One day after President Barack Obama won re-election, his Administration agreed to a new round of international negotiations to revive a United Nations-sponsored treaty regulating the international sale of conventional arms, which critics fear could affect the Constitutionally protected right of U.S. citizens to purchase and bear firearms.
Now, in the wake of the Newtown school massacre and the President’s January 16 promise to “put everything I’ve got” into a sweeping new series of gun control initiatives, the fate of that treaty, which enters a “final” round of negotiations this March, may loom as more important than ever, according to critics, some of whom argue that the U.S. should never have entered the talks in the first place.
Their concerns remain, despite the fact that President Obama repeated his support for the Second Amendment and “our strong tradition of gun ownership and the rights of hunters and sportsmen” on January 16. (The subject never came up in his second inaugural address.)
U.S. diplomats have declined a Fox News request to discuss, among other things, the direction of the talks, and whether the other 192 countries involved respect that U.S. “red lines” in the negotiations—including the Administration’s assertion that “the Second Amendment to the Constitution must be upheld”—are truly inviolate.
The Administration first agreed to take part in the U.N. arms treaty negotiations in 2009—the same year in which it launched the now-notorious Fast and Furious operation, which provided weapons to illicit gun traders, ostensibly to track gun-running operations to Mexican drug cartels. Those negotiations proceeded irregularly, but seemed to founder last July.
But then, the U.S. joined a 157-0 vote, with 18 abstentions, of a U.N. General Assembly disarmament committee, on November 7, 2012, —the day after President Barack Obama won his second-term victory–to create the March round of talks. (A State Department official insisted to Fox News that the vote only came after the U.S. elections due to the disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy; otherwise, it would have taken…