Archive for June, 2012


Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Original Story Via:

The historic 255-67 vote by the House of Representatives to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to provide documents relating to the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious was “necessary for justice to be served,” the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said.

Holder repeatedly did not comply with a subpoena issued last October by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Instead, he successfully appealed to President Barack Obama to claim executive privilege at the last minute in an attempt to shield the documents from Congressional review.

“As the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the nation, the attorney general is not above the law,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb declared. “It should not have come to this. Eric Holder should have complied with the subpoena. If he had cooperated fully with the Fast and Furious investigation from the outset, none of this would have been necessary and he knows it.

“The only conceivable reason that Holder and the Obama administration do not want to turn these documents over,” he said, “is that they contain damning evidence of either incompetence or complicity, or both.

“We are disappointed, but not surprised,” Gottlieb continued, “that Holder’s Democrat cheerleaders tried to portray this as a witch hunt, and tried to blame the Bush administration, but their arguments do not wash. This is about the rule of law and finding the truth about a horribly mis-managed gun trafficking operation, the murder of an American Border Patrol agent and what appears to have been a cover-up by the Department of Justice.”

CCRKBA had urged gun owners to contact their congressional representatives in support of the contempt vote.

“We are proud,” Gottlieb noted, “of the 17 Democrats who joined the Republican majority on this vote. This was not about partisanship, but accountability and transparency. Fast and Furious has a body count, and so long as people provide cover to the attorney general, the blood is on their hands.”

With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States. The Citizens Committee can be reached by phone at (425) 454-4911, on the Internet at or by email to

Lone Star Shooting Association – USA

Monday, June 25th, 2012

VIDEO: Alan Gottlieb of IAPCAR Speaks out Against New Italian Gun Law

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Alan Gottlieb, Vice President of the Second Amendment Foundation and co-founder of IAPCAR issues a message:  IACAR and FISAT stand strongly in opposition against law 79/2012 in Italy.

VIDEO: Misfiring on Gun Safety (CANADA)

Monday, June 25th, 2012

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”untitled.swf” width=”400″ height=”300″ targetclass=”flashmovie”]

Get Adobe Flash player


Jerry Agar looks at why criminals will continue breaking laws, so increased gun regulations are not the answer.

UN Arms Trade Treaty – Targeting U.S. Guns as a Cure-All for Global Violence?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  AMMO LAND

New York, NY –-( In a matter of days, officials and activists will descend upon the U.N. in NYC to create a finished version of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

The stated goal of an ATT has always been to reduce weapons-related violence by controlling the global trade in arms.

The Treaty will never accomplish that laudable goal. It will succeed only in strengthening the power of thieves and tyrants.

Proponents of the ATT will likely accept any treaty at all —weak or strong— in order to have something for President Obama to sign. Obama’s signature is their goal, and they will beg, intimidate and lie shamelessly in order to set to paper an ATT prior to his departure from office, and obtain that essential scrawl.

As it now stands, in order for an ATT to be accepted, there is a requirement for unanimous agreement for the Treaty’s provisions, which was the only way to get States to agree to enter into negotiations. Therefore, the primary goal of the weapons-prohibitionists is to change the meaning of the word “consensus.”

A February 2012 ControlArms briefing paper urged participating States to “Define consensus in line with most common U.N. practice in a way that does not give every country veto power, but rather only requires ‘wide agreement’ on the final treaty text.”

Don’t Forget the Ammo
But since they may not be able to change the meaning at this late date, the weapons-prohibitionists have kept up a barrage of propaganda intended to get their demands heard and enacted. For example, they have been attempting to get ammunition covered by the Treaty in order to eliminate the crucial component of small arms.

  • In 2011, Hilde Wallacher an anti-gun researcher, whose focus is on the international arms trade, complained: “attempting to exclude any type of small arms ammunition will cause significant loopholes to the treaty, and leave it significantly weakened in its ability to prevent arms transfers that risks contributing to human rights violations or other humanitarian problems.”
  • A May 2012 Oxfam paper stated the obvious: “Guns are useless without bullets….”
  • And a UNIDIR (United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research) paper commented that “while some states may have legitimate concerns about including ammunition in an ATT, ultimately there is no compelling reason for its exclusion.”

However, there is no point of including ammunition in an ATT, since about 50% of the world’s countries produce arms and ammunition, and can supply themselves regardless of any global restrictions.

What such an inclusion of ammunition into the treaty will do is mandate laws for the use of special markers known as “taggants.”  These taggants are added to the round’s powder, and they are used to identify the place of manufacture, just like a serial number. The use of such taggants will increase the price of ammunition, and will increase the difficulty of lawful acquisition of ammunition and components by civilians. But an even greater issue with these are the danger of creating ammunition with both too much or too little powder, as the taggants will change the powder weight and volume density, thus greatly affecting the quality of the ammunition and its accuracy. And this leads to possibilities of all kinds of personal injuries or even deaths—to the shooter and innocent bystanders if the barrel should blow up because the pressure of a round is higher than a firearm can withstand, and to the intended target (e.g. rapist or other violent perpetrator) by impairing the accuracy of the firearm, and where that bullet will end up.

Guns Impeding Economic Development
Lately, we’ve been hearing of a push to incorporate the concept of “development” into the Treaty. For example, a UNIDIR paper stated: “An ATT with strong criteria will help establish the necessary security conditions for economic and social development to flourish, while helping to stem the flow of arms that has prevented such progress in the past.”

This recent “concern—impeded development by the mere presence of firearms— is an indication of the degree of frustration felt by proponents of a strong Treaty. Since they are unable to control tyrants directly, they need to blame weapons for the lack of social and economic development seen in many countries. Yet despite years of futile attempts to control weapons and weapons-related violence, they have failed. So they changed strategy to push for a global, legally binding treaty that —they hope— will finally lead to some relief from the ills of the world.

What they will discover, instead, is that a treaty attempting to control weapons will never control tyrants or violence, or lead to productive human development.

However, this factoid —that the presence of arms impedes development— was put to rest in a paper published in a 2005 issue of Engage, by David B. Kopel, Paul Gallant & Joanne D. Eisen, entitled “Does the Right to Arms Impede or Promote Economic Development?”

The paper’s authors show how and why a corrupt dictatorial government is a much better explanation for the failure of development than the presence of weapons:

At the simplest level, there is an obvious connection between SALW and underdevelopment: SALW are among the weapons used in war. Although wartime can be a period of economic development in countries which are producing goods for the war…it is rare for countries where combat is taking place to advance economically during the fighting….Blaming SALW for development failure serves several political purposes.

The rhetoric attempts to enlist the development community in the arms prohibition movement, and even to divert development funds into arms confiscation projects….We suggest instead that corrupt and dictatorial government is a better explanation of underdevelopment….The 2004 annual report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) highlights the manmade tragedy of underdevelopment: “Chronic hunger plagues 852 million people worldwide…Hunger and malnutrition cause tremendous human suffering, kill more than five million children every year, and cost developing countries billions of dollars in lost productivity and national income”….The governments which keep their victim populations hungry and diseased are the true obstacles to development.

Empowering victim populations is an essential precondition to development, and disarming victim populations, leaving them helpless against tyrants, simply makes things worse.

Doomed To Fail, Just Not In The USA
It should be obvious by now that an ATT is doomed to fail, because the only States which will abide by its terms are those States which are law-abiding in the first place. Those States governed by dictators and human rights abusers may sign onto an Arms Trade Treaty, but are not likely to obey its terms, placing the U.S. in a much more vulnerable position than before the Treaty was enacted.

Ted Bromund, Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and an expert on ATT affairs, summed it up when he cautioned in his June 4, 2012 issue brief, “The Risks the Arms Trade Treaty Poses to the Sovereignty of the United States”:

All treaties impose limits on U.S. freedom of action….But the ATT will effectively bind only the democracies that accept it. The failure of other states to live up to their commitments under the ATT will not cause its restrictions on the U.S. to lapse. In a world of states that do not respect human rights, a universal treaty based on the vague and wide-ranging human rights criteria that the ATT will seek to apply to arms transfers will always apply with more force to the law-abiding [e.g. the U.S.] than it does to the lawless. It will always be used by the naïve and the evil to apply the powerful weapon of shame against those with a deeply ingrained respect for the rule of law.

About the authors:
Dr. Paul Gallant and Dr. Joanne D. Eisen practice optometry and dentistry, respectively, on Long Island, NY, and have collaborated on firearm politics for the past 20 years. They have also collaborated with David B. Kopel since 2000, and are Senior Fellows at the Independence Institute, where Kopel is Research Director. Most recently, Gallant and Eisen have also written with Alan J. Chwick. Sherry Gallant has been instrumental in the editing of virtually all of the authors’ writings, and is immensely knowledgeable in the area of firearm politics; she actively co-authored this article. Almost all of the co-authored writings of Gallant, Eisen, Kopel and Chwick can be found at, which contains more detailed information about their biographies and writing, and contains hyperlinks to many of their articles. Their recent series focusing on the Arms Trade Treaty can be found primarily at . Respective E-Mail addresses are:,,,


The push for micro-stamping is really a push for national gun registration

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Original Story VIA:  The Daily Caller

By AWR Hawkins, Ph.D.

Like a storm that returns stronger each time, efforts to push micro-stamping regulations onto gun-owning Americas are here again. And this time around, The New York Times is pushing it, Time magazine is pushing it and other outlets of the same political persuasion are doing their level best to show us how micro-stamping the firing pins in our firearms could reduce crime by miraculous levels overnight.

Of course, they don’t mention the gun registration, the new powers of gun taxation or the all-out gun bans associated with the scheme. Nor are they bothered with another major sticking point — micro-stamping doesn’t really work.

Micro-stamping is a way of imbedding a specific mark on the end of a firing pin so that when it strikes the primer of a bullet casing, it leaves a micro-stamp that allows police to trace spent shells back to the guns that fired them. In theory, it’s literally like putting a fingerprint on each shell casing fired. Yet ours is not a theoretical world, but a real one. And in the real world there are serious problems with this proposition.

Number one, the passage of micro-stamping legislation would require us not only to have a government-issued firing pin for each gun we own, but would also force us to list every gun we own with the government so bureaucrats can keep a list of which firing pin is in which weapon. Enter gun registration.

Number two, upon sending our weapons in or even taking them to a special, government-certified gunsmith for the micro-stamped firing pin to be added, we’d have to pay a per-gun fee. With a straight face, Time magazine contributor Adam Cohen predicts the cost for this would be between 50¢ and $6 a gun, while The New York Times pegs the cost at $12 a gun. But what both of these outlets fail to recognize is that a new “fee” to the government, regardless of how small, is nothing more than a new tax placed upon the people. Thus micro-stamping will lead to yet one more tax that gun owners must pay in order to exercise the right that “shall not be infringed.”

By the way, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has compiled data to show the cost for retrofitting a micro-stamped firing pin would be $200-plus for each gun. (Nothing is ever cheap when the government is involved.)

And what are we to do about revolvers which don’t leave shell casings behind to begin with? For instance, if someone commits a crime with a .38 Special revolver, how is a micro-stamp on the firing pin or hammer of the gun going to contribute to solving a crime?

Answer — it’s not.

So, to those who dreamed up micro-stamping to begin with, it will probably make sense to ban guns that can’t be traced via an imbedded mark on the firing pin or hammer. Seen in this light, micro-stamping opens the door for myriad guns bans and limitations.

Lastly, it’s important to note that micro-stamping doesn’t work, at least not all the time. There are proven problems with both the durability of the micro-stamps upon the firing pins and the legibility of the marks those firing pins leave on the primer of a bullet casing.

The bottom line: Micro-stamping is just another way for anti-gun bureaucrats to reach into our closets, guns safes and glove compartments to find our guns and register them, to tax us for owning them and to ban those that don’t fit their micro-stamping ideal.

The fact that the entire micro-stamping scheme has been flawed from the start will be no hindrance to these gun-grabbers once the legislative hurdle is cleared.

AWR Hawkins is a conservative columnist who has written extensively on political issues for, Pajamas Media,, and Andrew Breitbart’s,,, and He holds a Ph.D. in U.S. military history from Texas Tech University, and was a visiting fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in the summer of 2010. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Read more:

VIDEO: Senator Jerry Moran on the UN ATT

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”untitled.swf” width=”400″ height=”300″ targetclass=”flashmovie”]

Get Adobe Flash player




The U.N. Speaks: The Arms Trade Treaty Will Affect “Legally Owned Weapons”

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Original Story VIA:  The Heritage Foundation

Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D.

Yesterday, the U.N. released its press kit for the July conference that will finalize the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The most interesting item in the kit is a lengthy paper by the U.N.’s Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) program titled “The Impact of Poorly Regulated Arms Transfers on the Work of the UN.”

This paper perpetuates the belief, on which much of the ATT is based, that the big problem the world faces is a lack of agreed standards on arms transfers. That’s wrong: The big problem the world faces in this regard is that many U.N. member states are dictatorships, supporters of terrorists, or simply incapable of controlling their own borders.

But the paper makes it clear that the job of the U.N.—as the U.N. itself sees it—is to make the case for a very broad treaty. As CASA puts it, “Advocacy efforts should be developed…through relevant reports and op-eds, messages, and statements at relevant meetings and to the press.” So watch out for U.S. taxpayer-funded funded U.N. propaganda in a newspaper near you.

But in spite of its desperate efforts to rebut Second Amendment concerns, the U.N. can’t stop stepping on its own shoelaces. After proclaiming that the ATT “does not aim to impede or interfere with the lawful ownership and use of weapons,” the CASA paper goes on to say that “United Nations agencies have come across many situations in which various types of conventional weapons have been…misused by lawful owners” and that the “arms trade must therefore be regulated in ways that would…minimize the risk of misuse of legally owned weapons.”

How, exactly, would the ATT do that if it doesn’t “impede” or “interfere” with lawful ownership? The U.N. would have a lot more credibility on the ATT if it didn’t imply so regularly that the problem is as much lawful ownership as it is the international arms trade.

Of course, CASA isn’t just concerned with lawful ownership; it’s also campaigning against “community attitudes” that “contribute to the powerful cultural conditioning that equates masculinity with owning and using a gun, and regards gun misuse by men as acceptable.”

All this just goes to show that the U.N. regards gun ownership—even under national constitutional protection and for lawful activities—as a cultural failure that it needs to redress and that it has no patience at all with the idea that self-defense is an inherent right.

And that is exactly why the concerns that Senator Jerry Moran (R–KS) expressed at Heritage on Tuesday are so important—and why his criteria to ensure that the ATT does not infringe on Second Amendment rights are so valuable.

Analysis: House Vote on Holder Contempt Only Part of Dilemma

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Original Story VIA:

The full House of Representatives may vote on whether to cite Attorney General Eric Holder for Contempt of Congress sometime during the final week of June, but now that President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over subpoenaed documents, it appears a confrontation is imminent between Congress and the White House.

Holder asked the president for executive privilege protection after he met with Congressman Darrell Issa and Senator Charles Grassley June 19.  Fireworks erupted when Holder, after suggesting he might provide some documents to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, instead only offered Issa and Grassley a briefing on what is in the documents in exchange for an end to the contempt proceeding. Both Issa and Grassley said that offer was a non-starter. They wanted the documents.

The president’s last-minute leap into the middle of the Operation Fast and Furious is seen by some observers as a well-timed strategic move to bog down the investigation – and prevent further revelations that may be embarrassing to the White House – until after the November election. Critics including Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Indiana Congressman Dan Burton have questioned what may be in the documents that President Obama doesn’t want the public to see.

After all, as noted by Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) during the heated committee debate, if there is nothing in those documents to link the White House directly to the scandal, then why claim privilege?

In an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, Issa put it bluntly: “We were asked to take a pig in a poke…I think they knew we couldn’t accept that. Brian Terry’s family couldn’t accept that. The American people couldn’t accept that.”

Just 45 minutes before the Oversight Committee began debate on the contempt citation June 20, Issa received notification that the White House had invoked executive privilege on the subpoenaed documents. That announcement ignited a firestorm in the committee, and across the airwaves as debate erupted between Obama administration defenders and those demanding full disclosure on the gun walking operation.

Democrats seemed to quickly retreat to the “Bush did it” defense, noting that former President George W. Bush invoked executive privilege at least a half-dozen times during his administration. Republicans quickly dredged up an embarrassing video of then-Sen. Obama blasting Bush during a March 19, 2007 interview with CNN’s Larry King for claiming executive privilege.

“There’s been a tendency on the part of this administration,” Obama said at the time, “to try to hide behind executive privilege every time there’s something a little shaky taking place. The administration would be best served by coming clean on this.”

The Oversight Committee’s 23-17 vote was split rigidly along party lines, with Democrats circling the wagons around Holder and the president’s executive privilege claim.

Still, the documents remain out of reach for the committee, and that is troubling.

For 18 months since Grassley launched the initial Fast and Furious probe to find out how guns from Fast and Furious wound up at the murder scene of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, the White House had insisted it had no prior knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious, and did not approve it. By taking that position, the White House was able to keep some distance between the scandal and the Oval Office.

By raising the stakes with executive privilege, the president inserted himself right into the middle of the controversy. That surprised many people, because it elevated the dispute between Issa and Holder over the Fast and Furious documents to the highest level possible, and opened the door to speculation that there must be something in those documents that could cause considerable embarrassment to Holder, or even the president. But until the documents are actually read, nobody could know that for sure.

Gowdy, in an interview one day after the Oversight Committee vote, told Fox News that, “There’s something in those documents that the Department of Justice or the White House doesn’t want us to have.”

“I don’t know who they’re protecting or what they’re protecting,” Gowdy said.

He suggested that Obama and Holder might be trying to provide cover for Lanny Breuer, the assistant attorney general in charge of the department’s criminal division.

“His fingerprints are all over Fast and Furious,” Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, stated.

House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Kantor held out some hope that a crisis could be avoided if the attorney general provided an acceptable compromise prior to a contempt vote by the full House. However, the odds of a compromise get lower as the clock ticks down to the House vote.


Thursday, June 21st, 2012

BELLEVUE, WA – President Obama’s claim of executive privilege to prevent Congressional access to documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious smacks of monumental hypocrisy and looks like an attempt to cover blood on the administration’s hands, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

It did not prevent the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform from voting 23-17 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

In a March 2007 interview with Larry King on CNN, then-Senator Barack Obama complained about a ‘tendency’ on the part of the Bush administration to ‘hide behind executive privilege’,” CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb recalled. “Now we must find out what is in those documents that the White House wants to hide from the American public.”

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been investigating Fast and Furious since March 2011. Guns linked to the operation are also linked to the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, and untold numbers of Mexican citizens.

“Today’s action by the White House creates the strong suspicion that the Obama administration is trying to hide from the fact that they have blood on their hands,” Gottlieb observed. “That’s not rhetoric; we’re talking about the deaths of countless Mexican citizens and especially a dead federal officer. Fast and Furious has given us a verifiable body count.

“There is evidence that those involved in Fast and Furious thought it could bolster calls for additional gun control,” Gottlieb said. “If that’s accurate, it demonstrates a callousness that goes beyond the limits of human decency. It is imperative that that the American public knows all the facts of this case prior to the election. The people responsible for this disaster must be held accountable, and that will not happen so long as the administration continues to stonewall, and hiding behind executive privilege suggests that Holder and the president have no intention of coming clean.”

With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is one of the nation’s premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States. The Citizens Committee can be reached by phone at (425) 454-4911, on the Internet at or by email to

DISHONEST HUMANITARIANISM? The invalid assumptions behind the United Nations’ small arms control initiatives

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

DISHONEST HUMANITARIANISM? The invalid assumptions behind the United Nations’ small arms control initiative

By Jeff Moran

Next month diplomats from the world over will converge at the United Nations in New York to formally negotiate a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). This is the culmination of over a decade of humanitarian advocacy and pre‐negotiations inside and outside the United Nations. It’s part of a larger global effort kick‐started in 2001 with the passage of a non‐legally binding resolution by the UN General Assembly. This resolution was called the “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects” (PoA).(1) This led to the creation of many initiatives, the most visible and contentious of which has been the ATT.

The ATT process formally got underway with two subsequent UN resolutions lead by the United Kingdom and is still Chaired by Argentine Ambassador Roberto Moritán. In 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 61/89 entitled “Towards an arms trade treaty: establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms.”(2) This resolution enabled the UK and like‐minded countries to assemble experts to assess the feasibility of formally launching an ATT negotiation process. Then, in 2009, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 64/48, entitled “The Arms Trade Treaty,” which established a schedule for pre‐negotiation meetings (known as Preparatory Committees, or PrepComs) resulting in a final Diplomatic Conference in July 2012.(3)

The goal of the ATT is to “to elaborate a legally binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms.”(4) The scope is likely to include everything from helicopters to hand grenades, from tanks to target pistols and ammunition. It is hoped by humanitarians that a legally binding UN ATT championed by like‐minded states could be shaped to complement the merely politically‐binding 2001 UN PoA.

While all this treaty advocacy was going on, many of the same actors adopted a more discreet approach to binding international law for small arms and ammunition. Rather than just pursue their ambitious goals through a treaty out in the open, they also quietly started developing small arms control standards and customs. An example of this is the UN CASA (Coordinating Action on Small Arms) project, which is overseen by the UN’s Office of Disarmament Affairs.(5) UN CASA is euphemistically described as the “small arms coordination mechanism within the UN” to “frame the small arms issue in all its aspects, making use of development, crime, terrorism, human rights, gender, youth, health and humanitarian insights.”(6) In practice this organization is like a lawmaking committee or agency, but not nearly as accountable.

In 2008, CASA launched what they themselves described as “an ambitious initiative to develop a set of International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS).”(7) UN CASA’s ISACS project includes eighteen mostly small and developing countries (none of them permanent security council members), fifteen international, regional and sub‐regional organizations, 33 humanitarian civil society groups, 23 other UN bodies, and just one Belgian firearms company, and one Italian national sporting arms and ammunition industry association.(8)

Ultimately, UN CASA’s ISACS initiative will eventually result in customary international law. Customary international law is the result of international administrative rule making which acquires the same weight as treaty law over time. States can be bound by customary international law regardless of whether the states have codified these laws domestically. Along with general principles of law and treaties, customary law is considered by the International Court of Justice, jurists, the United Nations, and its member states to be among the primary sources of international law.(9)

Truth be told, the UN’s PoA, the ATT, and CASA ISACS are predicated on false assumptions regarding small arms and ammunition. The two most important of which I will discuss here. Both of these assumptions are generally false in view of recent statistical studies and published scholarship.

The first assumption is that proliferation of small arms is a universal threat to human security, or, alternatively, that greater availability of small arms means more gun deaths in a given society. This is best quoted by the Geneva‐based Small Arms Survey (SAS), a special interest research group funded by various United Nations organizations, and other countries advocating stricter small arms controls.(10) The SAS officially states that the driving assumption behind all their research is the unqualified universal idea that “proliferation of small arms and light weapons represents a grave threat to human security.”(11) In fact, Nicholas Florquin, a senior researcher at SAS, started his talk during a two day seminar on Small Arms and Human Security in November 2011 with a stronger statement that, “proliferation of small arms causes problems” for humanity. (12)

Clearly, the small arms situation in some places may indeed be threatening to human security. But proliferation, i.e. the distribution of arms or expanding private ownership of arms, is not intrinsically a bad thing for everyone everywhere, especially in an ordered society. Proliferation, in fact, can be a force for good even in a disordered societal situation.

The American experience alone invalidates the global causative relationship between small arms proliferation and human insecurity. For example, trend data over the past nearly 20 years shows the US has been experiencing a phenomenal 35% decline in the number of gun deaths, even more in per‐capita terms.(13) This is part of a long term general trend in lower criminality. Over the same period firearms‐related suicides per 100,000 people declined by nearly 20%, the population grew over 20%, gun availability spiked (firearms sales boomed while statistically insignificant numbers of guns were bought back or otherwise destroyed), and, in 2011, indicators of national gun ownership rates increased to their highest level since 1993.(14,15) In other words, what we see in the US is the flipside of the assumption, that proliferation of small arms coincides with less gun violence. While this situation doesn’t necessarily mean more guns causes less gun violence, it does mean that the “more guns means more violence” assumption is simply not valid.

The French experience arming revolutionaries abroad invalidates the moral aspect of this first assumption, that proliferation is intrinsically bad. In fact, France alone has shown there can be a democratic and human rights upside of small arms proliferation. Have humanitarian campaigners forgotten that France armed liberty‐seeking American revolutionaries against colonial Britain? Are they denying that France also armed liberty‐seeking Libyan revolutionaries last year, and, ultimately, facilitated the demise of a regional dictator and notorious human rights abuser? These experiences prove even legally questionable state‐sponsored small arms proliferation to “insurgents” and “revolutionaries” can actually be a good thing for some societies and their local humanity.

The second assumption is that there is a plague of international illegal weapons trafficking threatening humanity everywhere. In fact, Rachel Stohl, the long‐time private consultant and insider working directly for Ambassador Moritán managing the ATT processes, has even published that “Without a doubt, it is the illegal arms trade and its various actors, agents, causes and consequences that capture our attention and motivate our action.”(16)

New research suggests the problem of illicit international trade in arms is not nearly as bad as first hypothesized over 10 years ago. Humanitarian campaigners’ evidence about the vast size, global scope, and cataclysmic impact of international illicit trafficking simply does not exist. Granted, it’s hard to quantify such illegal activity. Nontheless, the assertion that illicit international small arms trafficking is a major problem for the world has in fact been disproven over 10 years of progressively improved knowledge on the topic by academics and specialist researchers.(17)

To this day, however, the UN still claims on its Office of Disarmament Affairs website that international trafficking is a “worldwide scourge,” and that it “wreaks havoc everywhere.”(18) Campaigners, and their UN organizational sympathizers, must embrace the truth and acknowledge that the world is NOT actually suffering from a scourge of illegal international arms trafficking everywhere. At best, some failed or fragile states, conflict or post‐conflict regions may be suffering from illegal trafficking, but even this is of dubious importance ranked against other concerns like local diversion of small arms from government arsenals. Deaths and violence by small arms and light weapons are, on the whole, symptomatic of more local causes rooted within societies, and not cross‐border transfers.

The inconvenient truth today for humanitarian campaigners for international small arms controls is that for most countries around the globe, even for most developing or fragile states, a combination of deficient domestic regulation of legal firearms possession with theft, and loss or corrupt sale from official inventories is a more serious problem than illicit trafficking across borders.(19) The much touted scourge of illicit trade in small arms must be recognized, therefore, as hyperbolic humanitarian catastrophizing, or as we say in business, “marketing hype.”

In conclusion, while hyping of the size, scope, and impact of the illicit aspects of the arms trade was a de facto condition for first building consensus and momentum for the PoA, the ATT, and programs like CASA ISACS, continuing to do so presents serious reputational risk.(20) Continuing to assert that proliferation of small arms in society is intrinsically a bad thing for humanity presents serious reputational risk as well. Ultimately, such apparent dishonestly in the pursuit of otherwise admirable humanitarian goals raises questions about hidden agendas, institutional credibility, integrity, and organizational subject matter expertise. If the UN and humanitarian organizations really want to promote human security around the globe, honesty is still the best policy.



Jeff Moran, a Principal at TSM Worldwide LLC, is a business consultant specializing in the international defense & security industry. He studies negotiations & policy‐making at the Executive Masters Program of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Previously Mr. Moran was a strategic marketing leader for a multi‐billion dollar unit of a public defense & aerospace company, a military diplomat, and a nationally ranked competitive rifle shooter. Jeff Moran has an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and a BSFS degree from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service

© 2012. Jeff Moran and TSM Worldwide LLC. All Rights Reserved. Distribution and republication are authorized when Jeff Moran and URL are referenced.‐humanitarianism/  DISHONEST HUMANITARIANISM? The invalid assumptions behind the United Nations small arms control initiatives.



1 http://www.poa‐

2 http://daccess‐dds‐

3 http://daccess‐dds‐

4 Ibid.

5 http://www.poa‐, http://www.un‐

6 http://www.poa‐

7 http://www.un‐casa‐

8 http://www.un‐casa‐


10 Small Arms Survey, established in 1999, is supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and by sustained contributions from the Governments of Canada, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The Survey is also grateful for past and current project support received from the Governments of Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States, as well as from different United Nations agencies, programs, and institutes.


12 November 4, 2011. This author was a note‐taker and participant in this seminar, which was hosted by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.




16 Rachel Stohl and Susan Grillot. The International Arms Trade. Polity Press: 2009. P. 93

17 Owen Greene and Nicholas Marsh, eds. Small Arms, Crime and Conflict: Global Governance and the Threat of Armed Violence. Routledge: 2012. P. 90.


19 Owen Greene and Nicholas Marsh, eds. P. 91.

20 Anna Stavrianakis. Taking Aim At the Arms Trade: NGOs, global civil society, and the other world military order. Zed Publishing Ltd: 2010. P. 143‐4S


IAPCAR Featured in July Gun Trade World

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Click here to view article:  IAPCAR GunTradeWorld Article


Arms Trade Treaty Risks Increasing the Threat of Armed Terrorism

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Report VIA:  The Heritage Foundation

June 5, 2012

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will be negotiated at a conference held July 2–27 in New York. The ATT purports to seek, in part, to reduce the ability of terrorists to acquire conventional weapons. But as the U.N. has not defined terrorism, it is at best unclear how the ATT will achieve this aim. Moreover, if the U.N. negotiations follow precedent, the ATT will include a clause that legitimates the supply of arms to terrorists.

Terrorism Frequently Cited as a Reason to Negotiate an ATT

The ATT has never focused exclusively on terrorism, but the U.N. General Assembly and influential U.N. member states have frequently asserted that one reason to negotiate an ATT is to reduce terrorists’ ability to acquire conventional weapons. For example, the most recent substantive resolution in the U.N. General Assembly on the ATT, Resolution 64/48, adopted on January 12, 2010, states that “problems relating to the unregulated trade in conventional weapons…can fuel instability, transnational organized crime and terrorism.” In his April 16, 2012, statement of “Positions for the United States in the Upcoming Arms Trade Treaty Conference,” Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman said that an ATT would “help prevent the acquisition of arms by terrorists and criminals.”

The U.N. Has Never Defined Terrorism

It would, therefore, be logical to assume that the U.N. has a definition of terrorism that will apply in the context of the ATT. But the U.N. has never adopted a definition of terrorism.

In the run-up to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “called again for the creation of an international antiterror accord,” which “has been stymied by disagreements over what acts and which groups should be labeled as terroristic.” The Chairman of the U.N. Counterterrorism Implementation Task Force, Robert Orr, noted, “Legally, international law covers almost everything that you would want it to cover…. [but] if someone is accusing someone else of engaging in terrorist activities, there’s no clinical definition of whether they are or not.”[1] The ATT cannot prevent nations from arming terrorists if nations do not agree on who the terrorists are, or on what constitutes terrorism.

U.N. Security Council Has Already Addressed This Question

The U.N.’s inability to define terrorism has not prevented it from taking action in the past. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373, passed unanimously on September 28, 2001, in the wake of 9/11, already requires all U.N. members to take wide-ranging actions against terrorism, including “eliminating the supply of weapons to terrorists.” The council is supposedly responsible for maintaining international peace and security, and, under Chapter 5 of the U.N. Charter, has the power to back up its resolutions with armed force. The ATT, by contrast, will be based on national implementation and will not fall under Chapter 5. It will have less authority than Resolution 1373, and yet it is supposed to succeed where that resolution has palpably failed.

Relevant U.N. Declarations Regularly Legitimate Terrorism

At best, then, the ATT would have no effect on terrorism. But it could easily increase the risk of armed terrorism. U.N. declarations regularly contain a clause to the effect that the U.N. recognizes:

the right of self-determination of all peoples, taking into account the particular situation of peoples under colonial or other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation, and…the rights of peoples to take legitimate action in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations to realize their inalienable right of self-determination.

This quotation comes from the Chairman’s Draft Paper, the closest equivalent to a draft ATT currently available.[2] But it is also part of many other U.N. declarations. For example, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, produced by the U.N. World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, contains a nearly identical statement.[3] As it is also included in the ATT’s precursor, the 2001 U.N. “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects,” the precedent for its incorporation into the ATT has been clearly established.[4]

Those new to the U.N. system may not realize the meaning of this clause. It was originally intended by African nationalists to refer to the European colonial empires, and by Islamic nations to refer to the Palestinians (“peoples under…foreign occupation”). The African context has faded, but the coded reference to Israel—and to India, because of its dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir—has endured. In recent years, the clause has also come to be understood as a reference to the U.S. and allied presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. The entire clause, therefore, recognizes the supposed right of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, and other terrorist organizations—in the name of pursuing the “inalienable right of self-determination”—to attack Israel, India, the U.S., and its allies.

ATT Risks Becoming a “Get Out of Jail Free” Card for Terrorism’s Backers

An ATT that contains this clause would give any nation that wishes to assist a terrorist organization a “get out of jail free” card. If confronted by the U.S. with the claim that their supply of weapons to terrorists constituted a violation of the ATT, they could simply reply that the ATT had recognized the right of all peoples to realize their self-determination, and that the terrorists in question represented peoples who were engaged in an armed struggle with a nation that did not respect this right. This is why the U.N. has never been able to define terrorism: Too many U.N. member states argue that what the U.S. describes as terrorism is a legitimate struggle for self-determination.

Efforts to define terrorism have been blocked by the members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which contains 56 U.N. member states and has successfully prevented the development of any definition that would apply, for example, to the terrorist organizations that attack Israel. The OIC Charter, adopted in 2008, notes that it is dedicated to supporting “the struggle of the Palestinian people, who are presently under foreign occupation.”[5] This is the same phrase that appears regularly in U.N. declarations. Since the ATT is centrally concerned with the transfer of conventional arms, it is particularly important that it does not legitimate the supply of weapons to terrorists. This will be difficult to achieve: The ATT’s supporters want it to be a universal treaty, i.e., one signed and ratified by all U.N. member states, but is unlikely that the OIC members will agree to any ATT that does not include this clause.

What the U.S. Should Do

The U.S. should never sign, and the Senate should never ratify, a treaty containing a clause that legitimates terrorism. In the July negotiations, this should be a red line, and the U.S. should publicly state that it will break consensus on the adoption of the treaty text if any such clause—including one similar to the standard U.N. declaration—appears in it.

The U.S. should also state that an ATT that does not define terrorism cannot hope to have any effect on the ability of terrorists to acquire conventional weapons. It should announce that the only definition of terrorism it can accept is one that is fully compatible with U.S. law, which states that terrorism is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”[6] If those who claim to support the ATT in the name of its impact on terrorism cannot accept the need for it to define terrorism, or resist a definition that is compatible with U.S. law, the treaty is not worth negotiating.

Ted R. Bromund, PhD, is Senior Research Fellow in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation.

[1]“U.N. Chief Urges Creation of International Pact Against Terrorism,” Global Security Newswire, September 9, 2011, (accessed June 4, 2012).

[2]“Report of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty,” U.N. General Assembly, March 7, 2012, (accessed June 4, 2012).

[3]“Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,” U.N. General Assembly, July 12, 1993, (accessed June 4, 2012).

[4]“Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects,” United Nations, 2001, (accessed June 4, 2012). For more on the program, see Ted R. Bromund and David Kopel, “As the U.N.’s Arms Trade Treaty Process Begins, U.N.’s ‘Programme of Action’ on Small Arms Shows Its Dangers,” Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 2969,

[5]Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, “OIC Charter,” March 14, 2008, (accessed June 4, 2012). See also the definition offered by the OIC in 2002, in “Report of the Ad Hoc Committee Established by General Assembly Resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996,” United Nations, 2002.

[6]“Terrorism Definitions,” National Counterterrorism Center, August 27, 2010, (accessed June 4, 2012).

UN Arms Trade Treaty may put Taiwan at risk

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012


LOOPHOLES: Academics speculated that China might use the UN Arms Trade Treaty to claim that the US sale of weapons to Taiwan violated the treaty’s terms.

Washington-based academics are warning US President Barack Obama not to sign the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) because it could make it more difficult to sell weapons to Taiwan.

The treaty is to be negotiated next month in New York.

“The US is obligated by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act [TRA] to make available the hardware and services necessary for Taiwan’s defense,” Heritage Foundation Research Fellows Ted Bromund and Dean Cheng (成斌) wrote.

In a paper published on Friday, Bromund and Cheng said that because Taiwan is not a UN member state — and is not recognized by a majority of UN members — the ATT would not recognize its right to buy or import arms.

“The ATT thus provides the basis for a Chinese argument that US sales of arms to Taiwan would circumvent the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] import control system, violate China’s territorial integrity, and thus violate the treaty,” Bromund and Cheng wrote.

They said the ATT would “very likely” establish a series of criteria that treaty signatories are required to apply to proposed arms transfers. One of these criteria is likely to be that arms transfers should not seriously undermine peace and security or provoke, prolong or aggravate internal, regional, subregional or international instability.

“Since the Chinese Civil War has never been formally concluded, a state of war still exists between Taiwan and the PRC,” Bromund and Cheng said.

They said that this criteria offers the PRC a third argument that the US weapons sales or transfers to Taiwan would violate the terms of the ATT.

Bromund and Cheng said that the ATT poses three distinct threats to the legal obligation of the US to provide for the defense of Taiwan, or to the ability of Taiwan to provide for its own defense.

“A US administration that earnestly wished to fulfill its obligations under the TRA would likely do so, regardless of the ATT,” the academics said.

However, they said a US administration that believed US sales to Taiwan endangered US relations with the PRC, or did not want to sell arms to Taiwan for some other reason, would be able to cite the ATT as a reason not to proceed with those sales.

“Even if the US does not sign or ratify the ATT, US legal scholars who interpret it as customary international law could use it to argue that the US should not proceed with a proposed sale,” Bromund and Cheng said.

They conclude: “The ATT can only raise yet another hurdle to US arms sales to Taiwan.”

Arms sales, like international relations as a whole, are always a matter for judgement. In next month’s negotiations, the US should make it clear that it will not accept any treaty that would impinge on its ability to apply that judgement to its legal obligation to provide for the defense of Taiwan, they said.

“Elected officials have the broader responsibility to make it clear that they recognize the importance of the US commitment to Taiwan, and to stand by that commitment in word and deed,” Bromund and Cheng said.

In Taipei, Director-General of the Department of North American Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bruce Linghu (令狐榮達) said the ministry is aware of the proposed UN treaty and would keep abreast of any developments.

Issues related to the proposed UN treaty have not been placed on the agenda between Taiwan and the US, but the ministry will look into the matter, Linghu said.


Greece: Demand for guns up over worries for personal safety

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  Digital Journal

Desperate times are fueling an unprecedented crime wave in Greece. Criminals are targeting Greek homes and attacking pensioners. Worries over personal safety have fueled the demand for hunting rifles for protection.

Digital Journal recently reported the Greek Citizen Protection Ministry reported “one homicide every two days, 18 robberies every 24 hours and 11 thefts every hour: all this in a country that once enjoyed one of the lowest crime rates in Europe.”

On Wednesday Eleftheros Typos reported two men armed with Kalashnikovs burst into a café before noon, in Melissochori,Thebes. Their intent was to seize the pensions of the elderly. The thieves shot two men, including the postman who was delivering the pensions, before stealing €10,000 and escaping on motorbikes. The two victims were both hospitalized.

In the early hours of Thursday morning Albanian robbers broke into three homes in Paiania. Digital Journal reported the thieves threatened a woman at knife-point in her own home. According to Dimokratia News the home of 55-year-old Kyriakos Davaris, who had just been released from hospital, is surrounded by iron railings. Davaris owns a family taverna in Paiania and his two sons both help him when they are back in the village from their university studies. Locals are incensed at the wave of crime targeting the area where hard working people are turned into victims. In this incident one of the Albanian burglars was shot dead.

In the wake of the Paiania shooting Ekathimerini reports a sharp rise in the number of people asking about hunting rifles. They report they spoke to gun shop owners that related most of the requests for rifles were from people that “were quite open about the fact they wanted the guns for personal safety, not hunting.”

Authorities are concerned that more people may begin to take the law into their own hands in vigilante fashion due to the perceived ineffectiveness of the police.

VIDEO: Global Gun Registry – Canada

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Original Story Via: Sun News Canada

If you thought the Canadian gun registry is bad, how do you feel about a global registry? Brian Lilley and Daniel Proussalidis discuss the UN’s latest brilliant idea.

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”untitled.swf” width=”400″ height=”300″ targetclass=”flashmovie”] [/kml_flashembed]


Canada flip flops on UN arms trade treaty

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Original Story VIA:  CBC News

Canada has modified its controversial position on a United Nations arms control treaty.

In a new position paper submitted to the UN, the federal government has dropped its proposal to exclude all sporting and hunting firearms from the international Arms Trade Treaty, an agreement that seeks to regulate the import, export and transfer of all conventional weapons.

Last summer Canada surprised many and attracted heaps of scorn from countries such as Nigeria, Brazil, Mexico and Australia, when it changed its stance on the treaty and advocated for the exclusion of so-called “civilian” firearms.

In particular, the Mexicans said that in their experience, a great number of arms confiscated from its notorious gangs are sporting and hunting firearms that have been modified and transformed into assault weapons.

Some non-governmental observers predicted Canada’s new position could have helped derail the entire process.

The proposal to exclude those weapons is absent from Canada’s new position paper, submitted to the UN last month.

Instead, Canada recommends changes to the treaty’s preamble to underline that the agreement “acknowledges and respects responsible and accountable trans-national use of firearms for recreational purposes, such as sport shooting, hunting and other forms of similar lawful activities, whose legitimacy is recognized by the States Parties.”

Change welcomed

Project Ploughshares, which was among the non-governmental organizations that registered its opposition to the exclusion of hunting and sports firearms from the ATT, said it welcomed the changes, calling it a compromise.

“We’re pleased to see that Canada has toned down its call for exemptions on certain classes of firearms and is now calling for preamble language in the treaty that would recognize legitimate uses of firearms,” said Ken Epps, a senior program officers with the group.

Epps said the new document is helpful.

“In fact it will help to clarify that the treaty is not about domestic gun ownership or use or even transfers of firearms within states like Canada.”

Tony Bernardo, executive director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, is also pleased with the changes.

“We would support this version of the Arms Trade Treaty document from Canada as it empowers independent nations to set their own discretionary policies regarding civilian-owned firearms within their borders.”

Bernardo said his take on the preamble is that Canada does not want “civilian” firearms included within the scope of the treaty.

In its position paper, Canada says it supports the inclusion of small arms, light weapons and ammunition within the ATT, “in keeping with the principle of national discretion.”

Epps said he feels that section needs tightening up, “because national discretion could be another term for states deciding whether or not to implement the treaty and that shouldn’t be up for different interpretations.”