Faith & Military Leaders Refute NRA Falsehoods on ATT


July 12, 2012

Faith & Military Leaders Refute NRA Falsehoods on ATT
ATT Will Save Lives and Have No Impact on Second Amendment Rights

Washington, DC – As the second week of negotiations for the Arms Trade Treaty prepare to wrap up in New York, prominent faith and military leaders have come out strongly in favor of the treaty as a critical tool in promoting national security and global stability.  These public declarations of support come in response to statements made by the NRA that the Arms Trade Treaty would infringe on Second Amendment Rights.

In response to the NRA’s claims that they were standing for the troops and the rights they have fought for, Major General Roger Blunt (Ret.) stated in an op-ed published today in The Hill, “Spreading misinformation and using scare tactics about the ATT does not honor our troops. It puts their lives and the lives of the innocent civilians they are called to protect at risk, all for the sake of political posturing.”

The National Association of Evangelicals has also challenged the NRA’s allegations of Second Amendment infringements.

“Those opposing an arms trade treaty on Second Amendment grounds should rethink their strategy. The best way to protect the legal right of law abiding citizens to bear arms is to support sensible regulation of international arms sales,” stated Galen Carey, Vice President of the National Association of Evangelicals in an op-ed to the Christian Post.  “As a missionary and humanitarian worker, I have seen firsthand the destruction caused by armed conflicts in Mozambique, Congo, Sudan, Liberia and other war-torn countries.”

The recent NRA objections to the ATT were made even as their past attempts to derail the treaty have fallen flat.  When a few months back, an NRA sponsor introduced an amendment in the Senate prohibiting the ATT from infringing on the Second Amendment, every Democratic Senator voted unanimously in favor of it as a demonstration that the treaty poses no threat to the Constitution.

Military leaders have been joined by global Christian voices calling for the ATT as a tool to promote peace and stability.  “I have seen what small arms can do,” says Bishop Elias Taban, former child solider and President of the South Sudan Evangelical Alliance, in an video-taped address to the UN.  “As I heard of the Arms Trade Treaty, I said it is an answer to my prayer because Africa, especially Southern Sudan, has become a dumping ground for small arms.”

[Click here to view Bishop Taban's short testimony on his experience with arms and the ATT]

“Many regions of the world are already littered with weapons from yesterday’s conflicts.  As long as evil actors can continue to get ammunition, those weapons will continue to be fired at our young men and women in uniform and innocent civilians,” also stated Rear Admiral Stuart Platt (Ret).

In a ceremony at the opening of the ATT negotiations, Bishop Taban presented an Interfaith Declaration in support of the Arms Trade Treaty signed by over 300 religious leaders in 44 countries to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.  Last spring, Bishop Taban wrote a letter of appeal to American churches to support the Arms Trade Treaty, resulting in 3,500 congregations joining in a Day of Fasting and Prayer for the treaty.

Negotiations for the Arms Trade Treaty are set to continue in New York through July 27th.

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