Defending Right To Keep, Bear Arms

So eager is President Barack Obama to please some foreign leaders that what is good for Americans sometimes does not seem to be a priority for him. An arms control treaty being negotiated at the United Nations may be an example of such a failure.

Critics of the proposed pact, aimed at restricting arms exports, say it would infringe on the rights of Americans to keep and bear arms. Unless the treaty specifically recognizes rights to obtain and use guns for activities such as hunting and sport shooting, it should be rejected by U.S. negotiators at the United Nations, say the skeptics.

This week 51 U.S. senators, including Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, signed a letter to the president and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, stating their concerns about the proposal. The correspondence was drafted by Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas.

The letter “sends a powerful message to the Obama administration: an arms trade treaty that does not protect ownership of civilian firearms will fail in the Senate,” Moran explained.

It certainly does issue a strong warning. Though Obama often wins on issues in the Senate because Democrats are in the majority there, this is a situation in which that will not happen. In addition to Manchin, seven other Democrat senators signed the letter.

They are to be commended for going against what obviously is Democrat Party orthodoxy on the issue. Manchin and the others clearly believe – as some of their Democrat peers do not – that it is more important to represent their constituents than to agree with Obama.