Mason County News
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009 • Posted July 15, 2009

Back in 1997, Bill Clinton tried to get the US Senate to ratify CIFTA. Clinton was president at the time, if you’ll recall, although he had such a hard time keeping his britches up he hardly had time for anything else. Obviously, he didn’t take the time to read CIFTA, or he could not, as an American, have been in favor of it.

CIFTA is actually the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Related Items. The acronym really should be IACAIMTFAER, I guess. But in Mexico they call it CIFTA, evidently because of some Spanish words, and it’s a lot easier to say than IACAIMTFAER.

Anyway, congress never went along with CIFTA, because it’s Anti-American. If ratified by the Senate, CIFTA would require registration of all firearms, which is bad enough in itself. But it would also make those records available to foreign governments. This is beyond the pale.

It’s none of the US government’s business what guns you own, unless you do something illegal with one of them. No foreign government has any right to any information about you or any guns you own, whether you commit crimes with them inside the United States or not. Period.

CIFTA would also allow Americans to be extradited to other countries to face trial, if accused of accepting delivery of a gun that might have come into the country illegally, or suspected of committing some other international firearms crime. No proof is actually required. You’d just have to be accused.

This whole thing stinks to high heaven, which is why the Senate refused to ratify the treaty in 1997. Ratification of CIFTA would constitute something very close to treason. Now President Obama is urging the Senate to go back and ratify CIFTA.

Our government is full of boneheads, we all know that. Even so, I doubt our Senators are boneheaded enough to buy into this CIFTA baloney. They all have to run for reelection at some point, after all. Still, this shows the extent to which Obama will go to try to rip 2A out of the Bill of Rights.

The basic premise here is that it’s our fault the drug cartels in Mexico are killing each other with automatic weapons. This is the lie that the entire effort to get the Senate to ratify CIFTA is built on. I have no idea who first thought this up, but it’s just another effort at gun control in the US, disguised as humanitarianism and international cooperation.

Americans who engage in illegal firearms trafficking should be caught and punished, no question. But they should be caught and punished here in the US, by US courts. Whatever their crimes, US citizens should be accountable to our laws, and should be afforded the rights and protections provided by our constitution. We don’t need some international tribune hauling Americans off to Mexico or Central or South America, to stand trial in a kangaroo court, and serve sentences in foreign prisons.

If CIFTA is ratified, and you unknowingly buy a stolen gun from someone, you could end up in a Mexican prison, where the big ones eat the little ones. And there won’t be anything anyone can do about it.

It’s true that the drug dealers are whacking each other right, left, and center. This would be fine, as long as innocent people weren’t getting caught in the middle, but they are. So obviously something has to be done. And just as obviously, the Mexican government is ineffective. If government troops could solve the problem, it would have gone away by now.

Still, none of that is the fault of the US. If Mexico wants help with the drug dealers, all they have to do is ask. Didn’t anybody ever see Clear and Present Danger? If Tom Clancy can figure out how to deal with the kingpins of the drug trade south of the border, surely our government can, too.

This idea that the US is responsible for the problems of other countries is ludicrous. The number of illegal guns going from here to Mexico is a trickle being described as a flood. Even if it were a flood, it would be ridiculous to punish honest Americans for something they have no part in, and couldn’t stop if they wanted to.

But if we accept the premise that the US is responsible for guns going south, then we have to accept the correlation that Mexico is responsible for drugs going north. And without the drugs, the cartels wouldn’t need the guns. Take away the drugs and the problem is licked.

Over 80% of the illegal drugs that enter the US from Mexico come through Laredo by truck, according to our government. That truck traffic can be stopped. If trade with Mexico is slowed down, that’s OK. The Mexican government should be happy to comply with whatever measures are required to deal with the drug trade. It is primarily, after all, Mexico’s problem.

You need to contact your senators immediately and let them know what you think of this treaty. Either that, or start learning to say, “May I please have some of my teeth back?” in Spanish . . .

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist, public speaker, and American. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or

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