Last Updated:October 25 @ 07:17 am

Faria: Guns and Freedom — The UN and the Second Amendment

By Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

In the wake of President Barack Obama's re-election on November 6, 2012, and the virtual demoralization of Republicans, it is important to recognize that the political mastery of the left does not last forever. Moreover, three new conservative, pro-Second Amendment senators and several freshmen representatives were elected. A solid Republican majority was preserved in the House of Representatives. So, the election did not mean complete defeat for the GOP.

The political battle continues, and conservatives and gun rights advocates must keep their eye on the ball regarding the constitutional right that ultimately preserves all others — namely the Second Amendment. Yes, the political pendulum has swung to the left, but it will not remain there. After the "reign" of Democrat king FDR and the presidency of Harry Truman came Dwight D. Eisenhower (for two terms), and after Jimmy Carter came the great Ronald Reagan. Perhaps the next GOP champion will be another "great communicator," who can transcend the liberal media and reach the people. Florida Senator Marco Rubio and others immediately come to mind, but I am veering off my subject. The important thing is that conservatives and gun owners must regroup to preserve the gains already achieved on gun rights. And this brings me back to my topic — Guns and Freedom.

The English philosopher, John Locke (1632-1704), who was greatly admired by the American Founding Fathers, once wrote, "I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my Liberty would not when he had me in his Power take away everything else." And for his part, Thomas Jefferson added, "The national progress of things is for liberty to yield and for government to gain ground." The solution to this dilemma — namely, government as a necessary evil, according to Joseph Story (1779-1845), foremost American jurist and intellectual alter ego of Chief Justice John Marshall — was found in the Second Amendment.

Supreme Court Justice Story thus wrote (1833): "The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."(1) These are strong words better said by the American Founding Fathers in explaining the reason for the Second Amendment than to be left unsaid to a posterity that may have forgotten why the natural right of gun ownership was written into the U.S. Constitution.

Recent U.S. Supreme Court Rulings on the Second Amendment 

The U.S. Supreme Court has finally corroborated what many of us had believed all along. On June 26, 2008 in the District of Columbia v. Heller decision, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a Washington, D.C. handgun ban, which had forbidden American citizens from owning and possessing firearms in the District of Columbia. The Court ruled that U.S. citizens have an inalienable, personal right to keep and bear arms in the federal district of the nation, a pre-existing natural right guaranteed in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Then on June 28, 2010 in the McDonald v. Chicago case, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a similar Chicago handgun ban, reconfirming that the Second Amendment protects an individual right of all citizens to possess firearms in their homes for self-defense. In the McDonald decision, the U.S. Supreme Court incorporated the Second Amendment as a fundamental right of citizenship applicable to all the states and municipalities of the nation via the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Under legal tradition, a constitutional right is protected and inalienable under the 14th Amendment's Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, if it is considered a fundamental right, an inherent natural right deeply rooted in American history and jurisprudence.

The UN Small Arms Treaty

Even before these landmark rulings, Americans had refused to give away their natural and constitutional right "to keep and bear arms." Nevertheless, many politicians bent on prohibiting gun ownership have tried ingenious ways to curtail gun rights and institute gun control. One legal approach has been to attempt to apply the Treaty power of the U.S. Constitution, using the United Nations as a vehicle, to circumvent and contravene the same document and disarm Americans.

I refer to the Supremacy Clause, Article VI, Paragraph 2 of the U.S. Constitution:

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”

While in the landmark case Reid v. Covert (1957), the Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution supersedes the power of treaties, many left leaning, liberal scholars have tried to circumvent that ruling with creative arguments, claiming the treaty power vested in the Constitution supersedes other internal U.S. laws, even if these are duly enacted laws, and even if the treaty itself contravenes the U.S. Constitution. Other conservative legal minds disagree. For them, it is axiomatic that a creature is never greater than its creator!

For years, so encouraged, several politicians and influential members of the Democratic Party have worked hand-in-glove with their political counterparts in the United Nations (UN) to pass several versions of the UN's Small Arms Treaty. A recent attempt, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), was tabled in July 2012; but according to Gun Owners of America (GOA), UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called "the unraveling" of the ATT merely a “setback,” and experts at the UN expect further discussions and the taking of a vote at the next session of the UN when the General Assembly reconvenes.(2)

Prior to the election, President Obama had temporarily halted his support for the UN Arms Trade Treaty because, according to several news sources, gun control efforts could have hurt his bid for re-election in November. But the election is over now. Indeed, within the first 24 hours following his re-election, the Obama administration supported another conference on gun control under the aegis of the same UN Arms Trade Treaty. On November 7, the U.S. joined 156 countries in voting to finalize the treaty in March 2013. Russia was the only country to vote against the conference! Both the National Rifle Organization (NRA) and Gun Owners of America, the two largest, gun owners organizations in the U.S., have pledged to work with the new Senate to oppose ratification of the treaty and, if necessary says GOA, to defund the effort in the House of Representatives.(3)

With the Obama administration now openly supporting the UN treaty, we can realistically expect Democrats to support gun control efforts in the new Congress. In view of the scandal created by “Operation Fast and Furious, ” it is ironic that the Obama administration and the UN have been pushing for gun control as a means to allegedly stop the flow of illegal guns onto the world market. This scandal erupted when it came to light that American officials in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) under the supervision of Obama’s Department of Justice were allowing illegally purchased guns to “walk” into Mexico purportedly in the hope of tracking the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders.(4) The harsh reality coming to light as revelations mount is that the administration was hoping to show an increase in crime perpetrated with those guns, so that the Justice Department in a duplicitous pincer strategy could use the data to push for gun control in America, while simultaneously pushing for the UN treaty at the international level.(4)

Moreover, despite attempts by the UN to establish a link between an illegal, world gun market and crime in the U.S., Florida State University Professor of Criminology Gary Kleck has found no such link. In fact, Kleck’s recent research found that gun theft is essential for criminal activity. His new findings are in accord with previous research establishing that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens reduce criminal activity and outweigh the illegal uses of firearms by criminals.(5-6)

But what would this UN treaty entail? I believe U.S. Representative Paul Broun (GA-R) is immensely correct when he expressed the following concerns in a June 2010 open letter:

"If passed by the UN and ratified by the U.S. Senate, the UN’s Small Arms Treaty would almost certainly force national governments to: Enact tougher licensing requirements, making law-abiding citizens cut through even more bureaucratic red tape just to own a firearm legally; confiscate and destroy all ‘unauthorized’ civilian firearms; ban the trade, sale and private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons; create an international gun registry, setting the stage for full-scale gun confiscation..."

The truth is that although the UN Small Arms Treaty failed to materialize in 2012 because of the inability of negotiators to reach a consensus this year, it is obvious the battle is far from over. For years the UN has been trying to formalize a global, civilian disarmament treaty with the intention of circumventing the Second Amendment rights of American gun owners. After all, the UN has dictated national policy to other sovereign nations as it regards environmental, criminal, and even global tax issues, so why not gun control? And now that President Obama has been re-elected retaining control of the Senate, the chances for finally passing this treaty and ratification in the U.S. Senate are greater than ever. So the struggle to preserve the individual right to gun ownership is an ongoing effort, even for those who already possess it. The showdown is to come in March 2013.

Parts II and III of this essay will follow soon in subsequent editions.

References

1. Story J. Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1830) quoted in The Second Amendment Primer by Les Adams. Birmingham, AL: Palladium Press; 1996.

2. Gun Owners of America (GOA). Help Gun Owners of America stop the UN’s continuous attempts to destroy the 2nd Amendment. Gunowners.org, July 31, 2012. Available from: http://gunowners.org/a07312012.htm

3. Gun Owners of America (GOA). Obama No Longer “Under the Radar” -- Administration pushing UN gun control treaty once again. Gunowners.org, November 9, 2012. Available from: http://gunowners.org/a11092012.htm

4. Faria MA Jr. Gunrunning ATF runs amok! GOPUSA.com, July 18, 2011. Available from: http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/2011/07/18/faria-gunrunning-atf-runs-amok/

5. See http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/p/faculty-gary-kleck.php. Gary Kleck, The Florida State University College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, David J. Bordua Professor of Criminology, November 11, 2012.

6. Kleck G. Targeting Guns — Firearms and Their Control. Hawthorne, NY, Aldine de Gruyter. 1997.

---

Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D. is Clinical Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery, ret.) and Adjunct Professor of Medical History (ret.) Mercer University School of Medicine. He is an Associate Editor in Chief and World Affairs Editor of Surgical Neurology International (SNI), and an Ex-member of the Injury Research Grant Review Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2002-05; Former Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Sentinel (1996-2002), Editor Emeritus, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS); Author, Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995); Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997); and Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002).

This series of articles is based on the two-part essay entitled “America, Guns and Freedom” originally published by Surgical Neurology International (SNI), an on-line, peer review journal for neurosurgeons and neuroscientists. The illustrated essays were published in October and November of 2012, but have been edited for an American audience and published for readers of GOPUSA in a three part series.

http://www.surgicalneurologyint.com/text.asp?2012/3/1/133/102951

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10 Comments

  1. lwessonComment by lwesson
    November 14, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

    One point. The Right of Arms is unalienable, given from GOD, that it is the FREE MAN that is armed, otherwise that man is but a mere SUBJECT of the STATE and exposed to anything the State wishes to do.

    The Republic that The Founders set into motion, is rather unique in the World. That The Founders, most of them, were not satisfied that what had passed as common sense for centuries would continue to do so. Examples of failure, run from the Mother Country of what was once, “Great” Briton and many others. A host of unalienable rights were enumerated. Their concern led directly to The Bill of Rights, a further reminder to We the People, and to the Government as to who ultimately had power. The People, NOT the Government. The Government exists at our leisure and is to work for us. If it fails to do so, usurps our Liberties, becomes a tyranny, we are FREE TO LEAVE, or to rebel against the tyranny. Read the Declaration of Independence!

    Any government that is not fearful of The People, has grown too powerful. More Founder thoughts.

    The agenda? Simple, make The People subservient to the Government and ultimately to the Globalists, the UN… .

    Any attempt at seizure of weapons from The People, is the finest way to recreate what happened at LEXINGTON & CONCORD!

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    • mysticComment by mystic
      November 14, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

      *clap clap clap* As always, enjoy reading your punditry. Hit the nail on the head with this post. Beautifully done!

      ~M

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    • DidoComment by Dido
      November 14, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

      Implicit in Dr. Faria’s article is the concept that the right to keep and bear arms is a natural right, God given or Nature derived, and not a right granted by government. In fact, Dr. Faria quoted Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, who affirmed that “the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms is the palladium of the liberties of a republic.” And then he stated that the Second Amendment was a “natural right of gun ownership written into the U.S. Constitution.”

      I have read this article as well as the original, illustrated essay. I think you will find Dr. Faria is in agreement with you. The link to the original version, which is longer and more detailed, is posted at the end of this article, and I think you would enjoy it.

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      November 14, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

      Dido:

      I mentioned, “God given right”, as God was not mentioned. I read it twice again, and this was not mentioned. (Have been reading so much, and writing, perhaps it is there and I cannot see it.)

      Why did I go to the trouble with this, as I agree with Dr. Faria. When teaching this subject, unalienable, natural rights… were simply not understood by the class. ZIP! Nothing. I did dare to mention the G word, in a classroom! And yes, some student turned me in! The Administration was dumbfounded that I could, would dare defend myself. Sure that this went into my dossier file.

      Again, am not disagreeing with Dr. Faria, but rather making an academician argument a bit more clear. In Constitutional Law, we were taught to do briefs, taking the jumble of words that the Justices would apply, and getting to the heart of the matter.

      Frankly, the element of being SUBJECTS of the State, is not discussed enough. It certainly was not when I was in school, nor at the University. My students got a heads up. LOL!

      My English, Canadian & Australian friends are, well, not happy about their status, when we debated the issue. Yet, that is what We the People, are or have become, Subjects so it would seem. Certainly the situation is more painfully acute with the guy residing in the Oval Office, and his loyal minions working diligently behind the curtains.

      Cheers Dido!

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  2. DidoComment by Dido
    November 14, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

    After a series of GOP defeats, the ObamaCare Law and its upholding by the U.S. Supreme Court, and Obama’s re-election, it is good to remember that we had two victories in the Supreme Court with the Heller and McDonald decisions that state Americans have an individual right to keep and bear arms, not just for hunting.

    This is an excellent article, gives us a ray of hope, but reminds us that we must remain vigilant of our rights.

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      November 14, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

      Dido, even though what you say is correct, you must realize that this corrupt administration is “working under the radar” as Obama admitted to Sarah Brady. He is accustomed to circumventing our Constitution to get his agenda approved, and if that means going through the UN, that is what he will do. He signs the UN treaty, Harry Reid forces it through the U.S. Senate which is still Democrat-controlled, and we have a problem.

      I will NOT relinquish my firearms, I will not allow them to be registered on some national database, and if the government wants them they will have to come get them.

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      November 14, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

      Will be the same with me, bna42!

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  3. mattkComment by mattk
    November 14, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

    Stop the UN gun control treaty and sign the petition at http://wh.gov/XiGU

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    • DidoComment by Dido
      November 15, 2012 @ 9:56 am

      The liberals keep on talking about the 1st Amendment (when it is convenient to them), but without the 2nd – freedom is in peril and yes the UN Treaty must be stopped:

      “And now that President Obama has been re-elected retaining control of the Senate, the chances for finally passing this treaty and ratification in the U.S. Senate are greater than ever. So the struggle to preserve the individual right to gun ownership is an ongoing effort, even for those who already possess it.”

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  4. DidoComment by Dido
    November 22, 2012 @ 10:39 am

    I found this pearl on the UN treaty and the U.S. Senate:

    Dr Faria’s interview with Ginny Simone on nranews.com on this very article “Guns and Freedom – the UN and the Second Amendment.”

    It was aired this Monday, November 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

    To hear the interview – After the page loads, click on NOV 19 above, then on segment 3 on the left.

    http://www.nranews.com/#/nranews/guide/ipg

    Happy Thanksgiving to GOPUSA staff and readers!

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