Shortly after being elected to the second most important Republican position in the Senate, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) started spreading conspiracy theories. Speaking to 1290 KWFS-AM in Texas, the chief GOP vote counter claimed that the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty, an attempt to regulate the international spread of weapons to deadly conflict zones, was a U.N. plot to take control of gun regulation:
I’m not for outsourcing American sovereignty to any international body, and that’s what this represents. There are a number of treaties that the Obama administration is proposing. But I’m an American citizen, I support American sovereignty and I’m not for outsourcing it to other people on gun control or any other issue …we’re gonna do everything we can to stop it.
The Arms Trade Treaty does not in any fashion restrict American domestic sovereignty or gun ownership rights inside the USA. It 1) contains a provision acknowledging that states may have domestic constitutional protections for gun ownership, 2) can’t legally override the U.S. Supreme Court ruling protecting individual gun ownership, and 3) simply does not contain any provisions regulating the domestic (as opposed to international) arms trade.
Cornyn’s remarks underscore the growing prominence of conspiracy theories in GOP policy arguments. Former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney endorsed the Arms Trade Treaty conspiracy as well as a similar theory positing that the U.N. was attempting to regulate how Americans raise their children. The GOP platform and incoming Senator Ted Cruz (also of Texas) have both touted the notion that an international sustainable development initiative is a covert attempt to regulate American land. And this summer, a number of prominent conservatives argued that the Bureau of Labor Statistics was cooking its unemployment numbers to ensure President Obama’s reelection.