News over the past 48 hours that the Obama administration has already started delivering small arms and ammunition to Syrian rebels, even while Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated a so-called “peaceful solution” to the chemical weapons controversy, leaves questions about the kinds of loopholes the president has complained about regarding private gun transactions here in the United States.
Question #1: Have these rebels, who reportedly have ties to terrorist groups, gone through background checks?
Polling suggests most Americans, including most gun owners, favor some sort of check, provided it is not overly invasive. They should be fast, convenient, inexpensive and comply with a uniform national standard.
Question #2: Does this transfer of light weapons and munitions to Syrian rebels go against the grain of the United Nations’ Small Arms Trade Treaty, which the president has said he supports and would sign, even though it is not likely to be ratified by the Senate?
As appears to be a habit with the administration – illustrated by the Eric Holder Justice Department recently in the announcement that his department will not challenge marijuana legalization laws passed in Washington and Colorado last November – the Obama White House picks and chooses which laws it will support and enforce, and when, and under what circumstances.
The Arms Trade agreement has been long opposed by American gun rights organizations including the National Rifle Association and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The Second Amendment Foundation raised concerns because of the potential conflicts regarding civilian firearms ownership.
Question #3: There have been allegations that the Syrian rebels have strong connections to al Qaeda, the same organization that claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks in 2001, and has been linked to last year’s Benghazi attack, and we’re giving these people weapons?
What would the Brady Campaign, Violence Policy Center, Washington Ceasefire or Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility say if any of these people showed up at, say, a gun show in Puyallup and tried to purchase rifles and ammunition? What would they say if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed guns to “walk” into the hands of these rebels across an international border?
Last question: Does it seem that the president is less concerned about putting guns in the hands of people whose idea of justice is public execution than he is about allowing U.S. citizens to have firearms for hunting, competition, recreation and personal protection?
Readers are encouraged to answer below.