Gun Control Advocate Set for Senate Confirmation

Harold Koh, a former Clinton Administration official, who is a well-known anti-gun advocate and who supports international firearms control efforts, is scheduled for a vote Wednesday in the Senate.  If confirmed, Koh would become the State Department Legal Advisor.  He then would be in a position to significantly influence diplomatic efforts to strengthen the power of international organizations such as the United Nations to become involved in U.S. domestic matters, including Second Amendment-related issues.

For example, as the nation’s top international lawyer, Koh would be able to push for the United States to adopt the “Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials,” know by its shorthand, “CIFTA.”  This treaty, which President Obama supports, would among other troubling provisions, mandate the marking and tracking of all firearms.  It would require the U.S. to “standardize national laws” on firearms and ammunition in order to track and regulate international sales and brokering of firearms.

On a broader level, Koh is a vocal advocate for what he calls “transnational jurisprudence,” meaning the use of laws and court decisions in other countries as a basis on which to determine domestic laws and court decisions.

While I frequently disagreed with policies and decisions by the former Bush Administration regarding both domestic and international matters, at least it never formally bought into such nonsensical, and constitutionally-defective reasoning as advocating “transnational jurisprudence,” especially when it came to such fundamental rights as those guaranteed in the Second Amendment and the other provisions in our Bill of Rights.  Koh, and people like him who are now assuming positions of influcence in the Obama Administration, represent a truly dangerous change in fundamental policies and constitutional thought in America.

40 comments Add your comment

E.V. Collier

June 24th, 2009
7:06 am

“Transnational jurisprudence” is not common sense law making or adjudication when it comes to the United States. Our laws and Bill of Rights are for US citizens and to have other countries, many of which hate the United States for it’s freedom and democracy, dictate (for example) what we should do in the way we allow women to vote, have equal rights, own property, work as equals to men in the work place, (for US citizens) to have freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, to have freedom of religion, are all inalienable rights of American citizens. The United States has come to the aid of innumerable foreign countries when foreign oppressors attempted to overrun and destroy their governments. With the exception of France, who came to our aid in the Revolutionary War 1776-1782, no country has EVER come to our aid. Mr. Koh is a left wing, radical attorney who should never be put into a position to influence US policy or decision making. Let us look for a middle of the road attorney (if there is such a thing) and avoid left or right wing extremists. One thing for sure…I do not want foreign countries like North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Russia, Venezuala, etc., dictacting what laws I should be following here in America. That would be foolish and irresponsible!! Vince in Atlanta, GA

bull-gator

June 24th, 2009
7:18 am

This adminstration obviously is out to destroy individual rights and forceably push this country into fascism. We are slowly transitioning into the largest third world country on the planet. International laws and courts are a joke. Why don’t we just give the keys to the kingdom to the U.N.? Obama is history in 2012. More lucid minds will prevail at the voter polls if we can limit the voter fraud initiated by the democratic political thugs such as ACORN, etc.

jt

June 24th, 2009
7:21 am

America has an incredibly intrusive tax collection system that works on the principle of “guilty until proven innocent”. The fines, interest, and penalties accrued would be against the law for a private company to levy. Your property rights, as far as smoking, are non-existent. By law now, you must produce your papers upon demand to any authority figure. No reason, just on demand. Our justice system is based on whoever has the most money wins. Our prison industry incarcerates more citizens than the entire WORLD. Citizens EVERYDAY are being murdered because of the war on drugs. The Federal goverment has ignored the constitution which enables them to be involved in EVERY aspect of our lives.
But we can still buy a gun.
What if “transnational jurisprudence” helped to reclaim some personal liberties? What if America wakes up one day to find freedom has deserted to other nations?
The second-admendment blinders have been responsible for putting alot of rotten politicians into office.

Steve

June 24th, 2009
7:40 am

Mr. Koh should live in the Atlanta area and watch the local news and then let’s see how he feels about a citizens right to protect themselves from the seemingly lawless and out of control youths that appear to be taking over the streets of Atlanta. Take away our guns you say, when as private citizens we feel so threatened that you can’t even buy bullets in the Atlanta area for most type guns. Perhaps Mr. Koh can visit one of the local firing ranges any given Saturday and he’ll see your average, everyday Americans practicing, and not out of recreation but out of the fear that we very well could be faced in a life or death situation in the Atlanta area and we’ll need to legally self protect. Most anti-gun zealots are clueless in regards to their views about self-protection and crime. They are soft on crime toward criminals but have no problem with thugs and criminals running around with stolen guns and they take issue with me having a legal and permitted weapon. Mr. Koh will not take away my guns. Never. After four years and this Obama nighmare is over we’ll come back to our senses. Now, if we could only get a transfusion of politics on the loacl level in Atlanta and elect someone with the interest of all people in mind and not a select few, we’ll be able to feel safe in this city. I don’t see that ever happening.

Steven Daedalus

June 24th, 2009
7:52 am

This is the dumbest column I have ever read in my 61 years.

Copyleft

June 24th, 2009
7:57 am

A legal advisor to the state department is in favor of gun control… and THIS is proof that fascism is running rampant and the Second Amendment is about to be outlawed?

Geez, Mr. Barr, ya gotta come up with at least a LITTLE grist for the outrage mill. This barely even registers.

Cry Babies

June 24th, 2009
8:01 am

You’re all a bunch of paranoid jokes – standing behind your ‘constitutional rights’. Go buy yourself a musket. That’s what was available when the constitution was written. Not semi-automatic weapons that the kids on the street have in their possession today! ‘Obama nightmare’??? Bush had an approval rating of 23% when he left office. He’s going down in history as the worse president to ever hold office in the US and you have the nerve to say ‘Obama nightmare’?

Barr calls the ‘Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking of Firearms’ nonsensical? What is wrong with you people?

Go spend alittle time in countries that do not allow any firearms to be owned by a private citizen and see what their crime rate is. The United States crime rate, with all of our holier-than-thou – I have my rights – gun owners, is one of the highest in the world!

Go find a new toy to play with. One that can’t hurt other people. And stop blaming Obama for everything that’s wrong in your world. He’s been in office for six months. Try putting the blame where it should be – on past administrations and yourself for allowing it.

Dave Briggman

June 24th, 2009
8:04 am

Perhaps, in your 61 years, you learned to expound?

Bob’s column is well-reasoned and well-written.

Turd Ferguson

June 24th, 2009
8:08 am

Thanks Bob…guess I need to get my gun license and concealed weapons permits in order.

Yikes

June 24th, 2009
8:17 am

Definitely stupider for clicking this. To all the whiners here, as they say on the internet, “cry moar.”

Jim Callihan

June 24th, 2009
8:37 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UmjpaHtR7M

Britain first, then America.

ONE cop for every 3,500 citizens in America. Average response time?

Pierce

June 24th, 2009
9:05 am

Cry Babies, yes go spend some time in anti-firearm countries. You’ll see their violent crime rate is significantly higher. Case in point, Australia: their government banned and confiscated personal firearms (including collector pieces that were hundreds of years old) and destoryed them. All for the “safety of the nation.” Australia’s crime rate involving firearms increased 300% in 18 months. Even our own capitol, which outlawed carrying firearms for over 30 years had a higher crime rate than most of the country; especially in contrast to areas with high firearm liberty.

Simply put, it is my responsibility to protect me, my family, and my property, not the government’s. So leave me with my guns and I’ll show you the crime rate at my house: Zero.

jconservative

June 24th, 2009
9:20 am

Yeah. Because of the Bill of Rights in our Constitution the US will always find it difficult
to participate in most international-type agreements. For example, the French president’s wanting to ban Islamic hair coverings for women would be a direct violation of our First Amendment guarantees.

JF McNamara

June 24th, 2009
9:50 am

I’m fine with gun rights, but tracking could be useful. The second ammendment is the right to bear arms. Not the right to bear arms and not have the government know about it.

E.V. Collier…This is a complete joke

“Our laws and Bill of Rights are for US citizens and to have other countries, many of which hate the United States for it’s freedom and democracy,”

It’s a joke to say we’re free and democratic. A. We’re a Republic. B. We’re only free to do what the lobbyist groups allow us to do.

We’d probably be more free with transnational jurisprudence. It’s not like we’re free now. I can’t buy beer on Sundays or tell my friends about my wild night on the town by phone, text, or e-mail without the government listening. We ranked 19th in the last study on personal freedoms extended by countries. 19th, not even in the top 10.

The Snark

June 24th, 2009
11:12 am

A glance at this mornings’ international headlines certainly convinces me that the world needs more weapons. Yeah boy.

Mary Grabar

June 24th, 2009
12:03 pm

I heard about Koh a while ago. It just gets worse and worse.

SwedeAtlanta

June 24th, 2009
12:28 pm

I don’t understand why the gun nuts are so opposed to reasonable regulations regarding firearms. What is wrong with marking and tracking firearms?

We mark automobiles using the VIN and track as they move between states including a need to license the vehicle. While autos are not designed to kill their use results in countless deaths.

Firearms are designed to kill. Why wouldn’t you want the same level of tracking and accountability for them that you do automobiles.

I was raised in the intermountain west but have never owned a firearm and have no interest in owning one. I respect the rights of people to lawfully own and use a firearm. I just don’t understand the opposition to reasonable regulation.

Truth Only Please

June 24th, 2009
12:37 pm

Bull-Gator – you are indeed full of bull

Get real and read some other news sources than your right wing tripe

Good grief! I can’t be lieve that there are rational human beings who believe that stuff! Oh wait – I answered my own point – you can’t possibly be rational!

Nan

June 24th, 2009
12:39 pm

Why is that the more guns we have in this country the less safe we all seem to feel?

Childers

June 24th, 2009
1:08 pm

Well said, Pierce. Me too – zero at my house.

Gawingnut

June 24th, 2009
1:37 pm

Cry Babies:

He’s (G. Bush) going down in history as the worse president to ever hold office in the US and you have the nerve to say ‘Obama nightmare’?

Really? You reflect the typical liberal view of history, which can’t see back any further than last Tuesday.

GWB wasn’t the best, but he far surpassed the supreme socialist FDR and the hapless Jimmy Carter, the two of which virtually destroyed this country.

williebkind

June 24th, 2009
2:37 pm

Well, I guess Koh and Obama want a real revolution…

Brill

June 24th, 2009
2:45 pm

“Another former Clinton Administration official”….I didn’t know the definition of change was “same-old, same-old”. Thank God people are finally waking up to this jackhat.

Scooter

June 24th, 2009
3:14 pm

Zero crime at my house too!

George American

June 24th, 2009
4:07 pm

The Obamatang is going to take our guns!!!

Fang1944

June 24th, 2009
5:32 pm

“This treaty, which President Obama supports, would among other troubling provisions, mandate the marking and tracking of all firearms.”

I live in the state, Florida, which is the number one supplier of guns to criminals. I can’t see anything troubling about this idea.

Scooter

June 24th, 2009
6:14 pm

Fang @ 5:32 pm
I can’t completely agree with you. We would have register our guns with the USA. That sounds okay but only us law abiding people would do that. The criminals will not register thier guns.

lwwmm7

June 24th, 2009
7:36 pm

I like to go to anti-gun rallies, follow people home, and rob them.

Fang1944

June 24th, 2009
8:51 pm

Never forget that every illegal gun sale is the direct descendant of a legal one.

HappyGilmore

June 24th, 2009
9:06 pm

This is the best news I’ve heard all day….finally!

Edwin Burgh

June 24th, 2009
11:14 pm

Our 1st amendment rights, which are frankly far more important than the current obsession with supposed 2nd-amendment rights to own our own personal military-grad arsenals, are already subject to a variety of controls. Our freedom to assemble is limited by the need for government-issued permits. Our freedom of speech is subject to laws concerning libel and slander, among others. Why should the 2nd amendment be completely and totally free of regulation?

ReddHeretic

June 25th, 2009
2:22 am

As these comments seem littered with ad hominem dreck along partisan lines instead of actual responses to points, I’ll just go ahead and offer some of my demographic information before I say ANYTHING:

I’m a born-and-raised New Yorker of Hispanic descent in my mid-20s. As an atheist & a staunch libertarian, I often find myself at odds with both my own, largely Catholic ethnic group and the young hipster liberals who make some parts of my city look as blue as a smurf’s armpit. I used to like democrats until I came to my senses and I’ve never been fond of republicans, especially after their Christian right infestation.

Now that we’ve established how interesting my life is….

@bull-gator:

“Why don’t we just give the keys to the kingdom to the U.N.?”

I assume your implication is that we shouldn’t. I agree with that. In general, though, I feel that economic globalization via free markets, unrestricted trade & international competition is beneficial if not necessary. The problem arises when you try to IMPOSE globalization via legal fiat, curtailing national sovereignty and individual rights. I simply don’t understand why people think we need to forfeit our constitution along with our legal traditions to be more ‘global.’ You can have both national sovereignty and globalization, but that can only happen through voluntary, free market-activities rather than governmental submission to foreign bureaucrats.

@SwedeAtlanta:

“I don’t understand why the gun nuts are so opposed to reasonable regulations regarding firearms. What is wrong with marking and tracking firearms?”

The essence of the 2nd amendment is the ability to RETAIN our guns, not simply the right to acquire them. It is easier for the state to disarm citizens if they know who owns firearms and where those firearms are. ANY MEASURE that facilitates the power of government to confiscate your weaponry is not a ‘reasonable regulation.’

“We mark automobiles using the VIN and track as they move between states including a need to license the vehicle.”

These regulations are not reasonable either, and never have been. Contrary to what Law & Order and CSI would have us all believe, the vehicle-tracking powers you mention are often used in police abuses rather than actual law enforcement. And even though the DMV regularly issues licenses to bad drivers, you cannot bankrupt them with a lawsuit. Why? Because the DMV is a government agency.

“While autos are not designed to kill their use results in countless deaths.”

The mere use of automobiles does not result in countless deaths. Incompetent driving, refusal to obey traffic laws and intoxication is what results in countless deaths.

@Fang1944:

“Never forget that every illegal gun sale is the direct descendant of a legal one.”

Never forget that every illegal gun sale is the direct descendant of a gun law.

I fixed it for you.

@Edwin Burgh:

“Our 1st amendment rights, which are frankly far more important than the current obsession with supposed 2nd-amendment rights to own our own personal military-grad arsenals,…”

That’s like saying the Polish Jews could’ve talked their way out of Auschwitz. Without 2nd amendment rights, you do not have 1st amendment rights, or ANY RIGHTS—-only privileges. There’s a difference.

“Our freedom to assemble is limited by the need for government-issued permits. Our freedom of speech is subject to laws concerning libel and slander, among others. Why should the 2nd amendment be completely and totally free of regulation?”

Such controls on freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are unconstitutional & unreasonable by their very nature. You cannot use other cases of oppression, no matter how longstanding, to justify yet more instances of oppression. Very few tyrannies appear out of nowhere; the process is almost always gradual. In that dark process, one of the key milestones is convincing everyone that the an individual’s right to self-defense must be ‘regulated.’

@EVERYONE WHO IS IN FAVOR OF GUN CONTROL:

You all want to reduce and eventually eliminate gun violence, which is fine. The problem is that you’re going about it the wrong way. Only a citizenry capable of quickly, easily and cheaply arming themselves will ever significantly lower gun violence.

When examining gun violence both today and over the history of the human species since firearms were invented, you need to stop obsessing over the weapons themselves and start looking at two things:

1. Who’s doing the killing?
2. Who’s getting killed?

Criminals and governments tend to occupy the first group. Would anyone care to take a wildly insightful guess as to who is usually in the second?

I Hate Traffic

June 25th, 2009
10:38 am

What I would like to know is why an army of INS agents wasn’t at the Georgia Dome last night for the soccer game to round up great multitudes of illegals in one big scoop.

I hate EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU who caused a traffic nightmare last night and made many of us miss the first 4 innings of the Yankees-Braves game by backing up I-75 for 2 freaking hours.

Seal the Border, and…

GO, BRAVES !

Fang1944

June 25th, 2009
11:29 am

Once again, we see that there is no reasoning with gun worshipers.

Saul Good

June 25th, 2009
4:23 pm

This is GREAT NEWS! I was hoping that my 2nd amendment rights to “bear arms”…would FINALLY allow me to buy a Black Hawk Helicopter as well as a tank to battle my talibangelical neighbors with when they put up those tacky christmas displays every year! Are those not “ARMS”??? Show me ANYWHERE where it says anyone “type” of arms…

I say…let people be armed with “butter knives”…OR…let us have tanks if we can afford to do so!

Copyleft

June 25th, 2009
5:37 pm

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court just handed down an 8-1 ruling on privacy issues. Doesn’t that deserve a column?

Fang1944

June 25th, 2009
9:34 pm

Happy to say Koh was confirmed today.

Michael H. Smith

June 26th, 2009
5:06 am

It is on the broader level of “transnational jurisprudence” that I find the most troubling aspects concerning this Koh fellow, Bob Barr. The second amendment right to bear arms, while important alone, fails to equal all that would be lost to “transnational jurisprudence”.

~

E.V. Collier
June 24th, 2009
7:06 am

You’re completely correct in your assessment. Embracing “transnational jurisprudence” would be, to say it very simply, an absolute surrender of U.S. Sovereignty; which would make the Declaration of Independence and the adjoining U.S. Constitution null and void for all practical intents and purposes. In that event, far more is lost than just the right to bear arms.

What I find so oxymoronically inane about this move toward embracing “transnational jurisprudence” is how those that would essentially destroy U.S. Sovereignty – via imposing or superimposing “transnational jurisprudence” – will adamantly in the next breath out of the same mouth denounce secessionists for attempting to destroy the union?

I mean either way, the United States of America under either choice ceases to exist, period. No country, No union !

~

JF McNamara
June 24th, 2009
9:50 am

This condemnation of E.V. Collier’s comment has an added Constitutional oxymoron: That says, it is okay for you to exercise the right to bears arms as long as you don’t reasonably expect to exercise your fourth amendment right to privacy by allowing government to track your arms and thereby you as well; then, concludes in mostly extraneous hyperbole for supporting arguments.

StJ

June 26th, 2009
8:40 am

Yet another shining example of government officials sworn to “protect, preserve, and defend” the Constitution violating their oath of office. IMPEACH THEM, starting with Obama.

Fang1944

June 26th, 2009
1:07 pm

Great news! Koh was confirmed by the Senate.