View Full Version : Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Wrap Up

03-29-2013, 03:02 PM
As I suspected it might, the ATT stalled once again, and for a variety of reasons. In my opinion, there is just no good way to firmly mesh the concepts of consensus with the desires of those wishing a truly strong and all-encompassing treaty with the red lines that several countries made very clear. And while the United States seemed willing to bend their staunch position and signal that it would yield to consensus, it appears that there were many countries present who were not happy with the final document. That the countries of Syria, Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea formally blocked the adoption by consensus in a "crystal clear" manner might have given other countries the "relief" they needed from a draft treaty that did not truly meet their goals or expectations. I am rather new in this arena, so my observations may appear to be naive.

I suspected that the progression of the ATT would likely end up in another venue. Whether it was the General Assembly or some other diplomatic assembly, this decade-old effort appears to need even more time to gestate. In the end, I believe that we will have some sort of arms trade agreement. And it will affect the flow of weapons throughout the world across international borders. The United States has made it clear that such an agreement must not influence the Constitutionally protected rights of it's citizens to own, acquire and transfer firearms within US borders. With that said, though, any arms agreement is certain to affect US import and export activities. While we already have comprehensive controls for import and export, many other countries simply do not. It is safe to assume that there will be a wide variety of import/export controls adopted by other countries with varying levels of compatibility, harmony and complexity. These variables will introduce additional layers of requirements and the US will have to accommodate these new requirements, even if it is not a signer, in order to retain the ability to participate in legal arms trade.

The question remaining, though, is whether an arms trade treaty will achieve its goal of reducing the effects of violence from the illicit gun trade, in all its guises? This is a work in progress and I suspect that we still have a very long road ahead of us.

04-01-2013, 04:17 AM
Frankly, I have a hard time seeing regulations on the LEGAL trade of arms having a substantial impact on the trade of ILLEGAL arms. The countries with the greatest quantity of problems due to illegal arms are often going to be the countries least in a position to even implement controls on import/export of arms (think Ghana, Sierra Leone, Somalia, etc.).

Add to that the fact that a capable individual can practically build an AK out of a shovel with a couple rocks, a campfire, and some used motor oil...

Is import/export in violence-stricken countries so much an issue these days anyway? Much of what is there is "left overs" from previous wars/invasions/etc. So much so that automatic arms are freely available in quantity at "rock bottom" prices. Hell, pirates put them in plastic bags and "long line" them to appear to be fishing when approaching ships -- and are quite willing to cut the lines if they get "caught".

To an extent I can appreciate the sentiment behind the ATT idea, but it's also akin to getting a yearly Flu shot after you're already sick and have infected your whole family with the flu.