“While we believe in the Second Amendment, we also believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” one Tony Radler writes at fredricksburg.com. “We believe that Americans have the right to go to church without the fear of being gunned down; we believe we have the right to send our children to school without the fear they will be killed in their kindergarten classrooms; that we have the right to go to work, the movies or a nightclub without fear of being gunned down; and that our police have the right to do their jobs without fear of being gunned down by an AR-15 style weapon in the hands of a sniper.”
Yeah, that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” thing? That’s from the Declaration of Independence, which doesn’t have the force of law. It’s expository and aspirational, not legally binding. As for the right to be free from fear, where does that come from? As TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia know, the United States Constitution doesn’t create rights. It identifies them and protects them from government infringement. Other than directing the U.S. President to defend out borders (oops), that’s it. That’s all it does.
Ah, but the Declaration does declare that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Again, I’m not seeing a right to not be afraid of guns. Then again, The Founders did leave the door open with the word “among” and the vague “pursuit of happiness” phrase. And then slammed it shut with the Constitution. Well, partially shut. Lest we forget, the Constitution can be amended.
Although I’m not an emanations and penumbras kinda guy. I see nothing in the Constitution about a “right” to health care. Or education. Or for that matter, a phone. So, in your opinion, what is a right? What rights do you have? Why do you have a right to keep and bear arms, up to and including “weapons of war”?