Friday, May 21, 2010

Wing Nut Alert

As an avid spectator of the American society in general and the political landscape in particular, I’ve really come to appreciate the diversity of stupidity I see every day in the news, in my work, and in life in general. I’ve learned that there is no such thing “foolproof”, “idiot-proof” or “responsible government spending”. We are Americans. We have the technology and the lack of will power necessary to make bigger and better idiots. We crank them out of schools like .22 long rifle ammunition….cheap and marginally effective. For those who are not gun enthusiasts, you can pick up a box of .22LR ammo 500 rounds to a box for less than $20 with at least 5 duds per box.

No, to answer the question forming in your brain, I have no faith in humanity as a whole. I had a sociology professor in college who used to pontificate that the only animal in existence with 100s of stomachs and no brain was an angry mob. Or Congress. Individually, there are several bright and shining examples of peoplehood that give me a small grain of comfort that all is not lost for the species; but, as a group (and especially when gathered together in groups…or mobs…or governments), people are dumber than a bag of hammers.

At least a bag of hammers is useful.

Anyway, I mention my views on humanity as a whole because of an email I received from mom. Mom is an unapologetic and unrepentant email forwarder. I don’t mind because, usually, the stuff she sends is interesting, cute, funny or otherwise entertaining. I do, however, frequently do a Snopes check on some of the stuff she sends when it sounds too farfetched to pass the smell test.

Mom has learned to accept and even embrace my skepticism. It’s her fault. She raised me. So, she can’t complain too loudly.

So, yesterday I open up the email account and find an email from mom:

You are always the one that can sort out fact from fiction. Here is one for you.


See, I told you she had embraced her calling as MIMI. And you didn’t believe me did you? I digress. It’s a habit.

The email she forwarded to me yesterday was a rather polemic diatribe about how Hillary Clinton signing a UN Small Arms Trade Treaty means that the Obama administration is going to circumvent the Second Amendment by confiscating guns from law abiding Americans by executive fiat to comply with the UN Treaty in violation of the constitution…run for it!...shiny black helicopters…SOCIALISM!!! (seriously…in bright red, all capped, 32 point type)

Trust me. That one sentence sums up the content and thought process of whoever wrote that mess. I really wish there was a way to link to my email account so you could get the full effect. Copying and pasting into Blogger just won’t do it justice. Not that I won’t try.

On a side note, do you notice that you can never really tell who originated an email like that? Somehow, the original email header detail always winds up getting deleted in the forwarding. There should be some internet etiquette class to teach people how to forward things so the origination information does not get lost. It’d probably only trace back to a generic hotmail account; but, just once, I’d like to see the original header with the date sent and an email account name like BillyJoeBob(at) It’d be nice to put a name with the mental image I have of some guy in a trailer park with militia flags all over his 1960s vintage single wide and a rabbit ear TV antennae sticking out the bathroom/kitchen window.

I digress again. That’s two in one post. Maybe I’ll try for the hat trick and a new personal best.

Anyway…Here’s how the email starts out:

While you were watching the oil spill, the New York failed terrorist bombing and other critical crises, Hillary Clinton signed the small arms treaty with the UN.
On Wednesday Obama Took the First Major Step in a Plan to Ban All Firearms in the United States
On Wednesday the Obama administration took its first major step in a plan to ban all firearms in the United States. The Obama administration intends to force gun control and a complete ban on all weapons for US citizens through the signing of international treaties with foreign nations. By signing international treaties on gun control, the Obama administration can use the US State Department to bypass the normal legislative process in Congress. Once the US Government signs these international treaties, all US citizens will be subject to those gun laws created by foreign governments. These are laws that have been developed and promoted by organizations such as the United Nations and individuals such as George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. The laws are designed and intended to lead to the complete ban and confiscation of all firearms. The Obama administration is attempting to use tactics and methods of gun control that will inflict major damage to our 2nd Amendment before US citizens even understand what has happened.

Again, you really don’t get the full effect without the flaming, multicolored, multisized type. That’s not the point here though. As is my usual SOP, I started researching the email. There was a link to a October 15, 2009 Reuters news article in the email which I dutifully clicked and read. Typical news speak reporting on the activities of the traveling pant suit masquerading as our Secretary of State. The point is that, when you read the Reuters article and then read email, you will notice some glaring holes in the author’s thought process. Not unlike Swiss cheese or a homeless person’s underwear.

First, Hillary Clinton did not sign a UN Small Arms Treaty because no such treaty yet exists. What she did was indicate that the Obama administration is willing to support such a treaty under certain circumstances which is a change from the Bush administration’s opposition to such a treaty. Secondly, this change in position was delivered at a working conference on the development of a small arms treaty. Minor details.

Second, neither the President nor the State department has the authority to bypass the normal legislative process when it comes to treaties. The President and State Department are tasked with negotiating treaties. Any and all treaties negotiated by the executive branch must first be ratified by two thirds of the Senate before having the weight of law. Any such treaty ratified by Congress could then be challenged in court if the aims of the treaty infringed upon the constitutional rights of citizens as is alleged by our mystery writer here. The chances of a treaty limiting firearms ownership in America being ratified by the Senate in any election cycle much less one where there is a very real chance of shift in the balance of power in Washington is almost non-existent. No senator up for reelection wants to be on record as voting to limit firearms ownership and draw the wrath of the NRA and thousands of gun and Bible toting rednecks around the country.

The next part of the email starts wading into conspiracy theory territory:

Obama can appear before the public and tell them that he does not intend to pursue any legislation (in the United States) that will lead to new gun control laws, while cloaked in secrecy, his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is committing the US to international treaties and foreign gun control laws. Does that mean Obama is telling the truth? What it means is that there will be no publicized gun control debates in the media or votes in Congress. We will wake up one morning and find that the United States has signed a treaty that prohibits firearm and ammunition manufacturers from selling to the public. We will wake up another morning and find that the US has signed a treaty that prohibits any transfer of firearm ownership. And then, we will wake up yet another morning and find that the US has signed a treaty that requires US citizens to deliver any firearm they own to the local government collection and destruction center or face imprisonment. This has happened in other countries, past and present! THIS IS NOT A JOKE OR A FALSE WARNING.

What? A politician lying, obfuscating or otherwise saying one thing while having someone else do the dirty work of pursuing his true agenda? No. That would never happen. They’re saints, right?

Seriously though, does President Obama have a desire to limit ownership or transfer of firearms in America? Despite his public statements to the contrary, I would be surprised if the progressive liberal democrat from Chicago (land of the disarmed, besieged, huddled masses) currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. (or the nearest golf course) DIDN’T have a desire to enact stricter gun control.

Before we all go running to the nearest gun store to stock up, let’s take a deep breath and see if there is anything that might shed more light on this alleged small arms treaty. A quick Google search of “UN Small Arms Trade Treaty” will direct you a few short clicks later to the “Report of the Group of Governmental Experts to examine the feasibility, scope and draft parameters for a comprehensive, legally binding instrument establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms”

If you take the time to read the 16 page report, about half of which is a listing of the people involved in the conference to develop the report, you’ll find out that this is about limiting illegal, international small arms trading as a means to limit terrorism, organized crime and human rights violations. All laudable goals. Not one word about confiscation of legal arms from law abiding citizens.

As I mention, in part, in my response to mom:

The problem is that politicians so frequently manage to blur the line between fact and fiction. To make matters worse, extremists on both sides of a given issue blur that line even further. I try, whenever possible, to straight to the source. In this case, it only took a few minutes to find the UN expert report for the working group on the Arms Trade Treaty. There is no specific treaty wording to review and say "Aha!" to yet. The report is about as close as you get for now.

The focus of the proposed treaty is what to do about the international illegal small conventional arms trade to combat terrorism, organized crime, human rights violations, etc. By small arms, they are referring to everything from machine guns and battle rifles to shoulder fired missiles to C4 explosives and hand grenades, etc. Stuff that your average citizen can't get their hands on anyway. Nothing I read in the report suggested an effort to take away lawful weapons from citizen. The key there will be lawful weapons as there is no definition of what the highest standard for internal controls should be.

Could it be used as a means to crack down on individual gun ownership? I suppose everything is possible now that we have "healthcare reform" that the majority of Americans didn't want.


Your Son (head researcher, chief wing nut exposer and BS detector)

There's another section or two to BillyJoeBob's email, but I've got to get to work.

My advice…keep an eye on it. Be an avid spectator of our elected horse thieves.

BillyJoeBob(at)’s advice: Silence will lead us to Socialism!!!

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