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Send the Arms Trade Treaty to the Senate | Commentary

Maybe because the NRA’s most important constituents on this matter are not individual American citizens but rather the corporate gun-makers who oppose any limits on arms sales, no matter who the intended recipient might be.

The NRA should not be allowed to misrepresent the treaty’s requirements to further its agenda seeking the unrestricted flow of the tools of war throughout the world.

Instead, we should come together to stop the illicit arms trade that has brought devastation and horror to places such as Mali, Syria, Israel, the Balkans and Mexico. In Africa, about 95 percent of the weapons most commonly used in conflict — derivatives of the Kalashnikov rifle — come from outside the continent, often illegally.

Conflicts fueled by the unrestricted sale of the deadliest arms have destroyed families, inflamed ethnic hatred and caused the tragic death and maiming of millions of men, women and children. This treaty will not end all conflicts or save all lives, but it is a step toward a safer, more humane world.

Obama should sign the Arms Trade Treaty, and the Senate must ratify it without delay.

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy is a Democrat from Connecticut.

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