Sign up to receive Alan's newsletter by email.

Speaking engagements

  • Invite Alan Korwin to speak at your event! Thought-provoking, entertaining, freedom-oriented topics -- your guests will thank you for the excitement -- long after the applause ends!


« March 2009 | Main | May 2009 »

The Supremacy Issue

Numerous attorneys and others wrote to challenge my position in Page Nine #63 that Mr. Obama's run-around gun treaty could conveniently bypass the legislative process and the Constitution, like John M. says here:

"While your item in "Page 9" about Congress and the Obamanation Administration using an Inter-American Treaty on 'arms trafficking' to do an end-run around the Second Amendment is certainly scary, I'm not ready to concede (as you appear to do) that a treaty supersedes the Constitution under Article VI." He goes on to describe why Art. VI and other safeguards will protect us.

Many people went into greater detail. Cases were cited (Reid v. Covert; Missouri v. Holland; Whitney v. Robinson; Cherokee Tobacco). One high-placed lobbyist felt fairly safe because, "While an international treaty bypasses House consideration, it requires two-thirds of the Senate for ratification - a tall order even in ObamaNation."

Other people were less sure, like Chuck G. here: "I'm still up in the air about it as I've heard all my life exactly what you stated."

I too always heard what he had heard -- treaties supercede the Constitution -- and always thought it odd. Go read Article VI, cl. 2 yourself. The language is crystalline. One attorney at a high-profile think tank believes, "The federal government will have arguable legal authority to seize our guns and ammunition if this treaty is signed." So...

1. Opinions on the supremacy issue are inconsistent (though often adamant).

2. People who say the treaty won't be a problem point to a number of SCOTUS decisions, and perhaps stare decisis. Maybe that makes those folks fully comfortable with where Mr. Obama is heading on this. Less so for me.

3. SCOTUS precedents are increasingly ignored by those in power, with groovy rationalizations each time. And SCOTUS decisions have so eviscerated key elements of the Constitution, my faith there is shaken, not stirred.

4. The courts, which should provide more balance, a) don't, b) are run by the very people they're supposed to balance, and c) all too often use the completely worthless rational-basis test, knowing it's worthless, to allow every short-of-insane law to stand.

5. Given a choice of support for gun-rights or outright gun bans, we know which way this administration will go.

6. Four of the current SCOTUS Justices have expressed interest in defining U.S. law from foreign sources, leaving us one vote away from a new understanding of the supremacy clause.

7. Perhaps the biggest issue, though, making all else moot, is that new regs you can easily forecast coming from this treaty will be portrayed as a) required by international law so we're only doing what's right, b) required by Article VI however you like to read it, c) consistent with precedent, and most of all, d) not violative of the Second Amendment so no big deal.

After all, if, for instance, every home reloading enthusiast simply has to get a government license, pay an annual tax called a "fee," pass a test, accept "routine" BATFE searches without notice like FFLs must, and keep detailed records so government can fulfill its obligation to track all guns and ammo, backed up with threats of prison time for paperwork errors or a miscount of a single round, what's wrong with that?

Besides, you have an attorney general to protect you who's on record saying a ban on any working firearm in your own home is acceptable under 2A, so, what me worry?

You have a choice: assume the treaty won't be a problem, the supremacy clause will void any abuse and just let Mr. Obama enact the treaty, or remain a bit more skeptical of this man's motives. Choose wisely.


P.S. If Mr. Obama is indeed a Marxist at heart as so many people fear and some evidence tends to support, a debate over constitutional principles would be pointless.

Gun Law Update: Obama Gun Treaty Skirts Congress

1. CIFTA Gun Treaty Removes Congressional Oversight
2. Amend Constitution by Statute, Using EPA Laws
3. National Ammo Shortage Is Suspicious

Permission to circulate this report granted.

1. CIFTA Gun Treaty Removes Congressional Oversight

(Note: How this treaty can overrule U.S. law or the Constitution itself is discussed at the end, after the treaty analysis below.)

I've completed my review of the South America gun-control treaty that Mr. Obama wants to get ratified.

It is known as CIFTA, the Inter-American Convention Against The Illicit Manufacturing Of And Trafficking In Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, And Other Related Materials. It can be found here verbatim:

-- EVERY aspect of the treaty introduces major required gun controls, most of which will affect average citizens (as well as the targeted criminal syndicates, dictators and other bad actors).

-- The controls go way past anything EVER attempted by gun-control groups in the United States.

-- NONE of the proposed gun controls are likely to pass by themselves through Congress. If the treaty is enacted they don't have to -- they become law when the treaty is ratified.

-- Virtually NO PROTECTIONS FOR RKBA are to be found, and the wordings are loose enough to allow all sorts of attacks on gun rights American enjoy today.

-- The U.S. government under this treaty GAINS POWER to manage firearms almost any way it would like to, without checks and balances.

-- Once signed, many of the restrictions and government intrusions become MANDATORY, and the full Congress, already cut out of ratification (only the Senate approves treaties) would be cut out of the implementation process entirely.

-- Top to bottom registration of all firearms, ammunition, ammunition components and other related materials is required if they are "in transit" and records must be kept indefinitely. This vague language, and the requirement to comply are a gun-banner's dream and a rights advocate's nightmare.

-- "Transit licenses or authorizations" for transfers of firearms are required for imported firearms, and loose language could include the same for all domestic firearms.

-- Lengthy recordkeeping is required that directly conflicts with U.S. law, and would be left up to bureaucrats and arbitrary controls and implementation.

-- Home reloading of ammunition would become illegal and subject to severe sanctions, without government licensing that is undefined and could include almost any conditions, taxes and limitations, including scrupulous inventorying, recordkeeping and unscheduled audit searches of people who reload.

-- Similar licensing and controls will be required on anything made "that can be attached to a firearm," known as "other related materials." This includes components, parts, replacement parts and such items as wood or composite stocks, slings, bayonets, bayonet lugs, sights, scopes, rails, lasers, grips, flash hiders, suppressors, muzzle brakes and other paraphernalia. Attaching any such parts without a government license would be "illicit manufacture," a criminal act with undefined penalties.

-- Record sharing requirements ensure that any gun-owner data that must be destroyed under current U.S. law can be easily stored abroad, and can be retrieved at will as required under various international "cooperation" clauses.

If I were advising Mr. Obama IN FAVOR of using this treaty for gun control -- here is what I would suggest.

This creative vantage point helps me to underscore the serious threat the treaty presents. I DO NOT approve of any of the anti-rights suggestions, easily drawn from the treaty language -- they merely show you what Americans face. Everything I outline below comes directly from the treaty itself. Be sure you're sitting down.

Alan Korwin, Author
Gun Laws of America


To: Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States
From: (As if written by the anti-gun-rights lobby)
Re: CIFTA Treaty

Dear Mr. President,

We commend your common-sense support of the CIFTA Treaty for reducing illicit arms manufacture and gun trafficking. This is a brilliant stratagem in the exhausting effort to rid our country of the scourge of gun violence.

With the treaty in place and ratified by the Senate, you will be obligated to take certain steps with regard to private ownership of firearms that we have never been able to move through the houses of Congress. Further, you will be able to take these actions unilaterally, making swift change possible and, under international obligation to act you are insulated from direct criticism.

Our attorneys assure us the steps we outline here are in full compliance with international law and the terms of the treaty itself. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution unambiguously gives such a treaty a degree of supremacy over the nation, its laws, the states and the public (even though some in the powerful gun lobby deny this or point to questionable court precedents). This is especially useful as we adapt to a global economy, world courts, an empowered U.N. and environmental concerns on a planetary scale.

Continue reading "Gun Law Update: Obama Gun Treaty Skirts Congress" »

Counterintuitive Man Says: The U.S.-Led War On Some Drugs Is A Good Thing!

What a great release the war provides for people who want to skulk around at night in dark alleys waiting to kill people! And that's just the officials!

Without the government-run war, drug dealers would have no price supports, and couldn't sell their goods for more than bananas or other vegetable products!

With the price supports caused by reduced supply, think of all the extra kids whose parents can afford to send them to school! And feed them!

Revenue from the drug trade, being 100 times what it would be if drugs were legal, provides one of the largest sources of cash for the entire Mexican government, keeping it standing! And they know it, despite denials on TV!

If drugs were legal, American companies would reap huge profits, which is bad, and dirt-poor third-world farmers would suffer, which is also bad!

Without the war on some drugs, we wouldn't be able to militarize local police forces so easily!

If the drug war ended think of all the bail bondsmen, attorneys, jailers, federal agents, bureaucrats, parole officers, social workers and drug-war hangers-on it would put out of work! Think how bad that would be in a recession!

With tobacco being legal, and killing at least 50 times more people than illegal drugs, think of how much less effective legalized drugs would be in population control! And mostly, it's only low-lifes who are killed!

It's providing half the income for the entire nation of Mexico! Without that revenue, people would be starving -- and have little to do!

Thanks to the war on some drugs, gangsters keeping killing each other, in what cops call, "the good riddance factor"!

Federal spending on the war on some drugs goes up every year, without measurable effect on drug supply, proving Karl Marx was right about capitalism!

With federal spending on the war on some drugs going up every year, the U.S. bureaucracy is kept vibrant, strong and growing!Yes, the U.S-run war on some drugs is better than a good cocaine high! It supports government, helps feed the poor, manages to make available any quantity of any drug in any city at any time day or night, provides work for tens of thousands of federal employees, and is known the world over as emblematic of the American Way! Pass that straw and don't bogart that joint, hey they ought to write songs about this, and make even more money!



Pelosi's Gun Backfire

The lamestream media told you:

"On Feb. 26, 2009, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he will join House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in opposing any effort to revive the 1994 assault-weapons ban, putting them on the opposite side of the Obama administration," according to The Hill, a leading federal news source. "Reid spokesman Jim Manley said the Nevada Democrat will preserve his traditional pro-gun rights voting record." News outlets everywhere ran the story.

Less than six weeks later, on April 7, speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America," Pelosi continued, "The ball is in Congress' court to craft a compromise in reinstating regulations on assault weapons. We have to find some level of compromise," she said, using 53 murders by suicidal psychopaths in less than a month as a reason. "And we have to rid the debate of the misconceptions people have about what gun safety means." ABC failed to ask her to reconcile this with her previous statements, or what misconceptions she might be referring to.

The only conditions she mentioned, adding to huge lists of recommendations already made by Democrats, were gun registration and bans on transporting "some" guns across state lines. She also expressed displeasure at the idea that under a bill now in Congress, D.C. residents might regain the civil right to keep and bear arms, at the same time they regain the civil right to vote, calling the right to vote "a civil-rights issue" and dismissing gun rights as an unfair "price to pay." Both rights are included in the pending law.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

"Everyone who took Pelosi and Reid at their word several weeks ago, when AG Eric Holder called for new federal gun infringements, were suckers," according to the Uninvited Ombudsman. "Cockeyed optimists and dreamers thought they lucked up. What they really got only rhymes with that."

In Mexico, according to the Wall Street Journal, Holder was asked if the administration might encounter constitutional issues as it tries to crack down on alleged gun trafficking. His response: "I don't think our Second Amendment will stand in the way of efforts we have begun and will expand upon."The nation is now enduring a waiting period to see what sorts of violations of the Bill of Rights the unethical lying scoundrels running Congress concoct. Helatious draft legislation has been in place since before Obama's inauguration.

For perspective, during the month when 53 unarmed people without police protection were horrifically slaughtered by deranged law breakers before police arrived, 3,100 people died brutally without warning in their automobiles before police arrived.

Critics say that's comparing apples and oranges, and the 3,100 dead people deserve no news attention and no federal action, but the 53 other dead people really do. The dead people, uniformly surprised at their untimely deaths, could not be reached for comment.

, ,

Firearm Safety Skyrockets

The lamestream media told you:

Guns are too dangerous to own, cause more tragic deaths than almost anything, it's crazy to keep a loaded one in your home, and if guns were outlawed we'd all be so much safer in a beautiful green world.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

The rate of fatal firearm accidents per 100,000 people is 0.27 nationwide. Motor vehicle accidents top the list at 15.3 (56x worse), poisoning at 6.6 (24x worse) and suffocation and choking 2.0 (7x worse). The rate of deaths from drowning, fires and burns, medical "misadventures," (that's doctor mistakes -- misleadingly labeled misadventures) environmental factors and even bicycle/tricycle accidents are all higher than from firearms.

The United Sportsmen of Florida have compiled two fact sheets that provide a wealth of insight into the safety of gun ownership, hunting and shooting. Citing data sources including the National Center for Health Statistics, the National Safety Council, the Bureau of the Census, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and firearms industry reports, the 2009 Fact Sheet on Firearms Accidents proves that despite a doubling of our country's population since 1930, and a quintupling in the number of privately owned firearms, the annual number of accidental firearms deaths has decreased 75%. In fact, the fatal firearm accident rate has decreased 92% since the all-time high recorded in 1904.

The report reveals that only 2 people per 100,000 are injured while enjoying the sport of hunting, compared to 2,585 who are injured while playing football, 1,984 basketball players, 1,349 bicycle riders, 1,332 soccer players, 1,296 skateboarders and 1,122 baseball players (all per 100,000).

The reason the "news" media misleads the public on the subject, and exposes people to unpromoted real dangers while shouting about imagined ones, was unclear at press time.



Gunman Stops Himself

The lamestream media told you:

A gunman barricaded the back door of a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full of immigrants taking a citizenship class Friday, killing 13 people before apparently committing suicide, officials said. Investigators said they had yet to establish a motive for the massacre.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

"Police said they arrived within two minutes... Police heard no gunfire after they arrived but waited for about an hour before entering the building to make sure it was safe for officers," according to seven AP reporters and their Research Center.

Endless footage of heavily armed police standing around outside, feckless and impotent, dominated news coverage, along with reports of searches of the perpetrator's home, as if it made a difference, and speculation on his motive, as if it made a difference.

The only protect-and-serve provided by officials were cleanup and talking to cameras. Police didn't even end the melee, the shooter had to do that himself.

Officials did make boisterous calls to disarm everyone who didn't do anything, failed to acknowledge that we have totally outlawed what happened, and didn't mention they helped ensure the victims were unarmed. Speculations on the cause lacked any recognition of our eroded moral fabric, lack of religion, debauchery of entertainment, lack of responsibility, removal of manners and civility from schooling, etc. that the public can see but the media apparently cannot.

NYC mayor Bloomberg got copious air time, though it's not his city, but he does have armed agents  around him at all times.

At least one police spokesperson lamented, even though police never fired a shot in defense of the slain victims, "We're out gunned." This is simply not true, of course, and is in fact a blatant lie. Virtually every major municipality has access to federally funded full-auto firearms that the public cannot get (unless they buy them from Mexican drug cartels and sneak them over the border).

Government Confiscates Funding

The lamestream media told you:

"Ozone season starts today amid new concerns about the health effects of the pollutant and stepped-up efforts to comply with stricter federal regulations.

"The new limits, imposed last year, pushed regions out of compliance and will force state and county air-quality agencies to seek further reductions in ozone levels or face sanctions, including the potential loss of federal money."

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

The new limits, imposed last year, pushed regions out of compliance and will force state and county air-quality agencies to seek further reductions in ozone levels or face sanctions, including the confiscation of money state taxpayers sent to the federal government, which the federal government will not return as punishment.

The federal government has not revealed what they would do with the confiscated funds, but then they haven't revealed what they did with hundreds of billions of dollars they gave away under a hastily drafted bill that virtually no one read before signing, so this surprises no one. Critics charged the whole thing is fraudulent and corrupt. No arrests have been made.

Futile Tax Solutions

The lamestream media told you:

"Desperate to balance their budgets and offset rising service costs, cities are increasingly turning to higher fees, rates and taxes," according to published "news" reports.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

Ignoring the known failures of Keynesian economics, where government soaks money out of the economy, keeps some, redistributes what's left, and worsens economic conditions for everyone, cities are increasingly turning to higher fees, rates and taxes in desperate but futile hopes to balance their budgets and offset rising service costs, according to unpublished news reports.

"People have little extra cash, everyone knows that," says one educated housewife, who competes with economics professors for common sense. "If government tries to take more of our money away, people will simply avoid those pricier services, and government ends up with less. A fifth grader can figure that out," she said, on condition of anonymity for fear of aggravating economists nationwide. "If government wants to get more money it should reduce taxes, which spurs the economy, and the growth fills the tax chests." This is a proven result, she says. Taxpayers like the idea, according to a massive survey with a margin of error of plus-or-minus no points.

Socialism Is Socialism

The lamestream media told you:

"WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is dealing with the beleaguered auto industry more sternly than he has with bailed-out banks and insurers as he takes the nation another step into uncharted government regulation of industry," according to the Associated Press.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is dealing with the beleaguered auto industry more sternly than he has with bailed-out banks and insurers as he takes the nation another step into the historically proven failures of socialism. Why the Associated Press would call a descent into abject socialism "uncharted government regulation of industry" was unclear at press time.

Interrogation Secrets Released

The lamestream media told you:

The recently top-secret details of CIA "experimental interrogation" techniques used against Muslim jihadis and others bent on mass-murder of civilians and destroying America have been revealed by president Barack Obama, through the release of detailed memos that authorized the methods and described their use and legal limitations of use.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

It's not clear how many black ops, foreign governments, terrorists, criminals, cartels, and counterinsurgency groups knew of and used these novel techniques against their own insurgents, malcontents, political prisoners, unsavory "usual suspects," desperados and others, but now they are well informed on the creative techniques that are on the borderline of torture, and said to be extremely effective for extracting information.

Americans in the field can now anticipate the use of such techniques on themselves if they are captured, thanks to Mr. Obama's policy of openness. CIA veterans blasted the move as releasing a training manual for al-Qaida. Mr. Obama could have stonewalled if he chose to, but gave in instead to a court deadline forced by an ACLU lawsuit.

As the Uninvited Ombudsman has observed previously, a second word is needed to distinguish between severe but borderline techniques such as those used by our CIA to protect the nation, and unambiguous torture where victims are beaten senseless, burned, mutilated, hacked, dismembered, electrocuted, disemboweled, drilled, skinned, acid washed, blinded, stabbed, abraded, buried alive, eaten by ants or have their heads put in vices, where no one even remotely disputes whether it is torture or not.

Many nations and groups around the world, unlike the U.S., use such real torture as standard practice. The CIA methods simulate disaster but stop short of permanent physical abuse, with techniques such as keeping a person awake (for up to eight days), getting a person wet (up to six times in two hours), forcing a person to stand or live in cramped quarters for a period of time, or live with ugly but harmless bugs, provided they are told the bugs are harmless.

It's not clear if al-Qaida or other torture groups will comply with the limits set by the Justice Dept.

Read what people are saying about Page Nine, or tell Alan yourself.

See the archives below, or click through to an index of Page Nine posts at

About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

Recent Comments

Read the last 100 comments on one handy page here!