Zimbabwe’s New Constitution is Doomed

When contemplating Americans’ Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, proponents of civilian disarmament often wave the bloody shirt and wail “what about our right to safety?” There is, of course, no such thing. How could there be a right to safety? The world is not a safe place. As we’ve seen throughout history, citizens who cede power to government in the name of personal safety are paving the road to hell. But hey, what’s this? “Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai cast his vote in a one-day referendum Saturday on a new constitution that all main political parties have backed,” cbc.ca reports. And wouldn’t you just know it? The African nation’s new constitution includes a right to personal security. To wit . . .

Every person has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right:

  • to freedom from all forms of violence from public or private sources;
  • subject to any other provision of this Constitution, to make decisions concerning reproduction;
  • not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments, or to the extraction or use of their bodily tissue, without their informed consent.

A freedom from all forms of violence! Awesome! Does that include verbal violence? What about kids who don’t want to play contact sports? No wiggle room there!

Just in case number 52 is a bit broad, Zimbabwe’s new constitution also includes a right to life and human dignity. And acknowledges its citizen’s right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including slavery or servitude.

So, where’s Zimbabweans’ right to keep and bear arms? I’ll tell you where: nowhere.

Which raises an interesting question: can you have a constitution that protects freedom and dignity without the right to armed self-defense? Sure you can! Ah, but will it work? Will the right to keep and bear arms-less constitution end the genocide, torture, rape and murder of Zim’s citizens?

I’m thinking no. Meanwhile, God bless America.

comments

  1. avatar Ross says:

    This is Africa.

    1. avatar Leo338 says:

      This is also what the democrats want. Obama has stated he believes the constitution is stuck in colonial times and needs to be updated.

    2. avatar g says:

      Throwin’ in this K’naan song:

      1. avatar poo-bear says:

        Sweet.

    3. avatar S says:

      Now I want to watch Blood Diamond.

  2. avatar Pascal says:

    Raise your hands if you believe the UN helped with that wording and made sure no right to bear arms? Let me guess, the government has the power to shoot anyone at anytime including dogs.

    Go ahead, show me how this

    ■to freedom from all forms of violence from public or private sources;

    Can ever be enforceable if you have no means to defend yourself?

    1. avatar Alan W. Rose says:

      They will just make violating someone’s rights a crime punishable by death. See, that was easy.

      1. avatar wa_2a says:

        If only that was the case here so we could get rid of DiFi…

  3. avatar Janiak says:

    So, as everyone has a right to freedom from all forms of violence from public sources, does this mean that the police will have no need for weapons either? After all, I can’t imagine any police officer ever violating the rights of a citizen.

  4. avatar Shenandoah says:

    Rights are only rights if the power to exercise/enjoy that right is embedded in the individual and is not contingent upon the actions of others.

    Freedom of speech, religion, RKBA, etc. are all exercisable by the individual and one does not need to rely upon the good graces of others in order to speak freely or defend themselves against injury.

    A right to be free from violence is no true right at all in that it relies upon the good will of others to observe and carry out that right for you.

    The ability to defend my village in Zimbabwe with a FAL rests squarely on my shoulders and that makes me free. Having to tell any attackers to stop because “I have a right to live without violence!” reduces me to a thrall.

  5. avatar jwm says:

    Time to open a new business in Zimbabwe, “Machetes, spears and bows R US.”

  6. avatar ensitue says:

    Blow Guns

  7. avatar Bill says:

    Rhodesia doesn’t seem so bad in retrospect eh?

    1. avatar إبليس says:

      Ian Smith…come back!

  8. avatar Totenglocke says:

    Every person has the right to bodily and psychological integrity, which includes the right:
    to freedom from all forms of violence from public or private sources;

    So that means that the government cannot use force to arrest you or stop you from committing crimes. Brilliant wording.

    1. avatar Derek says:

      I thought the same thing. “violence from public… sources.” The state cannot use violence against anyone.

      Of course, they’ll just amend the definition of “violence”. What the police are using is “force”, not “violence”.

  9. avatar Skyler says:

    Modern constitutions are way too wordy and include the pet guarantees of every interest group around. Canada, Europe, etc., all have lengthy frivolous lofty sounding but absurd promises.

    The US Constitution came along before all that silliness was even considered. Can you imagine what it would look like if it were drafted today?

    1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

      It would be incomprehensible drivel.

  10. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    This is what President BO refers to as “positive rights”. I’ve heard him speak about how the US Bill of Rights is a list of “negative liberties” – it tells us what the government CANNOT do, and he believes in constitutions that include what the government MUST do – positive rights. These constitutions are popular in Africa. He’s not alone, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg praised the South African constitution for it’s positive rights. The problem is that in his mind it is the government that is entitled to rights, not the citizens. The citizens exist at the will of the government. And the government will provide for it’s loyal subjects.

    Forget that it’s really the taxpayer, the fellow citizens that pay for your TANF benefits, the government is quick to take the credit. It’s not other cell phone customers who pay the Universal Service Fund so that others can have free service, it’s the government that provides that phone – they even affectionately call it an Obamaphone. Enshrining such “positive rights” in the constitution constitutes a requirement for government to take from some and give to others – i.e. socialism.

  11. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    Hmmm… “…they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    While not explicitly an assertion of the right to safety, the D of I at least implies the right to a not ridiculously unsafe environment (at least as the expected norm) as anything else is highly antithetical to life.

    In the pursuit of such reasonable safety, 2A is an important tool, and indeed is described as such in the Constitution. That whole Domestic Tranquility bit in the preamble means at least in part a nation not too likely to get one killed for no good reason.

    Just sayin’.

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