There is a lot of concern in the US about the U.N. Small Arms Treaty on the table in New York this week. Bloggers are beating the drums, and some even border on hysteria in their predictions of the U.N.’s destruction of our constitution. I wondered just how much power the United Nations has to push a nation, any nation, into a treaty against the will of the people.
Thank God for our founding fathers and their foresight. They understood that one day we would have corrupt leaders with their own agenda making critical decisions that would affect us all. They entrusted the authority of international treaties to the Executive branch and the Senate.
Americans have believed that treaties with foreign nations, including the U.N., supersede the constitution since before Eisenhower’s election. In 1952 Secretary of State John Foster Dulles said:
“Congressional laws are invalid if they do not conform to the Constitution, whereas treaty laws can override the Constitution. Treaties, for example, can take powers away from Congress and give them to the President; they can take powers from the states and give them to the Federal Government, or to some international body and they can cut across the rights given the people by the Constitutional Bill of Rights.”
Of course, this is entirely wrong. John Foster Dulles was one of the founders of the Council on Foreign Relations and a passionate globalist with his own plan. He understood once an expert says something in a public place it cannot be unsaid. While it may be proven wrong, most people will hear and remember what he said and even ignore facts that come out later.
Ever since the idea that a treaty can supersede the Constitution took root in the American mind, we have been afraid of the U.N.’s power grabbing agenda—and rightly so. A landmark case in 1957 reinforced the Constitution’s supremacy. In Reid-v-Covert, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution supersedes international treaties ratified by the United States Senate. According to their decision, the Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the sovereignty of the Constitution over a treaty.
Two-thirds of the Senate must ratify an international treaty and then the President signs it into law. It’s surprising that we have had as many treaties approved by the Senate as we have. Since 1825, they ratified over 1500 treaties and rejected 21.
The U.N.’s Small Arms Treaty focuses on international laws that impact international weapons trade. It doesn’t determine what happens inside the U.S. borders. Regardless however, on Saturday, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced an amendment that prevents the U.S. from entering into the treaty. It passed 53-46. This vote effectively killed the U.N. treaty in the United States and sent a message to the United Nations and to President Obama.
Does this mean we are out of the woods on gun control? Not a chance. The real action is taking place inside the U.S. borders. State after state is making unconstitutional laws that negate the Second Amendment. New York, Colorado, California, and several other states are passing draconian laws suppressing the individual’s gun rights while others are passing laws to loosen gun control laws.
The threat of the United Nations treaty is behind us for now, but we must remain vigilant in defending our Second Amendment rights. Stay in touch with your Senators and Congressmen; send letters and emails and call them. Pay attention to new laws as they present them for consideration. We can make an enormous difference by positive, productive action. And while you’re at it, you might want to give your Senator a call and thank him for his vote if he or she voted for the Second Amendment. If they didn’t, give them something else.