.S. gun policy.  This would convert the basic right to self-defense into a privilege granted by the federal government in consultation with foreign governments -- to be rescinded at will, says Burnett.

Source: H. Sterling Burnett, "Guest Column: Unwise gun treaty erodes U.S. sovereignty," Green Bay Press Gazette, August 22, 2009.


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