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International relief and development organization Oxfam America launched an ad push today intended to clear up misconceptions about the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) pushed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) on Capitol Hill. Up for another round of negotiations in March, the ATT would require countries to adopt strong laws governing the flow of arms in and out of their borders and prevent weapons from reaching the hands of warlords and human rights abusers. It would not, however, affect Second Amendment rights in this country.
The NRA and its allies have mounted a campaign of lies aimed at building opposition to the treaty, based on their distortion that the treaty would infringe on American Constitutional rights.
“Americans deserve the truth about the international gun trade – not NRA lies,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America. “Our ad is part of a major campaign to debunk the paranoia that the NRA is spreading about the ATT. The ATT will provide a global solution to the rogue and illicit sale of weapons to war criminals, human rights abusers and violent extremists across the globe.”
The ad, which will run in Roll Call this week and CQ Weekly next week displays an image of a man holding a Kalashnikov rifle. The top line states, “The Arms Trade Treaty will not infringe on your right to bear arms…unless you are an international war criminal.” The ad copy continues, “Leaders of the NRA want you to be afraid. Don’t be fooled by their lies. The Arms Trade Treaty will prevent dangerous weapons from reaching the hands of war criminals, extremists and human rights abusers, but not affect your Second Amendment rights. Stand with truth and justice.”
In conjunction with the ad push, Oxfam America issued a briefing document, “The Truth about the Arms Trade Treaty: What the NRA isn’t telling you” to help Members of Congress and the public separate the facts from fiction.
“For too long, we have witnessed the civil unrest and horrific violence that the irresponsible arms trade creates," said Offenheiser. “Members of Congress should not let the false claims of the NRA frighten them from making the world a safer place.”