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UN, Guns and Thompson

Via the Google Snooze Alerts came this, which notes that Fred Thompson managed to get all of his facts wrong on guns and the UN. It links to this bit by Mark Leon Goldberg which notes things Fred gets wrong. Such as:

As you can see, these are pretty broad directives. And as you can see, no country is required to do anything. In fact, the only UN body that can require something of a member state is the Security Council, on which the United States has a veto.

Here’s the report (via David Hardy) that Fred was referring to. I can’t get Goldberg’s links to work so I figure he’s referencing something else since I can’t find his excerpts there. But, the actual report notes that:

Minimum effective measures that States must adopt to comply with their due diligence obligations to prevent small arms violence must go beyond mere criminalization of acts of armed violence. States must also enforce a minimum licensing requirement designed to keep small arms out of the hands of persons who are most likely to misuse them. Other effective measures should also be enforced to protect the right to life, as suggested by the draft principles on the prevention of human rights violations committed with small arms that have been proposed by the Special Rapporteur.

Now, I’m no big city lawyer either but the phrase must adopt seems to be a requirement to me. But, as is noted, the UN has about, err, zero enforcement capability with respect to, well, any thing. So, I think Fred got it right and Goldberg’s criticism is also valid. But Goldberg continues with:

Thompson next gets philosophical and channels Grotius. Really! Says Thompson, “the UN report remarkably denied the existence of any human right to self-defense, evidently overlooking the work of Hugo Grotius, the 17th century scholar credited as the founder of international law, who wrote, ‘It is to be observed that [the] Right of Self-Defence, arises directly and immediately from the Care of our own Preservation, which Nature recommends to every one…’ and that this right is so primary, that it cannot be denied on the basis that it is not ‘expressly set forth.’

Back in 1945, the framers of the UN Charter were not going to take any chances, so they expressly included the right to self defense. See Article 51 of the UN Charter, which affirms the Grotian view that self-defense is an ‘inherent’ right.

So, Fred Thompson says this report says X and you respond by saying that this other thing says Y?

If you look at the report, it states clearly:

“20. Self-defence is a widely recognized, yet legally proscribed, exception to the universal duty to respect the right to life of others. Self-defence is a basis for exemption from criminal responsibility that can be raised by any State agent or non-State actor. Self-defence is sometimes designated as a “right”. There is inadequate legal support for such an interpretation. Self-defence is more properly characterized as a means of protecting the right to life and, as such, a basis for avoiding responsibility for violating the rights of another.

Uh, Mark? Seems to me he managed to get all of his facts wrong.

Update: More alleged logic and facts. Seems, once again, Fred said one thing (the correct thing) so look, a pony.

Update 2: Even more on logic and facts from Gunstar1 in comments:

Report, bottom of page 2:

Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations applies to States acting in self-defence against armed attacks against their State sovereignty. It does not apply to situations of self-defence for individual persons.

12 Responses to “UN, Guns and Thompson”

  1. gattsuru Says:

    Left a nice, long comment, although I won’t be surprised to see it vanish down the memory hole.

  2. Volunteer Voters » Fred Thompson UNgunned Says:

    […] Say Uncle points to a gaffe made recently by Fred Thompson. Yesterday the blogs were effusive in their praise for Fred Thompson’s stand against the UN mandates on gun control. It turns out that all that bluster in defiance of UN tyranny on guns was based on some faulty intel. The Carpetbagger Report: Keep in mind, unlike most of Thompson’s other gaffes, this one was written down. He wasn’t just winging it on the stump; this was a specific policy position. Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  3. Snowflakes in Hell » Blog Archive » Fred Got it Right Says:

    […] SayUncle details that Fred Thompson was actually right about the UN […]

  4. Gunstar1 Says:

    Uncle regarding the last point you made:

    It is worse than what you responded with when referenceing the part about Article 51…

    Report, bottom of page 2:

    Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations applies to States acting in self-defence against armed attacks against their State sovereignty. It does not apply to situations of self-defence for individual persons.

    Goldberg said that the Article 51 proves Thompson wrong when in fact what the report is trying to do is prove what Goldberg said about Article 51 is wrong. Which is that Article 51 is a (sovereign) state’s right to self defense and not an individual one.

    Does that report’s argument/reasoning sound familiar to anyone else besides me?

  5. Steve Says:

    Per the douchefilter at the carpetbagger report’s claim that it only applies to Sierra Leone and Rwanda, here’s the UN press release including this statement by the Mexican representative. You decide if he’s referring to “Sierra Leone”.

    LEON FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ ZAHAR (Mexico), aligning himself with the statement of the Central American Integration System, said that Mexico, as a country which had been strongly affected by the illicit small arms trade, attached the highest priority to that matter. It could only be solved by means of international cooperation, under the principle of shared responsibility, with the active participation of governmental and non-governmental actors. All States, together with producers, importers and exporters of arms, and non-governmental organizations must redouble their efforts towards achieving the objectives of the United Nations Programme of Action.

    He said that the excessive accumulation and availability of small arms, as well as the weakness of regulation in several countries, had frequently led to a diversion of such weapons into the black market, leading to urban violence and organized crime . With that in mind, Mexico had consistently supported the resolution on the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons, which had been introduced each year by the delegations of Colombia, Japan, and South Africa.

    However, he urged the adoption of binding measures in the struggle against that illicit arms trade. Further, the Programme of Action must take into account the multidimensional character of the issue, including its humanitarian aspects, in order to develop new means of achieving the effective control of commerce and transfer of small arms and light weapons, including their possession by civilians.

    If you don’t think that the diplodunks at the

    http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2007/gadis3354.doc.htm

  6. JorgXMcKie Says:

    “Other effective measures should also be enforced to protect the right to life,” — so, the UN is anti-abortion?

  7. Sly Bri Says:

    How dare we not listen to the UN? Their interpretation of self-defense must be obeyed, all of our laws and customs be damned!

    I would never vote for that gun nut Fred Thompson, who wants people to blow away a poor innocent soul who is merely entering your house looking for food because of Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, Haliburton (uh, wait, Blackwater is the evil company of the hour), Blackwater, Big Oil, Big Gun, Big Tobacco, Big Tree Choppers, and Big Hamburger taking away all the money for themselves and their CEOs!!!!

  8. blackfork Says:

    That seals it. I’m voting, sending money, putting up a yardsign, et, et for FRED THOMPSON.

  9. Guy Montag Says:

    Did you know that you got posted to The Corner at National Review?

  10. SayUncle Says:

    Yup, and insty. nice traffic spike!

  11. JR Says:

    NIce Job on KnoxNews.

    Dave Kopel picked up on it here.

  12. James of England Says:

    The UN doesn’t have much in the way enforcement capabilities, but these things are often used to support claims about international customary law, which the US courts will often apply as American law. For American courts the age of “now let them try to enforce it” has long passed.