Congressman Griffith’s Weekly E-Newsletter 08.27.12
Guns, Liberty, and the U.N.
Last month, the House voted on an authorization bill for the Department of State for fiscal year (FY) 2013. In addition to funding the day-to-day operations at the Department of State, this bill authorizes spending on a host of other programs.
For a myriad of reasons, I voted against this bill. One of the reasons I opposed it was funding $1.55 billion for contributions to international organizations such as the U.N. For many years, the U.S. has paid more than its fair share for the U.N., and we’re now at a point in our history where we have to be careful with every dollar we spend. A number of my constituents have contacted me regarding concerns about the Small Arms Treaty being considered by the U.N. I oppose this treaty and any other that would potentially infringe on any rights laid out in the Constitution. By opposing this authorization, I had the opportunity to go on the record to express my displeasure with the United Nations and policies like the Small Arms Treaty.
For years, the international community has requested stricter regulations on the mostly unregulated global arms trade. They say that reform is needed in order to fight “terrorism” and “international crime syndicates.” In response to these requests, the United Nations came up with the Small Arms Treaty. As a group of my constituents have pointed out, they believe the treaty would infringe on their Second Amendment rights. I agree; and I will not vote to abridge our Second Amendment rights.
Last month, I signed on to the Second Amendment Protection Act of 2011 (H.R. 3594). This bill expresses the sense of Congress that the U.S. should not adopt any treaty that poses a threat to national sovereignty or threatens any Constitutional rights of American citizens. Additionally, it prohibits the U.S. from providing any funding to the U.N. for one year unless the President certifies to Congress that the U.N. has not infringed on the constitutionally protected rights of U.S. citizens such as the right to bear arms.
Fortunately, the negotiations over the treaty failed in July. Not so fortunate is the fact that the talks are likely to resume later this year. I hope the second talks concerning this treaty meet the same fate as the first. Frankly, I don’t understand why the President of the United States would allow his Administration to support or negotiate a treaty which has the potential to take away some of our constitutional rights.
As stated, I had many concerns with the bill. Another that I would like to highlight was the spending of $745 million for international broadcasting activities. Though this broadcasting may be useful in Arab countries, as a colleague of mine pointed out, we simply can’t spend money on everything. We are running $1 trillion in the red, and we have got to cut back. While it may be noble to spread our message of individual rights and liberty across the globe, at this time, I think it’s most prudent to look out for our own children and their future first.
As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.