Recently, the United Nations General Assembly passed a historic treaty calling for signatory nations to voluntarily limit and control the sale of arms to rogue nations and terrorists. China and Russia abstained, and three countries voted “no”. Page 1 of the 13-page U.N. Arms Trade Treaty clearly states that signatory nations are to follow their own laws within their borders. It calls for signatory nations to voluntarily track and report arms imports and exports to reduce their flow to terrorists, black markets, pirates, drug dealers and failed nations. The U.N. has no enforcement mechanism.
Despite that this treaty is consistent with our ongoing war on terrorism, Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, proudly co-sponsored a bill (H. CON. RES. 23) asking the Senate not to ratify the treaty. His reason is that the treaty would “infringe on our Constitution and reduce our sovereignty by attempting to regulate the transfer and purchase of domestic civilian arms in our country.” It does not.
This ongoing conservative hostility toward the United Nations undermines our role as so-called leaders of the free world. As a country, we refuse to set examples for other nations to follow. Kyoto Protocol? Nope. Law of the Sea? Nope. Landmine ban? Nope. Rights of Children? Nope. The list goes on. We claim to have exceptional achievements and moral authority, but “exceptional” does not mean “isolated.” We are still very much a part of the civilized global community, but you’d never know that listening to the right side of the aisle.
Tipton’s opposition to the ATT puts him and many conservatives in the same company as the three “no” votes – Iran, North Korea and Syria. Does he feel that by opposing the ATT he’s keeping the 3rd Congressional District free of blue helmets and black helicopters coming here to confiscate our guns and our plastic bags at City Market? We need a representative who understands why America is the exceptional country it is and has the courage to live up to its ideals. Conservatives need to stop preaching about our moral authority and try practicing it.