NEW YORK, NY – The United States, Russia, and China have balked at the recent United Nations Arms Treaty, but UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a recent press conference that there is no need for alarm on the part of member states and that it would not impact domestic U.S. laws and markets.
However, part of that treaty includes wording that bans the sale of arms to anyone fifty-five or older.
“Regulating the international transfers of both weapons and ammunition is a key component of a robust arms trade treaty, as is limiting civilian access to small arms and munitions,” said Ban Ki-moon. “There’s an emerging consensus that certain groups should be restricted from possessing conventional arms, certainly those who fuel conflict, arm criminals or violations of international humanitarian or human rights law are at the top of the list.”
Ban Ki-moon then added; “But also, the international community believes segments of the population that present a danger to themselves and others, chiefly individuals deemed or adjudicated mentally defective and persons with attenuating cerebral faculties, should be added to that list.”
The UN Secretary General did not elaborate on what he meant by persons with “attenuating cerebral faculties,” but a UN liaison with Amnesty International did in an interview with the Washington Post.
“Simply put, the UN believes guns don’t belong in the hands of the elderly,” said H. Michael Chase, an attorney for the human rights watchdog group. “Pools of research show that a significant majority of gun-related suicides, accidental shootings, non-fatal negligent discharges are perpetrated by persons 55 and over,” Chase said. He continued, “Along with the mentally ill, preventing those who are advancing in age from gaining easy access to firearms is a common sense way to save lives.”
Dr. Michael Betti (John Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness) agrees:
“Science tells us that we grow old,” said Dr. Betti, a neurologist who specializes in evaluating and treating patients with memory disorders. “And as we do, our reflexes diminish, our senses become impaired and our cognitive skills weaken … Therefore, as we enter our twilight years – clinically speaking, age 50 and above [Global life expectancy is only 67 years] – science tells us that we are in no shape to be handling or using a deadly weapon.”
Instead of firearms, Dr. Betti recommends that seniors find other, non-violent and non-lethal options for self-defense:
“The optimal self-defense posture for seniors would include such items as a rape whistle or high-decibel air horn, quick-strike road flares, an electronic medical alert system, a cellular telephone with a large display, morphine injections, neon or glow-in-the-dark armbands, a mesh vest, a pith helmet with flashing headgear and a solar-powered radio.”
So far, the White House has not made a specific comment on the arms trade agreement except to say that they will review and access the language of the treaty itself, but Secretary of State John Kerry has recently said that the United States is “steadfast in its commitment to achieve a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty.”
Gun control advocate William Kirchmeyer, of the Coalition to Prevent Mass Shootings sees no problem with annulling an elderly person’s Second Amendment. “Look,” he said, “Justice Scalia already ruled that the Second Amendment had reasonable limitations. What can be more reasonable than taking guns away from people who are essentially ticking time bombs?”