All-Star Panel: Fears About UN Arms Treaty Mount

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 25, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


REP. MIKE KELLY, R - PA: It's an attack on our constitutional right. The Second Amendment is constantly under attack.  We're looking for a global gun control limitations? Are you kidding me?  When you're the strongest player at the table, in the world, when you're the strongest defender of freedom and individual rights, you don't put yourself in a position to relinquish that role.

KATHI LYNN AUSTIN, FORMER U.N. ARMS INVESTIGATOR: We all know that's a right that's protected well in the United States. The arms trade treaty is about stopping weapons getting into the wrong hands internationally.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: This U.N. arms treaty is raising eyebrows in gun control. Gun rights advocates are fearing that it is really going to impinge on their Second Amendment rights. Basically a draft of this is being negotiated at the United Nations, and it's meant to stop illicit trade and conventional weapons, a number -- a list of weapons. But what does it mean for gun control here in the U.S. We're back with the panel, Tucker are there legitimate concerns as this thing is being negotiated about the Second Amendment here?

TUCKER CARLSON, EDITOR, THEDAILYCALLER.COM: Well, there are legitimate concerns. As a non-constitutional scholar I'm not sure I can speak to the Second Amendment precisely, but I can see any arms control treaty in which Iran has a leadership role -- ludicrous, almost prima facie I would say.

I do think, not to deflate this, but the one effective conservative lobby in Washington is the NRA. I mean you think of all -- I'm sorry to say it out loud, but it's true. I've watched this for 20 years -- taxes, abortion, family issues, growth of government, foreign policy, they've had hits or misses from the conservative side. But the protection of the Second Amendment is enshrined thanks to the work of the NRA, and I don't think there is any chance -- I bet my house that this will not be ratified by the Senate and it does not get American sign off.

BAIER: It wouldn't be ratified. The votes wouldn't be there, Liz.  And plus, isn't it true that the Constitution trumps some international treaty. But why is the administration so anxious to sign on to this?

LIZ MARLANTES, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR: Well, it's not totally clear what's going to happen going forward because it's kind of unusual timing that this should happen to be coming up right after the Aurora shootings, when suddenly weapon gun control as an issue has been brought back to the forefront of the national discussion. Not that anyone thinks new gun control laws are going to be passed in the U.S., but it hadn't been discussed at all for a long time. And just when the topic comes up again, it's just kind of ironic that that's also when this treaty happens to be negotiated.

There's this weird sentiment among -- that the NRA I think to some extent has been pushing that President Obama is in favor of stronger gun control measures and has this plan to kind of pass these things once he gets into his second terms. So far President Obama has done nothing on gun control. In fact gun control advocates are unhappy with what the president has done during his first term in office, and even in the wake of Aurora, the statements coming out of the White House were incredibly measured, and basically saying, yes, we don't think that the assault weapons ban has a chance of coming back and we would like to work with existing laws. So there's no indication that this president has some grand scheme to get new gun control measures through domestically.

BAIER: What about this treaty?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Look, like all these other treaties that we have pursued and that liberals are intent on getting, worldwide universal arms control treaty, some chemical, biological, nuclear proliferation treaties, they're either worthless or they're a negative. And the reason is that they have only a single effect.  On the good guys, on the civilized countries who signed it, they will abide by it, but you don't have to worry about those kinds of countries anyway. The ones you worry about are the rogue states who signed or even don't sign it and break the rules willy nilly with impunity. We see how that happens with nuclear weapons where Iran and North Korea have trashed the treaty over and over again. It doesn't have any effect. The only effect it has is in restricting the civilized, the good guys in the world.

And look at the -- as Tucker mentioned, the Iranians are now one of the 15 principal regional countries involved in this. This is Iran that ships weapons to Hezbollah, to Hamas, to Islam Jihad, to the bad guys in Afghanistan who are killing our soldiers every day, and who now have ship loads -- plane loads of weapons which go to Syria under the pretense of being cut flowers. Does anybody have any even inkling or idea that this is going to have any effect on what Iran does? The treaties are useless. All they will do is stick inspectors on our planes, our trains, and our ships and will do nothing about illegal, illicit weapons from bad guys to other bad guys in the world.

BAIER: Well Tucker, quickly, this is kind of like the perfect storm for conservatives, gun control and the United Nations.

CARLSON: It really is the moment when you wake up screaming in horror. And I would just say, I am convinced that President Obama, given a different political climate in which it would be possible to pass gun control would. Does anyone doubt that?

BAIER: That's it for the panel. But stay tuned for what might be a sign of things to come on the campaign trail.

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