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Texas v. Obama, Part XXX: Greg Abbott Pledges Lawsuit Over U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

The goal of the U.N.'s Arms Trade Treaty -- of fostering international peace and cooperation and "reducing human suffering" -- is laudable. Its methods, which basically consist of asking countries to monitor gun exports so they don't wind up in the hands of terrorists and other malevolent actors, are commonsense. In a rational world, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry adding his signature on Wednesday would be a benign and unobjectionable piece of diplomatic theater.

But this is not a rational world. The NRA immediately bristled at the mention of "small arms and light weapons" and predicted that the treaty will be used as a pretext for a gun registry, which are "blatant attacks on the constitutional rights and liberties of every law-abiding American." Glenn Beck also sounded the alarm.

In Texas, there was a similar refrain.

"I'd like the see the UN try to send inspectors to the Texas State Rifle Association's annual gathering," Senator John Cornyn said in a statement to the Texas Tribune. "Secretary Kerry's signature on the UN Arms Trade Treaty is the latest in a long line of the Obama administration's attempts to trounce on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Texans and Americans across the country."

See also: U.N. Swears it Has No Plans to Invade Lubbock County

But Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is the only one who has laid out a clear plan of action. Here's how he put it Tuesday in a message to supporters:

If Sec. Kerry signs and the U.S. Senate ratifies, Texas will lead the charge to have the treaty overturned in court as a violation of the U.S. Constitution, and Greg Abbott will file his 30th lawsuit against the Obama Administration.

He elaborated in a statement on Wednesday:

By signing this treaty, the Obama administration has attempted to subject Americans' right to bear arms to the oversight of the United Nations ... This treaty contradicts the underpinning philosophy of our country and establishes the precedent that the UN has some level of authority to govern our lives.

Yet Abbott will probably never have to back up his tough talk. The treaty would have to be ratified by a two-thirds vote in the Senate, and none of that body's 46 Republicans seem particularly eager to cast a vote that looks like it's for gun control. As Slate noted yesterday, it's likely to simply "collect dust."

Too bad for Abbott, who will have to accept political credit for standing up for gun rights without actually having to stand up for gun rights.


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