The World's Eyes On NRA Lobbyists
When there are international laws for the sale of iPods and bananas but not AK-47s and grenade launchers, we've got a problem.
Connect: When there are international laws for the sale of iPods and bananas but not AK-47s and grenade launchers, we've got a problem.
Define: The Arms Trade Treaty sets uniform standards for international arms sales -- bringing foreign governments up to high U.S. standards and the black arms markets out of the shadows.
Explain: The Treaty protects legitimate trade and holds foreign governments accountable for selling arms to human rights violators. Without it, warlords and terrorists will keep exploiting loopholes to get weapons.
Show impact: These weapons are used by warlords to force child soldiers to kill their parents, by terrorists to attack American soldiers and missionaries, and by gangs to rape refugee women and girls.
Discredit: NRA lobbyists know the Treaty only affects foreign countries, not gun laws for American civilians, and helps keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists who kill Americans overseas.
Expose: The Treaty protects law-abiding Americans' freedoms and our troops overseas, but NRA lobbyists are lying about it anyway to fundraise off American gun owners.
Lead: This Treaty is in America's security, business, and moral interests. It protects legitimate trade and cracks down on weapons sales to war criminals and terrorists. We can't let NRA lobbyists derail it.
Words to use: "Arms Trade Treaty" or "The Treaty" (instead of "ATT")
ATTACKS AND RESPONSES
ATTACK: "The ATT will ban and confiscate Americans' guns."
- The Treaty protects law-abiding Americans' freedoms and legitimate international trade. The Treaty only affects foreign countries, but NRA lobbyists keep spreading lies about it anyway so they can fundraise off gun owners here at home.
- In America, we follow the U.S. Constitution and the laws enacted by American leaders. The President has also committed to rejecting the Treaty if it infringes on the 2nd Amendment.
- The United Nations says it has no jurisdiction over America's gun laws and the Treaty explicitly reaffirms America's "sovereign right and responsibility" over our gun laws. Even the conservative Heritage Foundation has dismissed the gun confiscation myth.
ATTACK: "The ATT is a global gun grab."
- If you're not a warlord committing genocide, a terrorist out to kill American troops, or a war criminal mass raping refugee women and girls, don't worry. The Treaty protects law-abiding Americans' freedoms and American troops serving overseas.
- That's because the Treaty would only affect how foreign governments sell and transfer weapons and ammunition to each other. Right now there are international laws for the sale of iPods and bananas but not AK-47s and grenade launchers. That's a problem.
- So if you're opposing the Treaty, you're opposing cracking down on weapons sales to warlords and terrorists who kill American troops and humanitarian workers serving abroad.
ATTACK: "The ATT will allow the United Nations and foreign countries to impose their laws on America."
- In our country, we follow American laws passed by American leaders. We're a sovereign nation. The President has committed to rejecting the Treaty if it infringes on the 2nd Amendment or undermines our country's gun laws for American civilians.
- Even if the U.S. signs onto the Treaty, it's not ratified and binding until it's approved by a two-thirds vote in the Senate.
- Even if the Senate approves the Treaty, the Supreme Court has repeatedly reaffirmed that our Constitution is the supreme law of the land -- superseding international treaties.
- In this case, it's really about America working with the rest of the world to bring it up to the high standards that the U.S. already has for exporting and importing weapons. So the Treaty is good news for America and the international community -- and bad news for war criminals.
ATTACK: "You're talking about genocide, mass rapes, global drug trafficking, child soldiers, terrorists getting guns. The ATT isn't going to eliminate all those problems."
- That's like saying we can't completely get rid of all crime in the U.S. so we shouldn't have any crime laws and let criminals get away with whatever they want to do -- like killing American troops and humanitarian workers overseas.
- People are still going to try to do bad things, but we can make it much harder for them to do it and hold them accountable.
- That's the principle behind the Arms Trade Treaty -- strong and robust international standards that will bring the global community up to high U.S. standards and crack down on weapons sales to criminals and terrorists.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
THE PROBLEM & THE IMPACT
- One person every minute around the worlddies as a result of armed violence, with thousands more injured, raped, displaced, and suffering as a family every day.
- Every year, more than 500,000 people are killed as a result of armed violence, armed conflicts,and human rights violations perpetrated with firearms -- including genocide, gang rapes, and children forced into becoming soldiers.
- By the end of 2011, over 26 million people worldwide were forced to flee their homes as a result of armed conflict -- local and regional wars and strife enabled by the international arms trade.
- There are about 250,000 child soldiers in the world today, forced into fighting the wars of adults.
- About 60% of documented human rights violations involve the use of small arms (hand-held firearms such as rifles and machine guns) and light weapons (such as grenade launchers and shoulder-fired missiles). In fact, more human rights abuses are committed with small arms than with any other weapon.
THE SOLUTION: ARMS TRADE TREATY
- Most of the international arms trade are not subject to international standards. Instead there is only a patchwork of local regulations and giant loopholes, with only 56 countries controlling arms brokers and less than half of those with associated criminal penalties.
- By contrast, the U.S. already has laws and requirements considered the "gold standard" for the export and import of weapons and ammunition in and out of the country.
- As a result, the patchwork of bilateral and multi-lateral agreements creates gaps and loopholes that arms dealers exploit to supply weapons and ammunition to people who shouldn't get them. For example, if the U.S. denies another country's request for arms sales or exports, that country can simply shop around for another country that doesn't have similarly strong standards.
- Then-Secretary of State Clinton has said the Treaty would allow America to promote our high standards for the entire international community.
- Not only is it in America's interest to have all countries operating from the same rule book, it's also our responsibility because the U.S. is the top global supplier of major conventional weapons.
- A strong Arms Trade Treaty is squarely in America's national security interest. National security leaders, including our military leaders and the CIA, warn that the greatest threats to our security today are from destabilized, ungoverned regions where extremism and terrorism can flourish.
- Our enemies abroad kill U.S. troops overseas with ammunition and weapons acquired on the black markets in global arms sales -- which the Treaty would crack down on.
- Even if the Senate approves the Treaty, the Supreme Court has ruled that our Constitution is the supreme law of the land -- superseding any international treaties ratified by the Senate.
- President Obama has reaffirmed that the treaty must uphold the 2nd Amendment and respect our country's gun laws for American civilians. He has vowed to reject it otherwise.
- Supporters of the U.S. signing onto a strong Arms Trade Treaty include U.S. military leaders, the Vatican, World Council of Churches, National Association of Evangelicals, World Evangelical Alliance, Amnesty International, Arms Control Association, and Oxfam.
- Most people around the world -- including the majority of Americans, who are among the most enthusiastic -- support an international order based on international law and treaties and also endorse a stronger role for the United Nations.
- Three-fourths of Americans say international issues influence their vote for president and want leaders who emphasize international cooperation.
- In fact, 60% of voters want a president who believes America should work through international organizations like the United Nations to make sure America's values and interests are respected around the world.
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Posted in - Foreign Policy - Guns - Crime - National Security