Gun Rights vs. Gun Laws

Judge Andrew Napolitano has done a great service with his recent article, “Guns and Freedom.” While the American debate on guns and governments continues, Napolitano makes the case, by appealing to the notion of natural law, that our individual right to self-defense does not come from government, but from God. Napolitano rightly states that:

[Colonial Americans] defeated the king’s soldiers because they didn’t know who among us was armed, because there was no requirement of a permission slip from the government in order to exercise the right to self-defense. (Imagine the howls of protest if permission were required as a precondition to exercising the freedom of speech.) Today, the limitations on the power and precision of the guns we can lawfully own not only violate our natural right to self-defense and our personal sovereignties; they assure that a tyrant can more easily disarm and overcome us.

Although there is much more often encapsulated in the modern use of the term, “natural law” is precisely what Thomas Jefferson was appealing to when he wrote in the Declaration of Independence about “self-evident” truths and “certain unalienable rights.” Napolitano agrees:

To assure that no government would infringe the natural rights of anyone here, the Founders incorporated Jefferson’s thesis underlying the Declaration into the Constitution and, with respect to self-defense, into the Second Amendment. As recently as two years ago, the Supreme Court recognized this when it held that the right to keep and bear arms in one’s home is a pre-political individual right that only sovereign Americans can surrender and that the government cannot take from us, absent our individual waiver.

In other words, the Second Amendment doesn’t grant the right to self-defense; we already had these rights from God Himself. The Second Amendment is nothing more than an acknowledgment of this “natural” and “divine” fact. Conservatives and gun owners that are trying to stake their claim to “gun rights” by appealing to the Second Amendment are on very shaky ground indeed, because what the government has “granted” can always be “taken.”

The historical reality of the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms is not that it protects the right to shoot deer. It protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively, thus, with the same instruments they would use upon us. If the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto had had the firepower and ammunition that the Nazis did, some of Poland might have stayed free and more persons would have survived the Holocaust.

Notice what Napolitano is saying here and how he carefully chooses his words: “the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms.” The Second Amendment did not make gun-owning a right any more than the First Amendment made free speech a right. Both of these amendments to the Constitution were nothing more than written admissions of these rights. And, it must be remembered, these Amendments were added after the Constitution was written because of the Anti-Federalists’ mistrust of centralized government. It is also telling that these Amendments are referred to as the “Bill of Rights” and state their reason for existence as being to “prevent misconstruction or abuse of its [the Constitution’s] powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: and as extending the ground of public confidence in the government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.” This means that the Bill of Rights was not only an acknowledgment of certain “divine” rights, but a restriction upon the government regarding them. Napolitano makes the modern misunderstanding of this historical fact clear:

Most people in government reject natural rights and personal sovereignty. Most people in government believe that the exercise of everyone’s rights is subject to the will of those in the government. Most people in government believe that they can write any law and regulate any behavior, not subject to the natural law, not subject to the sovereignty of individuals, not cognizant of history’s tyrants, but subject only to what they can get away with.

Unfortunately, most people in America, not just those in government, have this same erroneous understanding of the relationship between rights and laws.







Comments

comments

Posted in Constitution, Gun Control, History, Law, Politics Tagged with: , , , , , ,
  • http://www.facebook.com/RobertAlexander.Salvage Robert Alexander

    Personal SOVEREIGNTY will get you NO WHERE unless Jesus is your HEAD.

    • Michael G.

      Again, I think I must disagree. Obama is our Sovereign; he’s god, isn’t he? I want to find a church so I can worship him. He is so deserving to be worshiped.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Wilson-Kingsley/100000397000382 Ann Wilson Kingsley

    Piers Morgan and Obama are misrepresenting the gun problem
    in America. Our gun problem doesn’t exist except as a general homicide problem.
    We do have a larger homicide rate than in the U.K., but here is the reason:
    While the U.K. has a population that is only 7.9% Non-White and a mostly stable
    population, the U.S. has a 35.14% Non-White or Hispanic population with far
    greater population instability. Far be it from Socialist Piers Morgan to tell
    the truth about our homicide problem. Our homicide problem is due to a large
    Non-White and Hispanic population, vast numbers of unassimilated recent immigrants, illegal aliens, and illegal drugs (Mexican Drug Cartels and other illegal drug activity). The rest of North and South America are not as civilized as Great Britain’s neighbors in Europe. Look at the homicide rates in Africa, Mexico, and South America on the map at Charts Bin, then tell me our problem is about gun control. http://chartsbin.com/view/1454

    The CIA Fact Book provided the figures on the percentages of Non-White population. Before Socialists like Piers and Obama blame the U.S., they need to be honest about the relationship between diversity in America and out homicide rate. The Socialists wanted diversity; they got it; it backfired. Our problem is not guns, it is the Socialist’s own irrational game of diversity. The problem is that Socialists cannot face the fact they made a mistake, whether about gun control or about diversity. Take your pick about which is the
    problem, or is it both? I’m just sorry Alex Jones is not equipped with this information.
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html

  • Greg137

    The point of having high capacity magizines is to keep the criminals at bay, and to make the Government behave… Because if we can’t keep criminals at bay, or make the government behave they will murder us all…

    • Carl Stevenson

      Stop feeding their misinformation campaign.

      30 round magazines for ARs and magazines in the 13-19 round capacity for pistols are STANDARD, not high capacity. (Maybe I’d grant that 100 round+ drum magazines are “high capacity,” but they tend to not feed reliably.)

      Don’t use the inaccurate, misleading terminology that the gun grabbers created in an attempt to demonize perfectly ordinary guns to deceive those who fear guns because of their brainwashing and lack of knowledge.

      • Greg137

        I didn’t think I was feeding misinformation, but then again I haven’t been feeeling well, lately, I remember That I wrote that comment when I was tired… 30 rounds standard for an automatic rifle? My BAD.. 13-19 round for hand guns? I have been raised around low ammo guns my whole life, then! My Dad has two SKS semi auto rifles… My Dad said that his banana clips can hold about 30 rounds of ammo, which seemed like alot, but then he pointed out that we leave the banana clip at home as we don’t need them to hunt deer.. I think they could hold about five or six rounds without the clip. But the point I was trying to make was that the government, and the criminals are forced respect a armed populace, and when they disarm the populace the poplace is left defenseless… The whole point of guns is to protect our freedom anyway.. God bless!

  • David B.

    Napolitano is right on his assessment of this and I too wished he was on the court.Because the rest of them are dead from the neck up and their idea of logic and fairness is right out the window.If Obama or that other weasel Biden go for executive order on guns I for one will ignore it and NOT turn mine in because I won’t live like a peasant to this boob! All of us military folks took oaths when we went in and one of the lines was we were required to uphold the constitution and our country from foreign and domestic enemies.Guess who is the domestic enemy? Govt. I will do my best to uphold my oath to defend us from tyranny.

    • Michael G.

      No, no! Obama and Biden are your friends. They’re just doing all this because they really love you, and want to take care of you. If they could they would come live with you, and shower you with big sloppy kisses all day long.

  • Mecki

    Every true patriot should have unregistered guns which the government can’t come and take as the Nazis and Communists did!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=629591346 Gary Jones

    There’s No Executive order, unconstitutional or legal law that can override inherent law of the 2nd Amendment Right to bear arms to protect the Constitutional against foreign and domestic enemies. The only amendment that is fundamentally superior in protecting the rest of our rights and the country. Obama and Holder broke their oath and aided abide d drug cartels, murderers, and bang bangers with military weapons.They committed treason by arming a hostile enemy or unlawful group or regime. Obama and Holder should be tried for treason and hung.

  • http://www.survivingurbancrisis.com/ Silas Longshot

    Why izit we can’t have supremes with this much smarts?

  • James

    The second amendment did not give us the right to bear arms. That right already existed. The second amendment simply acknowledges that right and assures that right was not to be infringed by government. My opinion is that ANY law ( forbidding to carry, tax bullets [an integral part to the firearm] etc) that attempts to prevent me from those arms is an infringement and is not constitutional.

  • http://www.youarestupidif.com Nate Tanguay

    Invitation to Patriots to join my Warriors. http://www.secondamendmentwarrior.com

  • wfwilson6

    There were several articles/posts yesterday and today that posit the role played in all these mass killings by psychotropic drugs. One such article lists dozens of mass killiings over the past 10-20 years where the killers were using/abusing drugs, prozac was one that was mentioned. The articles also said that several people who were investigating the linkage between drugs and mass killings have recently died under mysterious circumstances, i.e.–murdered. With the billions of dollars these drugs bring their manufacturers, it would not be good for this linkage to become public knowledge. Politicians won’t touch this because of the moneys they get from drug industry lobbyists. So, blame it on the guns!!!!

    • Michael G.

      No! Do blame it on the guns. Every gun I’ve ever seen jumped right off the shelf and shot at someone. They seem to have minds of their own. I don’t want one for protection. I’ll stay with my trusted friend–my goldfish. He really gets in a bad mood when strangers come around…

      • wfwilson6

        Michael–If your goldfish has puppies (eh-guppies) please send me one so I can protect my house too.

  • TheWalsh

    For the past one hundred years or so, the progressive movement has been trying to
    overturn our founding contract and replace it with governance of the masses by
    philosopher kings, that is to say the educated elite. They are the people who
    want children to grow up “as little like their parents as possible”,
    to paraphrase John Dewey. These folks are mostly atheists or agnostics for
    whom, ends justify means. The idea of a constitutional right to arms as a
    safeguard against governmental tyranny is anathema to the progressives. They
    know that their program will be unpopular and they do not want to be deposed.
    The HHS mandate against our Christian conscience is a salient example of what
    the progressive movement has in mind. If you observe and analyze the things
    said and done by the progressives you will intuit a goal to disarm us, to force
    us to pay for abortion (perhaps someday like China to have abortions), to force
    even the Church to sanction gay marriage, and to erase religion from the public
    square and ultimately the private mind. I do not pretend to know the mind of
    everyone who calls them self a progressive but I think I have a fair assessment
    of the movement. Don’t let them disarm us. An unjust law is no law at all. ~Saint
    Augustine