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Grab a cup of coffee and make yourself comfy because this little pas de deux between CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore goes on for nearly a half hour. And while the subject at hand is gay marriage, the heart of the matter for readers here is the parrying the two engage in over the origin of our laws. Cuomo’s contention is that our laws are not God-given. Justice Moore parries by citing the Declaration of Independence (…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…). Not a day goes by around here in which the right to armed self defense isn’t cited, shouted and revered. But what’s its origin? Is it magnanimously granted by man or is the right to armed self defense God-given?

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320 COMMENTS

    • All of our rights are bestowed upon us by our Creator. This includes the right of self defense, and a right to the tools of defense. Yes, we have a Creator. The God of the Bible always allowed for the defense of innocent life.

      The statists believe that the State is supreme, that it is in a sense “god”. That is why they believe that it has the authority to bestow, or remove all rights.

      • Whose interpretation of which bible? Some faiths have determined guns are bad, while others support the 2nd Amendment. I submit determination of faith is as individual as each person.

        Damn, love me some MURICA!

        • Just read the book for yourself. Interpret the passages relevant to self defense with some common sense. Do it in a way similar to the way you would read the Constitution. The document clearly speaks for itself. The translation you use doesn’t matter too much (pretty much all similar), although I would recommend a more word for word translation such as the NKJV, NASB, ESV, HCSB, KJV, etc.

          They (Constitution and Bible) both say what they say, even if some pseudo scholars and dishonest judges and religious leaders wish to pretend that they don’t. There is no serious disagreement among informed Christians or Jews of all Biblically serious denominations regarding the right of armed self defense. Of course there are theological liberals who really do not accept the authority of the Bible just like there are political statists who truly hate our Constitution and simply give it lip service. Somehow the liberal unbelieving Christians/Jews etc. are often the same people that despise the Constitution as well. There are also Christian dumbasses who are not Biblically informed, like there are American dumbasses who are Constitutionally illiterate.

    • As an athiest – Self-Defense is still a “Natural” right. You can attempt to defend your life from attack with whatever tool is handy. Cats, Dogs, mice, rabbits, Deer, etc etc etc – all have weapons with which to use.

      People are part of the animal kingdom. We just happen to be the top of it, With the best toys.

      {and note, that’s just the right to try – doesn’t mean you’ll succeed of course}.

      • True! Atheists can and still should believe in a natural right to bear arms for self defense. All living things have a fundamental and innate right to try to defend themselves. If you believe that the forces of evolution have “created” you, then they have also given you the right to live, and try to protect yourself. It is still a “natural” right, and never one fundamentally given by the state. The state does not have the right to take it away either.

        • A very simple test as to the validity of a natural right for any living being to defend itself is to try the opposite. One can give up that right and see what happens. Historically, all animals that lost the ability to defend themselves, or humans that did likewise, by choice or not, have died out. Of course, there’s the exception of the cow, which is bred for the sole purpose of being eaten. One always has that choice…

      • {and note, that’s just the right to try – doesn’t mean you’ll succeed of course}.

        So why is murder illegal? After all, if we’re all just part of the animal kingdom – just on top of it with the best toys – and if human animals merely have the right to try to defend themselves, if one human animal succeeds in killing another human animal, how could that possibly be morally wrong?

        • “So why is murder illegal?” — It is illegal because the Ruler, using the auspices of the State, needs to protect himself. Even if the Ruler is the biggest, strongest, fastest and the meanest, he cannot always be awake. So he needs to direct others to do his bidding, by establishing laws. Morality was introduced when the State wasn’t able to keep as many henchmen on the payroll as was necessary to constantly protect itself. By canonizing Morality, the State found a cheaper solution.

        • Morality ends up being the best set of rules for a society to live by. It ends up that way because natural selection would remove people who fail to get along. One of the ways it does that is by good guys killing bad guys when bad guys try to pull shenanigans.

        • Because we couldn’t function as a society without outlawing murder and punishing those who murder.

        • Because murder is taking away someone’s right to life. Usually, if you take someone’s life out of revenge that’s murder and not justifiable homicide, which is what self-defense falls under. It’s about (intent) and mentality. Murder is a crime of unlawfully and unjustifiably (killing) another under circumstances defined by statute (as with premeditation);esp : such a crime committed purposely, knowingly, and recklessly with extreme indifference to human life or during the course of a serious felony (as robbery or rape). Justifiable homicide is committed in self-defense or a family or sometimes in defense of a residence. One is to do harm the other is to stop harm.

      • As a PRACTICAL matter, whether/or-not there is a God and whether/or-not (s)he endowed humans with a right of self-defense matters rather little. What matters MORE is whether a society adopts a constitution to recognize that right. And, what matters STILL more is whether that society will UPHOLD that right or rescind it either formally (as constitutionally provided) or by abandonment.
        In the USA, our society – a couple of centuries ago – decided (almost by consensus) to guarantee the right to arms constitutionally. SCOTUS (and most laymen who have thought much about it) find its core purpose the right of self-defense. This formal ratification/guarantee of a right to arms is unlikely to be repealed constitutionally.
        What still matters is whether a majority of the People will abandon its formal decision in the 2A. Clearly, this occurred in the UK over the 20th Century. To whatever extent arms were a right of Englishmen, those Englishmen fully supported the decision of Parliament to use its constitutional authority to erase that right by law.
        Wherever that eraser by law or social convention may occur, what remains ONLY is whether the society’s breach of the “right” will be honored in the observance or the breach of the law. In the US, a majority of Americans honored Prohibition in the breach. Nevertheless, the Prohibition law stood for 14 years until – through the grace of Congress and our noble President – decided that the loss of excise taxes was too great a burden for government to endure.
        Prohibition (albeit authorized by a Constitutional amendment) is a lesson for us PotG. Complacency on our part will not stop the Antis from electing the best Congressmen they can buy. Loss of excise tax revenue on guns and ammunition will be endured for a very long time.
        Only two things will protect any right (whether natural, endowed by our Creator, or Constitutionally established by the People). These are the effective communication to: 1) politicians that they will not be elected if they repeal these rights; and, 2) a majority of voters that We will NOT Comply.
        Generally, genocides occur where it is clear that a majority of gun-owners will submit and comply with gun prohibition laws.

      • Denying someone the ability and means to defend themselves from one intent on doing them harm is tyranny at best, outright evil at worst. It’s really just that simple.

    • Well I don’t believe in unicorns either. I’d like to, but have nothing tangible to believe in nor even a scientific theory of the plane of existence that such a being might live in.

      I figure it as this…
      If I have the right to live, then I have the natural born right to defend my life.

      By telling me I cannot defend my life, the statists are saying I do not have the right to live.

      • Your statement is very true. Of course what the Statist politicians really do not recognize is that since they eradicate your right to self defense, so they will eradicate their and their loved ones right to self defense.

        • “what the Statist politicians really do not recognize is that since they eradicate your right to self defense, so they will eradicate their and their loved ones right to self defense.” — They don’t see it that way. They are above the plebeians and their armed bodyguards ensure of that.

    • I find it interesting that all the “gun nuts” I’ve talked to about gay marriage all pretty much say the same thing. “I have my personal view points on gay marriage, but my personal views shouldn’t dictate the freedoms and happiness of others. So if two men or two women want to get married who am I to get in the way.” I know a lot of you might think that’s strange, but think about it. Pro-gun folks have a god given right and a constitutional right to own and bear arms, but legislators are constantly interfering with our god given and constitutional rights. In a way we are oppressed just like the gays. I find a lot of “gun nuts” are actually very intelligent and typically approach problems in a logical and objective manner. Last observation I’ve found very interesting is that gun folk are charitable and really do care for others without the need for praise or recognition. Live and let live…don’t interfere with my rights and I won’t interfere with yours.

      • In a way we are oppressed just like the gays.

        Gays are not oppressed. They are not legally prevented from being in relationship with whomever they choose, or engaging in whatever acts they choose to engage in as consenting adults. They merely face resistance calling their relationships “marriage”. Contrast that with people who face very real legal restrictions to the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms. Two gay people kissing or holding hands in public (or doing anything in private) anywhere in the country will face no legal trouble. Someone caught carrying a holstered firearm in New York City will be convicted of a felony. And if ATF gets wind of someone in possession of an arbitrarily defined firearm may very well face a no-knock raid.

        Speaking only for myself: I couldn’t care less what two consenting adults do, and wish them every happiness in their lives. I don’t care who is in relationship with whom, lives with whom, sleeps with whom, etc. The only issue is calling that relationship marriage, which is a religious institution, with a religious definition. Marriage is defined as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman. I oppose government interference because it requires the government imposing on a religious practice.

        Homosexuals have a right to equal protection under the law – and that includes State benefits conferred to people in relationships (tax benefits, inheritance, visitation rights, etc. – most/all of which they currently do have). Homosexuals also have the right to social tolerance of their choices as free, consenting adults. The entire point of gay marriage, however, is to force societal condoning/acceptance of those choices – something for which no right exists.

        I will support equal protection under the law for homosexuals, and given that I am of the live-and-let-live philosophy, I certainly tolerate their choices as free, consenting adults. Again: as with my homosexual friends, I wish them every happiness, and still love and accept them as friends. But I’ll never condone their choices, because my faith teaches that those choices are sinful.

        When the government isn’t involved, that’s all well and good, because nobody needs me to condone any of their choices as free people, nor do I make it my business to interfere with those choices. Live and let live.

        All that said: I favor the State getting out of the marriage business entirely. Let the State recognize civil unions for all, and leave marriage entirely to the church. That way, the State can ensure equal protection for all, and can codify societal tolerance for whatever it wishes (and hey: if the Mormons and Muslims want to practice polygamy, that’s none of my business, either), while not interfering with deeply held religious beliefs.

        • There’s a bit of a difference here, because marriage (in legal terms) is a relatively recent thing. The government was not involved in who got married, or concerned with it. Common Law Marriage was the way things were done until the 1700’s, (we still have 9 states that recognise Common Law marriages) when it was legislated that it be done by the church or other authority, and then pretty much left alone again until modern times. In short, marriage has been a religious institution for only about 300 years, a bit longer than the United States has been an independent country. And I don’t know about you, but I got married by a boat captain, not a priest.

        • I agree the government should get out of the “Marriage” business and replace the word something like joint union or permeant partners. The “marriage” part should be left to the church through sacrament or ceremony. If XYZ church wants to perform marriage ceremonies between same sex couples that is their right. Just like if ZYX church does not want to perform marriage ceremonies between same sex couple that is their right. I’m a devout Catholic, but I would never force my beliefs on another. I am simply trying to make the point that government should always use reason, logic, objectivism, and ALWAYS be looking to give more freedoms through legislation then less. One last thing. As an NRA instructor I always teach women, children, and liberals Basic Pistol or Rifle course for FREE. Why? Because I’ve found if you want to change someones mind respect their view and let them discover for themselves how all there preconceived notions and political brainwashing is BS. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done basic firearms safety and handling classes for a group of children with anti-gun parents sitting in the back that came up to me after and took me up on my offer to take them to a real shooting range with real guns. (I use GBB Airsoft guns throughout the class without BB’s to demonstrate the safety concepts )

  1. The antis love to quote Jesus’ “turn the other cheek” admonition. I love it when they quote scripture as it bites them in the butt. The thing they forget is that once we’ve turned the other cheek He did not address what we do next. They also conveniently forget about the passage where He advises those “without a sword” to buy one. I am not surprised by Chris Cuomo’s stupidity. It runs in that family.

    • He also cleared the Jewish Temple by chasing after people with a whip… The point of “turn the other cheek” is to avoid starting fights over minor insults. As the sword parable and the Temple incident indicate, however, Jesus had no issue with violence when it is actually required.

    • “Turn the other cheek” has absolutely nothing to do with self-defense. It is an admonition against responding in kind to harmless insult.

      “If someone strikes you on the right cheek…”: a right-handed person striking another on the right cheek is a back-handed strike, and then, as now, was considered an act of insult, not of physical assault. Thus, Jesus was admonishing his followers to turn the other cheek when insulted, rather than responding in kind with insult, or worse.

      • So far, two of you have missed the point of my post. Oh well. Something about antis quoting scripture when it suits them but denying scripture when it doesn’t? Did you not see that?

        • I did, I was just expanding on your point. Liberals quoting scripture is like a prostitute preaching about the benefits of abstinence.

        • It’s especially fun when they claim to be scriptural experts–like Howard Dean. He then went on to quote his “favorite verse from the New Testament”–which, as it happens, was a verse from the Book of Job…

      • Then what is it about? Even pacifist Mennonites take it as referring to literal swords–they figure the swords were to be used as defense against aggressive animals. No foolin’.

      • Ummm, clay, I beg to differ. Proofs in the actions, as well as the words. In Luke, ch. 22 verse 36. Christ is advising the disciples that if they don’t have swords to sell their cloaks to buy one. The disciples pull out two real swords and say look Lord here are two swords. All he says is it is “enough.”

        So what is the actions of which I speak? That at least two disciples carried swords during Christ’s ministry. That at Christ’s last supper, the two with swords had them within arms reach in case they needed them.

        That when he said to buy a sword if you don’t have one, when two real swords were brought out, did he say he was speaking in parables, that those real swords, those weapons of “mass destruction” were to be abandoned? No, he said it was “enough”.

        If Christ was alive today, it would be like two of the disciples were carrying hand guns during his ministry. If the carrying of personal defense weapons ,whether a sword or a pistol, was against Christ’s teachings, he never would have allowed the carrying of let alone advise to buy one once he was risen without making it very clear that was his message.

        Actions speak more powerfully than words. It is obvious where Christ stood as to the carrying of a personal defense weapon.

      • And Jesus said two would be enough. Enough for what? The context being that Jesus was going to be arrested, peacefully. Christians are always blasting cherry-pickers, yet here we are, cherry picking.

        The whole argument just doesn’t hold water.

        • Just like your whole premise that the United States is not a Christian nation based on one treaty in 1797? I for one never heard of the atheist colony in the original 13. 99% of the colonies population in 1776 was either Christian or Jewish, most of them came to America to avoid persecution. There were a number that were deistic such as some of the founding fathers but certainly a judeo Christian ethic runs clean through the founding documents. You must like Obama and the left. Revisionist historians will be the death of this country. As Washington said, the republic needed a Christian people. No other group would fit.

        • Your logic is “The founding population was mostly Christian, therefore this is a Christian nation”? You could also say that the founding population was mostly white, therefore this is a white nation. Where do the freedoms and system of governance in the Constitution mesh with the Christian bible? The bible clearly states that you shall not worship any other gods, yet we have the First Amendment. The bible clearly states that god put forth whoever is in government and to not rebel, yet the Revolution still occurred.
          There is a document, signed by founding fathers, that in no uncertain terms lays out that this is NOT a Christian nation. Where is your data to support your claim? Please present it here.
          YOU are the revisionist here. You probably believe “In God We Trust” has always been our motto, even though it wasn’t adopted until 1956!

    • All anti’s and many others use situational ethics and situational quotes They do not believe in anything unless for the moment it supports their ideology then they discount it otherwise.

    • I find it ironic that you chide those who misread the “turn the other cheek” comment, yet you miss the entire point of Jesus telling the disciples to get arms. This is the fulfillment of prophecy, not a call to defense.
      36 “But now the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered among the lawless’; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.”
      38 They [the disciples] said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
      “It is enough,” he replied. (NRSV)
      Two swords are enough for the twelve of them since the purpose is to fulfill prophecy, not defend themselves from the authorities.

  2. the right to armed self defense is self evident like all human rights as all creatures inherently will protect themselves. i haven’t the wisdom or knowledge to say if it comes from the divine.

  3. No one gives you rights. You have a right only because you can defend it. Look at the people in Africa or the middle east killed off by the thousands. Do they not have the right to life liberty and happiness as we do? Or did god just leave them out?

    I think the more important question is “What freaking difference does it make?”

    • I think the more important question is “What freaking difference does it make?”

      You just defined the difference: the recognition that those who lack the power/ability to exert their rights still have a moral claim to those rights.

      No one gives you rights. You have a right only because you can defend it.

      So you are totally okay with African warlords being tyrants and dictators, merely because they have all the power? If not, why not?

      • The point he is making is that whether one has a “right” or not, is an academic issue if that “right” cannot be defended or enforced. It doesn’t help much for a slave to know that he is being treated unfairly.

      • “So you are totally okay with African warlords being tyrants and dictators, merely because they have all the power? If not, why not?”

        African warlords? How did we get to that? A bit of “Reductio ad absurdum” I think. Rights have nothing to do with the situation in Africa. There will always be warlords or their ilk out there and if you aren’t ready, willing and able to kick their ass, your rights are null and void. I am NOT “OK with that,” but I realize it is the way it is, the way it has always been.

        Out of 3,500 years of recorded human history,there has been a war raging somewhere (and all wars include the slaughter of innocents) about 92% of the time according to historians. Wars only stop when you win them.

      • The point is that a right that you cannot defend might as well not exist. That’s why the right to bear arms has no meaning if the restrictions on said right makes its exercise impossible and our unwillingness to defy said restrictions is non-existent.

        • I have always stated that when the 2A is nullified, the rest of the Constitution will be nullified.

      • Thank you for pointing out the underlying argument in the vast majority of the “God grants right” arguments: The belief that you must believe in God in order to have morals. No, I am not okay with people in power mistreating others, and it has nothing to do with my religious beliefs or lack thereof. I simply think “Gee, I wouldn’t want armed thugs killing and torturing my family and friends or myself, therefore, I don’t want it to happen to anyone else, either.” It’s called empathy, and if you need God to have it, you need some help. As far as a moral claim goes, by definition a right must be enforceable. If you can’t enforce it yourself and no one else will either then you officially have no right.

        • Thank you for pointing out the underlying argument in the vast majority of the “God grants right” arguments: The belief that you must believe in God in order to have morals.

          Where does the concept of “morals” come from, if not from God? Where does the concept of absolute right and wrong come from, if not from God?

          No, I am not okay with people in power mistreating others, and it has nothing to do with my religious beliefs or lack thereof. I simply think “Gee, I wouldn’t want armed thugs killing and torturing my family and friends or myself, therefore, I don’t want it to happen to anyone else, either.” It’s called empathy, and if you need God to have it, you need some help.

          Why is empathy of any worth, in the absence of absolute right and wrong? What makes your moral code, or mine, or the next person’s) any better than anyone else’s?

          s far as a moral claim goes, by definition a right must be enforceable. If you can’t enforce it yourself and no one else will either then you officially have no right.

          If a right must be “enforceable” in order to exist, then it is neither natural nor inherent. So, you assert that rights are not natural or inherent? In other words: rights aren’t actually rights, but acts of privilege?

        • >> Where does the concept of “morals” come from, if not from God? Where does the concept of absolute right and wrong come from, if not from God?

          From people, of course, same as the concept of God (which is just a personification of said morals and right/wrong, just like some pagan gods were personifications of things like rage or lust).

        • >> Where does the concept of “morals” come from, if not from God? Where does the concept of absolute right and wrong come from, if not from God?

          From people, of course…

          Thus, you admit that you do not believe in the concept of inherent, natural, unalienable rights?

        • I do believe in the concept of inherent unalienable rights, but not in a sense that you do. I do believe that there is a certain list of rights that everyone should possess by virtue of being a sentient person – hence inherent – and that are unalienable in a sense that they can be denied but not revoked altogether. But that list does not have any supranatural source, or, for that matter, any source outside of my subjective understanding of it. In other words, it is my list of inherent unalienable rights, which may not agree with your list or someone else’s. I’m still going to act on the basis of my list, because, well, it’s mine – I don’t really need any other reason than that. So if someone disagrees with me on said list, I will politely acknowledge that, and proceed to do what I need to do to implement mine.

        • I do believe that there is a certain list of rights that everyone should possess by virtue of being a sentient person – hence inherent – and that are unalienable in a sense that they can be denied but not revoked altogether.

          That’s fair. By sentience, do you refer to the ability to feel/perceive based on senses? Do you include the ability to reason? Self-awareness? Conscience? All of the above?

          But if there is a certain list (whatever that list may be) of rights that everyone should possess by virtue of being a sentient person, what of people who lack such sentience, or who have incomplete sentience, through physical or mental handicap – those who never obtain such sentience, or who lose it through some trauma?

          What of animals, that certainly have at least some modicum of sentience? What inherent rights do they have, by virtue of being a sentient being?

        • >> By sentience, do you refer to the ability to feel/perceive based on senses? Do you include the ability to reason? Self-awareness? Conscience? All of the above?

          A reasonable question. I don’t have a rigorous definition – and I would dispute that anyone who claims they do haven’t properly considered it – so it’s in the “I know it when I see it” category. I would include all that you’ve listed as the criteria, but also, and perhaps the most crucially, the ability to empathize (and be empathized with – someone I can “feel the pain” of, so to speak). I think that ultimately all those inherent rights stem from the Golden Rule, and empathy is the cornerstone of that.

          Of course, this is really just moving the goalposts, because even if that’s the way we define it, it still leaves the question of what exactly is “self-awareness” and “consciousness” and “ability to reason”. I think that our definitions of those are essentially arbitrary also, and it really all boils down to “sufficiently like us” on some subconscious level.

          >> But if there is a certain list (whatever that list may be) of rights that everyone should possess by virtue of being a sentient person, what of people who lack such sentience, or who have incomplete sentience, through physical or mental handicap – those who never obtain such sentience, or who lose it through some trauma?

          I don’t consider them as possessing full rights. For example, I don’t believe that embryos and fetuses, esp. in the early stage of development, have full rights, and in particular the unconditional right to life. Similarly, I don’t think that a human with most of their brain destroyed to the point where the body is still physically functioning, but is not sentient, has any more rights than an animal (and so euthanasia in such circumstances is not murder, even if the person is unable to give consent).

          To ascribe rights to such, would require an existence of some innate supranatural distinguishing quality to which those rights are attached – i.e. a soul. It’s only with the assumption that soul exists that a logical pro-life argument can be made at conception (and historically, this was actually recognized in religious practice, as various Christian strains’ position on abortion was largely tied to when they believed the soul to be bestowed on the developing fetus).

          >> What of animals, that certainly have at least some modicum of sentience? What inherent rights do they have, by virtue of being a sentient being?

          Some rights, certainly (e.g. I support animal cruelty laws). If “sentience” is not a binary thing but a sliding spectrum – which I believe it to be based on what we know so far – then it would make sense for rights to also be a sliding scale. I mean, we even do it for humans in practice, seeing how children aren’t effectively granted all the same rights as adults (no freedom of movement, limitations on freedom of speech etc) – so we already have that scale, it just needs to be extended further.

          And if some animal will be shown to be in fact fully sentient, and is capable of understanding the concept of rights and reciprocating them (i.e. can implement the Golden Rule), then I would treat them as proper persons with full rights of such.

        • its pretty easy to measure which moral code is the best, just look at the results. Some places are hell-holes and some places aren’t. The people in the hell-holes follow an inferior code. The reason the hell-holes are so hellish is because of the natural friction that occurs between people who don’t do moral things (which kind of does make morality absolute). Just be pragmatic about it.

        • “Where does the concept of “morals” come from, if not from God? ”

          Why not ask the MILLIONS of people who lived with morals long before the Jews were anything more than desert nomads? In all functioning societies, things like murder are outlawed because if people are constantly dying, then you can’t have a functioning society. It’s pretty freaking simple.

        • I do believe that there is a certain list of rights that everyone should possess by virtue of being a sentient person – hence inherent – and that are unalienable in a sense that they can be denied but not revoked altogether. But that list does not have any supernatural source, or, for that matter, any source outside of my subjective understanding of it. Sounds like Aynn Rand; which is actually OK. I think our rights coming from an imaginary deity is BS, as some of the worst totalitarian regimes believe in Allah. (ISIS).

        • “so far as a moral claim goes, by definition a right must be enforceable. If you can’t enforce it yourself and no one else will either then you officially have no right.”

          If a right must be “enforceable” in order to exist, then it is neither natural nor inherent. So, you assert that rights are not natural or inherent? In other words: rights aren’t actually rights, but acts of privilege?

          No, no no.
          You have inherent rights. Those rights exist whether you are able to exercise them or not. If it’s by choice, hey that’s your decision. But if it’s by someone else’s choice, then they are denying you your rights, which is an inherently immoral act.

        • “so far as a moral claim goes, by definition a right must be enforceable. If you can’t enforce it yourself and no one else will either then you officially have no right.”

          …You have inherent rights. Those rights exist whether you are able to exercise them or not. If it’s by choice, hey that’s your decision. But if it’s by someone else’s choice, then they are denying you your rights, which is an inherently immoral act.

          How do these two comments square? A right cannot be simultaneously both inherent and dependent upon enforceability in order to exist.

        • Chip, maybe you could help me out with a question about God’s will, primarily through Roy Moore’s interpretation. Roy Moore is a Southern Baptist, a denomination founded (in 1845) on the belief that by “precept and example” the Bible supports slavery and God ordained White supremacy.

          The vast majority of Southern Baptists don’t believe this anymore (officially repudiated in 1995), but has scripture changed? I ask, because in three generations, maybe shorter, Roy Moore’s descendants could engage in a similar shift over gay marriage.

        • How do these two comments square? A right cannot be simultaneously both inherent and dependent upon enforceability in order to exist.

          So rights only exist when you have the might to defend them?
          That’s not what rights are.

    • I think if you want to believe rights are God-given, or conferred by the Constitution, or handed down on stone tablets, that’s fine, suit yourself, but that doesn’t help gun rights today one iota unless you can turn it into legislation, court decisions or an armed revolution. If you can’t do that, your argument may be “right,” but it’s IMPOTENT and therefore irrelevant.

  4. I stand by the words of the Declaration of Independence. The right to life, and therefore the right to self-defense from which is derived the right to keep and bear arms, is inherent, natural, and God-given.

    Under any other scenario, the entire concept of natural rights is specious. If rights are not an endowment from our Creator, then “rights” are merely a human construct, and only belong to those with the power to exert them.

    • Chipper – And hence the left’s war on God and religion. God must die. Once they achieve that goal, they can do anything they want. Depravity shall have no boundaries.

      • Bingo.

        There are two classes of people who deny that rights are an endowment from our Creator: those who know the truth and merely deny it for political gain/power, and those who choose not to believe in God, but who are either unable or unwilling to think through the concept of natural rights to their logical conclusion in the absence of a Creator from whom those rights are endowed.

        • What does it matter whether our ‘creator’ is natural processes or a magic man in the sky?

          Either way, we are endowed by our creator (whether that be nature or God or Prometheus or a noodly appendage) with certain unalienable rights.

          I see no conflict here.

        • Either way, we are endowed by our creator (whether that be nature or a flying beardy dude) with certain unalienable rights.

          I agree that the key distinction is that inherent, natural, unalienable rights come from beyond/outside of man. If rights are merely a creation/assertion of man, then they cannot be inherent, natural, or unalienable.

        • @Chip,

          We agree on very little in this thread, but we agree on this.

          The way I like to formulate it is that rights were discovered by men not created by men.

      • “Then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom.” H.P. Lovecraft.

    • >> If rights are not an endowment from our Creator, then “rights” are merely a human construct

      True.

      >> And only belong to those with the power to exert them.

      Also true. Which, if you stop and think about it, is precisely why RKBA is necessary. If God was in the business of defending our rights, we wouldn’t need to do so ourselves. And if he just wrote up a list without actively enforcing it, then what good is he, and why is his list any better than my list or your list?

    • Chip, to me, the most repugnant, the most antithetical to American values, the practice most diametrically opposed to the right of selfdefense is slavery. Could you please show me anywhere in the Bible, the source of all morality (you claim), where slavery is condemned. Until you can show me where The Godhead, The Christ, or Paul condemns slavery, I have a hard time taking your claims seriously.

      • Could you please show me anywhere in the Bible, the source of all morality (you claim), where slavery is condemned. Until you can show me where The Godhead, The Christ, or Paul condemns slavery, I have a hard time taking your claims seriously.

        While I would love to go down that rabbit trail with you, in this case, it is a complete non sequitur. In the comment to which you are replying, I never mentioned the Bible, the Godhead, the Christ, or Paul. Rather, I referenced the Declaration of Independence, “Creator”, and “God”.

        • Throughout these posts, you have claimed that without God, there can be no morality. I am just suggesting that the morality shown in the Bible is not all that moral from a 21 century perspective. I know of no passages where anyone in the Bible speaks out against slavery (sure, Jewsare not to own other Jews, but the institution of slavery is never attacked). To me, that casts a huge shadow over the claim of God being the source of morality.

        • Let me clear up the issue of slavery in the Bible. Slavery is a result of man’s sin where he exalts himself over others. Owning another human being is abhorrent, but because man is depraved, slavery existed and exists. Paul, in writing to Philemon, addresses slavery and urges Philemon to accept Onesimus back as a brother. As Christians, we are exhorted to be slaves of Christ. This means that we are no longer in bondage to sin and its consequences (death and hell), but now we are alive and free in Christ.

          Here’s a little story about sin and its consequences. One issue missionaries in Africa have faced is what happens when a man with multiple wives follows Christ. Is he to kick all but one out on the street with their kids? Some have and the women have turned to prostitution, crime, stealing to support themselves. Is that what the Gospel creates? Instead, some missionaries have realized that even though marrying many wives is wrong, there is a consequence to sin and the man should remain married to them so as to prevent a greater sin. They are excluded from church leadership however. Paul addresses this by saying that Pastors should be the husband of one wife.

          Getting back to slavery–slavery is sin, but certain parameters were put in place to deal with the sin. It’s not what God intended, desires, or condones.

        • “slavery is sin,” — Really? It seems that some of God’s favorite people were rewarded by God with many slaves.

  5. What a stupid wasteful point to argue. Kinda follows the cliché atheist and a christian together in a foxhole story. The lesson was it was not a point of meaningful focus under the circumstances.

    • What a stupid wasteful point to argue.

      Actually, it is an incredibly salient point to argue. If rights do not come from beyond man, then from where do they come? If they are merely a construct of man, rather than natural and inherent, then they are not rights at all, but rather are reduced to mere acts of privilege.

      • The very words you speak are a construct of man. Every thought you think is a construct of man. Every philosophy ever expressed is a construct of the intellect and the imagination. God is a method by which human animals give meaning to the meaningless, explain the inexplicable, and give structure to apparent chaos. Do animals live by the Ten Commandments? Or do instead do they live by the basic natural rules of the Four Fs–feeding, fighting, flight, and preservation of the species? Animals fight for self-preservation–and there is no rule of nature, other than superior force, that can take away their innate “right” to self-preservation, to life, liberty, and their own pursuit of happiness. As animals, humans, though living in more organized and social group, have the same innate (in born) rights–or in the words of the American rebels, are “endowed by our Creator”–as any other animal. But the fact that we may deprived of these rights by superior force does not denigrate the existence of such rights, because they are a part of our natural being, and the natural order. If you wish to equate Creator with “God,” of course you have every privilege to do so, but the creator need not be so. I think that you have to give meaning to the selection of words in the Declaration–the use of “Creator” instead of “God.” Thomas Jefferson was a brilliant man–and he did not chose his words lightly. The point is that you possessed these rights when you were born, irrespective of your (eventual) religious affiliation or lack thereof.

        • Mark please point to the dissertation that has refuted the proofs of God by St Thomas Aquinas. We are all ears.

        • Have you checked google? Because there’s a ton of ’em. Not that you’ll listen, because you are closed to new evidence.

        • Your the one ducking the argument. I challenged you and you brought up Google. Link your proof so we can get a good laugh. It is good for the soul to laugh heartily.

        • Are you actually reading to the comments that you’re replying to? I mean, you’re quoting them, so you’ve got to, but apparently not… Anyway, the link that is there is not to Google, it’s to Wikipedia; and it’s a direct link to that section of the article on Aquinas’ “proofs” that briefly lists the various refutations. For a detailed treatment, you can go here:

          http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmological-argument/#3.2

          Or pick up any decent philosophy textbook.

        • Did you even read your link? It does not even begin to logically refute them. It is a messy rehash of failed philosophers. Why are all the new atheist devoting chapters and essays in their new books to this problem? Looks like the answers such as those you provided don’t cut it. Richard Dawkins is one of them. The hero of the left. Look it is simple. You can choose to call the first mover another name, most of us prefer to call that mover (who is outside of time and space) God. I will never convince you on the inter web but just once try reading the proofs for yourself.

    • “What a stupid wasteful point to argue. “

      Not really. In the present political context, it is a very practical point to argue.

      If rights come from God or are otherwise defined as “natural” rights all human beings possess, that is a direct challenge to the assumed sovereignty of “The State” that all Statists hold as central to their entire world view.

      If rights are NOT granted by God or naturally exist, they derive from Man himself. If that’s true, Man has control of those rights and can revoke them. The question merely becomes…which men have that control of revocation?

      It might seem like an academic question, but it is actually quite relevant to today’s political struggle.

      Who ultimately decides one’s “Right to Life.” The State? Or not?

      • Thank you for not falling into the false dichotomy that every single other commenter above you (I’ve read no further than this point, as yet) has jumped into.

        It’s NOT that the there are only two alternatives, God or the State. Many, many don’t believe in the first (which–practically, ends up amounting to some human being claiming to be god’s representative on earth and giving out orders), and refuse to be beholden to the second. Now one might deny that the latter option can even exist, but many people manage to follow it just fine.

  6. Yes, I believe armed self defense is a God Given, or as the founders preferred “natural” right. If we are all indeed created equal,our lives are all equally worth protecting.As such it is morally wrong to limit another’s access to the means to protect themselves and their loved ones.

  7. Wether there is a God or not, It doesn’t matter. It is a natural right, and no law of man can supersede it. Even a devout atheist will recognize what guides evolution: Survival of the fittest. In other words; Kill or be killed. This is a simple fact of our existence, whether you believe in a higher power or not. Fail to pay adherence to it at your peril.

    • Wether there is a God or not, It doesn’t matter. It is a natural right, and no law of man can supersede it.

      Sincere question: if rights do not come from God, from where do they come? What makes them “natural”? Why are they “unalienable”? What makes them anything other than a concept entirely made up by man?

      • I am a practicing religious person. But I realize rights are only what you win after you fight successfully for them. Nothing more.

        You can believe God gave them to you if it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. But someone can come and take them from you anytime they’ve got the might to do it. Someone could perch outside your house with a rifle and take your right to life the next time you walk out the door. If rights are God given, how could that happen? They should be hit by lightning bolts!

      • I’ve already stated that. They are natural and unalienable because they are simply true. If you are attacked and do not defend yourself then you will die. Kill or be killed/survival of the fittest. This a natural law because because it is just that, natural law, natural order. Survival is a fight, a war. I have the natural right of armed self defense because the barrel of my gun says so. Do not be confused, I am not arguing for atheism. I in fact hate atheists. My point is that even an atheist can see that there is natural rights, even if they do not think there is a God.

        • If you are attacked and do not defend yourself then you will die. Kill or be killed/survival of the fittest. This a natural law because because it is just that, natural law, natural order. Survival is a fight, a war.

          But that natural law says that the one who wins the fight is in the right. The one with the gun – or the bigger gun, or the better gun skills – is justified, by natural law, in killing another, because in so doing he proved himself to be the strongest/fittest.

          Where in that natural law is there room for the near-universal human principle that murder is wrong?

        • “Where in that natural law is there room for the near-universal human principle that murder is wrong?” — On what basis are you making that claim? “Murder” is a form of killing. Killing, in various forms and under various circumstances, has always ranged from acceptable to glorified. Only when the act falls outside of the desires of the Rules that it is called “murder” and given a negative aspect. But “murder” is only a small percentage of greater killings that have been accepted by humans for ages. So, yes, the winner writes the rules and sets “morality.”

      • The entire concept of God is made up my man, as is our stories, writings, religions, civilizations, etc. The idea of a right as being something fundamental and natural is also made up by man, However, the natural impulse of any life form is survival and if anything can be considered a right that is it.

        • The idea of a right as being something fundamental and natural is also made up by man,

          This is a refreshingly honest statement.

          Now: what are the implications of that belief? Are we not defying natural order by asserting that murder is wrong? Or by acting to help those who are less fortunate, or the oppressed?

      • Chip, not sure why it won’t let me respond to your question below, but something I’ve noticed everyone is missing here about nature and the kill or be killed aspect. The reason why murder is “wrong” and other morality rules or perhaps a better way to put it, acts against natural law existence with out the presence of a god is pretty easy to explain. So many people who call out the whole “kill or be killed” and leave it at that are only looking at the lower intelligence range of animals. Intelligence breads more complex (and successful) survival behavior. Apes, dolphins all of these animals have learned that working together, protecting each other and collaborating are more successful than one on one power struggles. Groups gain greater trust when they don’t kill each other etc….so not killing the other monkey makes bonding tighter and keeps someone watching your back. Pure power plays work at times and fail at times, that’s why both power and kindness exist and thrive successfully in nature with out a god. Many documented cases exist for tribes of monkeys, where a very strong, dominant leader who abuses the other simply because he can, is often ganged up on by the tribe and gang murdered. The tribe then will often install a gentler leader who can still lead and protect the group successfully. There is a perfect example of moral/natural law evolving without god, developed by monkeys (not even men). The law develops for a very obvious and natural reason…it improves the survival of the group…and when survival is equally the same…it improves the enjoyment of life, which is important for more intelligent species of animals.

        • Sorry for the poor spelling (breeds not breads) and the poor phrasing…It’s late, I’m in a hurry and can only put so much effort into comments on a web site.

  8. And that, folks, is the Progressive dogma in a nutshell…
    EVERYTHING comes from the Government.
    You are GRANTED certain privileges, you aren’t born with RIGHTS.
    GOD isn’t GOD, the government is god.
    You didn’t build it, the government helped/allowed you to build it.
    You don’t own it, the government allows you to lease it (whatever ‘it’ is) as long as it chooses.
    You don’t choose how to raise your kids, the government guides you.
    This list goes on and on…

    In other words, put your faith in government, nothing else.

    • Exactly so.

      And this lies at the heart of our very struggle. We are either sovereign beings or we are chattel.

      This is my problem with articles like the one Dan Baum wrote a few weeks ago and all this “marketing” nonsense we’ve seen lately. We are not defending the right to engage in a ‘hobby.’ The struggle is much, much deeper than that.

      We are fighting to defend the very essence of existence transcendental to “government.” To us, government is a tool of man and nothing more. To some, government is, quite literally, their god.

      The difference is fundamental, and to ignore this fundamental difference in ‘worldview’ is to miss the entire underlying cause of why we even have to fight for 2A (or 1A or 4A or any others) rights.

      • To an atheist or some agnostics, god is simply another set of rules…made up by men, to try and control other men, it can be as evil as government in that regard, only it crosses international borders. As arbitrary as not wearing two different cuts of cloth or combining milk and shellfish.

  9. The real question is whether you believe your human rights are inherent in you as an individual, or your “rights” are merely privileges granted by the all-powerful state. The left tends to embrace the state-power side of the issue, since that allows them to remove your rights at their whim. The Founding Fathers pretty clearly believed in the individual rights side of the debate, and employed their military-style firearms to enforce that belief on the British king. They fought and died for their right to be sovereign citizens, not subjects of a sovereign.

    The Democrat Party and its leftist media enablers are the present-day Tories, who believe that the state is the sovereign. They have quite a bit in common with Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, the Chicoms, Putin, and a host of happy socialist dictators past and present.

    The question is who is to be the ruler of an individual’s thoughts and actions – the individual or the collective.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the CONSENT of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. … when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their DUTY, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    What they said.

  10. Our laws come from men — including some really, really stupid men. Would any deity in his or her right mind have created the EPA? TSA? Common Core? I don’t think so.

    There’s a difference between our legal rights and our natural rights. Legal rights come from men, which explains why we cannot rely on them. They can enlarged, truncated or stripped away at the will or whim of men. Natural rights come from our DNA. I’ll leave it to others to argue about how they got there, but woe betide the men who try to take those natural rights away.

  11. A lowly animal like a mouse, when cornered and having no route of escape will turn and fight it’s attacker. I have seen rabbits do the same thing. Lions and bears will kill an animal that threatens their young. If these creatures have the sense and willingness to defend themselves and their families when attacked, then humans certainly were born with the same instinct, the same right to defend their lives and those of their family (loved ones).

    Just my 2 cent opinion, but this comes from our creator whom I choose to call God. If you don’t believe in God, I suppose you can give credit to Darwin’s theory that the strongest and fittest tend to survive and thrive, and the weak and timid that are unwilling to fight back tend to die off.

    • “Just my 2 cent opinion, but this comes from our creator whom I choose to call God. If you don’t believe in God, I suppose you can give credit to Darwin’s theory that the strongest and fittest tend to survive and thrive, and the weak and timid that are unwilling to fight back tend to die off.”

      It’s my two cents that those two “options” are not mutually exclusive. They are presented as a false dichotomy by those that wish only to divide. There is no logical, rational basis for the distinction.

      Science and religion have no conflict because they cover different aspects of human existence. One is concerned with observable input from our senses and the other is concerned with morality, ethics and purpose of being.

      This is not to detract from your point. I agree with what you posted. Just conversating….

      • I agree with your basic argument — there is no inherent conflict between faith and science. In fact, in many ways, they tend to support each other.

  12. The fact that I exist gives me the right to defend my existence. If you believe in God, then my existence comes from God. If you’re an atheist it doesn’t. All I know is that I exist, and I plan to keep existing, and I have a natural right to the means to ensure that.

    Rights are inherent, and can only be protected or ignored by government.

    • All I know is that I exist, and I plan to keep existing, and I have a natural right to the means to ensure that.

      Why? Why do you have such a natural right, if not endowed by your Creator with that right? Other than God, what gives you such a right?

      Among animals, the strongest wins, and has the “right” to kill the weaker: the lion versus the antelope, the bulls fighting over the doe. What separates humans?

      • Doors separate us from wildlife. Other than that, i don’t need to believe in god to believe i have a right to defend myself. Religion has worked hand in hand with governments to control the people and their wealth for centuries. If that means I’m hated because i don’t believe in god I could care less. I could also care less what you believe. That’s your right until it’s forced upon me. Therefore if i can’t defend my rights, they don’t exist.

        • Doors separate us from wildlife.

          That’s it? Our ability to build doors is what separates humans from wildlife? Birds can build nests. Beavers can build dams. Bees can build hives.

          Other than that, i don’t need to believe in god to believe i have a right to defend myself.

          But what gives you that right? Merely your ability to build a door raises man above the survival-of-the-fittest law of wildlife? If the laws of nature are kill or be killed, and survival of the fittest, why do those rules not apply to man?

          Religion has worked hand in hand with governments to control the people and their wealth for centuries.

          Why interject religion here? Discussing the existence (or not) of God does not require discussion of religion (which is merely man’s attempt to understand God). Every single religion in the world could be completely wrong about God, and yet God could still exist.

          If that means I’m hated because i don’t believe in god I could care less.

          No need to martyr yourself here. Nobody is talking about hating you for your belief (or lack thereof) in God.

          I could also care less what you believe. That’s your right until it’s forced upon me.

          Also no need for such animosity. We’re merely having a discussion.

          Therefore if i can’t defend my rights, they don’t exist.

          So, why did we fight a Civil War to grant freedom to slaves? By your logic, the slaves were unable to defend their rights, and therefore their rights didn’t exist. Neither could the Jews killed in the Holocaust, or the 50 million Soviets killed by the Soviet regime. Why should oppressed people all over the world be aided? Are they even “oppressed”, since the inability to defend rights renders those rights moot? By your logic, the concept of being “oppressed” must be as irrelevant as the concept of natural rights.

      • Well, nobody can prove the existence of God. However, sentience is a real, observable thing that is the byproduct of evolution. A further byproduct of sentience is empathy, in addition to logic. Empathy leads us to believe pain and suffering are inherently evil. Logic leads us to believe that less evil in the world benefits us as a species. This gives us a moral basis point of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” without needing the entirely unconvincing “BECAUSE GOD SAID SO” argument. Believe it or not, love and respect for your fellow man can happen without a Devine creator. In fact, many people are healthy, moral people and somehow don’t believe in God.

        Guess what societies have had shared morals far before the existence of western religion. And there’s no reason morality can’t exist without God. To claim otherwise is entirely devoid of logic, and I have no times for arguments without reason.

        • To claim otherwise is entirely devoid of logic, and I have no times for arguments without reason.

          And here, you started off with some fertile grounds for discussion, but then chose to shut down that discussion by invoking the logical fallacy of a false dichotomy to claim that someone who disagrees with you must be devoid of logic. Ironic, that.

      • Let me turn your question on its side: if the Creator God exists, what gives him the authority to grant you rights? The fact that he created you? Well, so did your parents – but that doesn’t let them define what rights you have or don’t have, or do you disagree?

  13. Yes.

    But even if you don’t believe in God you should still say yes. Rights don’t “come” from somewhere they just are. They are inherent to the creature. They are the axioms upon which our lives are built. If you have no right to property or life what have you?

      • Like I said. These are axioms. You either accept them as atomic. Like 1+1=2, or your propose something better.

        You got something better? I have yet to see anything. 🙂

        • Like I said. These are axioms.

          What makes them axiomatic?

          I’m not trying to create a false dichotomy (God, or nothing); I’m asking: if not God, then what is the alternative?

          Ralph has given one potential answer: sentience/self-awareness (and, I suppose: conscience?). But why do those things change the survival-of-the-fittest rules for humans? And why does human conscience tend to be united around some very basic concepts of absolute right and wrong?

          Unless those questions can be answered, then the concept of natural rights is specious.

        • There’s nothing about axioms that “makes” them axioms. By definition, they are unprovable assertions, the bare minimum that you need to then construct the rest. You can adopt an arbitrary set of axioms as the basis, the only requirement is that they’re not contradictory.

          In practice, for scientific purposes, we adopt the axioms that have experimental support. For example, the Euclidean parallel postulate is accepted as true because we can experimentally test it, and so far we haven’t found any cases where it’s not true.

          With the concept of natural rights, it’s a bit different. An arbitrary set of rights (i.e. axioms) can be adopted, and they can be implemented in real world, because there are no physical laws regulating ethics and morality. However, there are the evolutionary and ethological laws of the survival of individuals and their societies, and so those societies adopt such moral axioms that provide a local maximum for their survival at any given point of time. In that sense, they are objective, not subjective – but they’re still not absolute.

      • What makes them natural/inherent?

        What makes them natural rights is that they are not dispensed by kings or governments, although they may be recognized or wrongly denied by them. The phrase “natural rights” mean they are not manmade, but instead they are as natural and basic as breathing.

        Natural rights thrive in a legal and governmental environment that respects them. We refer to governments that don’t respect natural rights as “repressive.”

        Who sets them down and defines them? Nobody. That’s why they are called “natural rights.” Once they are reduced to writing, they become “legal rights.”

        • The phrase “natural rights” mean they are not manmade, but instead they are as natural and basic as breathing.

          Saying that what makes them natural is that they are natural is begging the question.

          If there is not something outside of man (i.e. God) that endows man with rights, what is it that makes them natural?

          And there are deeper questions. If there is not something outside of man that endows man with rights, why are those rights only natural for humans, and not for other forms of life? If those same rights apply to other forms of life, is it wrong for man to kill animals for food? Is it wrong for animals to kill each other when acting on instinct?

      • Where does the Christian god grant people the right to worship other religions? IIRC, it’s actually kind of expressly forbidden.

  14. If you believe in God as described in the Bible, then there are many verses that you can pull from to support God-given right to self-defense, use of violence in the defense of life, etc. (There are whole sections of canon law addressing this.)

    If you believe in God as described in other tomes – can’t help you there, I’m not a comparative religion scholar. But I will note that most if not all religions seem to have something or other used to justify use of weapons.

    If you don’t believe in God, then you can say that the right to self-defense is the birthright of all who survived to this point in our evolutionary history. Brains are arguably the “built-in weapons system” of homo sapiens, just as teeth and claws are for cats, wolves, etc. They have better teeth and claws; we have better brains. Asking a human to not use his abilities to make and use weapons is like asking a wolf not to use his teeth.

    Just my $0.03. (Inflation…)

  15. This issue has been around forever — because it can never be settled by mortal man. More importantly, it does not matter. If you are a believer, you may well assert divine source for “laws”. If you are not, you may assert the Darwinian biological imperative for self-defense and man’s attributes as a tool-maker and -user. Regardless of origin, the right to keep and bear arms for defense of self and others is a clear, logical, and essential attribute of being human.

    • That is an excellent question and quite relevant to a gun blog where a lot of energy goes into discussion of the RIGHT to Keep and Bear Arms.

      I’d say “yes, of course.” But the main obligation we have trouble actually exercising is the obligation to get out of the other guy’s business.

      OC and off-body carry and caliber wars are an examples of what I mean. Even within this group, bound by focus on RKBA, there is tremendous “mini-Statism” seeking to control the behavior of others.

      I think the Founders of the US understood just how hard this would be…to implement the level of personal liberty espoused in Lockian philosophy.

  16. The gun itself isn’t the right, it’s our human expression of it. Laws aren’t the same as rights, they’re just our human expression of rights and wrongs.

    The right to self-defense is even deeper than God. It’s a right that’s even deeper than rights. It’s a biological necessity. Even the most devoted pacifist can’t stop his body from fighting for its last breath. Life wants to live, and that’s all there is to it.

    Taking away someone’s ability to defend his own life and those he loves is a crime against God and nature — so, by extension, taking away the option of armed defense is morally indefensible.

  17. Self-defense is natural. Every creature uses every possible method at its disposal to defend itself from attack. Man is part of nature and has the same abilities and rights. It is even programmed into us. Our bodies go to great lengths to defend us from germs 24/7. It is unnatural to demand that someone not use every means available to defend themselves. More accurately it is EVIL to demand that someone not use every means available to defend themselves.

    While the natural argument is compelling, it still falls short. Without a Creator in the picture, human life is no more sacred than any other living, breathing creature. Survival of the fittest rules the day without God. Just as humans claim their station above animals to justify harvesting them for food, the ruling class — without God — can claim their station “above” the working class to justify “harvesting” the working class for the gain of the ruling class.

    For these reasons, we must insist that there is a God and that God ordained our right to defend ourselves. While nature illustrates self-defense, nature also illustrates survival of the fittest. And we need a God who ordains that ALL human life is sacred and precious, not just the lives of the “fittest” (e.g. the ruling class). In that light, self-defense is a God ordained right for every human being. And self-defense includes keeping and bearing arms in defense of self.