The UN Gun Control Treaty And You

(Dick Morris Is Nuts)

Political commentator Dick Morris (among others) has been running around all over the place bleating about how the passage of the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is going to result in the loss of the gun rights currently enjoyed by Americans under the Second Amendment to our Constitution.

He was doing it again on Sean Hannity’s radio show on Friday, 3 Aug. Here’s Morris’s thesis:

Obama signs the treaty (which has currently died in the UN because of lack of agreement, actually) after he’s re-elected. For a treaty to bind the United States it must be ratified by 2/3 of the Senate, per the Constitution. But according to Morris – who acknowledges that such ratification is virtually impossible – under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties if the Senate fails to act on ratification the ATT will automatically take effect solely on the basis of Obama’s signature, and that Harry Reid will refuse to bring it to a vote if the Democrats retain control of the Senate. The treaty then becomes the “supreme law of the land”, superseding the Constitution and the Second Amendment and enabling Draconian gun laws, confiscation, the sky falling, etc.

Phew!… Follow me so far? Okay.

Morris’s thesis is so full of holes that if it were cheese it would be a premium Swiss. I don’t know where Morris comes up with this stuff. He must just “hear” something and, without doing any research at all, run wild with it. Anyway, here are the facts.

The Vienna Convention went into effect in 1980, but unfortunately for Morris’s thesis, even though this country is a signatory, the Convention has never been ratified by the Senate and so has absolutely no force and is not binding on this country, just like any other treaty that isn’t ratified. Period.

Further, there’s nothing that I’ve read in the Vienna Convention that does what Morris claims, anyway. Nothing at all about unratified presidential signatures making a treaty binding on a country whose own constitution requires treaty ratification. So his theory of an Obama signature on the ATT without Senate ratification actually meaning anything is ridiculous.

Morris also clearly doesn’t understand the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. Let me quote it for you:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;…”

So far, so good. But here’s where the rubber meets the road:

“… and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

In other words, what it’s saying is that the Constitution, federal laws, and treaties take precedence over STATE laws and constitutions. That’s all. There’s not one syllable in there about treaties having more power than the Constitution itself.

The reality is that no treaty can be used as a de facto amendment to the Constitution, as the Constitution is quite specific about how it can be amended and allows only two methods: the clearly detailed amendment process requiring 2/3 ratification by the states, or a constitutional convention. Any treaty that conflicts with the Constitution or its amendments is automatically null and void.

And in fact, in the 1957 landmark case of Reid v. Covert the Supreme Court held exactly that, stating “this Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty,”.

It’s time for Morris and others Chicken Littling this issue (yes, I’m looking at YOU, NRA!) to drop it. It’s ridiculous and meaningless, and lying for political gain is no less disgusting coming from the Right than it is from the Left. Frankly, I consider it even worse, because we have the facts on our side. We don’t have to resort to lying and political chicanery.

This stupid UN treaty has no more chance of affecting our national gun laws than I do of beating Shaq at basketball.

© Brian Baker 2012

52 comments on “The UN Gun Control Treaty And You

  1. Hardnox says:

    How tall are you?…. 🙂

    Good piece. Morris has got his head placed squarely somewhere wrong. He should know better. Maybe his ratings are down and he needs to make some noise.

    The whole UN Treaty is a load of crap. Does anyone think that the Ruskies and the ChiComs are going to abide by it when they rake in billions selling to every despot in the world? Of course not.

    This is nothing more than kumbaya crap.

    • BrianR says:

      Hey, Hardnox. Thanks for the kind words.

      Yeah, it sure is a massive load of BS. I’ve never liked nor respected Morris; I consider him a political gadfly, always out for self-aggrandizement. And we should NEVER forget he was Clinton’s campaign manager. I’ve never trusted anything that came out of his yap.

      I’m 6’2″. Why did you ask? I don’t get the joke…

  2. Gray Ghost (Mississippi) says:

    Agreed Brian, and like you I wish that the NRA and some of the other gun rights groups would shut up about this treaty. We are wasting time and resources “screaming” about something that can’t come to pass.

    The only way for this treaty to go in effect (if the US Senate doesn’t pass it) is for the president to declare himself “emperor” and tell the alphabets to start confiscating weapons. And I don’t even believe the BATF is stupid enough to try that.

    PS: It has been really hot in the Mississippi Delta (heat indices of over 110 degrees F) and very high humidity (80% to 100%). But most of us in the Delta are use to this type of heat. In California however, yall are not use to that type of heat. I hope it gets better for you.

    • BrianR says:

      Gray, it’s a ridiculous waste of time. It’s also easily contradicted — obviously — which makes people who drink the Kool-Aid look like sheep instead of rational thinkers. I really resent the hell out of political stunts like this pulled by jackasses like Morris.

      It’s also one of two reasons I lost so much respect for the NRA and canceled my Life Membership (the other being their 2008 endorsement of anti-gun McCain). I’m positive they have on-call or on-staff attorneys who specialize in gun and constitutional issues — people MUCH more qualified than I — who know their constant tirades about this completely non-issue are flat-out lies, yet they continue to bang this stupid drum endlessly. For YEARS, now!

      No mas!

      As to the heat here; Yikes! We are DEFINITELY not used to it. I’ll probably spend most of the weekend huddled in my A/Ced house like a fugitive on the run.

      No trigger time this weekend…

  3. gunnyginalaska says:

    Good essay brother. I see WHERE they are coming from, alerting us to trouble, but they also use it to raise cash. I haven’t sent the NRA any money in YEARS and it IS annoying for them to lie to us. They should know better. I remain a Life member ONLY because they do perform some good, i.e., tracking the votes of the congcritters and senators.

    I myself do not want NAYTHING to so with ANYTHING from the UN, no matter how slight.

  4. gunnyginalaska says:

    NAYTHING should actually be ANYTHING! haha.

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks, Gunny.

      I understand what you’re saying — and your reasons for staying with them. I believe in a lot of what they do. But when they do things like this endless lying about this issue when they SURELY know better, and endorsing McCain, I had to make my statement. But that’s MY statement, and I’m not pushing it on anyone else.

  5. slowcowboy says:

    Ah, Dicky Morris. He’s obnoxious, but I get a kick out of watching him. Something about his voice and body shape just go together to create a jolly picture.

    Not much to add here to gun stuff. And the NRA is on my sh*t list because they call multiple times a week with some recorded message. I like the NRA, but come on guys. A little respect for people at home goes a long way.

    Heat? I guess here in Laramie folks think it is hot– 92, 50% humidity. Nah, but people are complaining about.

    • BrianR says:

      LOL, Cowboy!

      I don’t get “jolly picture” from watching Morris. I get “desperate loser”. Or “squeeky bloviator” maybe…

      Gotta say, yesterday it was over 110 here; the thermometer in my car was reading 121 at one point. Completely defeating my A/C in tha car. Just beating my brains out.


  6. Nee says:

    Several weeks ago, I am sure Morris was screaming that the sky was falling on this and it did sound very hokey at best. You shed some light for me and I simply say, “Phew!” Somewhere along the way, I remember learning that law of the land was always “precedential!” (I kill myself! 🙂 A good read and I think I’ll post it for my gun guys on FB…

    • BrianR says:

      Thanks for that Nee. Much appreciated.

      You are exactly the type of person I DID write this essay for. People who are attuned to the issue of rights — and guns — and who don’t realize how badly Morris, the NRA and others are demagoguing this issue, all based on falsehoods.

      After all, it SOUNDS plausible; the NRA are the experts on the subject; Morris is on our side; therefore it must be true. That’s simple human nature; that’s what they’re counting on.

      And that’s exactly why I find it so contemptible. That’s what the other side does ALL THE TIME. They lie, lie, lie and their supporters buy the lies hook, line and sinker because they WANT to believe. We’re supposed to be better than that — we have the actual TRUTH and FACTS on our side. So when people on OUR side stoop to such depths — obviously for political or personal gain (or to gin up membership in the case of the NRA) — it REALLY ticks me off.

      Please do pass this around; I hope many others do the same. That’s why I wrote it: to hopefully deflate Morris et all, and teach them that they can’t act like Dems (never forget that Morris WAS one) and get away with it.

      My local paper published it today, too:

  7. clyde says:

    Dick Morris,the Infamous WH toe-sucker,who was Clinton’s IDEA MAN, and then he turns 180degrees,and we’re supposed to take him at his word? NAFC.

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, Clyde, exactly.

      I’ve never trusted the guy. He was full of it as Clinton’s campaign manager, then got a hard-on for the Clintons when he and Hillary had a falling out, so he scurried over to the GOP. He’s a shameless self-promoter, and he’s usually completely full of it.

      And he uses this inane issue as a big self-promotion thing ALL THE TIME. I’m sick of it and him. Google “Morris gun control” and just see how many hits you get with him just milking the hell out of it… and as I wrote, it’s a complete myth. Total BS.

  8. CW says:

    I’m sorry, Brian, but I don’t understand the animosity towards Morris (at least on this matter) and the insinuation that this is all about lying for political gain. The important thing to understand here is that Obama and his cohorts in crime are pushing for a global treaty to control the flow of guns. You say they can’t do it by law – and I trust your knowledge on the subject – but keep in mind that the law hasn’t interfered with too much of the Obama agenda so far. He managed to pass Obamacare and get it declared constitutional didn’t he? And more recently he used executive powers to bypass congress on immigration laws and issued directives to circumvent the rules that go along with welfare reform (work for welfare). Obama has shown a remarkable talent to impose his agenda regardless of the law, so I would never discount anything he’s working on just because he can’t do it legally.

    Whether he has legal standing or not, the fact that Obama is TRYING to advance a global approach to gun control is a big deal, IMO. It’s not enough to trust in ‘the system.’ Americans have to make it clear that they won’t stand for action that infringes upon the 2nd amendment.

    • BrianR says:

      CW, as to Morris, I just answered and posted Clyde’s comment, so you can see the reason in that response.

      As to Obama & Company “pushing for a global treaty to control the flow of guns”, it’s meaningless. Can’t be done. There’s no question that Chief Judas Roberts screwed the pooch on Obamacare, but the SCOTUS ship has sailed LONG ago on treaties and gun rights, in the Heller, McDonanld and Reid v. Covert cases. There’s nowhere for him to go with it.

      Now, it’s one thing to refuse to enforce the laws as written, as in the examples you raised with immigration and welfare. But it’s a whole different thing to try to impose laws that don’t even exist at all, such as trying to enforce some treaty that doesn’t exist and has no standing at all even if it’s signed but not ratified. That’s exactly the kind of thing that leads to impeachment.

      And once you understand that, you’ll go full circle and understand why I have utter contempt for people pushing this idea, particularly when they know — or should know — that it’s baseless Chicken Littling.

      Read Morris’s whole scenarion as I recited it from his appearance on Hannity’s radio show on the 3rd. That’s crackpot conspiracy babble right out of a bad novel. It’s simply ludicrous.

      • CW says:

        Well since I have no one to argue with lately…

        I think it’s one thing to say Morris is mistaken, but it’s another thing to declare that he is purposely misleading people when there’s no evidence to show that he doesn’t believe what he’s saying, or that he knows it to be untrue. Furthermore, I don’t see what political “chicanery” would be gained by this. Everyone already knows that Obama is anti-2nd amendment and an advocate of centralized, global gov’t, so how does this qualify as some kind of dirty political trick? If the worst thing that happens is that Morris draws attention to the Obama administration’s (and the Left’s) hostility to the 2nd amendment, I don’t see any great harm in that.

        I wholeheartedly agree with you that we shouldn’t tolerate dirty politics by either side, but if we want to stay on the high road we also should be careful about accusing people of tactics like lying when we don’t have clear proof.

      • BrianR says:

        “If the worst thing that happens is that Morris draws attention to the Obama administration’s (and the Left’s) hostility to the 2nd amendment, I don’t see any great harm in that.”

        There’s harm when you’re not using the truth to do it. Then it’s just lies. Is that what we stand for?

        “… but if we want to stay on the high road we also should be careful about accusing people of tactics like lying when we don’t have clear proof.”

        What “clear proof”? I can’t read his mind, just as any jury can’t read any defendant’s mind. All you can do is go by the preponderance of the evidence. The evidence in Morris’s case is that his whole case is demonstrably ridiculous; he’s in a position and with the resources to actually research the subject before making a spectacle of himself with it; he has no known history as a gun rights supporter; to the contrary, he has a background as Clinton’s campaign manager, a campaign that had gun control as one of its focal points; he has a history of being politically “expedient”; we know he “switched sides” when Hillary canned him, and he was very bitter about that; on and on and on.

        I mean… what more do you want?

  9. says:

    First O’Reilly then Morris. Or Morris then O’Reilly.
    Which came first, the chickenshit or the egg???

  10. says:

    I meant “yegg”……….

  11. clyde says:

    I see Mitt picked Paul Ryan. I’m OK with it,means at least we’ll have a VEEP who can form and articulate a coherent thought, just hope he’s ready for the full frontal assault of the lapdog media and their lying about him.

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, Clyde. I think it was a pretty good pick, too. I can hardly wait for him to debate Biden!

      • clyde says:

        You really think the campaign will trot Gaffes out there? Seems like a death wish if they do. Never know which Joe will show up.

      • BrianR says:

        How can they avoid it? We’ve had one VP debate since 1976 and Dole v. Mondale. If Biden refuses, that’ll be hay for the Romney team. In fact, it’s already scheduled for Oct 11 at Center College.

        Talk about a pickle for the Obamites! Gotta love it; damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  12. says:

    CW: Morris is a turncoat. Doesn’t matter a whit he crossed over from the Clintons to Fox News.
    If he did it once, he is likely to do it again.
    As the political winds blow and fortunes are offered.

    • CW says:

      All that maybe true, I have no great love for Dick Morris myself; but that’s not the issue here. The issue is whether or not Morris is intentionally misleading people about the ramifications of the U.S. signing on to the ATT and whether or not there is some mischief going on here. As I said to Brian, I just don’t see the evidence to support that claim.

      • BrianR says:

        Well, that’s one of the reasons I AM so ticked at Morris. I DO think it’s intentional and misleading; the equivalent of “dirty tricks”, something Morris is known for as Clinton’s campaign manager, and something we on our side don’t need to resort to.

        It’s also Morris’s attempt tp keep himself in the spotlight and “relevant”. Which is why he beats the drum so hard. He has absolutely no — zero, zip, nada — history as some kind of gun rights champion.

  13. clyde says:

    Hell,I think I’d rather watch Ryan against Gaffes instead of Obama v Romney. With the senile Joe in there,it’ll be entertaining,no doubt. You are correct,it is indeed a fine frigging hole the Obamites have dug for themselves. Frankly,they can keep right on a’ digging.

    • BrianR says:


      I think Reagan said something along the lines of, “When your opponent’s busy shooting himself in the foot, don’t interfere.”

  14. says:

    Anybody know where this team stands on the Second????????
    And don’t say they’re at least to the right of Obama.
    Obama is to the left of Stalin!

    • BrianR says:

      Ryan is a definite gun rights guy, to the max. He’s great on the subject.

      Romney’s okay, not great. He did sign Taxachussett’s “assault weapon” ban into law; not good. This time around, post-Aurora, he’s said new gun laws “aren’t necessary”. In 2008 and this time, he’s made all the right noises.

      But if they win, I really don’t think guns are going to be a political issue anyway. That’s why I’m so ticked at Morris and others who keep stirring up the hornet’s nest with this BS. It’s pretty much dead post-Heller and McDonald. Even most of the Dems don’t want it on the table, because it’s such a political loser for them, and they know it.

      As a matter of fact, if guns were to become a real issue in this election, it would definitely hurt Bat Ears, big time. Which is what, I’d bet, Morris is trying to achieve. But lying’s just not the way to go, IMO.

  15. Jim says:

    I agree totally that Dick Morris is incorrect, however I’ll make one point: Do you think the UN really cares what OUR Constitution says? Of course the UN isn’t getting our guns, what would bother me most if Obama did sign it would be the talking point we would give them

    All the more reason to vote the clown down.

    Barrack Hinsane Obama: the one term blunder!

    • BrianR says:

      Jim, if Obama were to sign it, he could kiss off any chance at re-election and he knows it. Probably why Morris is running around Chicken Littling it in the first place.

      On top of which, as I mentioned, it’s already dead in the UN for now anyway. They couldn’t come to an agreement.

      • Jim says:

        He would never signit before theelection because of that, it’s after IF hewere re-elected that he could do real damage.
        Remember, he’s already made promises to foreign leaders about how much he can bring America to it’s knees after re-election.

      • BrianR says:

        But Jim, even if he signs it, it’s meaningless. That’s the point.

  16. says:

    Hard to fathom anyone, even the likes of Hillary Clinton wanting the UN to have any sovereignty over the USA. It’s hard to fathom why ANYONE would want ANY other entity to have ANY say in American business. Unless they are a One Worlder. Even so how could they ever desire the supremacy of an organization that has been perverted into a cesspool of criminals, despots and murderers?????????????’
    Hard to fathom. But they’re out there.

    • BrianR says:

      Yeah, they are.

      But again, Morris’s blather on the topic is so full of BS that you have to question everything he says about it, including the idea that Obama/Hillary would try to push it through.

      That’s the problem with lying: once people know that at least part of what you’re saying is a lie, it’s hard to give credence to ANY part of what you’ve said.

  17. says:

    Yeah. “Were you lying then, or are you lying now?”

  18. We’re already a hell of a long ways down the rabbit-hole gun-control-wise w/o the UN Treaty.


    Startling evidence suggests that the Gun Control Act of 1968 was lifted, almost in its entirety, from Nazi legislation.
    by Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership


    I think we’ve seen enough evidence that the fedgovt. does pretty much what it wants…I wouldn’t be too quick to assume ANY constitutional ‘limit’ would apply if it were too inconvenient for the fedgovt. Remember when an overturn of O-Care was a ‘slam-dunk’?

    I would add that the 2nd A. doesn’t mention “guns”, but the more expansive “arms”.

    • BrianR says:

      Yep. Good points.

      The issue with Obamacare was that it was magically found to be constitutional. But SCOTUS has already ruled on the power of treaties, and that’s why (among other reasons) this Chicken Littling’s a waste of time and a distraction. As you wrote, there are plenty of OTHER threats that are real, and need to be addressed. Wasting our time and energy on false threats is like snipe-hunting.

      As to your last sentence: absolutely! Interestingly enough, in some states (like Arizona) you can own pretty much whatever you want, if you can afford it. Dillon (the guy who owns Dillon Precision reloading equipment manufacturer) owns artillery, miniguns, the whole nine yards.

      Lucky bastard!

  19. BrianR says:

    (Reply to a poster now banned from this site)

    Well, the two comments you submitted after this one are gone. I don’t think I “have you confused with someone else”, unless you have a buddy with the same philosophy, style of writing, and who’s located nearby with a very similar IP address.

    I don’t publish fringe rants or tirades here. You can do that elsewhere, or start your own blog for that.

    8/21 — And now all your idiotic comments are gone, won’t be back, and anything you write in the future will simply be screened out as spam by the software. Sayonara.

    You’re a fool who thinks the rules don’t apply to you, evidently. Sorry, that’s not how it works here.

  20. jevica says:


    Have not heard Morris on this [then I don’t listen to Hannity that much] also thanks for the info about “. . . the 1957 landmark case of Reid v. Covert the Supreme Court held exactly that, stating “this Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty,”.” did not know this had been a SCOTUS decision. One question why then do some of these old fools look to foreign law some times? Do they just do whatever will get them what they want?

    Now look at this;

    “Albright campaigns for Obama: We’re going to keep blaming Bush “forever””

    ““All of a sudden this man gets up and says, ‘How long will you blame the previous administration for all of your problems?’ I said, ‘Forever.’””

    I posted about this after BHO was elected, what a bunch. They never take blame for anything.

    BTW Great post.

    • BrianR says:

      Jev, if you do a search on “Dick Morris UN Gun Ban treaty”, you’ll get 56,000+ hits on Google. That’s how much he’s been bloviating on the issue. The guy’s an absolute gasbag on the topic.

      Good ole Madeline Halfbright. I thought that old hag had died already. Hell, her brain did decades ago…


      Thanks for the kind words.

  21. thedrpete says:

    Thought I’d check in before the month ends. Seems that this was the subject of our last discussion. Thanks for educating me.

  22. slowcowboy says:

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    This actually is inspired by the first thing I heard the Dems say about Romney’s speech: there were no big ideas in it.

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