Treaty alarmists debunked
A recent letter writer worried that the new U.N. Arms Trade Treaty might limit the rights of gun owners (Herald, Oct. 4). However, the purpose of the treaty is to regulate the $70 billion international commerce in conventional weapons -- from small arms to tanks -- and keep them out of the hands of warlords, terrorists and criminals.
Overwhelmingly approved by the U.N. General Assembly, the only countries voting against the treaty were North Korea, Syria and Iran. Entering into force requires ratification by 50 signatory countries, a process that normally takes two to three years.
The United States, the world's No. 1 arms exporter, voted in favor of the treaty despite fierce opposition from the National Rifle Association. The NRA has vowed to fight to prevent its ratification by the U.S. Senate.
Right-wing media dishonestly reacted to Secretary of State John Kerry's signing the treaty by promoting the NRA's conspiracy theory that the treaty would undermine domestic gun rights and require the United States to create a civilian gun registry. In fact, the treaty has nothing to do with restricting the legal sale or ownership of guns within the U.S. The claim that it provides a "legal way around the Second Amendment" has been debunked as false by the urban legends website, Snopes.com.
JIM STOFFELS, Richland