- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2001

The Bush administration is opposing efforts by the United Nations to control what are euphemistically described as "small arms" because to the gun-grabbers at the United Nations, "small arms" includes ordinary revolvers, rifles and other firearms legally owned by millions of Americans, not just the military-type weapons implied by the term.
This "small arms" shuck-and-jive is the latest semantic trick to be employed by gun-control groups. For example, the headline on Tuesday's front-page story in The Washington Post about the administration's opposition to the U.N. proposal reads, "U.S. Fights U.N. Accord To Control Small Arms" — implying to the casual or uninformed reader that what's at issue here is doing something about the proliferation of bazookas, Stinger missiles and the like. All of it is couched in such a way as to leave the impression that what's being discussed is getting a handle on mercenaries and guerrillas. But as the National Rifle Association and other anti-gun-control groups point out, the language of the draft accord specifically defines "small arms" to include revolvers and semiautomatic pistols, rifles, "assault rifles" (a meaningless term conjured up by gun-control groups that is used to portray a single shot semi-automatic rifle as more "dangerous" based on the way it looks, as opposed to the way it functions), as well as fully automatic rifles and machine guns, hand grenades and various military-type armament.
If approved by the Senate, the U.N. accord would effectively transfer both legislative and police authority relating to all handguns to United Nations bureaucrats — with all that implies for the future security of the American people's Second Amendment rights. The system envisioned for the "marking and tracing" of all weapons sold or transferred would quickly form the basis of international registration, followed, in time, by an outright ban on the possession of firearms by anyone other than the government.
The good news is the accord has been dismissed out-of-hand by the Bush administration, and therefore presents little immediate threat to the freedoms we enjoy. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John R. Bolton said "The United States will not join consensus on a final document that contains measures contrary to our right to keep and bear arms … we do not support measures that would constrain legal trade and legal manufacturing of small arms and light weapons. The vast majority of arms transfers in the world are routine and not problematic … "
This, of course, annoys the 15-member European Union an organization comprised of countries where the private ownership of firearms has, for the most part, been thoroughly extinguished.
Well, the United States is guilty of no moral breach for simply electing not to commit itself to a treaty that would abrogate the very specific freedoms that make this country different from the member states of the European Union. The Bush administration is to be commended for evincing a preference for the Constitution of the United States than for the edicts of global bureaucrats.

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