Saturday, October 24, 2015

Yay (Or Nay) For UN Day!

In all honesty, I have mixed feelings every year when UN Day comes around. There have been so many great things that this institution has accomplished in its history and yet so many things that it continues to get horribly wrong in its current incarnation. If only they could look at what they have done in the past and applied those same virtues to the present the situation would be completely different and many questions regarding its modern viability would be alleviated. My personal opinion (i.e. detest for the current body of politicians) is one that is formed from the current positions that the United Nations has taken but it is also curbed by the things that, historically, this international body has allowed to happen.  

I can’t help but maintain my focus, above all other work being done, on two current issues in which I hold a personal stake in the outcome. The first is the ongoing push for the UN Arms Trade Treaty and the impact it could have on my rights. In an article published on April 14, 2013 in The Wall Street Journal, former United States UN Ambassador John Bolton summed up the push for this distasteful policy when he wrote the following:  

While much of the treaty governs the international sale of conventional weapons, its regulation of small arms would provide American gun-control advocates with a new tool for restricting rights. 

Like many international schemes, this treaty has seemingly benign motives. It seeks to "eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and to prevent their diversion to the illicit market," where they are used in civil wars and human-rights disasters. The treaty calls for rigorous export controls on heavy conventional weapons, such as tanks, missiles, artillery, helicopters and warships.

But the new treaty also demands domestic regulation of "small arms and light weapons." The treaty's Article 5 requires nations to "establish and maintain a national control system," including a "national control list." Article 10 requires signatories "to regulate brokering" of conventional arms. The treaty offers no guarantee for individual rights, but instead only declares it is "mindful" of the "legitimate trade and lawful ownership" of arms for "recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities." Not a word about the right to possess guns for a broader individual right of self-defense.

Gun-control advocates will use these provisions to argue that the U.S. must enact measures such as a national gun registry, licenses for guns and ammunition sales, universal background checks, and even a ban of certain weapons. The treaty thus provides the Obama administration with an end-run around Congress to reach these gun-control holy grails. As the Supreme Court's Heller and McDonald cases recently declared, the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right "to keep and bear Arms" such as handguns and rifles. Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce remains broad, but the court's decisions in other cases—even last year's challenge to the Affordable Care Act—remind us that those powers are limited.

The other reason for my disdain is rather simple… the United Nations ongoing efforts to vilify Israel and attempts to prevent the Jewish State from defending its boarders and living in peace. In addition to the outright deplorable statements made related to Israel’s acts of self-defense, the UN’s unwillingness to recognize the terrorist states that surround the country and levy harsh penalties for their actions is borderline anti-Semitic. It is amazing how much this international body has devolved from one that supported the country’s right to exist to now defending those who seek to destroy it.

It is because of these reasons that I cannot support the United Nations nor will I celebrate this day. It is a shameful institution full of people who cannot see past their utopian ideals and view the world through the prism of reality. If justice is blind then the United Nations is Helen Keller.