Guns and Bible

Gun Ownership A Natural Right, Not a Political One

Washington DC - -( As thenewly-elected Republicans get closer to assuming office in the House, Senate,and in gubernatorial offices around the country, it is important to rememberthat gun ownership is a natural right, not a political one.

In other words, although Second Amendment supporters should bethrilled that gun control candidates were trounced on November 4 2014, nowis not the time to rest on our laurels. Rather, it is time to make sureincoming officeholders remember that our right to keep and bear arms comes tous via our Creator and not from government, so says Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson expressed these things in the Declaration of Independence when hepointed to “certain unalienable rights” with which we have been endowed by our “Creator.” These rights include those guarded by theSecond Amendment, as well as the others protected in the Bill of Rights. And previously reported, Jeffersondescribed them as “unalienable”to show that they are inseparable from us—they are part of our humanity.

Oxford law professor William Blackstone greatly impactedJefferson’s understanding of these things by describing unalienable rights as “absolute” rights. Blackstone explained that they wereabsolute because they came from him who is absolute, and that they were, are,and always will be, because the giver of those rights was, is, and always willbe.

John Locke wrote on these rights too, calling them natural rightsinstead of unalienable or absolute rights but recognizing their origins in theCreator nonetheless.

Locke studied natural rights extensively and showed that lessonson property and justice are inherent to them. He explained that natural rightsare not orchestrated by government but by natural law, and that law presents aframework for freedom within those rights and also communicates the virtue ofself-defense (see Locke’s Second Treatise of Government)( .

Therefore, natural rights are not political inasmuch as they existwith or without the consent of those in political office—such rights even existwithout the citizens’ consent—and the Founding Fathers gave us the Bill ofRights to protect them.

So the lesson for incoming officeholders is simple—gun rights arenot like speed limits, school funding, defense spending, or treaties withforeign countries. The government’s role is not to regulate such rights but toprotect them in accordance with the Constitution. This is what ourFounders meant by the words, “Shall not be Infringed.” 

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins

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