Oxfam America has long served as a reliable cheerleader for nearly all misguided United Nations policy. However, Oxfam America President Raymond Offenheiser’s Friday op-ed (“President should ignore fear mongering and sign arms treaty”) is an exceptional illustration of this blind allegiance. Offenheiser wants us to simultaneously believe the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is both the single most important tool to cracking down on war crimes and that the treaty has absolutely no teeth whatsoever. That’s twisted logic for sure. Here’s the truth.
The Arms Trade Treaty directly threatens the Second Amendment rights and privacy of American gun owners. Article 12 of the treaty “encourages” signatory nations to compile “records” of all “end users” of firearms imported into their county — and to supply this sensitive personal information to the government of the exporting country.
In other words, if you bought a shotgun made by an Italian manufacturer, the U.S. government would keep a record of your purchase and provide your information to the Italian government. This is gun registration on an international level, plain and simple.
Should the U.S. refuse to take part in this international gun registry, other nations could be required to ban the export of firearms to the United States. This would drive many foreign firearms manufacturers out of business and significantly increase the cost of perfectly legal firearms. The fundamental right to self-defense would become unaffordable for many law-abiding civilians around the world.
Signing this treaty would be a clear indication that President Obama wants to resurrect his failed attempt to implement backdoor gun registration. It would also show his clear contempt for American supremacy and sovereignty.
Cox is executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.