Patriots? NRA and GOP join with Iran, North Korea and Syria in opposing arms trade treaty!

Senate Republicans and the National Rifle Association are siding with the world’s worst terrorist states on  THIS MATTER: After more than a decade of efforts to regulate the $70 billion international arms trade, the United Nations’ General Assembly [above] on Tuesday adopted the Arms Trade Treaty despite opposition from human-rights abusers around the world and the United States gun lobby. Contrary to the rhetoric from the National Rifle Association and other opponents, the treaty doesn’t dictate domestic gun laws in member countries. It requires signatories to establish controls on the import and export of conventional arms including tanks, missile launchers, fully automatic assault rifles, and other weapons of war. Many countries, including the United States, already have laws regulating such exports, but before the treaty’s passage on Tuesday there had never been an accord setting international standards… The NRA and other gun groups strongly opposed the treaty, capitalizing on conservative myths that it would infringe on Second Amendment rights by undermining the country’s sovereignty. But the gun lobby’s real opposition to the treaty is probably economics. The US is the world’s leading arms exporter, and gun dealers aren’t eager to be required to report weapons exports that may wind up in the hands of warlords or terrorists overseas. GOP senators like Rand Paul are still repeating the false claim that abiding by the treaty would lead to an international registry of American gun owners and “full-scale gun CONFISCATION.” Conservatives have also argued that the treaty violates the Second Amendment by recognizing the rights of governments, but not their citizens, to self-defense, even though it has no international policing mechanism and explicitly recognizes the “inherent right of all States to individual or collective self-defence.” (Snip) Iran, North Korea, and Syria were the only three nations to vote against the treaty; 154 voted in favor and another 23...

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Not even Bob Dole in a wheelchair can keep GOP extremists from rejecting disabilities treaty

To the wackier elements of the Republican coalition, anything bearing the label of the United Nations is part of a nefarious plot to undermine American sovereignty and sap us of our precious bodily fluids. Consequently, we had THIS SORRY SPECTACLE today: Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole [above] made a rare Senate appearance this morning, sitting in a wheelchair just off the floor so that members would have to see him as they entered the chamber. Why? Because they were poised to vote on ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and Dole hoped to send a message. It didn’t work. The Senate killed the treaty this afternoon, with a final vote of 61 to 38, which seems like a lopsided majority, but which fell short of the two-thirds necessary for ratification. Eight Republicans broke ranks and joined Democrats in support of the treaty, but the clear majority of the Senate GOP voted to block it. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, for those who’ve forgotten, is a human rights treaty negotiated by the George H.W. Bush administration, which has been ratified by 126 nations, including China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. But most Senate Republicans saw it as a threat to American “sovereignty,” even though the treaty wouldn’t have required the United States to change its laws. When the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the treaty with bipartisan support in July, Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) explained the proposal simply “raises the [international] standard to our level without requiring us to go...

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