Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The New Media Model

How does a Podunk like me get to interact with people so much smarter than myself?

Easy, you email them.

So last night I was watching Hannity interview Dick Morris.  As per usual, Morris ignored Hannity's final question and commandeered his last minute on the show to highlight something, he wrote about in his book, "Screwed".  He mentioned how Hillary Clinton is about to sign an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on July 27th, 2012 and how it will effect our 2nd amendment rights here in the U.S.  

I got a little spooked about my right to bear arms, so I Google 'Arms Trade Treaty' and I see that The Heritage Foundation has a released a background report called The  U.N. Arms Trade Treaty's Criteria for the Transfer Pose Problems for the U.S. the same day Dick Morris is talking about it.  So Dick's comments must have some validity, right?

I read the report and did not see any mention of the 2nd Amendment issues Dick Morris discussed.  So, I did what any curious citizen would do.  I emailed the author, Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D.  I mean, he is only a Senior Research Fellow in Anglo-American Relations with The Margret Thatcher Center for Freedom, a Heritage Department.

I sent the following (cryptic) message at 9:28 PM EDT, July 9, 2012:

Dr. Bromund, 
I saw Dick Morris state on Hannity tonight, July 9, 2012, that U.N. Arms Trade Treaty could be used as a “back door gun regulation”.  
I did not reach that conclusion when I read your report. 
Do you have an opinion?  Back door gun regulation or not?
I figured I would get the obligatory, "We have received your correspondence and will get back to you shortly" auto-response.  

Well, much to my surprise, at 9:37 AM EDT, July 10, 2012, I received the following:

Dear Mr. Xxxxxx, 
Thanks for your note. I'm answering from my personal account, as I'm at the UN ATT conference now and Blackberry is a tedious way to type a reply. 
I've addressed this question in a number of pieces: 
1. The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty’s Criteria for Transfers Pose Problems for the U.S.2. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/12/effects-of-the-un-arms-trade-treaty-on-the-us 
And will be writing a blog about it later today (if UN work allows). 
In short, I would say that my view is that the foreign policy reason for opposing the ATT are more salient than those related to the 2nd Amendment. But there are reasons to be concerned about the treaty's domestic impact. That is sometimes framed as a sort of 'black helicopter' issue, which is ridiculous. The much more realistic concern is 'death by a thousand cuts': that the ATT will require or facilitate administrative restrictions, or be used as a legal source by judges of a transnationalist bent, in ways that will restrict the effective use of 2nd Amendment rights, without being 'gun confiscation.'
I didn't see Dick Morris's appearance, but I hear [sic] about it.  In my view, exaggerated concern about the domestic effects of the ATT is self-defeating, in that it is too easily dismissed as silly, and because it detracts from the foreign policy issues.
 Best, Dr. Bromund
I have to say, I LOVE technology.  The internet is the great equalizer.  Just as the printing press contributed to to England's hold over the colonies, so will the internet free us from the political class.

Here I am writing to one of the foremost experts in International Security Studies from the comfort of my living room and I get an authoritative answer some 12 hrs later.  Amazing.

In addition, I would say you should go sign the petition on Dick Morris' website, as the ATT is a horrible deal for the U.S., but one would expect that when our current regime believes it is 'managing the decline of the U.S.", not building up the U.S. as has been our policy for most of the last 236 years.

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