The Origin of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

May 2, 2014

The right to keep and bear arms is derived from the three self-evident natural rights which exist in a state of nature. (not to be confused with legal rights which exist and are defined within the context of a civil society)

  1. The right to Life.
  2. The right to Liberty.
  3. The right to Property (fruits of your labor)

Question: What meaning do rights have if they may be violated or suppressed by another person’s use or threatened use of force and violence? The answer is they have none.  Now because we live in a civil society we have courts of law and officers of the court whose job it is to enforce laws and bring fugitives to justice.  Even though we pool each of our individual authority to use force to the civil authorities, this does not mean the individual has surrendered that authority.  The civil authorities cannot be everywhere at all times and circumstances do arise which require members of a society to reclaim that individual authority to use deadly force if it be needed to halt the use of unlawful force against them or another innocent person.

In the eloquent words of John Locke, “I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for, by the fundamental law of nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred: and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion; because such men are not under the ties of the common law of reason, have no other rule, but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as beasts of prey, those dangerous and noxious creatures, that will be sure to destroy him whenever he falls into their power.”

Sir. William Blackstone commented that “Self defense is justly called the primary law of nature, so it is not, neither can it be in fact, taken away by the laws of society.” (“Commentaries on the Laws of England”, 1765)

“A covenant not to defend myself from force, by force, is always void. For no man can transfer, or lay down his right, to save himself from death, wounds, and imprisonment.” … “The right men have by Nature to protect themselves, when none else can protect them, can by no Covenant [the agreement between individuals to form a government, and the laws enacted thereby] be relinquished.” – THOMAS HOBBES (“Leviathan”, 1651)

It is a matter of established fact that the personal firearm is the most effective tool for preserved the safety of the innocent.  If it were not then those who hold power within government would not surround themselves with them 24 hours a day.  “…for ’tis a wise and true Saying, that One Sword often keeps another in the Scabbard.  The Way to secure Peace is to be prepared for War. They that are on their Guard, and appear ready to receive their Adversaries, are in much less Danger of being attack’d, than the supine, secure and negligent.”Benjamin Franklin

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