Archive for August, 2010
Debate looms in Parliament on private member’s bill to scrap registry
By Laura Stone, Postmedia News
August 19, 2010
New bill is welcomed by police, rural groups
By JAMES O’BRIEN
IrishCentral.com Staff Writer
Published Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 5:51 AM
Updated Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 10:26 AM
Irish homeowners can now legally use guns to defend themselves if their homes are attacked under new legislation.
The new home defense bill has moved the balance of rights back to the house owner if his home is broken into “where it should always have been”, say top Irish police.
The police association of superintendents and inspectors, the AGSI, stated that “the current situation, which legally demands a house owner retreat from an intruder, was intolerable”.
The new bill was published by Justice Minister Dermot Ahern yesterday. Under the bill homeowners will be allowed to use “reasonable” force against intruders to defend themselves, others or their property. This includes lethal force, depending on the circumstances.
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern stated that house owners could use guns in self-defense, especially if the intruders were armed but said it would ultimately be a matter for the courts to resolve.
The bill also clarifies that a house owner will not be required to retreat from an intruder. and that intruders injured as a result of reasonable force won’t be able to sue the house owner.
“The bill is welcomed because it aims to clarify the entitlements of a homeowner when faced with the situation where an uninvited intruder has entered the home,” AGSI vice-president Dan Hanley told the Irish Examiner.
“The bill aims to shift the balance of rights back to the homeowner where it should always have been. It is intolerable a homeowner should be compelled to retreat in front of an intruder who has entered the home and who may have malign intentions towards the homeowner, the family or the home owner’s property.”
Hanley added: “It is ridiculous to suggest the bill, which attempts to redress a serious legal imbalance, would provide a license to kill or a ‘have-a-go’ charter for homeowners, the vast majority of whom will continue to act with good sense and in a peaceful way.”
Minister Ahern also dismissed the suggestion the bill was a “license to kill”. He stated it merely allowed for lethal force provided it was justifiable.
Rural Link, the national network of community groups in rural Ireland welcomed the bill, saying it was “sensible legislation giving much needed clarity to homeowners on their rights when confronted by intruders”.
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties however, stated it would inspect the bill to establish that it was “human-rights compliant”.
The need for new legislation became evident after an intruder, John Ward, was shot dead while on the land and dwelling area of Mayo farmer, Pádraig Nally.
Nally was convicted of manslaughter, but his conviction was later overturned after a public outcry.
Burglaries in Ireland increased from 23,600 in 2007 to 26,800 in 2009. Violent burglaries rose from 255 to 363 in the same period.
Posted By Theodore Bromund On July 23, 2010 @ 12:00 pm In American Leadership | 1 Comment
Once again, America’s interests, and the rights of her people, are at risk. And once again, a United Nations treaty is the source of this danger—the U.N Arms Trade Treaty , to be specific.
The Preparatory Committee for the U.N.’s Arms Trade Treaty is nearing the end of its second and final week of meetings.
The Preparatory Committee is not engaged in negotiating a treaty, but in defining what should be included in the treaty when it is negotiated. As a result, many of the statements by the participating states are very general. But enough has been said to show that the Obama Administration’s decision to participate only on the basis of “consensus”—which it justified as a way to ensure that the final treaty is satisfactory—was ill-advised.
Right off the bat, Belgium, speaking for the EU and acknowledging that “a certain number of countries still retain concerns ,” called on those with concerns to show “engagement and flexibility.”
Nigeria—speaking for the African Group—also struck  a familiar note: that of self-interest cloaked in principle. It called on the committee to recognize “the special responsibilities of major arms producers and the special rights of arms importing States.” In plain language, that means that the African Group wants a treaty that imposes all the responsibilities on the United States, and gives its own members “special rights.” Among those rights—supposedly based on Article 51 of the U.N. Charter—would be, as Nigeria stated, a guarantee that all U.N. member states (be they dictatorships or democracies) have the right to import all the arms they want.
This, not surprisingly, was also Iran’s view. To quote it in full, it demanded :
In view of my delegation, the most important principle that the ATT shall be based upon is the sovereign and inherent right of States to acquire, manufacture, export, import and retain conventional arms, technology and know-how for their self-defense and security needs in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter.
That demand summed up the delusory beliefs on which the Arms Trade Treaty process is based. It is supposedly intended to create basic standards for the international sale or transfer of arms—with the goal of keeping these arms out of the hands of terrorists, insurgents, and mass murderers. But because it’s proceeding through the U.N., with the U.N.’s universal membership, the treaty has to be based on the assumption that all U.N. member states are law-abiding and democratic.
This creates a bit of a mystery, because it leaves unexplained exactly how terrorists, insurgents, and mass murderers get arms. The answer, of course, is that states like Iran supply them. But you will not hear the U.N. saying that.
What you will hear is a lot of U.S. frustration. Throughout the committee’s meeting, the U.S. has repeatedly called for the other delegations to abandon their fantastic positions and embrace some semblance of reality.
On July 15, the U.S. said it would block the treaty if hunting weapons were included. As the plenary sessions resumed on July 21, the U.S. intervened twice in the discussion, both times to urge delegates to focus on what was realistic and achievable.
Sadly, there is not much sign the U.S.’s words have had any effect. That same day, Mexico—speaking for eight other Central and South American nations—called for a treaty that would cover: 
All types of conventional weapons (regardless of their purpose), including small arms and light weapons, ammunition, components, parts, technology and related materials[,] hence permitting the development of the concept [of] “conventional arms” together with the future with technological developments of the armaments industry . . . Internal transfers which . . . might have an impact on other States should also be part of an ATT.
In other words, Mexico and its compatriots want a treaty that covers all weapons that exist now or are invented in the future, all parts of weapons, all technology related to all weapons, and which applies to gun sales inside the United States.
That is just the kind of demand that the U.S. has repeatedly warned the committee against making—both because it is unrealistic and would create a completely unverifiable treaty, and because it immediately raises extremely serious questions about the implications of the treaty on rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment. That is not a shock. But in view of the public efforts of the U.S. to encourage sanity, it is regrettable nonetheless.