The right to bear arms in the United States has been and continues to be one of the most hotly debated pieces of legislation in our modern era. But the reality is that gun laws and arms regulation is not simply a human rights issue and it certainly does not only affect the U.S. Arms regulation also impacts national security, economic interests, global commerce and foreign policy.
The latest political solution to help improve international arms regulation is the ATT, or the Arms Trade Treaty. Among a number of potential benefits of the ATT, this treaty would require governments to report all arms sales, thus preventing the sale and transfer of weapons likely to be used in violation of human rights all around the world.
We wanted to take a closer look at this important piece of legislation, so we’ve put together this infographic called “Arms Trade Treaty”, which answers what it is, who is involved, and why we need it.
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Arms Trade Treaty
What is it and why does it matter?
What is it?
- the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)
- Adopted by the UN on April 2, 2013
- Created to regulated international arms trade for conventional weapons
- Signed by the U.S. on September 25, 2013
- Being adopted by consensus from UN affiliates
- consensus will enable holding everyone to the standards of the ATT
- Will be enforced following ratification by 50 states
What’s it got to do with U.S.?
- The U.S. is working to secure the global treaty while upholding legal arms trade
- Arms trade is a high concern for national security
- U.S. arms control is considered the “gold standard”
- The ATT enables establishment of the “gold standard” globally
- The U.S. has called for a “strong and robust treaty”
- to prevent illegal trade of conventional weapons
- to strongly enforce legal weapons trade, globally
Why do we need the ATT?
- Uncontrolled international arms trade allows for too much violence
- regional controls of arms trade aren’t cutting it
- $20 billion is lost annually due to corruption in the defense industry
- accounts for 50% of all corrupt, global transactions
- Unregulated arms slows economic growth
- Africa loses $18 billion a year due to violence
- about the same amount as received in annual developmental aid
- African countries lose 15% of economic growth due to violence
- Violence and instability discourage global commerce
- Africa loses $18 billion a year due to violence
- A working ATT would stop the sale and transfer of weapons likely to be used in violation of human rights laws
- There are currently no international rules for arms trade
- Enforcing the ATT would require governments to report all arms sales
Weapons included in the ATT
- all advanced conventional weapons
- tanks & armored vehicles
- artillery systems
- military aircraft and helicopters
- naval vessels
- missiles and missile launchers
- small arms and light weapons
- combat support equipment
- parts, components and technology to modify, manufacture or repair included items
What are the concerns? Are we losing our 2nd Amendment rights?
- June 29, 2012: a letter was sent from the House to President Obama and Secretary Clinton
- signed by 130 Republican House members
- states that the treaty impedes the “fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms”
- indicates the actions of the UN regarding the ATT are a serious threat toward
- national security, economic interests, foreign policy and constitutional rights
- October 15, 2013:
- two different letters were released from the Senate and the House
- each letter contained signatures of senators and representatives who oppose the ATT
- Senate letter – 50 signatures
- House letter – 181 signatures
- a bipartisan majority (53 senators) opposes the ATT
- Can we talk about Iran?
- Iran was chosen for a top position for ATT counsel
- Iran is one of the world’s worst human rights violators
- Iran supplies arms to many aggressive enemies of the US
- They were appointed shortly after being guilty of sending guns and bombs to Bashar Assad of Syria
- Bashar Assad is currently slaughtering multitudes of -its own citizens
- It’s a step toward restraint and domestic gun-control
- Former UN ambassador, John Bolton (D) warns that the treaty is a guise
- According to Bolton, the UN “is trying to act as though this is really just a treaty about international arms trade between nation states, but there is no doubt that the real agenda here is domestic firearms control.”
- the ATT won’t be effective in stopping illegal arms trade
- As a senator of Illinois, Barack Obama took a strong stand for gun control expansion
- he voted against legislations allowing gun owners to defend themselves against home invaders
- he was a board member for the Joyce Foundation in Chicago
- aggressively anti-gun
- gave grants to anti-2nd Amendment organizations