03 October 2013
Written by Lesley Swann
Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry signed a UN arms treaty that opponents say will implement a broad firearms registration scheme and eventually lead to global bureaucrats imposing gun control on the American people in spite of the Second Amendment. Despite the Obama administration’s support for the treaty, it remains to be seen whether the Senate will ratify it.
The Obama administration and other supporters of the arms treaty will likely claim that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution places treaties above the Constitution and other U.S. laws as the supreme law of the land. Under this interpretation, they believe they can get around the Second Amendment protections on the right to keep and bear arms.
What did the founders say?
The founders very clearly stated the conditions under which the U.S. Constitution could be amended, or changed in Article V. It is quite illogical to conclude that they would write such a brilliant document only to create a giant backdoor for foreign governments to come in and destroy the liberty they worked so hard to achieve. In fact, the founders themselves said otherwise.
“The only constitutional exception to the power of making treaties is that it shall not change the Constitution…” – Alexander Hamilton
“I do not conceive that power is given to the President or the Senate to dismember the empire, or alienate any great, essential right. I do not think the whole legislative authority to have this power.” – James Madison
“I say the same as to the opinion of those who consider the grant of treaty-making power to be boundless. If it is, then we have no Constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson
Considering three of the most prominent founding fathers explicitly said that the Constitution does not permit the dismantling of itself via treaty, there must be some other meaning to the Supremacy Clause. By properly reading the clause it becomes clear that not only did the founders not leave a backdoor, they actually expressly forbade this type of maneuver in Article VI.