I agree, Wheelspinner. With Project Gunrunner / Fast and Furious, this administration is criminally violating international arms agreements already on the books. Politicians rarely find a great career in supporting and defending the letter of the Constitution or the law - until it's politically expedient - although Ron Paul's consistent voice is making headway. You haven't made a case for sounding the alarm about the UN's destroying 2A; but you want others to do your homework?
Originally Posted by Wheelspinner
OK. At least fifty-eight senators, including twelve democrats, have signed letters to President Obama in opposition to the UN ATT. The democratic senators say:
The democratic senators' names are:
[O]ther nations of the world may better adopt and enforce a more rigorous system of arms export controls. The senators urge the president to address their concerns that 1) the Arms Trade Treaty not regulate the domestic manufacture, possession or sales of firearms or ammunition, that 2) the treaty signatory countries maintain the exclusive authority to regulate arms within their own borders, that 3) the treaty exclude small arms, light weapons, ammunition or related materials that would make the treaty overly broad and unenforceable, and that 4) the treaty omit any sort of international gun registry that could impede upon the privacy rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Jon Tester (D - MT)
Jeanne Shaheen (D - NH)
Mark Begich (D - AK)
Claire McCaskill (D - MO)
Max Baucus (D - MT)
Joe Manchin, III (D - WV)
Mark L. Pryor (D - AR)
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D - PA)
Tom Udall (D - NM)
Ben Nelson (D - NE)
Jim Webb (D - VA)
Mark R. Warner (D - VA)
Mark Udall (D - CO)
The Republicans signed a letter by Senator Moran, that last two paragraphs of which say:
The Republican signatory senators are:
Fifth, and finally, the underlying philosophy of the Arms Trade Treaty is that transfers to and from governments are presumptively legal, while transfers to non-state actors (such as terrorists and criminals) are, at best, problematic. We agree that sales and transfers to criminals and terrorists are unacceptable, but we will oppose any treaty that places the burden of controlling crime and terrorism on law-abiding Americans, instead of where it belongs: on the culpable member states of the United Nations who have failed to take the necessary steps to block trafficking that is already illegal under existing laws and agreements.
As the treaty process continues, we strongly encourage your Administration to uphold our country’s constitutional protections of civilian firearms ownership. These freedoms are not negotiable, and we will oppose ratification of an Arms Trade Treaty presented to the Senate that in any way restricts the rights of law-abiding U.S. citizens to manufacture, assemble, possess, transfer or purchase firearms, ammunition, and related items.
Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Scott Brown (R-MA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Dan Coats (R-IN), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Corker (R-TN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jim DeMint (R-SC), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), John Hoeven (R-ND), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), James Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Mike Lee (R-UT), John McCain (R-AZ), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rand Paul (R-KY), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jim Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), John Thune (R-SD), Pat Toomey (R-PA), David Vitter (R-LA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Lastly, this site says
I used to feel as you do, Wheelspinner, until I did my homework.
The U.S. Supreme Court has made it very clear that
1) Treaties do not override the U.S. Constitution.
2) Treaties cannot amend the Constitution. And last,
3) A treaty can be nullified by a statute passed by the U.S. Congress (or by a sovereign State or States if Congress refuses to do so), when the State deems a treaty the performance of a treaty is self-destructive. The law of self-preservation overrules the law of obligation in others. When you've read this thoroughly, hopefully, you will never again sit quietly by when someone -- anyone -- claims that treaties supercede the Constitution. Help to dispell this myth.
"This [Supreme] Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty." - Reid v. Covert, October 1956, 354 U.S. 1, at pg 17.
This case involved the question: Does the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (treaty) supersede the U.S. Constitution? Keep reading.
The Reid Court (U.S. Supreme Court) held in their Opinion that,
"... No agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or any other branch of government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution. Article VI, the Supremacy clause of the Constitution declares, "This Constitution and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all the Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land...’
"There is nothing in this language which intimates that treaties and laws enacted pursuant to them do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution nor is there anything in the debates which accompanied the drafting and ratification which even suggest such a result...
"It would be manifestly contrary to the objectives of those who created the Constitution, as well as those who were responsible for the Bill of Rights – let alone alien to our entire constitutional history and tradition – to construe Article VI as permitting the United States to exercise power UNDER an international agreement, without observing constitutional prohibitions. (See: Elliot’s Debates 1836 ed. – pgs 500-519).
"In effect, such construction would permit amendment of that document in a manner not sanctioned by Article V. The prohibitions of the Constitution were designed to apply to all branches of the National Government and they cannot be nullified by the Executive or by the Executive and Senate combined."