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Senator Feinstein and the Evils of Bad Law

October 3, 2012

 Senator Feinstein and the Evils of Bad Law, or

Why Gun Laws are Only for the Little People

I sent Senator Dianne Feinstein a letter opposing backdoor gun legislation through UN treaties.  I asked her to oppose such a treaty if it was submitted to the Senate for confirmation.  She said, “No.”  Well good for her.  At least she isn’t hiding her contempt for the voters.  She has a long history of bending laws to suit her interests.  She had a permit to carry a concealed weapon in the impossible-to-get-a-permit city of San Francisco.  You see, gun laws may apply to the little people, but powerful politicians can ignore them.  My concern is the opposite; I am more worried about protecting the poor voter than a rich politician.  In the case of the arms trade treaty, Senator Feinstein also ignores the concern of Democrat President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

President Johnson said,

You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.” (1)

I agree with LBJ for once, which is more than I can say about Senator Feinstein.  The Senator also has an unusual characterization of the UN proposal.  First she cites Amnesty International, an organization which never saw a gun control law it didn’t like.  The Senator then said the treaty would not harm domestic gun ownership and internal transfer of small arms.

These comments from other counties disagree.  They think the treaty is a way to regulate domestic arms and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and criminal gangs.  That smells like good old gun control to me.  See Australia…  England, and here and here … and Japan

I don’t see how both statements can be true at the same time.  How is it that the same UN treaty won’t limit the civilian ownership of arms yet will eliminate guns in society?  Someone is lying.

I also read a clever critique of the arms trade treaty after I wrote the Senator.  It read, If the UN embargo of weapons was effective, then the treaty on small arms would not be necessary.  Since UN embargos have not been effective, then the treaty on small arms will be equally ineffective, and the treaty is therefore not necessaryI didn’t think of that.  I wish I had.
To go back to President Johnson’s quote, this legislation could harm the ability of US citizens to defend themselves once it has been twisted by the courts.  Other countries are claiming this as a feature rather than a fault.  I’m afraid to give that much control to any administration because the political pendulum changes with time.

This is what I said to the Senator and this is her reply.  Note that she characterizes the treaty by what she claims it will accomplish, not by what it will actually do.

Dear Senator,

I oppose the UN small arms treaty and here are my concerns. I’ve watched our Supreme Court twist simple words. I’ve heard legislation reinterpreted by regulatory departments to mean things it was promised not to mean.  What problem is the UN Arms Trade Treaty designed to solve?  In the US, we already have domestic and international laws controlling our sale and export of arms. Senator, I don’t trust my government to solve a non-problem.  I certainly do not trust that the United Nations has our best interests at heart.

Please reply,

Rob Morse

She said-

Dear Mr. Morse:

Thank you for writing to express your concerns about possible ratification of an international treaty aimed at stemming the proliferation of small arms and light weapons worldwide. I appreciate hearing your views on this issue and welcome the opportunity to respond.

I understand you have serious concerns about this proposed treaty. The purpose of the ongoing negotiations is to draft a legally binding treaty on the export, import, and international transfer on conventional weapons. It will not address the personal ownership of guns or gun owners’ rights. The actual drafting of the treaty will take place in 2012.

Please know that I strongly support this process. According to Amnesty International, more than 500,000 people per year are killed with conventional arms, and almost 60% of documented human rights violations have involved the use of small arms and light weapons. Further, the Small Arms Survey estimates that there are more than 875 million firearms in the world today, roughly one firearm for every seven people worldwide. These numbers help to underscore the fact that a majority of the deaths in conflicts worldwide are small arms-related.

While we do not necessarily agree on this particular issue, please know that your views are important to me, and I will keep them in mind should the Senate discuss ratification of such a treaty.

Again, thank you for writing. I hope that you will continue to write on matters of importance to you. Should you have any further comments or questions, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,
Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

(1)   Lyndon Johnson, from page 130 of “Gun Control” by Robert J. Kukla, (edited by Harlon Carter), 1973, Stackpole Books, ISBN 0-8117-1190-0.


Rob, who will verify before I trust

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