Lots happening around the country over the Independence Day holiday. Some actually good. The "good" would be the celebrations, fireworks (where it wasn't too-dry to risk them), family time and mid-week break from working in what has been stifling heat across much of the country.
The not-so-good stuff, well, it's happening all around. One of the trouble spots this week: the United Nations. This week, a month-long series of negotiations on a proposed international small-arms arms treaty kicked off in New York City. There are, incidentally, 193 countries participating in the talks- you may have heard of a half-dozen or so of them. The rest make a goodly percent of their nations' livelihoods being professional recipients of the UN's equivalent of welfare.
Supporters of the proposed treaty are confident that by the end of the month, there will be a treaty in place. Now, we find the United States among those supporters of at least a part of the treaty. That's a complete about-face from the past.
The United States' UN contingent has been told - in no uncertain terms- that the people of the United States want no part of any UN governance over anything Second Amendment related. Guess what? Our diplomats, headed by "rock star" (that's the NY Times description, not mine) diplomat - and Secretary of State- Hillary Clinton, have decided that we're too-ignorant to know what's good for us.
Seems they're more than prepared to sign the UN treaty on traffic in small arms on our behalf. They're already on record as being prepared to accept controlling the trade in guns -but are pushing back on ammunition. China and Russia (two scions of individual freedoms) have said they're not supporting a limit on arms production or sales - or a human rights requirement for those sales.
Our staunch allies Britain, France, Germany and Sweden have called for a legally binding treaty. Excuse me, but I'm not feeling the need to be helped along by our "allies" who have already restricted everything from guns and pocket knives to harsh or words.
But I'm not the current administration. They have quietly reversed the United States' previous opposition to the treaty.
If/when ratified, the United Nations treaty on small arms isn't supposed to have an impact on our domestic policies regarding firearms. Excuse me if I'm a bit distrustful of anything from the United Nations, Hillary Clinton or the rest of the current administration.
Having covered the shenanigans of diplomats at the United Nations, traveled in countries where UN "peacekeepers" were on the job and seen the results of their stabilizing presence, I'm not reassured by their assurances.
It seems inappropriate that on the Friday following our Independence Day we find ourselves - once again- looking at another erosion of our rights.
Unfortunately, 2012 looks more like the days before the Declaration of Independence than the two centuries of freedom that followed the standards set forth in that document.
US Senator Rand Paul has joined with the National Association of Gun Rights to put together a Firearms Sovereignty Survey (http://www.nagr.org/UN_RP_Survey2.aspx
)that anyone can sign and let their Senators know they're AGAINST the UN move. It also includes a pledge to vote against any Senator who supports ratification of the UN Small Arms Treaty.
Back in the outdoors, ICAST kicks off next week in Orlando, Florida. When it does, the international sportfishing industry will gather to look at tons of new tackle, accessories and the latest electronic wizardry. Having seen a goodly amount of the new gear already, ICAST promises to be another very lively show.
It's not all a love-fest for fishing. A significant part of the meeting deals with the continuing use of federal rules and regulations to restrict access to federal waters. Next week, the entire sportfishing industry will restate their demand that scientific evidence -not hysterical lobbying from anti-fishing/animal rights groups - be determinants that drive all fishery management decisions.
We'll feature reporting from ICAST all next week as part of our promise: we'll keep you posted.