A hint of the latest anti-gun strategy?

I guess it could be called a “resurgence”, or the latest iteration of an anti-gun strategy that has been tried in the past. Remember IANSA?

This morning the Washington Times published an editorial written by members of the DC “Think Tank”, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Basically, the editorial trots out many aspects of the “Drug violence in Mexico is all our fault” meme that has been rampant in the media lately.

The escalating violence unleashed by Mexico┬┤s drug cartels as they struggle to control trafficking routes and expand their illegal business left 5,700 dead in 2008, with homicide rates spiraling out of control in cities along the U.S. border.

Illegal trafficking of arms from the U.S. helps fuel the drug violence.

The U.S.-Mexican border is a central route for illicit weapons destined for Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. It is nearly impossible to purchase guns legally in Mexico, and gun stores in U.S. border states sell twice as many weapons as those in any other U.S. region.

In 2005, the year after the U.S. ban on assault weapons expired, Mexican authorities seized more than 10,000 smuggled weapons, of which 90 percent came from the U.S. A recent Mexican government study spoke of as many as 2,000 guns per day crossing the border.

I’d like to see some supporting documentation for the “facts” that they tout in support. They sound like pure BS to me.

At any rate, the new twist to this meme is that they are using it to promote ratification of a treaty known as the ” INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION AGAINST THE ILLICIT MANUFACTURING OF AND TRAFFICKING IN FIREARMS, AMMUNITION, EXPLOSIVES, AND OTHER RELATED MATERIALS” (CIFTA). Don’t ask me where the acronym comes from, it doesn’t make sense to me either.

The convention text is available here.

This concerns me in two ways. First, although this treaty is fairly innocuous…most of the requirements are already in place in the US…and doesn’t address lawful private ownership of firearms and ammunition, one provision is troublesome:

1. “Illicit manufacturing”: the manufacture or assembly of firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials:

a. from components or parts illicitly trafficked; or

b. without a license from a competent governmental authority of the State Party where the manufacture or assembly takes place; or

c. without marking the firearms that require marking at the time of manufacturing.

4. “Ammunition”: the complete round or its components, including cartridge cases, primers, propellant powder, bullets, or projectiles that are used in any firearm. [emphasis added]

If I’m reading that correctly, this treaty would classify home reloading as “Illicit Manufacturing”

Which then requires, under Article IV, Legislative Measures:

1. States Parties that have not yet done so shall adopt the necessary legislative or other measures to establish as criminal offenses under their domestic law the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives, and other related materials. [emphasis added]

So…under this treaty, owning a home reloading press would require a license?

Am I reading this wrong???

The Second problem I have with this is the precedent it sets. That precedent being, if the gun banners can’t get what they want through the full legislative process, and their prospects for getting their agenda enacted through judicial fiat seem to be waning…doing it through the treaty process.

They’ve been trying to mislead the public about guns and their use in the US for decades now. It seems that they are refocusing their efforts on misleading the public about the impact of US gun ownership on other countries.

The trick is that the ratification process for treaties is, in some ways, less stringent than that of passing legislation. Treaties only need to be ratified by the Senate (albeit with a 2/3 majority) and then signed by the President to take on the full effect of law.

Basically, it seems to me that the latest and greatest strategy of the anti-liberty forces is coming into focus. Their new strategy is to blame gun ownership in the US for the high violence rates in Mexico and other countries. They are doing this by the tried and true method of misleading, obfuscating and outright lying to create a false impression. Then they exploit this false impression by using it to dupe the public into accepting restrictions in the form of “international treaties” that would never fly as domestic legislation.

In my humble opinion, we need to be on top of this strategy and fight it just as vigorously as we do the misinformation campaigns that the anti-liberty forces focus on domestic gun ownership issues. Assuming, of course, that we can all get along long enough to do that.

Crossposted on The Sentinel

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